April 24, 2009
On the Big Board
||Pretty interesting to hear how Tyson sees himself.
Some would argue whether someone like Mike Tyson deserves a documentary film about him at all. Given his history, it’s not that hard to see that he was just as controversial for his activities outside the ring.
A highly publicized rape conviction led to a prison sentence of six years, though he was released after serving three years. He was also sentenced to one year in prison for assaulting motorists after a traffic accident, but was again released early after nine months. He earned over $300 million from his boxing matches and squandered it all, declaring himself bankrupt in 2003. He eventually announced his retirement after losing his fight with Kevin McBride in 2005. To top it off, he’s also been through two divorces. Hell, there’s enough there to make something in the vein of Ali.
James Toback, the guy responsible for the mediocre Harvard Man, is on directing duties here, with Tyson interestingly credited as producer. They appear to be good friends, with Toback having cast Tyson (as himself) in his previous films Black & White, where he appears to persuade someone to commit murder, and When Will I Be Loved, which is more notable for a Neve Campbell shower scene than its extended Tyson cameo.
For those of you who haven’t opened a browser to Netflix, Tyson was screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2008, where it won the somewhat appropriate Regard Knockout Award, and was later shown at the Sundance Film Festival 2009. The film is more of a 90 minute confessional, where the former boxing champion admits his flaws and just tells it like it is, with camera interviews and clips.
“I became scared of that guy when I saw that guy,” says Tyson of himself during a Q & A at Sundance. “After fighting for 25 years I realised what I projected to the world, and I never understood why people looked at me and made those judgemental opinions about me. That’s who I wanted to be; I wanted to be the arrogant champion of the world, almost like a barbarian sitting on the throne, and just ruling everything.” He claims his past behavior has made him so hated that he even fears for his life.
That you’ll go out to see this largely depends on how you view Mike Tyson and if you really want to see one of the world’s strongest men fighting back the tears. Having always been portrayed as a frighteningly brutal monster by the media, this documentary might actually make you feel sorry for the guy! (Shalimar Sahota/BOP)