Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Golden Arm Review: A Golden Opportunity to Flex Your Funny Bone

Mary Holland	...	Melanie Betsy Sodaro	Betsy Sodaro	...	Danny Olivia Stambouliah	Olivia Stambouliah	...	Brenda Eugene Cordero	Eugene Cordero	...	Greg Dot-Marie Jones	Dot-Marie Jones	...	Big Sexy Dawn Luebbe	Dawn Luebbe	...	Tessie Ron Funches	Ron Funches	...	Carl Aparna Nancherla	Aparna Nancherla	...	Coco Cherie Ahmed Bharoocha	Ahmed Bharoocha	...	Jerry Kate Flannery	Kate Flannery	...	Randy Veronique Parker	Veronique Parker	...	Rambea Ashley Mandanas	Ashley Mandanas	...	Momo Lauren Knutti	Lauren Knutti	...	Kristen Dana Weddle	Dana Weddle	...	Gloria

Release date: April 30, 2021
Running time: 91 minutes
Directed By: Maureen Bharoocha
Written By: Ann Marie Allison and Jenna Milly
Starring: Mary Holland (Happiest Season), Betsy Sodaro (Trolls World Tour), Olivia Stambouliah (“The Walking Dead”), Eugene Cordero (Kong: Skull Island), Aparna Nancherla (A Simple Favor), Dawn Luebbe (Greener Grass), Ron Funches (Trolls Franchise), Ahmed Bharoocha (“Dream Corp LLC”) with Dot-Marie Jones (“Glee”) and Kate Flannery (“The Office”)

When her best friend Danny ropes her into taking her spot at the Women’s Arm Wrestling Championship, nice girl baker Melanie must trade whisks for barbells as she trains to face off with the reigning champ for a chance at newfound badassery and the grand prize.

Sue Ellen Reiman	Sue Ellen Reiman	...	Sue Ellen Ginger Gilmartin	Ginger Gilmartin	...	Lauren Matt Newell	Matt Newell	...	Steve Danny Tracey	Danny Tracey	...	Gritty Man Doug Van Liew	Doug Van Liew	...	Trucker #1 Russell Wayne Groves	Russell Wayne Groves	...	Makeshift Ref Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Beth Bennett	Beth Bennett	...	Rosie the Riveter Sorjia Buford	Sorjia Buford	...	Wrestler Paris Burris	Paris Burris	...	Extra Tracy Condit	Tracy Condit	...	Super Fan / Bar Patron Timothy Eason	Timothy Eason	...	Bouncer Tom Emmerich	Tom Emmerich	...	Arm Wrestling Fanatic Connie Franklin	Connie Franklin	...	Taylor Shonni Grady	Shonni Grady	...	Extra Cierra Jayde	Cierra Jayde	...	Arm Wrestling Fan
Golden Arm has the vibe of one of the early 2000s Will Ferrell comical sports movies; it takes a strange sport and puts an over the top spin on it.  The film treats arm wrestling like some sort of mix between roller derby and WWE, and we are all the better for it.  The film puts the crazy personas, flashy costumes, and dirty tricks from those sports into what most would consider a mundane sport.  But Golden Arm takes this idea and ratchets it up to 10.  I loved the mostly female cast and their gruff, type-A personalities.  It was really fun seeing Soldaro, Stambouliah, Jones, and Flannery really get to stretch their grungy sides.  And Holland is perfect as an unlikely competitor; her timid demeaner pairs perfectly with the more outspoken characters, and provides plenty of funny and awkward situations.

And Golden Arm also has a fun journey for our main characters.  The plot is a fairly predictable sports movie plot, think Karate Kid, but the spectacle of it all the raunchy humor make for a fun trip.  And it is fun to see Holland grow into her character, from unwilling participant into strong arm wrestling persona.  I loved seeing a sports film with an almost all female cast, written by two women, and directed by another.  It gives the film a different feel than most other sports movies, with characters that are competitive and play dirty, but not exploited.  The antics, the dirty tricks, the thrill of victory and the sting of defeat are all here and make for an entertaining sports drama / comedy. 

And this is what makes Golden Arm such a fun experience.  You have the glitz of an 80s style wrestling fight, with strong female characters, and a story that is so different that you have to take notice.  And it is also fun to see this gang of misfits who have a real sense of community and purpose.  The characters all know each other from this circuit and when they see each other, you have a lot of fun and silly interactions.  You can tell that the everyone involved in this film really loved it and had a blast making it.  It bleeds onto the screen along with the sweat and blood of the characters in the movie, making for a fun, over the top sports comedy.

Golden Arm flexes its movie biceps with its over the top characters, fun cameos, and strong female protagonists, making for a golden opportunity for a good time!

Watch it.

Mary Keck	...	Joan of Arc Warren Lane	Warren Lane	...	Bar Patron Da Leigh	Da Leigh	...	Bone Crusher Beorht Lewinski	Beorht Lewinski	...	Bus patron (as Bright Ayisi) Marlana Marshall	Marlana Marshall	...	Bartender Lea McCormick	Lea McCormick	...	Killer Katie (credit only) Grant McFadden	Grant McFadden	...	Bus Patron Jonathan Dale Moore	Jonathan Dale Moore	...	Super fan Serena Moore	Serena Moore	...	Event Worker Craig Musser	Craig Musser	...	Bar Fighter Leesa Neidel	Leesa Neidel	...	Fire Marsha Cecilia Okoye	Cecilia Okoye	...	Bay Amanda Pearce	Amanda Pearce	...	Super fan, Pedestrian Ginifer Ree	Ginifer Ree	...	Ultra Fan Thomas Rivas	Thomas Rivas	...	Events Worker Rayna Rodriguez	Rayna Rodriguez	...	Super Fan Justin C. Russell	Justin C. Russell	...	Super Fan / Trucker Bar Patron Sun Eagle Russell	Sun Eagle Russell	...	Arm Wrestling Fanatic
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Golden Arm is available in theaters and digitally on April 30, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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