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Subject: "FIGHTWORLD (Frank Grillo, 2018)" Previous topic | Next topic
navajo joe
Member since Apr 13th 2005
5211 posts
Mon Oct-15-18 11:16 AM

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"FIGHTWORLD (Frank Grillo, 2018)"


  

          

Grillo's love letter to martial arts and Anthony Bourdain. I loved this in spite of some of its flaws. It's absolutely stunning visually which is able to cover the fact that Grillo and his team lack the wit, intelligence and worldliness of the late, great Anthony Bourdain.

Unlike other martial arts docuseries of the past, Fightworld focuses its attentions less on the arts themselves but on the fighters, coaches and cultures from which they hail. While Grillo is a charasmatic dramatic actor, capable host, and physical specimen at 51 years old he's easily the least interesting part of the show. Which isn't to say he's boring but when you're examining the fighting arts of Mexico, Thailand, Myanmar, Senegal, and Israel. So instead of it being about Grillo learning whichever country's art and putting on some mock exhibition, he takes a back seat to letting the far more interesting aspects of the show shine. Grillo's greatest strength as host is his seemingly endless respect, his willingness to display vulnerability and his empathy.

I loved that the show got off the well-beaten path of Thailand, Brazil, Israel for episodes in Myanmar and Senegal. There are definitely criticisms to be had in how the show presents the mysticism that is so important to Senegal's Laamb Wrestling and what felt like an Israeli informmercial in the first half of that episode.

Despite those shortcomings, there is so much to recommend here, so much beauty and humanity on display that I can't recommend this highly enough.

"Things aren't looking too good for black people right now PR-wise"
Tracy Morgan

"The way that you control a motherfucker that ain't don't nothing is you give them something. Then you hold it over their heads."
Patrice O'Neal

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
I had no clue this was around, thanks.
Oct 15th 2018
1
There was Fight Quest and I believe another show
Oct 15th 2018
2
      The show I was referring to was Human Weapon.
Oct 15th 2018
4
           Human Weapon! That was the show I couldn't remember
Oct 15th 2018
5
Trailer
Oct 15th 2018
3
Just started in
Oct 15th 2018
6
Cool, man. Look forward to your thoughts
Oct 15th 2018
7
      watched the first two eps
Oct 24th 2018
8
watched a bit more
Dec 04th 2018
9
sorry you didn't dig it
Dec 04th 2018
10

Numba_33
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Mon Oct-15-18 11:42 AM

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1. "I had no clue this was around, thanks."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

From your description, this sounds very similar to an old History channel show that revolved around two guys that traveled the world and tried to learn different martial arts and would fight someone more well verse in that respective fighting style. One of the fighters was a semi-pro MMA fighter and the other was an ex-NFL lineman.

"Sean sparks like John Starks, nah, Sean ball like John Wall" - Rest In Power Forever Sean Price.

  

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navajo joe
Member since Apr 13th 2005
5211 posts
Mon Oct-15-18 11:50 AM

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2. "There was Fight Quest and I believe another show"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

And what I liked so much about this was that it takes the opposite approach in terms of not focusing on the fighting or Grillo learning to fight.

Yeah, I just happened upon the trailer on youtube like the day before it came out. I remember hearing him discuss it in an interview months back but had totally forgotten until the trailer.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did

"Things aren't looking too good for black people right now PR-wise"
Tracy Morgan

"The way that you control a motherfucker that ain't don't nothing is you give them something. Then you hold it over their heads."
Patrice O'Neal

  

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Numba_33
Charter member
16858 posts
Mon Oct-15-18 12:25 PM

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4. "The show I was referring to was Human Weapon."
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

If you can, try and look it up on the interwebs if you have the spare time. It was a pretty decent show. The semi-pro MMA dude I referred to trained under Eddie Bravo if memory serves me right.

"Sean sparks like John Starks, nah, Sean ball like John Wall" - Rest In Power Forever Sean Price.

  

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navajo joe
Member since Apr 13th 2005
5211 posts
Mon Oct-15-18 12:32 PM

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5. "Human Weapon! That was the show I couldn't remember"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

Thanks for reminding me! I think I watched it in its original run. Will see if I can find it again.

