Posted in Uncategorized, tagged addiction, Amy Adams, boxing, Christian Bale, Cinderella Man, Dicky Ecklund, love, Mark Wahlberg, Micky Ward, perseverance, Raging Bull, reconciliation, Rocky, self-deception on December 18, 2011 |
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There are some great boxing movies: Rocky, The Hurricane, Raging Bull, and Cinderella Man. And then there are some lousy boxing movies, The Main Event comes to mind. So does everything after Rocky III. You’ll notice something about the best ones- they are based on true stories. As a result, they are not just about boxing. They deal with subjects like family dynamics, racism, profound set backs like the Depression.
The Fighter is based on the true story of Welterweight Champion Micky Ward, or rather the story of how he became champion. It deals with family dynamics, addiction, forgiveness and reconciliation. It is about second chances.
Christian and Mark as Dicky and Micky
Micky grew up the younger half-brother of “the Pride of Lowell”, his brother Dicky Ecklund (played marvelously by Christian Bale). Dicky made his claim to fame by knocking down boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard (or did Sugar Ray just slip?). After his brush with fame, Dicky went down hill. When we enter the story, he is Micky’s trainer and a crack addict. But he is still the apple of his mother’s (and Lowell, MA’s) eye. Micky (played by a subdued Mark Wahlberg) fights on, as an afterthought. His career started well, but with the family distracted by Dicky’s antics (his mother is Micky’s manager) his career has taken a decided downturn. Micky finds himself at a cross roads: will he be brought to nothing by his brother’s problems and the dysfunction represented by his mother and white trash half-sisters ( they add an authentic and hilarious element to the movie).
Their perpetually smoking mother and manager
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged 13, Cinderella Man, injustice, Jesus, Liam Neeson, moral ambiguity, murder, Russell Crowe, suffering, The Man of La Macha, The Next Three Days on March 20, 2011 |
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The question of responding to injustice is a difficult one. Injustice should anger us, and drive us to correct it if possible. We are made in the image of a just God after all. But sometimes Lady Justice is not only blind, but also deaf to our pleas.
On the Run
This is the set up for The Next Three Days (a remake of a French film) starring Russell Crowe. In the interviews for the release of the movie, Crowe says he viewed this as more of a love story than an action film. He plays John Brennan, an English professor. The movie opens with him driving a car down the street with blood splattered on his face. You can hear a man dying in the background. You are confused. “The Past Three Years” comes up on the screen, you are now going to find out how he found himself in this situation and how unlikely it was in the first place.
The first 15 minutes or so are confusing. He and his wife have dinner with his brother and his wife. It doesn’t go well. Something is bothering Lara Brennan. She apparently had an argument with her boss, and is now arguing about it with her sister-in-law. The next morning the family is in their little ritual when she realizes there is blood on her coat. As she’s trying to wash it off, the police show up to arrest her for the murder of her boss. We don’t see the trial, only his visit to her in jail after another failed appeal. Lots of things have been cut out.
After she attempts suicide, he realizes he must get her out of there. Since he can’t do it legally, he will resort to doing it illegally. This is what happens when we don’t believe in a just God or the Savior who suffered unjustly. We are unable to suffer injustice as He did. We deceive ourselves into thinking that the second wrong will make the first right. But it really just complicates things, as John Brennan is about to learn.
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