Million Dollar Baby

So I saw this movie on New Years Day at the Angelika... and it was the best movie I've seen all year. Yeah...

I don't like seeing movies at the Angelika really. (It's this artsy theater in Manhattan.) I think the whole place has an attitude problem. It's done up all movied out with bad pastries and luke warm coffee and alt-mags. People talk about movies too much. It's always too crowded. Million Dollar Baby movie was packed and I had to make a quick decision on where to sit. I was forced to sit by the wall. Immediately a couple talkers sat behind me (you can spot talkers before the movie even starts by the tone of their voice), some 7 foot dude sat in front of me, and the woman next to me blew her nose all snottily. I was trapped... and a cold-air fan was blowing on me. Ok now, I'm done complaining.

Million Dollar Baby. First off bad title. Six Million Dollar Man. Million Dollar Movie. (dr.evil) One Million Dollars. Bad. I had mixed feelings about seeing this movie.  When I started hearing the big critics get all bonery over this flick, it made me less excited because critics tend to overreact and get kissassy. Also did I really need to see Morgan Friedman and Clink Eastwood together again? Wasn't sure if I could tolerate their dueling banjo gravelly grumbley voices. And did I need to see Hilary Skank in anything? With boxing gloves on? Why would Clink make a female boxer movie anyway? Seemed wacked. Why not due a biopic about G.L.O.W. instead? 

Anyway, right off the bat I had issues with this flick. It all seemed too staged. The dialogue seemed obvious. I didn't like Clink or Skank. Friedman was narrating too much and droning on and on. Either the sound was off or my ears were off because I kept missing words.  (This was emphasized by the talkers behind me who kept asking each other in loud-whispers, 'Psst... What did he say? I missed it... ' And the other would always respond with something that wasn't even right and then the other would question what it meant because it made no sense. Right! It made no sense because it wasn't what he said! And made no sense! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!)

But after 15 minutes this movie started to grow on me. The smell of the gym started to waft off the screen. The side characters clicked in. And Clink started to win me over again. Unforgiven is a top ten movie for me so I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Colonel Clink. Yeah there's some issues along the way with dopey dialogue or slowness but something about Clink's style makes it easy for me to dismiss stuff. And just watch the story. Not sure if it's because he's 75 or whatever that I'm willing to cut him some slack but whatever it is- it works for me. I settled nicely into the pacing and let the story flow over me and shaded myself against glimmers of problems..

Eventually Skank won me over too and she officially cornered the market on... on... on umm...  whatever butchery corner she's is. Clink did his acting thing (which was a bit of a drag at times because his reoccurring emotionally stunted shtick is starting to feel like a not so sneaky coverup for limited range- but I can live with that too.) I liked this flick. It felt like eating mac and cheese while re-reading a good ratty paperback. It's not the end all be all best thing in the world- but there was some pure goodness in it that I dug. And I really friggin dig that Clink is 75 and still cranking his clanky cranky crank.

Three Good Things About This Movie

- The fights were impacty good and it made me respect women's boxing.
- Best boxing movie since Rocky IV. 
- Certain scenes tingled up my emotional flickers.

Three Bad Things About This Movie

- I slipped a couple times into, 'You know what? I'll tell ya what! I don't think I'm buying any of this crap...'
- I wanted Dirty Harry. 
- I never crossed over to sitting ringside. It was pay-per-view.

All in all I'd say check this flick out. It's gonna show up at the Oscars anyway so you might as well be prepared. 

When deciding what to see, I went back and forth between The Aviator and the Clink flick. I think I made the right choice. Clink seems secure to do what he wants. In his mood. For better or worse. He can relax and do whatever so that's cool. After all he's already got his Oscars. On the Aviator side, Marvin Scorsese seems to still be doing cartwheels for an Oscar. Yawn. I wonder what kind of movies Marvin would be making nowadays if he actually won his deserved Oscar way back when. Would he really be all Miramaxed out high-budget with Leo and friggin Gwen? Or maybe he'd be more into something smaller a heartfelt movie about the life of a boxer...?