Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Superman Fighter

Alright, here are two very different movies: an Oscar nominated movie based on a true story, and an animated Superman movie. I enjoyed both, but there's really no comparison between the two. I've also been tweaking my list of favorite movies for last year. The hard part is that any movie released later in the year (November or December) doesn't get released on DVD for a couple months into the next year. So, once I finally see all of the Best Picture nominees I will create my list. Until then...

The Fighter - (4 Stars)*
Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is a boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts who has always lived in the shadow of his older brother Dicky's professional boxing career. Managed by his mother (Melissa Leo) and coached by Dicky (Christian Bale), Micky's time spent practicing is more about reminiscing on Dicky's accomplishments rather than actual training. However, things begin to change after Micky meets Charlene (Amy Adams), who pushes Micky to go after the things he wants.

The Fighter"The Fighter" is a good inspirational story, with just enough boxing to appease fans of the sport, but with more of a focus on the family of characters and story around the boxing. Wahlberg shines as the lead Micky who is torn between his new girlfriend, his family and boxing and Christian Bale earns his Oscar with every bit of screen time he has. The cast as a whole is very strong which helps make the movie, focused on characters, such an enjoyable treat. The fact that it's based on the true story of boxer Micky Ward's early years boxing makes all the more entertaining.
(115 minutes - Rated R for language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality- 2010) (Netflix)

All-Star Superman - (3 1/2 Stars)
What if Superman was dying? That's the premise in the latest of DC's animated feature "All-Star Superman," adapted from the very good Grant Morrison story. After taking a super-sized dose of solar radiation by flying too close to the sun (all set up by Lex Luthor, of course), Superman discovers that his cells have begun to break down. So he sets about making everything right in his world, including his relationship with Lois Lane. But just because he's dying, doesn't mean he has it easy.

All-Star SupermanThe story and art is adapted well and really captures the essence of the original comic story while jettisoning some of the story bits that felt out of place or extra. As a whole, the story is full of action,  classic villain encounters and as much poignancy as you're likely to get out of a comic book. I'd recommend this highly to anyone who has read the story, is a fan of the character or comic books in general.
(76 minutes - Rated PG for sequences of action and violence, language including brief innuendo, and some sensuality - 2011) (Netflix)

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