1/29/11 review So maybe I forgot to take my Vitamin D that day, but I was exhausted the first time I saw The Fighter and may not have given it a fair shake (although I initially did recommended it). So I decided to revisit it and I realized that I was right about being wrong, and it is a much superior film than I had first said. I don't want to rehash points made in the first review (listed below), so here are thoughts I had during the second round. Christian Bale's performance stands out as amongst the strongest of the year as Bale acts outside of his perceived persona. Amy Adams and Melissa Leo are wonderful in performances I had earlier called overrated as they play hard-head women who both hold Mark Wahlberg's character's interests at heart. Wahlberg's performance is also stronger than originally perceived. Finally, I had questioned David O. Russell's Academy Award nomination, but now realize that his direction was commanding. The Fighter is a fine motion picture that may not appear so on first glance, and is surely not a run of the mill sports movie.
1/4/11 review The Fighter is a sports movie that is surprising on several levels. It tells the story of boxer Micky Ward who is on his last trip to a title and is living in the shadow of his brother Dicky-a former champ who knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard who currently has a film crew following him around documenting his crack-cocaine addiction. As I mentioned, the film is surprising in that it takes a story that we expect to be a downer and delivers a winner-totally different than most sports movie fare. It is also surprising in Christian Bale's phenomenal turn as Dicky. Mark Wahlberg, though bland, brings credibility to the lead role and Amy Adams is strong (as usual) in a supporting role.