Netflix recommendation – Glass Chin
Written and directed by: Noah Buschel
Bud “The saint” Gordon (Stoll) is a retired boxer who has lost nearly everything, and is determined to get it all back. Living with his girlfriend (Ireland) in a run down New Jersey apartment, and reeling from the failure of his restaurant called (of course) “Bud’s”, he wants badly to regain the feeling of his glory days in the ring. Enter JJ Cook (Crudup), a local crime lord who has a penchant for “Owning people”. With the promise of re-opening his restaurant, and having his life back, Bud agrees to do JJ’s dirty work, but finds it tricky balancing his “Work” with his training of a young protege (Malcom Xavier).
In a year that has seen two big budget boxing films (“Southpaw” and “Creed”), a lesser hyped one may be the best in Noah Buschel’s “Glass Chin”. Buschel’s film is one that has a familiar setup (down on his luck, retired fighter turns to working for a ruthless gangster in order to restore the lifestyle and notoriety he has lost) but a completely unique execution that sets it apart from the rest of such movies. “Glass Chin” is a boxing film with very little boxing in it. Instead we are treated to a handful of strong, dialogue driven performances by an outstanding cast.
Stoll is exceptional as Bud, and Yul Vazquez is delightfully and sadistically weird as JJ’s coldblooded henchman Roberto. It is Billy Crudup though, for me, that gave the standout performance. As JJ, he is the perfect balance of evil and eccentric. Every time he was on screen, hissing out his greed-fueled speeches, I felt uncomfortable (in a good way). Crudup, once again, shows that he is one of the more versatile and under appreciated actors out there.
“Glass Chin” will not necessarily be for everyone. Fans of action and fast paced dialogue should probably look elsewhere (see the other two boxing films mentioned above). But, for lovers of good scripts and strong character development, “Glass Chin” is a film that is definitely worth your time.