Saturday, March 18, 2006
Review: Million Dollar Baby
Alright, I'm not gonna start posting about every movie I see on dvd 'cause, well, that'll take forever, but I will post for ones I find noteworthy.
I really, really liked Million Dollar Baby.
Maybe I'm going soft (I hear they have pills for that now). I'm not what you would call a Hilary Swank fan, but I still liked this one. To be honest, though, this is really Clint Eastwood's movie and it is his best work - far better than Unforgiven, which won its share of awards as well. (Too bad Eastwood was the only one not to get recognized for his acting work - but he had tough competition that Oscar year)
I've spoken to a few folks about this one, and I've come to realize that this movie is a bit like Big Fish; it's a story told from the male perspective and therefore it's a drama that will probably resonate more with that sex.
But as much as I liked it, I had a couple of major beefs with it:
First of all, the family sucked. It was kinda hard to imagine Maggie came from that family to begin with, but the relationship was just a little too unbelievable. The actors played their parts like caricatures of trailer park trash which made their last scene in the hospital seem silly.
Second (and this is the bigger one since it affects the plot), I have a hard time believing anyone involved in the writing of this script knew anything about boxing. For all their talk about hand speed, footwork and fight psychology, the rules seem to have escaped them.
YOU CANNOT HIT A FIGHTER WHEN THEY ARE DOWN.
If you so much as touch a fighter who is on a knee and they cannot continue, guess what: YOU get disqualified, and THEY win the fight. I've seen it happen (to Roy Jones Jr. , I think). The tough champ chick does this TWICE. Yes, we understand she's a dirty fighter, but you don't become champ by doing these sort of blatant things and you would have certainly lost more than few fights along the way to the belt. So I found it annoying when they kept talking about how Maggie lost that last fight. The other chick would have been disqualified for that blatant punch after the bell, whether the ref saw it or not. That's why they have boxing commissions.
I thought the hospital storyline dragged on a little, but I guess they had to sell the hopelessness of Maggie's situation to set up Frankie's choice. Those last few scenes were some of Clint's best work ever as an actor.
Who knew Clint could get a guy choked up?
Usually his performances just make people gag.
What do you know: "Dirty Harry" made my day.
"I saw your last fight, Shawrelle. Spent so much time face down I thought the canvas had titties."
- Hilary Swank as Maggie