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In Brief: "Play It to the Bone"

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The writer-director Ron Shelton has made some of the best sports-themed movies ever: Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump, Cobb, Tin Cup. His rapt, loosey-goosey gifts are partially on view in Play It to the Bone, featuring Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas as middleweight lugs and best friends coerced into fighting each other for a fat purse and a title shot. That's a great premise, but, aside from some sass from Lolita Davidovich as their mutual love interest, and a devastating fight scene between the two guys near the end, the picture, made on a shoestring, is blotchy and disappointingly low on boxing atmosphere. Maybe all that cigar smoke clouded everybody's judgment.


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