'Klitschko' packs a punch
I was a little worried about how my teenaged daughter would handle "Klitschko," what with it being nearly two hours long, full of graphic boxing violence and . . . mostly in German and Russian.
But the German-produced film, part of the Tribeca/ESPN Festival, works because the brothers Vitali and Wladimir are likeable, charismatic figures.
So is their mother.
In addition to exploring the boxers' relationship and careers, the film includes some remarkable, ultra-sharp, ultra-slo mo footage of bouts in which punches cause faces to contort in truly extraordinary directions.
Another festival entry, "Like Water," looks at mixed martial arts star Anderson Silva, whose serene, cerebral approach confuses and upsets some in the MMA community.
"Splinters," takes viewers to Papua New Guinea, where a remote village that happens to be located near world-class waves turns into an unlikely hotbed of surfing.
Villagers compete against the waves and each other as they look for a way into the wider world - specifically a trip to Australia.
In "Off the Rez," a star basketball player, Shoni Schimmel, attempts to get through high school while adjusting with her family to life in Portland and off the Native American reservation where they had lived in eastern Oregon.
The most compelling figure in the film is not Shoni but her mother, Ceci, who coaches the team while juggling eight children, financial struggles and the disappointment of an athletic career of her own that went nowhere.
Kelly Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos, are executive producers.