Ringer

Ringer

4.8 9
Director: Barry W. Blaustein

Cast: Barry W. Blaustein, Johnny Knoxville, Brian Cox, Katherine Heigl

     
 

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A guy trying to do the right thing ends up taking part in one of the most morally dubious con games in history in this comedy. Steve Barker (Johnny Knoxville) is an office drone who wants to move up the corporate ladder, but when he asks his boss for a promotion, it comes with a condition -- Steve has to fire Stavi (Luis Avalos), who has been the firm's janitor for… See more details below

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Overview

A guy trying to do the right thing ends up taking part in one of the most morally dubious con games in history in this comedy. Steve Barker (Johnny Knoxville) is an office drone who wants to move up the corporate ladder, but when he asks his boss for a promotion, it comes with a condition -- Steve has to fire Stavi (Luis Avalos), who has been the firm's janitor for years. Steve decides to soften the blow by hiring Stavi to do his lawn and garden work. However, an accident robs Stavi of several of his fingers, and since he doesn't have medical insurance, Steve needs to find a way to pay for his surgery. Steve's uncle Gary (Brian Cox), a sleazy type who will bet on anything, also needs some fast cash, and comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme -- Steve was a track star in high school, and with the Special Olympics Championships coming up, all Steve has to do is pretend to be mentally challenged, enter the competition, and win the running events against six-time medalist Jimmy (Leonard Flowers). Gary will bet big on Steve, and the odds will allow them to clean up. Steve is appalled by the idea, but he needs the money badly enough to go along. However, Steve discovers that Jimmy is fast enough that he has little chance of beating him. However, Jimmy's colossal ego has made him many enemies among his fellow Special Olympians, and they're eager enough to see him taken down a peg that they help Steve train for the big event. Matters become all the more complicated when Steve becomes infatuated with Lynn (Katherine Heigl), a beautiful woman who has volunteered to help the challenged athletes, and would doubtless be furious if she found out what Steve was really doing. Produced by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly, The Ringer was the first fiction directorial credit for Barry W. Blaustein; the story also parallels a 2004 episode of the animated television series South Park, "Up the Down Steroid."

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The average person's reaction to hearing the premise of The Ringer is cringing discomfort. Perhaps sensing this, Fox Searchlight barely advertised the film despite some preexisting notoriety, then slipped it into theaters right before Christmas -- the ultimate example of counter-programming. However, if anyone has built up the requisite "resumé of tolerance" to get away with this subject matter, it's producers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, whose films have consistently featured disabled characters and treated them respectfully. In fact, one complaint about The Ringer is that director Barry W. Blaustein and screenwriter Ricky Blitt are almost too conscious of their moral misgivings -- that it might have been edgier if scripted and directed by its producers. Johnny Knoxville initially fumbles on how to play Steve, but he never offends with the ticks and vocal mannerisms of Jeffy. Since he's always clear about the ethical compromise, and since he's only doing it to help an immigrant janitor pay for surgery, Steve is a little bit boring, misguided in a strictly superficial way. He's most valuable as an undercover observer of the casual misuse of the handicapped, specifically how they aren't deemed to be credible witnesses to bad behavior. The film does include some Bad Santa-style black-heartedness in the person of Steve's uncle, played with scummy abandon by Brian Cox, but everything surrounding the Olympians is best described as quirky sweetness. There's some discomfort in all the mainstream actors playing mentally challenged, but that's probably because they intermingle with actors who actually have Down's syndrome, who pitch in well enough to question the need for the mainstreamers. A film that will never fully escape these issues of political correctness, The Ringer is actually far more bland than it may seem -- which works both for it and against it at different junctures.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/16/2006
UPC:
0024543235231
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Fox Searchlight
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:34:00
Sales rank:
9,503

Special Features

Closed Caption; 16 deleted scenes; Special Olympics featurette; "Let the Games Begin: A Look at The Ringer" featurette; A message from Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver; Audio commentary by director Barry W. Blaustein, screenwriter Ricky Blitt, producer Peter Farrelly and actors Johnny Knoxville, Edward Barbanell and John Taylor

