Cam's Blog

December 17, 2010

A short history of the Christmas boxing film

Filed under: Movies — cfranc @ 10:59 pm

I just got back from watching “The Fighter” with Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg, which is amazing. You should stop reading this right now, go to the theater and hand over your money, enjoy the film, and then return and continue reading.

Done? Good.

Have you ever noticed a tendency for boxing movies to be released around Christmas time? I have:

The Fighter
Release Date: December 10, 2010
Tomatometer: 89%
Awards: Academy Award to Christian Bale for Best Supporting Actor (predicted).

Rocky Balboa
Release Date: December 20, 2006
Tomatometer: 76%
Awards: None?

Million Dollar Baby
Release Date: December 15, 2004 (Limited), January 28, 2005 (Wide)
Tomatometer: 91%
Awards: Lots and lots. See here.

Release Date: December 25, 2001
Tomatometer: 67%
Awards: None?

The Hurricane
Release Date: December 29, 1999 (Limited), January 14, 2000 (Wide)
Tomatometer: 83%
Awards: Golden Globe for Best Actor to Denzel Washington. He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Play it to the Bone
Release Date: December 25, 1999
Tomatometer: 12%
Awards: None?

The Boxer
Release Date: December 31, 1997
Tomatometer: 76%
Awards: Nominated for three Golden Globes

Rocky IV
Release Date: November 27, 1985
Tomatometer: 44%
Awards: None?

Raging Bull
Release Date: December 19, 1980
Tomatometer: 98%
Awards: Academy award for Best actor to Rober De Niro, and Academy Award for Best Editing. Probably many others.

Release Date: December 3, 1976
Tomatometer: 93%
Awards: Academy Awards for Best Picture, Actor and Editing. Nominated for several other Academy Awards, probably won a bunch of others too.

I’ve probably missed a bunch as I’m not a professional boxing movie historian. It seems like a disproportionate number of boxing movies appearing around Christmas, though. Is this an attempt to get the movies out before award season, or does the film industry believe that North American’s love themselves a good-old Christmas boxing match? Maybe take out some of the pent-up holiday frustration with family and friends in a healthy cinematic scuffle? I dunno.

(The Tomatometer readings were taken on Friday December 17, 2010.)


December 16, 2010

Back from New York

Filed under: Math, Travel — cfranc @ 9:47 am

I’m back in Montreal after spending two days in New York working with Marc. We fixed up our p-adic integration work in Sage. It needs a lot of work still: we’d like to implement Coleman integrals, the ability to compute values of anticyclotomic p-adic L-functions and a few other odds and ends. It also needs to be optimized and (gasp!) documented… but it’s getting to a very usable state.

Just before I left we tried to use our routines with rigid analytic modular forms to compute equations of Shimura curves, following a suggestion of Darmon. Our code is too slow at the moment to recognize the equations we find as rational, and not just p-adic, but we’re hopeful that with some tweaking it should give a reasonable algorithm, at least for low genus curves. I may say more about this after we’ve had some time to work this stuff out and write it up!

New York was fun but I didn’t get to see much of it. We spent nearly 30 out of 48 hours working straight, breaking only for food and sleep. As Marc pointed out to me, though, I can still say I did some sight-seeing, as “Visit Columbia University” is a suggestion in all of the New York guide books…

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