Friday, December 17, 2010


RYAN: The Fighter is a very Oscar worthy film starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale as brothers, and in my opinion... the best movie of the year.CAROLINE: Whoa! I'm amazed to hear you say that given that you almost couldn't even be bothered to attend the advanced screening.RYAN: Well, you had told me that the acting was phenomenal but that the movie was just another boxing movie. I figured it wouldn't do much for me, so thank you for lowering my expectations.CAROLINE: Maybe that's why you liked it more than me. I didn't go in with super high expectations, but I was hoping for something good since I'd heard Mark Wahlberg had been working for years to get this movie to the big screen, and training as a boxer on and off for the last four years. I thought it was a good movie, but I wasn't bowled over by it. Far and away the best part to me was the cast and the performances.RYAN: Well, I think it should win Best Picture.CAROLINE: I'm not with you there, but I was absolutely blown away by both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo as the mom. There is no doubt in my mind that they will both get well deserved Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress Oscar nods.RYAN: Absolutely. Melissa Leo's performance was an epiphany. She stood out so far above everyone else.CAROLINE: Hello, what about Bale?? He had me riveted from the very first scene. He fully immersed himself in this character, lost weight for the role, wore fake teeth, etc. I'd hand him the Oscar myself.RYAN: We also love Amy Adams, who plays kind of a tough girl in the movie. She does some things that are so not Princess Giselle from Enchanted.CAROLINE: I thoroughly enjoyed her as always, but I didn't find this to be a transcendent role for her. Then there's Mark Wahlberg, who's perfectly good and clearly trained his butt off to play this role. The movie has been a passion project for him, and it's based on the true story of a Massachusetts boxer named Mickey Ward. But I honestly think the supporting cast was the best part about it.RYAN: Mark Wahlberg is a good actor, but he just can't compare with someone like Christian Bale. And you have to stay for at least the beginning of the credits where they show footage of the real-life brothers so you can see how Christian totally nailed the character.CAROLINE: My issue with this movie though is that it was just another boxing movie about the underdog who fights his way to the top. I wasn't bored, but I wasn't in awe either. For my money, Cinderella Man was better.RYAN: For me the boxing took such a back burner to all the other drama in the film. The boxing scenes were exciting and well shot, but the movie is also about love, family, addiction and endurance, and those were the themes that stood out to me. Also, the bit parts were cast so well too. The seven sisters were incredible! They made me die a little.CAROLINE: Yeah, they were great. I think they were a combo of real actresses and just local women who fit the bill.RYAN: I was so impressed with the film as a whole; the way the story was told, the cinematography, the costumes. It was all so real. I really liked it so much better than any of the other Oscar contenders we've seen so far.CAROLINE: I really didn't think this movie would be up your alley, but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. It's directed by David O. Russell, who also directed one of my all-time favorite movies, Flirting With Disaster, so I'm not surprised it's a well made movie. But to me it wasn't so much a great movie as a greatly acted movie. -- BOTTOM LINE --RYAN: If you want to see a real Oscar contender, this movie should be at the top of your list. It's excellent. Granted, I did go in with lowered expectations because of what you'd told me about it, so maybe that's part of the reason I enjoyed it so much more than I'd expected to.CAROLINE: I'd recommend this movie because of its cast and the performances of Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. Unlike you, I would not put this in my top 5 favorites of the year, but many things about it make it worthy of a big screen viewing. I just feel a little bit badly for Mark Wahlberg because he worked his butt off to get this movie made, but he's gonna be the last thing people talk about when they walk out of the theater.RYAN: Mark, welcome to the world of Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted. -- RATING --Cheeky & Fresh Movie Reviews

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