‘Chuck,’ film based on the life of Wepner, opens to mostly positive reviews

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“Chuck,” the film based on the life of former New Jersey State Heavyweight champion Chuck Wepner – often referred to as the real Rocky Balboa – opened to mostly positive reviews last night.

“Chuck is hit with a handful of sports biopic clich├ęs but ultimately punches above its weight, largely thanks to a muscular performance from Liev Schreiber,” writes review aggregator website rottentomatoes.com, who said the movie is 67% “fresh.”

The Internet Movie Database, another popular movie review website, scores the sports drama 7.1 out of 10.

Wepner, affectionately referred to as the Bayonne Bleeder, is most famous for a 1975 slugfest with WBC and WBA Heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali.

While the New Jersey native was stopped with seconds remaining in the 15th and final round, his gritty performance is the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s first Rocky movie.

Wepner will have a homecoming movie premiere on May 12, when a red carpet affair will be hosted at the Frank Theaters at the South Cove Commons.

A $50 ticket includes a red carpet walk, a photo with Wepner, and a seat at the movie premiere, while $150 ticket buys a 6:30 p.m. dinner at Otaiko Hibachi & Sushi Lounge in the South Cove Commons plaza with Wepner and others before the movie.

Tickets can be purchased from Bruce Dillin, who can be reached at 201-957-4131.