Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
15
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In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles.
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA :, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment,, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2018
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (121 minutes) : sound, colour ; 4 3/4 inches
digital,optical,surround,Dolby Digital 5.1 DVS, 2.0,rda
video file,DVD video,region 1,rda

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b
Byond
Apr 16, 2018

What is below the surface of this charming return to yesteryear? We might consider Hillary v. Trump a rematch. In that case we will need a slamming desperado to defeat the next male tricky dick who tries to steal the prize. Four stars because it seems they tried to keep it human.

A good but not great film. I remember the event back when it happened and the players involved. I think they captured that all quite well - just not in a terribly compelling way. Stone is fine but dry as BJK and Carrell is good as BR but the battle itself is a bit flat. The story spent too much time on BJK's love life (compared to very little of BR's) and seemed to be trying to tell a very different story that a tennis match. That's fine if we have a sense of that going in but this was marketed as being about the match and the circumstances around it. Worth a look but if you pass on it, you're not missing much.

r
Rag886
Mar 20, 2018

so boring...

4
4536o
Mar 09, 2018

Surprisingly well done given neither Stone nor Carell are athletes, much less professional tennis players. Very high level of acting across the cast; Emma Stone is excellent, as usual.

r
rslade
Mar 08, 2018

Yeah, I remember this. Given what I do remember, I trust the parts I didn't know about. Great, sensitive, and, yes, it really was that bad ...

s
StarGladiator
Feb 18, 2018

Having actually learned how to serve decently in tennis, thanks to Billie Jean King [when I was stationed in San Angelo, TX for military training], I also recall what a complete load of hype this so-called event was, simply a feeble attempt to make some bucks by that character, Riggs.
It wasn't paid much attention then, doubt if it will now, and had nothing whatsoever to do with any so-called battle of the sexes.

JCLHeatherM Feb 18, 2018

Funny and poignant, two larger than life pros collide on the tennis court, each with something to prove, but only one can be the champion in the televised 'Battle of the Sexes'.

b
beardieowner19
Feb 16, 2018

I was bored throughout - I think a documentary with the "real" people would have been a more interesting way to tell this story.

r
richmole
Feb 15, 2018

It's easy to find fault with this entertaining "true life" feature and many will. I suspect most critics will fault the many "missing opportunities" hinted at here:
1. Billie Jean King's decades-long fight for women's equality.
2. The pain and anguish caused by her bisexuality: the trauma in her marriage, her relationship with conservative parents. As she herself has commented, "I couldn't find a closet big enough."
3. The fascinating juxtaposition between herself and team-mate and six-time #1 women 's tennis champion, Margaret Court (who, years later, became a Christian minister and led a boycott against Quantis Airlines, which publicly supported same-sex marriage.)

Only in the scripting--and performance-- of tennis pro Bobby Riggs appears to have fulfilled its potential!

Never mind. It's a good movie, and manages to juggle some of the obvious dramatic conflicts fairly well, albeit sometimes in a fictitious way. (No fault there, either: most movies "based on true events" deviate from reality for the sake of story.) So, hats off to (Slumdog Millionaire) scriptwriter Simon Beaufoy and likely others for avoiding being bogged down by polemics.

Good performances by all, especially--again--by Steve Carell as Riggs. "Again", because a few years ago, the performer many regard as a comedian is able to transcend genders and certainly deserved his Oscar nomination for dramatic character in Foxcatcher.

The mystery: why did this movie fail at the box-office? Upon release, the competition wasn't THAT huge. The stars were well-loved (Emma Stone coming off a Best Actress Oscar the year before--surely her fans would flock to see her again?); directors responsible for the hit Little Miss Sunshine; retelling of a very famous episode in social history that galvanized North America and most of the world. Howcum it bombed?

Biggest reason I suspect: the people old enough to really remember this event (early '70s) don't go to movies in theatres any more, and most of those who do, (teens-30s) are clueless about most history--recent or otherwise. And besides, perhaps "War of the Sexes" and all that this implies is "old hat."
We've come so far.
Haven't we?

m
ms_mustard
Feb 04, 2018

a great reminder of how far women and come - and how far we still have to go.
the most cringe-worthy moment, besides all of Riggs, was Howard Cosell's hand on Rosie Casal's shoulder during the commentary of the match.

I paired it with the 2013 PBS American Masters show about Billie Jean King - she has worked tirelessly for tennis and for including both girls and boys in sport.

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