‘The Fighter’ and ‘Hereafter’, 2 Thumbs Up (A Total Of 4 Thumbs)
I had what most would call a boring weekend, filled with nothing but R&R (it was due). So amongst the March Madness I watched two movies, both new releases and both ones I would recommend. I'm gonna go ahead and say I strongly suggest watching 'The Fighter' and 'Hereafter'.
'The Fighter' is based on a true story, chronicling the lives of half-brothers Dicky Ecklund and Micky Ward (Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg), two professional boxers from Lowell, Mass. Ecklund is the older brother who had a good boxing career in the 1970s, which included sending Sugar Ray Leonard to the mat. After his retirement, Ecklund goes on to train younger brother Ward in the ring. The relationship, and Ward's career, is hampered by Ward's addiction to drugs and a run-in with the law. Prison sobers up Ecklund, family drama is worked out and all forgiven when Ward goes on to become champion of the world.
'The Fighter' is your typical "triumphing against all odds" story for both Ecklund, who overcomes drug addiction, and Ward, who overcomes a female-dominated family who exploits him and holds him back. But this film delivers top-notch acting (it scored best supporting-actor Oscars for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo) and David O. Russell did a fantastic job directing. Believe the Oscar hype on this one, definitely worth checking out.
'The Hereafter' is a tale of loss, near-death experience and how the dead remain with us. Again, not an original plot but I really enjoyed this movie. It was another shining example of why I love Clint Eastwood as a director. The plot was actually pretty simple, nothing earth shattering is discovered or solved in regards to the afterlife. Three stories submerge in a very real portrayal (if you believe in that sort of thing). This is precisely what I liked about the movie. And without giving away anything about the ending, I'll just say that my initial reaction was, "what?" I wanted more but the more I thought about it, it was a perfect ending. See for yourself, if you haven't already!