The Fighter - Blu-ray Review
By Jeff Swindoll Mar 23, 2011, 14:06 GMT
Academy Award® Nominees Mark Wahlberg (The Departed), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) and Amy Adams (Doubt) star in this “remarkable” film*. Based on a true story, two brothers, against all the odds, come together to train for a historic title bout that has the power to reunite their fractured family and give their hard-luck town what it\'s been waiting for: pride. Micky Ward (Wahlberg) is a struggling boxer long overshadowed ...more
When the dust settled and the rounds over, The Fighter had knocked out two Oscars. One deserved and the other I probably preferred the other fighter. Whatever the case, the film is an enthralling one that isn’t that much about boxing, but more familial interactions. Both are pretty violent in this particular film.
Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is a welterweight boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts. Boxing is in his family as he is managed by his mother Alice (Melissa Leo) and is trained by his half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) and police officer Mickey O’Keefe (playing himself).
Dicky is something of a local celebrity dubbed the “pride of Lowell” from a bout he had with Sugar Ray Leonard where he knocked down the famous fighter and won the match. The trouble is that Dicky has a taste for crack and it has made him a hindrance to Micky’s training.
An HBO film crew is following Dicky around, he thinks for his possible comeback, but their mission relates more to his addiction which he’s cloudily unaware. O’Keefe thinks that Alice and Dicky are pulling Micky down and that comes to a head when he goes to a bout where the original fighter is sick.
The substitute is eighteen pounds heavier than Micky, but Dicky and Alice convince Micky to go on with the fight (so that everyone could get paid) in which he’s beaten senseless. He’s embarrassed by the mix-up, so much so that he skips out on a date with bartender Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams).
The headstrong Charlene comes looking for Micky to see why he skipped out on the date and the two strike up a romance. She also thinks that Dicky and Alice are steering Micky the wrong way. She and O’Keefe strike up a unified front against them.
Micky gets an offer to train in Vegas and Dicky promises to match the money but is caught in his less-than-legal scheme to raise funds and goes to jail. During his incarceration, his HBO “comeback” airs and shames everyone. When he’s released he wants to help Micky train, but it causes further tensions to fly.
The Fighter is a boxing movie that is more about relationships than about boxing. That doesn’t mean that we don’t see a match or two. Micky’s mom is a controlling harpy and his step-brother is a manic, bouncing crackhead. What could go wrong?
Maybe unlike other sports underdog movies, The Fighter features characters pulled from real life (it is based on a true story) imperfections and all. It does have the familiar elements of redemption but we’re not sure that anyone is going to pull it off.
The film leans more towards drama than sports film, so although boxing plays a big part its not the driving focus. That focus is on the characters. Christian Bale becomes a drug addicted washed out fighter and drops the pounds to prove it. The Academy would award him with a best supporting actor statue to prove it. Melissa Leo would also walk away with a gold supporting statuette, but my heart was with the little gal from True Grit.
Melissa was also acting her heart out, but Alice wasn’t a character that earned much more than ire from me (guess that proves she was acting her heart out with her warts and all performance).
The Fighter was further nominated for best picture, best supporting actress for Amy Adams, best director for David O. Russell, original screenplay, and editing. It’s a superb picture with some powerhouse performances.
The Fighter is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (2.40:1). Special features (all in high definition) include a commentary from director Russell, the 30 minute making of “The Warrior’s Code,” the 8 minute “Keeping the Faith” about the family’s involvement in boxing, 17 minutes of deleted scenes (with optional director’s commentary on some), and the 2 minute theatrical trailer. Disc two is a DVD/Digital copy.
Those expecting the typical “Rocky” treatment might be in for a surprise since these characters carry their reality into the picture so expect flaws. You can also expect powerful performances, especially Bale. The Fighter is a knockout all round.
Visit the DVD database for more information.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CAmy Adams Biography -
Amy Adams Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesChristian Bale Biography -
Christian Bale Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesMark Wahlberg Biography -
Mark Wahlberg Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesMelissa Leo Biography -
Melissa Leo Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
COMMENT on The Fighter - Blu-ray Reviewcomments powered by Disqus
Latest Headlines in DVD
- 1. Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Contemporary – Blu-ray Review
- 2. Barrymore - Blu-ray Review
- 3. Win Teen Wolf: Season 2 on DVD!
- 4. Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Nashville and Grey’s Anatomy head to DVD and Blu-ray
- 5. Texas Chainsaw – Blu-ray Review