The Fighter

This was pretty coolio! I got invited to a screening of this here movie and the director and Christian Bail and Mark Wallberg along with Amy Whatsherface were going to be down front and center for a Q&A afterwards! In the flesh! Close enough to beam em with peanut M&M's! In the eyeball! I headed to this screening with my gf who was all wild-googily-eyed over the idea that she was actually going to be in the same room as "Jack 'Cowboy' Kelly" from "Newsies". Apparently my never seeing Newsies was some sort of musical movie sacrilege-- so a few days before this screening I was mercilessly pummeled with Newsie youtube clips until I admitted I liked it. Sort of like cinematic waterboarding...

Anyway, after waiting on the wrong line for like ten minutes (always line check dammit!!! before standing on it like a dope!! we were standing on an early screening line for The Tourist! Uch!) we headed on in to the small-ish theater. Alot of seats were marked "Reserved" but we got a couple unreserved seats midcenter. After we settled in I immediately set out for blue slushees and popcorn. Marching back in to the roomful of serious movie people with blue slushees and a mega popcorn earned looks of, 'Really dude? With the full-on blue slushees at the fancy screening? You're going there?' Went! They were all jealous too! We sipped our slushees (imaginaringly loud) while to our right the special "reserved" seats got their asses placed in em. Not sure who they were but I'm guessing big-ticket honcho producers or something. There was three dudes all puffed up (looking like they've had some low level face surgery) accompanied by a gangly eastern-euro mail-order style pseudo model chick. Twiddle-dee and Twiddle-douches. The movie starts up and their whole row is all lit up by their phones. I figured they were doing the cellphone 'close out' for the screening. But two minutes in they're all still busy on their phones. I look at one of the guys phone hoping for some sign of panicked email or something but he was just scrolling through some bullshit. Finally the phone goes away and I settle in. I figured they were put away for good.

Yadda yadda. This movie plays out with Bail showing off his actorial supreme excellence as a skinny gangly strung out motivator (he's the hook of the movie). Marky did his thing as the shy guy prone to outburst and inner turmoily. Amy Whatsherface beefed up her Bastan accent thing a did a nice job as a punchy take-no-sht girlfriend. The story is funny sad happy time funny sad smiley. But as much as I liked watching this movie I found myself never crossing over to loving it. A constant likeable state. Bail was fun to watch but sometimes it ran hard at sitcom style fun shtick (jumping out the window etc). The fight scenes didn't really get me psyched up enough neither. I wanted to be pumped up by them. Not fair to compare to Rocky or Raging Bull but sometimes it's the little things that seem to drive up emotion in fights. I couldn't quite get to the heart of the fighter in this during the fight. In the ring he was Marky Mark all grown up or something. And the theater didn't transform into an arena as all best fighty movies do. (HOLY FUK HOW MANY TIMES IS THIS GUY GOING TO GO BACK ON HIS PHONE!! THIS IS LIKE THE 5TH TIME HE WHIPPED IT OUT! AND THEIR MAIL-ORDER ARSELA (or whatever the fk her name is) IS WAVING HER ANDROID AROUND FULL BRIGHTNESS AS SHE ADJUSTS HER COAT MID MOVIE! I THOUGHT IT WAS AN USHER WITH A FLASHLIGHT! AND NOW THE GUY IS TEXTING AGAIN! WTF WITH THESE A-HOLES!? DONT THEY WANNA WATCH THIS MOVIE!? I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! SO... I leaned across and said to the guy, 'Hey! How bout going easy with your phone?' After a couple seconds, the guy slowly looked up at me as if I was literally a figment of his imagination. Almost like he couldn't decide if I was a real human or drug fairy illusion. Then he sort of acknowledged it and sat back. (He was back on his phone ten minutes later) OH! And later on in the movie-- down the row one of the other douchey guys got in a fight with the people behind him. He apparently kept rocking his chair and the chick behind him said, 'Do you mind? You keep hitting my legs with your seat...' and dude said, 'Nope. I don't mind.' And turned back around again. Then they started arguing about it. Straight out in the screening! Like I was at a drunken midnight show at my local yelly theater. All around a stunning display of doucheria!!

Whatever. This flick is pretty friggin good. The acting carries it on its shoulders like a slab of beef. And the whole thing is puffed up the Bail/Wallberg tension. But it does take some eyerolly emotional leaps and slums a little in clicheland. But hey, it's fun to look at and it's a solid flick. Hard not to like. A good holiday treat with the messed up family dramarama fighting on the porch etc. I think in the right state of mind-- this movie can punch you in the face properly. For me though-- I think it was way too easy to duck the swing.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- The control freak selfish mom brought the heat.
- It really is a pretty amazing story.
- I liked that they showed a clip of the real people at the end of the movie. (not done often enough etc)

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- I think me hating the people in my row soured things up a bit.
- The boxing scenes were neither here nor there for the most part.
- It tried a little too hard.


Afterwards-- we all applaud the movie... the chairs get set up-- and down the aisle come the STARS. The Bail, The Wallberg, the Amy Whatsherface. (The Bail looked all cool and crazy good looking with his long hair and facial hair and motorcycle jacket movie star style. The other two looked just like you'd expect). They sit down in chairs and take in some applause then answer a whole bunch of (mainly) kiss-assy questions from actors in the audience. In the world of...

"Hey! I'm a SAG Actor. Big fan. Tell me. How did you prepare to absolutely nail that Boston accent?"


"While you were making the movie did it constantly re-affirm how awesome you are? Because it did for me!" etc...

One guy called Bail 'Patrick Bateman' which was weirdly awkward. And another question asked Marky if he, 'Tried to actually imitate the real person...' Which Marky seemed insulted by-- then the guy asked for a walkon part on Entourage. Yadda. In the end, I was amazed that "Mr. Newsie" came off intelligent and friendly (I figured he'd be an arrogant dumbdumb. btw my double dog dares to gf to ask a series Newsie questions didn't work on her) And Wallberg sounded like nothing but a genuinely nice guy (even correcting the director O'Russell for using the word 'retarded'-- 'Umm... Hey. Maybe you can just say ridiculous or something?' And Amy Whatsherface seemed shy actressey sweet. Them seeming nice made me like the movie even a little more nice. Seemed to be a passion project for Wallberg who apparently had to really fight to get it made (this kept falling apart? a winning boxing movie?) and Bail talked about how he hung out with the 'real life 'Dicky' to nail the part. And the director talked about his concerns for the family and all that. All nice all around...

(But I'm not going to push all my chips in on the nice nice niceity. Somehow I got the feeling that the douches in our row were set to make more money off this thing than anyone-- and they didn't even have the decency to watch it.)