Resurrection Boulevard: The Complete First Season DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Series Created by Dennis E. Leoni
Starring Marisol Nichols, Mauricio Mendoza, Elizabeth Peña, Nicholas Gonzalez, Daniel Zacapa

Features:

  • All twenty first season episodes

Released by: Paramount Home Video
Rating: NR
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Rent it.

Three generations of Santiagos have created a family legacy in boxing, and now it has all come down to the young men living on Resurrection Boulevard. The story centers around Alex Santiago (Gonzalez), who has picked up where his brother’s career left off. His family fights alongside him….to keep a business going, to heal from the loss of their mother, and to survive the challenge of living together under one roof.

I'll just start off by saying that I do not like sports. They bore me. And movies and television shows that spend 80% of their screen time showing a game or fight really bore me. This show, however, is refreshingly different. Although the fights are well done (choreographed by Jimmy Nicholson, who did Rocky I and III and Raging Bull), they do not dominate the script's subject matter. I dislike seeing something that focuses on a competition without really making the audience care about who the victor is. For example, I came out of Cinderella Man and thought the fights were great, but the main character and his family were not made important enough to me as a viewer. Therefore, when it came down to the competition part, any joy in his victory or sorrow in his defeat was greatly diminished.

Not so with this show. The writers and actors work very hard to make the audience care about the fighter and his family. It also is presented with an ensemble cast….instead of Alex being blatantly in the center with everyone working around him, you get a much more well-rounded picture of the family as a whole, which makes it all the more realistic. There is never a "main character" in real life….everyone is in on the story. I also respect the fact that the writers do not allow the story to be predictable…Alex is a good fighter, but sometimes he loses, just like everyone else.

Speaking of characters…the actors give great performances. One thing I especially respect about them is that they are excel at using body language as well as their faces and voices. The most impressive use of such talents comes from Caniel Zacapa, who plays Ruben, the Santiago boys' mute uncle. Zapaca displays an incredible ability to relay a wide variety of emotions as well as a general strength of character….even with no lines, he leaves no doubt as to what he wishes to say. All of the actors have a wonderful chemistry with each other that is essential when portraying a family. To be anything other than the Brady Bunch type of sitcom family, actors have to be able to fight with each other just as well as they hug….there was actually a great moment when everyone joins together in a group hug and someone says "you're crushing my ribs!" I can believe in (and relate to) a family like that. The production values are good as well. I like the soundtrack and the camera work, the direction is obviously masterful, as is the writing. Everything works well together for a great show.

The DVD is basically just to showcase the first season and has no features. I wish that there was some commentary from the actors or the show's creators. They're obviously talented and smart, and I would have enjoyed hearing their take on the show and its themes. Maybe future sets will include something like that. Regardless, this is a wonderful show, and I'm sorry that Showtime cancelled it. Go rent and enjoy.

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