Black Cloud ★★½ 2004 (PG-13)
Schroder debuts as a writer/director in this formulaic but appealing drama about a Native American boxer. Black Cloud (Sparks) is an angry, out-of-control young boxer whose life outside the ring is marred by an alcoholic father, a dead mother, self-hatred, and racism. All he's got in his corner is his world-wise trainer Bud (Means) and his girlfriend Sammi (Jones). Black Cloud struggles with adversity in and out of the ring, but ultimately he's his own worst enemy. The story is strictly seen-it-before, but the strong performances (especially Sparks) balance out the predictability. 95m/C DVD . US Eddie Spears, Russell Means, Wayne Knight, Peter Greene, Julia Jones, Rick Schroder, Nathaniel Arcand, Tim McGraw, Branscombe Richmond; D: Rick Schroder; W: Rick Schroder; C: Steve Gainer; M: John E. Nordstrom.