The Fighter: Limited SteelBook Edition [Blu-ray + DVD]
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It would be a mistake to confuse The Fighter with the story of Mark Wahlberg, though the similarities are striking. Completely convincing as a boxer, Wahlberg plays welterweight Micky Ward, who grew up in working-class Massachusetts. Like the actor-producer, he had eight siblings, one more famous than the rest. Ward's half-brother, Dicky Eklund (a gaunt, crazy-eyed Christian Bale), turned to boxing first, just as Mark's brother, Donnie, preceded him as a performer (first by singing, then by acting). The similarities end there: Dicky, once known as "The Pride of Lowell," traded his promising pugilistic career for a crack pipe (Sugar Ray Leonard cameos as his best-known opponent). As David O. Russell's film begins, the smothering Alice (Frozen River's Melissa Leo) manages Micky's career, while the unpredictable Dicky attempts to train him. Despite his talent in the ring, though, Micky can't catch a break until he meets Charlene (Amy Adams), a spitfire of a bartender who encourages him to stand up for himself. When Dicky ends up in prison, and Micky takes on a more experienced manager, his fortunes start to improve, but it isn't in his nature to abandon the people who raised him, so he attempts to unite the various factions in his life before his shot at the world championship slips away. Though Russell paints Micky's mother, brother, and sisters with a broad brush, Wahlberg anchors the scenario with his patient, level-headed performance. Rescue Me's Jack McGee also deserves notice as his diplomatic dad, George. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top Customer Reviews
Sex, f-bombs (Hey! It's New England.) No nudity.
Directed by David O. Russell
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams
Paramount Pictures | 2010 | 116 min | Rated R | Released Mar 15, 2011
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English, English SDH, French, Spanish
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Digital copy (on disc)
The Film 4/5
It's not easy to make a movie about boxing. The fights have to look realistic and there's the problem of the plot.
Rocky won three Oscars and tells the story of an underdog who overcomes the odds. That's the obvious feel-good storyline that will suck in most viewers. Then there's Scorsese's Raging Bull, with two Oscars, which some regard as the best movie of the 80s. Clint Eastwood bravely showed the dangers of boxing in Million Dollar Baby and the movie scooped four Oscars.
So there's clearly plenty of interest in boxing among moviegoers. Is The Fighter in the same league as the three boxing movies mentioned above? What could it possibly do that hadn't been done before? The Academy liked it, nominating it in seven categories and awarding Oscars to supporting actors Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, but why should you watch it?
Like Raging Bull, The Fighter portrays real events, showing the lives of brothers Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and Dicky Eklund (Bale). The movie also has strong characterization. This is not a story focusing on boxing; it's a story about how the dynamic in Micky's family influences his career.
Early in the movie, we get a feel for how things will develop.Read more ›