Woody Harrelson also provides a stellar performance as a tough New Jersey underground fighting ring leader. Nothing like the clean-urban, hip look in White Man Can’t Jump (1992), Harrelson’s character dominates a drug filled, careless life attitude. He masters the role from beginning to end.
Many locals, including my son, Zaire, took on small, extra roles to contribute to the hometown feeling while maximizing on what’s left of the steel mill industry. In the movie, Braddock Avenue, which is Braddock’s Main Street, looks great. As the street runs through the entire city, the movie displays Braddock Avenue as the Mecca, or meeting place, for all Braddock residents.
Similar to Detroit and the automobile industry, Mayor Fetterman sees the “economic set back” due to the deindustrialization process with the area’s steel mills as a relevant topic within the movie. Out of the Furnace makes several references to the dying steel mill industry in Braddock, more specifically, the limited job resources if the steel mills completely shut down and outsource. Fetterman refers to the famous saying about the ecomonically strapped cites, “the rich get socialism and the poor gets capitalism.”
Despite Braddock’s economic drought, abandoned buildings and population decline since the 1920s, its residents, community leaders, politicians, including Mayor Fetterman are rejoicing at the national exposure from the movie.
3.5 STARS: Most of my biased excitement merely sat on the foundation of seeing my only son on the big screen. But, Out of the Furnace, has a semi-gruesome tale of one man’s journey for societal redemption and family-invoked revenge. Ultimately, the movie’s uncovering of Braddock further helps the revitalization efforts to restore the historical city limits of 15104.
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