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Landmark River Oaks Theatre
2009 W. Gray St.
Houston, TX  77019
Heavyweight almost-champ Chuck Wepner was a character long before he inspired Sylvester Stallone to pen Rocky. But Wepner is no Rocky Balboa. Sure, he comes from a working-class town (Bayonne, New Jersey), and when he boxed, he took a good punch, bled like a hemophiliac and dreamed of taking home that giant gold belt. But Stallone gleaned only what he wanted from the gentle giant and left out the messy human bits, such as Wepner's flagrant philandering and his obstinance. In Chuck, director Philippe Falardeau attempts to repair that dissonance, stitching up the two competing sides of the real-life boxer into a whole human. The result is a meta-biopic: This is supposed to be the true story behind Rocky, but the reality of Wepner's life -- or how he tells it, at least -- is still the stuff of movies, though this time it's a comedy, driven by a knockout lead performance from Liev Schreiber.


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