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Academy Award® Nominees Mark Wahlberg (The Departed), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) and Amy Adams (Doubt) star in this “remarkable” film*. Based on a true story, two brothers, against all the odds, come together to train for a historic title bout that has the power to reunite their fractured family and give their hard-luck town what it's been waiting for: pride. Micky Ward (Wahlberg) is a struggling boxer long overshadowed by his older brother and trainer, Dicky (Bale), a local legend battling his own demons. Their explosive relationship threatens to take them both down - but the bond of blood may be their only chance for redemption. *Joe Morgenstern, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Feature Film (with Commentary by Director David O. Russell) HD
The Warriors Code: Filming The Fighter HD
Keeping the Faith HD
Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary*) HD
DISC 2 (Combo Pack)
DVD Feature Film (English Only)
Digital Copy (Expires March 15, 2012)
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The Irish or Celtic people's historically have been a people who valued physical courage above all else. It was their ethos to live fast and leave a beautiful corpse. Even as far back as the days of the Roman empire. The Romans admired the Celts for their physical courage even as they waged genocide against us. 'Irish,' Mickey Ward the prizefighter is part of that tradition of physical courage.
More over, if you asked a historian about the history of the Irish diaspora in America he might tell you about Thomas Fitzsimmons a prominent Irish-Catholic who signed the Constitution, and who is considered one of America's founding fathers, he might tell you about the 140 Irish-Catholic's who enlisted and helped make up some of the original 800 United States Marines when the Corp was founded in 1775, about the 'coffin ships,' about Antietam, Gettysburg, about how the Irish have arrived in every walk of life in America including piercing the 'glass ceiling,' of fortune 500 America.
What he will be less apt to tell you about are the Irish like Mickey Ward and those depicted in this movie who have yet to arrive. And who still live in neighborhoods that were once Irish enclaves whether in Lowell Mass, other parts of New England, or even some parts of NYC.
Historically the Irish in America were a people who because of the terrible discrimination we once endured, were fiercely loyal to our communities, our Church and towards our families. Again as demonstrated in this movie Mickey Ward was fiercely loyal to his family and to the Irish-American enclave of Lowell Mass. He and his family are emblematic of this as they are loyal to each other to a fault. And Mickey when he looses fights feels shame at having 'let down,' the people of the community he is so proud of.
All in all an excellent movie.
Director David Russell has pulled exceptional performances from Mark Wahlberg as evidenced by the outstanding film "Three Kings". But Bale, playing a complete disaster drug addict older brother to an aspiring boxer, emits explosive danger in every scene and every line he delivers. Now the ironic situation here is that Melissa Ward who plays the role of Bale and Wahlberg’s mother gives one of the most over the top acting performances of the year. Playing the role of a controlling, hostile, manipulative, aggressive mother, Ward’s character tries to control a pack of grown children including a husband who is not the father of many of the younger girls in the family and a pack of sisters who buzz around their mother like baby wasps around the queen wasp. A queen wasp is the best characterization I can think of to describe Ward’s character who spews dysfunction and manipulation in every line.
It is Mark Wahlberg as the second son and promising boxer who is the character that transforms in the film as he tries to escape the psychological nightmare of his family and their influence on his sport. His girlfriend, Amy Grant, is a perfect match and appear to be an island of somewhat normality in this mess. However Bale and Ward steal the show in almost every scene – which was fine with me because they were crazy and self-destructive and certainly were entertaining to watch as they explode. But it is impossible for the viewer not to empathize with Wahlberg’s character since he is emotionally tied to this family of one for all sensibilities and verbal aggression. His older brother is his trainer and he is both destructive and insightful making the story of emotional dependence even more complicated.
Now for a stunner, this film is the true life story of world light welterweight champion Mickey Ward. I was highly entertained and recognized in Bale’s pacting an uncanny ability to create a drug addicted petty criminal stick of dynamite performance.