Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Fighter

When I do remember to blog it's usually just one per day but today you get the great honor/pleasure/joy (you choose) of having four. Wahoo! Despite the fact that it was an absolutely gorgeous, warm day in January I decided to spend it inside watching movies. Don't worry though. I'm waking up at 0-dark-30 to take pictures of the sunrise. Makes me sleepy just thinking about it.

The first movie I saw today was "The Fighter" supposedly starring Mark Wahlberg. I was prepared to see a movie about a very good boxer but instead it seemed to be more about his older brother, Dicky Eklund with Micky Ward (Wahlberg) as a side story. Despite the fact that the producers seemed to be confused about who was the star of the movie I still really liked it.

I heard this past week that "The Fighter" received several Oscar nominations including Best Supporting Actor for Christian Bale, Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams, Best Supporting Actress for Melissa Leo, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay and finally Best Movie. As mentioned on the radio as I was driving home from work, you'll notice that none of these include Best Actor. You might ask why but I've seen the movie. I know why. If the character Mark played was true to life then he didn't have a lot to work with. I know that sounds harsh but give me a second to redeem myself. Every person in his life was so dominating. He seemed to be the peacemaker (yes, peacemaker) in the middle of a bunch of people who so obviously believe they are right. All.The.Time! So, if the real Micky Ward was always in the background of all the drama then why wouldn't the actor who portrayed him be also? Having seen a few of Micky's fights I was rooting for Mark to do well. I really was.

Let me start this next bit by telling you how much I adore (but in a totally non-stalker way) Christian Bale. He had me since the song "Santa Fe" in the movie "Newsies". I was in college and he was dreamy. I believe Christian did a very good job portraying Dicky Eklund if Dicky truly was the brash, annoying, must-have-all-the-attention-all-the-time person this film shows him to be. I couldn't stand him. And I couldn't stand that Micky needed him. Christian did a tremendous job but I never want to see him in this kind of role again...ever.

I can't believe Micky Ward survived the women in his life. It wasn't bad enough that he had all those loud-mouthed sisters but he had to be the middle man in the battle royale between his mom and his girlfriend. Fun! Melissa Leo played the part of Micky and Dicky's mom, Alice. Now, we all know that parents aren't supposed to have favorites and if they do they would be smart to keep it to themselves but according to "The Fighter" Alice so obviously put Dicky above anyone and everything else. It was painful to watch. He ends up in jail for goodness' sake and he's still the golden child. If I just ruined part of the movie for you then you apparently didn't see any of the previews. Sorry about that. Amends are made somewhat close to the end of the movie but not enough for my taste. Hopefully there was more to that story than what was shown.

The other "large" woman in Micky's life was Charlene played by Amy Adams. I've enjoyed her movies since I saw her in "The Wedding Date". Her character then was so over-the-top naive that you just had to love her despite her stupidity. The naivete is apparent in this movie also. What kind of person thinks she's going to waltz into the overbearing estrogen zone that was Micky's mom and sisters and think she was going to tell them how it's gonna be? I absolutely cannot believe she wasn't flattened. Once again, there was probably more to that story also. I do like that she stuck to her convictions but was able to bend when it was Micky's happiness at stake. Way to go, Charlene!

I am highly likely to watch this movie again and perhaps even buy it but I wish DVD's came with a bleeped version. The only person I've heard use the F-word as much as the Ward/Eklund clan did is my ex. Not only as an expletive but also as an adjective. Use your words, people!!! Would definitely NOT recommend this to P.T. even though she's 13 now. I know she's heard the words before but this was overkill. So, if you're not my niece, you're okay with profanity and you like a good underdog story, I definitely recommend this movie.

Update (02 February 2011): I was reading through this post again and realized that I have seen movies in which one character used the F-bomb so many times that a script almost wasn't needed. Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57 and pretty much any movie (except "Star Wars") starring Samuel L. Jackson. OH! And the HBO series, "The Wire". I barely made it through the first episode. I would love to get hold of that script. It must read, "Say the F-word a lot and then add a few other words to make it seem as if there's a plot." I'm just guessing. Maybe it's changed since the first season. Let me know if it has and I'll give it a second chance.

P.S. Christian Bale won the Oscar for his role as Dicky Eklund. I really really wanted Geoffrey Rush to win. And to make matters worse, Christian seemed to have forgotten his wife's name in his acceptance speech. Oopsy. I wonder how many Oscar winners end up sleeping on the couch the same night they receive their award.

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