From Stacie Hougland: The word "lovable" isn't exactly the first word that comes to mind with the name Adam Carolla, the cynical, acid-tongued morning radio host and former Jimmy Kimmel cohort on The Man Show, but in his movie The Hammer, that's exactly what he is.
In the pic, which he co-wrote and co-produced, Carolla plays 40-year-old burnout Jerry Ferro, a once marginally successful boxer turned construction worker going nowhere as he hurtles toward middle age. His girlfriend dumps him, his boss fires him. He finds his few pleasures in life teaching a boxing class at the gym and hanging out with pal Ozzie (real-life sidekick Oswaldo Castillo). It seems like the tide might finally change, though, when he starts dating his student Lindsay (Heather Juergensen), and famed boxing coach Eddie (Tom Quinn) brings Jerry in for the Olympic tryouts. Turns out that Lindsey has bigger aspirations, and Eddie just wants him around as a punching bag for the younger Olympic hopefuls. Can underdog Jerry come out of any of this a winner?
The Hammer succeeds in playing to Carolla's dry, acerbic wit, but still gives him heart. (Who wouldn't love a dopey guy who builds you a deck to signal his affection?) The characters seem like people you might know, and you genuinely feel their hopes, fears, disappointments and joy while laughing at the gags and silly one-liners. Director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (Kissing Jessica Stein) keeps the comedy and character development moving briskly.
Best Extras: "A Conversation with Adam & Ozzie" is an oddly entertaining discussion between the pair at the radio station about their longtime relationship and working on the movie that shows Adam's great affection for his soft-spoken friend. The deleted scenes are worth a look.
Overview: The Hammer is an unexpectedly delightful gem of a low-budget comedy, an easy-breezy watch on DVD that'll make you laugh out loud.
"Welcome to the party, pal."
"I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
"When am I gonna learn how to punch?"
"These go to eleven."
"Benjamin, have you ever been severely beaten about the face & neck?"
"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"Jessica's got cable."
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