Variety called this film “Pure Pulp Poetry” and that about sums up this film. This has a lot in common with classic film noir B-films, it was shot over only 18 days on a small modern budget of around $1,000,000. This film is written and directed by Noah Buschel about a down on his luck prize-fighter looking to turn his luck around. We have a great cast which is allowed to flex their acting talent. The scenes are sparse and not over edited or much background music. This is a new film recently released on a number of formats, I watched the DVD.
Glass Chin revolves around a fighter who is broke and looking for a way to get back on top. He has lost everything including his fan base and a restaurant he put the last of his money into. We find him in a modest apartment with his girlfriend played by Marin Ireland. He goes out to meet with his old gym owner about helping train an up and coming boxer who is about to get a title fight at Madison Square Garden. He says he will, but he is also having dinner with J.J., played by Billy Crudup later that night to look at a job. The meeting goes well where we meet J.J. who is a gangster and wants to help our hero reopen his restaurant if he goes into business with him. It sounds like he just wants the boxer on his side and use him for muscle. We also meet the bartender played by Kelly Lynch who our hero has eyes for, and the muscle he will be working with played by Yul Vazquez. The first night working for J.J. seems to go pretty smooth, until our hero reads the paper the next day and finds he is in big trouble with no way out.
I really loved this little film and it looks like the critics have too. The general public isn’t taking to it like they should…yet. I really hope this film finds an audience, because it has a lot to offer. This doesn’t have a lot of violence or a big car chase or much action at all, and that maybe what people watching this are looking for. It doesn’t need all of that with great acting, well written dialog, and the struggle of the fallen hero in today’s society. There is a very big fight within our hero, after being a star in the boxing world and everybody loving him, can he go to an ordinary life or is it worth doing what you have to, to get back on top? The acting is top-notch and the washed out neo noir style of filming is visually stunning. New York is a character in this film like a lot of classic films noir, and makes for a great backdrop for both the haves and the have-nots. I highly recommend this film.
Favorite Tidbits: I caught two meta moments in this film, that maybe meant as inside jokes or Easter Eggs.
- In the boxing gym the owner tells our hero that H.B.O. wanted to come in and film their fighter training, but declined the offer. Our hero mentions how do you turn down H.B.O.? the H.B.O. of Boardwalk Empire and Girls? Co-star Marin Ireland has appeared on Girls.
- One of the people who owes money to J.J., that our hero has to go put pressure on is played by David Johansen, lead singer of the New York Dolls. The Dolls song Trash plays prominently on the soundtrack for the film.