The Fighter

“Merry Xmas, gentle readers. As my present to you, or really myself ’cause isnt that really who this blog is utlimately for?, here’s the write ups Im behind on. My excuse is that I’ve been kinda sick this past week, so I’d be falling asleep at the theater and would come home with a desire for nothing other than a nap. Then I couldnt fall asleep. But there’s some comments that shouldnt go uncommented so here goes the catch up. Xmas edition!

Going in the order in which I saw these, we kick this off with a Boston movie. Yay! I have so many little antecdotes and such I dont even know where to start. We’ll start with the first reason why I was psyched for it. One of my fave bands, Boston’s local boys Dropkick Murphys have a song called Warrior’s Code that’s the title track off the album with that certain song that was featured in another Boston movie (and what put the Murphys on my radar to begin with. First time I saw DKM in concert, they introed Warrior’s Code by saying it was about Lowell native (actually the show was even at the Tsongas in Lowell) Mickey Ward who they pulled out on stage. Needless to say, I was beyond intrigued when I first heard about the film. Actually I think the first I heard was a blurb on that Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams were spotted filming, but I digress. I did spend a good part of the film wondering if the song was gonna make an appearance. I figured it’d be saved for the end credits, but it actually showed up sooner. That made me happy.

Other antecdote. Remember my buddy who I teased about not being in The Town? A few weeks ago we’re chatting and he brings up this movie, asks if I’ve heard anythign about it. I give him a “”bitch please”” look, and prolly say the phrase as well. He then proceeds to remind me that he grew up in Lowell (I knew this) and that he actually had a few classes with Mickey Ward. The two of ’em were somewhere between friends and acquaintances, closer to the acquaintance end of the spectrum though. He told me a few stories about guys picking on Ward, who’d then kick their ass, and then be really calm and nonchalant about it. And he mentioned that his older bro Dicky really was as batshit as the movie seemed to suggest, and that he was always in trouble. I then proceeded to tease said buddy, asking him who was playing him in the film, and made some comments about how he coulda played himself if the whole thing with The Town had worked out.

Okay enough on the backstory. Did I like the film? I did, although I felt it slowed down for a bit, almost enough to lose me. Basically it felt like there were two story parts, and the connection is where things dropped. First you had the whole family story, then what I typically refer to as your “”Mighty Ducks”” story. Both were equally intriguing, and you really couldnt have one without the other, I jsut feel the transition may have been done better.

The strength of this movie was the Oscar buzzing cast. Christian Bale is definitely poised to receive his long overdue first Oscar nod, and possibly some actual gold along with it. We know this man is known for making transformative changes from role to role (The Machinist anyone?), and he did it yet again. He’s also quite the master of accents (you’ll notice he never quite does the same one twice). Hell, it takes effort for me to remember that he’s really got a deep Brit voice, not the American one I tend to associate him with from American Psycho or Batman. Actually, all the Boston accents were pretty good. Its possible my standards have been lowered after how much they’ve been butchered in recent films, but Im gonna stand by my statement. Back to Bale, total embodiment of his character with a high stakes emotional rollercoaster, all flawlessly put together.

The next standout for me was Amy Adams. I’d seen she was starting to get nods here and there for the role, and I wasn’t sure how sold I was. Dont get me wrong, I love the girl and would very much love to see her take home that lil bald statue one day, but something about what I’d seen from the trailer seemed too obviously Oscar bait-y. She actually blew me away. Im so used to thinking of her as Enchanted’s Giselle, I forget that she can be a tough cookie. She nailed the badass attitude (and the accent as well). I loved every scene with her. I did prefer her over Melissa Leo who’s been getting the higher praise. Leo’s performance was fantastic as well, but I prefer my girls tough, not whiny and manipulative.

I dont wanna say that Mark Wahlberg was the weak point, because he really wasnt. He just seemed outta place. Mostly I think it was because he’s a lil too pretty for the role. In contrast, Christian Bale has a high potential to be pretty (again, American Psycho!) and he definitely wasn’t. So I feel something coulda been done about Mahky Mahk. He also seemed like a bit too much of a pushover. He wasn’t really, but it was like he’d back down too easily outside of the ring. Im making that sound waaaay too negative, and I dont mean it like that. Either way, it does seem to jive with what said buddy told me earlier, but it was kinda off to me.

In summary, good Boston flick. Most definitely worth a watch for the wicked (had to work that word in somewhere) good cast.

The Fighter – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n

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