Battle of the Sexes

2017

Biography / Comedy / Drama / Sport

83
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 41908

Synopsis


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December 23, 2017 at 07:27 AM

Cast

Emma Stone as Billie Jean King
Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs
Elisabeth Shue as Priscilla Riggs
Bill Pullman as Jack Kramer
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
890.55 MB
1280*534
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 3 / 88
1.85 GB
1920*800
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 2 / 61

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zkonedog 6 / 10

Losing The Forest For The Trees

There is no doubt that the event on which "Battle of the Sexes" is based on was a monumental moment in sports and cultural history. The exhibition tennis match between Bobby Riggs & Billie Jean King was in part a circus, but also (in large part) a key moment in the taking of women athletes seriously on the national stage. While this film eventually arrives at that point, I felt like it took far too long for it to "get to the point", so to speak.

For a basic plot summary, this film tells the story of the run-up to the Battle of the Sexes match. Riggs (Steve Carell) is a male chauvinist through and through (or at least plays the role of one), while King (Emma Stone) is perhaps the premiere women's tennis player of her era. While King struggles with her confusing sexuality and Riggs falls on hard times with his own wife, this sets the wheels in motion for a match that will be more than just an exhibition, as it seemingly carries with it the weight of the Women's Liberation movement of the 1970s.

Let me be clear about one thing: This isn't a "bad" movie by any stretch. Great acting performances are given, and the final 30 minutes are fully riveting. I completely understood and appreciated the message that was being conveyed.

That being said, the entire film is predicated on the notion that the setup (e.g. the first 70-80 minutes or so) of both lead figures will lead to more dramatic payoff in the end. For me, that didn't happen (in fact, it actually had the opposite effect). I'm not sure that King's sexual leanings needed to be a focal point of the story, and in Riggs' case his relationship with his wife (played by Elisabeth Shue) should have been developed even more. Because neither of these things really get on track, at least the first half of the film felt slow and stodgy to me.

Once the match is set and the buildup/execution of it begins, though, the film really shines. I only have video footage to go on here (I was not alive for the real thing), but Stone is sometimes a dead-ringer for King on the court. Carell's antics as Riggs were also accurate from what I have read/heard.

So, while being a solid film, I cannot give "Battle of the Sexes" more than just above-average marks for the lackluster opening acts. I felt like a different lens was needed (or the execution of the chosen lens needed to be better) in order to make the movie truly riveting in the end instead of "just" somewhat inspirational. It never got to that "next level" for me (aside from the material about the actual match itself).

Reviewed by Jared_Andrews 6 / 10

A Simple Feel-good Story with some Subtlety Issues

A light, fluffy, sweet treat, Battle of the Sexes is assuredly a crowd-pleasing movie. But much like cotton candy-the movie offers very little to digest. Overall, the movie will win over most viewers with its familiar feel-good true story angle. If you liked 2016's Hidden Figures, chances are that this is a movie for you.

It strives for and ultimately achieves the classic feel-good movie moments. Hero activist beats chauvinist pig. Good triumphs over evil. Or something like that. There is no deeper exploration. There is no hard-hitting, brutal honesty. The examinations are superficial and dive no deeper than the surface.

Basically, movie is too simple. But sexism and the problems that it causes are complicated. In the movie, everything is spelled out in a painfully obvious way. It condescends to make sure that everyone understands. The sexist characters come out in shameless and laughably overt ways. The good person defeats the bad person and everyone cheers. It's a fairy tale ending, hooray! But none of that is realistic.

Sexist and discriminatory people in power don't publicly profess their feelings in such blunt ways. So, when the movie scenes portray characters as loud and proud sexists, I can only roll my eyes. I know the movie uses these exaggerated characters and moments to make the situation abundantly clear to the audience. I just prefer a bit of subtlety.

Instead, the movie handles the delicate, nuanced topics of sexism and repression of homosexuality with the blunt force of a lumberjack with a giant axe. Wrong professional and wrong tool. We needed a surgeon with medical instruments.

The movie still has its upside. Steve Carell and Emma Stone are charming and wonderful, which is an amazing feat considering the character that Carell plays. Bobby Riggs (Carell) flaunts his chauvinism in such a flamboyant manner that showmanship is clearly his primary focus. This is one detail that the movie gets right, thanks largely to Carell. Riggs doesn't actually believe the gross, archaic things he says about women. It's an act. He says them to attract interest in the upcoming Man vs. Woman tennis match with Billie Jean King (Stone).

The storytelling is clear, even if not always smooth. The combination of King's life-changing romance along with the battle of the sexes tennis match fit awkwardly. Though, I'm sure those two things also fit awkwardly in King's life at the time, so I accept the somewhat clumsy clash of the two storylines. Again, if you liked Hidden Figures, you will like Battle of the Sexes. It's uplifting and sends a valuable and inspiring message to young girls everywhere. On that basis, I applaud the movie. Despite its flaws, it's still a story worthy of knowing.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 8 / 10

when pigs fly

Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) is a leading female tennis player. With promoter Gladys Heldman's help, she starts a rival tennis tour to fight for equal pay and against sexist tennis organizing head Jack Kramer. Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) is a former tennis champ and a gambling addict. He tries to hustle a high-stakes game with Billie. Instead, he entices Margaret Court who he thoroughly trounces. Billie realizes that she has no choice but to respond. In addition, she has to deal with her burgeoning homosexual awakening.

I remember the TV movie with Holly Hunter. This one is a little more wide-ranging than a simple gender equality movie. Billie's sexuality is the center of her story while Bobby's gambling is his story. One thing it doesn't tackle is the rumor that Bobby threw the match due to a gambling debt. With no solid evidence, I certainly understand leaving it out but they could have hinted at it especially with his gambling issue front and center. It's great to tackle Billie's sexuality which makes her an even more compelling human character. Bobby's marriage could have more space. Part of that is their split which limits the wife's screen time. In general, this is great with some solid performances.

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