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Knoxville Steve Barker / Jeffy
Brian Cox Gary Barker
Katherine Heigl Lynn
Jed Rees Glen
Bill Chott Thomas
Edward Barnabell Billy
Leonard Earl Howze Mark
Geoffrey Arend Winston
John Taylor Rudy
Luis Avalos Stavi
Leonard Flowers Jimmy
Zen Gesner David
Steve Levy Steve Levy
Edward Barbanell Billy
Al "Train" Dias Michael
Mike Cerrone Paulie
Terry Funk Frankie
Janna Ambort Karen
Bo Kane Matt
Mohammad M. Ahmed Dr. Ahmed
Brad Leland Mr. Henderson
Cassandra L. Small Waitress (Bar)
John Rothman Priest
Nicole Bradley Yolie
Sean Gildea Ellot
Lauren-Elaine Edleson Brandi
Ruth N. Straw Sally
Richard Dillard Olympic Official
Hugo Perez Mailroom Guy
Steven Chester Prince Peter (Delivery)
Diana Heart Girl in Wheelchair
J.D. Stahr Starter
Heidi B. Bush Heidi
Kara Rastrelli Kara
Troy Jackson Sandman
Bryan Dilbeck Bryan Dilbeck
Carlos Sierra Carlos Sierra
Michael Clossin Closs
Meagan Elise Flynn Susan
Rosie Shriver Movie Patron
Shane Mallory Volunteer
Jesse Ventura Motivational Speaker
Sara Peterman Autograph Seeker
Joseph Crnko Conductor

Technical Credits
Barry W. Blaustein Director
Ricky Blitt Screenwriter
Bobby Farrelly Executive Producer
Jo Edna Boldin Casting
Richard L. Bucher Stunts
Mark Anthony Chavarria Stunts
Clemens Emanuel Franek Co-producer
Timothy J. Eckel Set Decoration/Design
Marc S. Fischer Co-producer
George Folsey Editor
Nancy Foy Casting
John Frick Art Director
Joanna Gallagher Choreography
Tony Gardner Makeup Special Effects
K.C. Hodenfield Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Mark Irwin Cinematographer
Kevin L. Jackson Stunts
John Jacobs Producer
Lisa Jensen Costumes/Costume Designer
Markus Langhans Stunts
Julio Macat Cinematographer
Mark Mothersbaugh Score Composer
Peter Farrelly Executive Producer
Manish Raval Musical Direction/Supervision
Tim Shriver Executive Producer
Jonathan "Earl" Stein Sound Mixer
Bradley Thomas Producer
Raquel R. Torres Choreography
Michael Trisler Stunts
Dain C. Turner Stunts
Stephen J. Ullman Camera Operator
Jon Van Dyke Stunts
Arlan Jay Vetter Production Designer
Tom Wolfe Musical Direction/Supervision
Mary Ann Wright Stunts

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Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- The Ringer (Pan & Scan)
1. Loser [5:15]
2. Fickle Fingers of Fate [1:03]
3. Uncle Gary's Problem [1:16]
4. Uncle Gary's Idea [2:14]
5. Practice Makes Perfect [2:31]
6. Jeffy [1:52]
7. Roommates [1:47]
8. Tryouts [2:20]
9. In Training [2:05]
10. Food Follies [2:51]
11. Lunch With Lynn [2:03]
12. Busted [:54]
13. Jeffy's Apology [2:08]
14. The New Trainers [3:10]
15. Camping Is Fun [6:15]
16. Advice for the Lovelorn [4:42]
17. The Costco Trip [1:03]
18. A Terrible Person [3:04]
19. Going Soft [2:06]
20. Friends [:48]
21. David's Deception [1:33]
22. The First Day [2:29]
23. The Only Girl on the Planet [1:27]
24. No Gray Areas [2:32]
25. The Final Event [2:31]
26. A Fraud [1:28]
27. Starting Fresh [2:09]
28. End Titles [3:46]
Disc #1, Side B -- The Ringer (Widescreen)
1. Loser [5:15]
2. Fickle Fingers of Fate [1:03]
3. Uncle Gary's Problem [1:16]
4. Uncle Gary's Idea [2:14]
5. Practice Makes Perfect [2:31]
6. Jeffy [1:52]
7. Roommates [1:47]
8. Tryouts [2:20]
9. In Training [2:05]
10. Food Follies [2:51]
11. Lunch With Lynn [2:03]
12. Busted [:54]
13. Jeffy's Apology [2:08]
14. The New Trainers [3:10]
15. Camping Is Fun [6:15]
16. Advice for the Lovelorn [4:42]
17. The Costco Trip [1:03]
18. A Terrible Person [3:04]
19. Going Soft [2:06]
20. Friends [:48]
21. David's Deception [1:33]
22. The First Day [2:29]
23. The Only Girl on the Planet [1:27]
24. No Gray Areas [2:32]
25. The Final Event [2:31]
26. A Fraud [1:28]
27. Starting Fresh [2:09]
28. End Titles [3:46]

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