I definitely watched Fight Quest which featured Jimmy Smith formerly commentator for Bellator and currently with UFC commentary team.

"Things aren't looking too good for black people right now PR-wise"
Tracy Morgan

"The way that you control a motherfucker that ain't don't nothing is you give them something. Then you hold it over their heads."
Patrice O'Neal

  

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navajo joe
Member since Apr 13th 2005
5211 posts
Mon Oct-15-18 11:51 AM

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3. "Trailer"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Meant to post this up top but too late now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faMfaNDWHe8

"Things aren't looking too good for black people right now PR-wise"
Tracy Morgan

"The way that you control a motherfucker that ain't don't nothing is you give them something. Then you hold it over their heads."
Patrice O'Neal

  

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xangeluvr
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8901 posts
Mon Oct-15-18 07:25 PM

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6. "Just started in"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Like you I just happened across the trailer and put it on my list. Anything martial arts related I'll check out since I've been training myself for almost 28 years. Good to hear it's a good show.

GamerTag and PSN: PokeEmAll

  

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navajo joe
Member since Apr 13th 2005
5211 posts
Mon Oct-15-18 07:59 PM

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7. "Cool, man. Look forward to your thoughts"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

"Things aren't looking too good for black people right now PR-wise"
Tracy Morgan

"The way that you control a motherfucker that ain't don't nothing is you give them something. Then you hold it over their heads."
Patrice O'Neal

  

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xangeluvr
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8901 posts
Wed Oct-24-18 10:46 PM

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8. "watched the first two eps"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

the production of the show works. the look, the music work for me. overall i think that the show is shot beautifully. very parts unknown no doubt.

what doesn't work for me is the writing. for a show that said in the first episode that "this isn't a show about fighting, this is a show about PEOPLE who fight" i don't really feel like we get to know much at all about the characters he showcases in each episode or much really about the culture around them. a big part of it is due to, for me, the weakest link in the show...frank grillo himself.

first, he's not particularly charismatic. i don't find him interesting to watch at all. second, and more to the point i mentioned above, he never really says anything of interest. when walking around or sitting with the different people he doesn't really converse naturally to find out about them, he instead just asks these very surface level questions, or often times just repeats the same thing.

also, i'm not sure if i particularly like them showing him training so much. i'd also like to see him tone down the fanboy a bit.

anyway, its a decent show and i'll watch the rest of the season, but definitely it can be improved with better writing and some editing.

GamerTag and PSN: PokeEmAll

  

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xangeluvr
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8901 posts
Tue Dec-04-18 04:25 PM

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9. "watched a bit more"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

and quite honestly i found myself a bit bored. this show wants so frickin' bad to be Parts Unknown only for the martial arts instead of food/culture, but it lacks any sort of depth that PU had. lacking is the intelligent commentary, the insightful discussions, the sincere affection and respect tony showed for the people and culture, and just the general lack of a solid story being told in each episode. instead all that is replaced with too much of frank grillo's high fives, bro hugs and general fan boying. its so annoying. then the talking head segments where he is trying to relay his thoughts he often just comes off disingenuous, or insincere to me.

the show is shot well, the cinematography is generally pleasing. really though that's about it. they need some better writers, directors, or something to better plan and flesh out these episodes.

the show says its not a show about fighting, it's about the fighters, but again the story is so weak and the material so surface level that i don't feel that i really learn much about them at all.

GamerTag and PSN: PokeEmAll

  

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navajo joe
Member since Apr 13th 2005
5211 posts
Tue Dec-04-18 05:55 PM

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10. "sorry you didn't dig it"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

we have largely different takes on the show but all your criticisms are valid. the issues i did have with the show were pretty much the same they just bothered me much less (although they were most apparent in the Mexico/Israel episodes). I never got the sense that Grillo is insincere though.

He's definitely bro-ey and can't hold a candle to Bourdain but to me it is clear that he is passionate about martial arts and respectful of the cultures/people he profiles during the season.

definitely a ymmv situation





"Things aren't looking too good for black people right now PR-wise"
Tracy Morgan

"The way that you control a motherfucker that ain't don't nothing is you give them something. Then you hold it over their heads."
Patrice O'Neal

  

Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

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