||The Sports Guy's favorite scenes in "Ali":
The opening few minutes are almost indescribable (in a good way), a quick montage of scenes from Ali's pre-Liston years juxtaposed with a spine-chilling 10-minute stage performance by an actor/singer playing the late Sam Cooke. Incredible way to start the movie.
Some of the supporting performances are terrific, including Jon Voight as Howard Cosell (who gets better as the movie goes along), Nona Gaye as Ali's
second wife, Jamie Foxx as Bundini Brown and Mario Van Peebles as Malcolm X (underrated). Maybe the only thing that bothered me here was that Cosell came
off so sympathetically just because he defended Ali during the Vietnam thing. Talk about Hollywood leeway ...
One of the best directors alive from a visual standpoint -- remember, the man created "Miami Vice," for God's sake -- Mann couldn't have possibly
filmed the movie any better. Six or seven scenes in here really stand out; whether they deserved to be included in the movie is another story (like
Special kudos to the exquisitely choreographed fight scenes -- re-created almost to the punch and definitely to the point of excess -- which are some
of the finest boxing scenes ever captured on film. A number of punches make you think, "How the hell did they film that?" and "Wait a second, that
actually landed!" During the climactic Foreman fight, some punches land with such force that you can see the actors' faces crumble and shake. Again, it's
amazing to watch.
My two favorite scenes were the aforementioned courtroom scene (9.8 on the Chill factor scale) and the scene when Ali enters a packed, rabid stadium in
Africa before the Foreman fight, as the camera swings around to capture the look of surprise on his face (9.4 CF). Just for those scenes alone, "Ali" is