Sunday, 20 February 2011

"I'm the one who's fighting."

What has happened to Bruce Wayne? Chill on the crack Bruce, God.

The first quarter of 2011 was always going to be about three films for me. 'Black Swan', 'The Fighter' and 'True Grit.' Last Saturday, I saw 'The Fighter' at my local cinema and if you'll allow me to assume the character of Meat Loaf momentarily, I'll say "...two outta three ain't bad." By that, I mean I've only seen two out of three so far (True Grit this week) and they were more than 'ain't bad' actually, both were, very much in their own ways, very very good films. That really didn't work there, I'll admit. I just wanted to mention Meat Loaf, okay?

'The Fighter' centralises around the relationship between two brothers. Dickie (Bale) is a washed up former champion who is hooked on crack and bad living. Delusional about making his "big comeback" he is his little brother Micky's (Wahlberg) hero, biggest fan and in equal amounts, main source of inspiration and overriding negative influence. My readers are all people with good taste and I'm sure you'll watch this film, for that reason I won't spoil the story too much here. I'll just say that based on the true story of ex WBU champion Micky Ward, it's safe to say that Micky's fights and battles are fought outside of the ring as much as they are in it. Bale has, naturally, lost an incredible amount of weight to play the crack addled Dickie and if you read reports that I just googled maybe as much as a THIRD of his body weight. Reports that Madonna is on the 'Dickie Diet' still remain unconfirmed.

I'm hung up on you.

As always, a film is only as good as its actors/actresses. 'The Fighter' excels here with Bale, Wahlberg and Melissa Leo all putting in memorable performances. Bale's madcap and unpredictable, Wahlberg put upon and downtrodden and Leo is fantastic as the dominating matriarch. Above all, though, what makes 'The Fighter' a story worth telling and a film worth watching is the fact that the producers had, due to the nature of the film, a real need to include what I like to call 'emotional sporting moments set to music'. I'm not sure if anyone else experiences this like I do but man, emotional sporting clips just tear me up. Whether it's someone clinching victory in the dying seconds or breaking down in tears at a cruel defeat, things like this always coincide with me getting something in my eye. Micky's final championship shot fight is a great example of this and for me, was pretty emotional. I went to watch this film with my girlfriend and we've been going out for years now, for that reason she's cool with me wearing sunglasses to the cinema if we're watching emotional sporting films.

Oh because I haven't done any puns so far,'The Fighter' is a real knockout that keeps you hooked into the final round etc etc. Ten points for including 'How You Like Me Now?' by The Heavy on the soundtrack too. Tune is the definition of inspiring next level shit. Fact fans, I just played it three times consecutively whilst doing topless sit-ups. I am, however, happy to concede that I still look more like Mark Zuckerberg than Mark Wahlberg :*(

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