Friday, November 29, 2013

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

Directed by Spike Lee, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is a presentation of Mike Tyson’s Broadway one-man show as he talks about his life from the triumphs he had as the world heavyweight champion in boxing to all of the scandals and troubles he went through in his life. The result is a fascinating yet entertaining one-man show captured by Spike Lee.

The film is a presentation of Mike Tyson’s one-man Broadway show called Undisputed Truth as he tells his life story from the way he remembers it while commenting on things in his life that he isn’t proud of but also things he cherishes. Notably as he talks about his early life and his family as he admits to having no idea who his father is while finding a family and mentor in his trainer Cus d’Amato. Tyson also talks about various incidents in his life such as the 1991 rape accusation where he revealed a lot that went wrong in his defense due to Don King as well as why one of his early trainers Teddy Atlas left over the fact that Tyson did have sex with his 12-year old sister-in-law when he was only 15 which Tyson admitted was true but also downplayed some things.

Tyson proves to be a very engaging presence in the way he tells his story where he admits that he tends to ramble at times but manages to maintains his composure and be courteous to his audience. Their reaction definitely adds power to his performance where he reveals his pain in some of the most funny ways but also in some of the darker moments where it looked like he could breakdown but manages to keep his composure. Some of the funnier moments involves not just Tyson’s ill-fated marriage to Robin Givens where he shows clips from the infamous interview with Barbara Walters. He also made some revelations about what happened during the split where they were still having sex until he found out that she was sleeping with another actor who turned out to be a now-major film star.

Another funny moment that Tyson reveals that is one of the most comical moments of the show as well as one of the most sobering moments is his feud with boxer Mitch Green where Tyson got into a street fight with the guy. Through Spike Lee’s very simple direction, Tyson is able to create things with the help of movie screens in the back to help tell his story. Even as Lee uses some close-ups and medium shots to have Tyson tell his story with the help of cinematographer Matthew Libatique and sound editor Philip Stockton as well as editor Barry Alexander Brown to help capture the energy of Tyson’s performance.

The show opens with one of the most touching moments where Tyson is sitting on a stool all alone with just one light above him as Nat King Cole’s Nature Boy plays which showcases the vulnerability of Tyson where music supervisor Janet Lopez helps provide music from Nina Simone and other artists as well as opening music by DJ Clark Kent before the show begins to help set the mood. Overall, Lee creates a very lively and touching stage performance from the Baddest Man on the Planet making Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth one of Spike Lee’s superb gems as well a key addition to his revered work in the documentary platform.

Spike Lee Films: (She’s Gotta Have It) - (School Daze) - Do the Right Thing - Mo' Better Blues - Jungle Fever - (Malcolm X) - Crooklyn - (Clockers) - (Girl 6) - (Get on the Bus) - 4 Little Girls - (He Got Game) - Freak - Summer of Sam - (The Kings of Comedy) - (Bamboozled) - (A Huey P. Newton Story) - 25th Hour - (Jim Brown: All-American) - (She Hate Me) - (Inside Man) - (When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts) - (Miracle at St. Anna) - (Kobe Doin’ Work) - (Passing Strange) - (If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise) - (Red Hook Summer) - Bad 25 - (Oldboy (2013 film)) - (Da Blood of Jesus) - (Chi Raq) - Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall - BlacKkKlansman - Da 5 Bloods - (American Utopia)

© thevoid99 2013


ruth said...

Oh man, I still need to see the top two of your Blind Spot, can't believe I haven't seen them yet. WOW, a blog on professional wrestling? I had no idea you're into WWE, but hey that's cool Steven, I hope you'd still be blogging about movies though.

thevoid99 said...

Well, it's been on my mind for some time. The wrestling blog is something I want to do on the side as I have a lot to say about the state of the WWE and believe me, it's not very good. I'm just trying to figure out what to call it.