Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I have two movies for your viewing pleasure and amazement. Both are excellent.

The first is The Fighter, starring Marky Mark (he'll always be Marky Mark to me even though I never knew what he did other than model undies for Calvin Klein). Based on a true story, Marky Mark plays Micky, a boxer who is getting down to his last chance. Micky tells his drug-addict and formerly successful boxer brother Dicky, played by Christian Bale, that he can't train Micky anymore because Micky really wants to succeed.

Micky and Dicky come from a big Boston Irish Catholic family and they have a metric fuck ton of sisters. This Bitch Pack is led by their mother, played by Melissa Leo. The movie is dramatic and moving and exciting, and the Bitch Pack -- who might be tougher than their boxer brothers -- cracks me up. I love Melissa Leo with her too tight pants and helmet hair leading the crowd.

So what will happen? Will blood prove thicker than water and will Micky take Dicky back? Watch and learn.

The Fighter was nominated for the Academy Award for best picture and Christian Bale and Melissa Leo won well-deserved best supporting actor Oscars. After I watched the DVD of this movie, I thought, Wow, this is so good, how was it beaten?

Then I watched The King's Speech and I knew why it KO'd The Fighter. What a cast. My beloved Colin Firth was so incredibly good as Prince Bertie who becomes King George VI and fights his stammer with the help of his beloved wife, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). My beloved Colin won best actor and Bonham Carter and Rush, who were nominated for Best Supporting actors in their roles, were as worthy of wins as Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. I really don't know how the voters decided.

So both movies have great acting, involve a family struggle, have a battle, though of different sorts, and are moving while also having moments of hilarity.

I think what put The King's Speech on top is the way director Tom Hooper shot it. Technically, it's quite interesting and the technical aspects add to the strength of the film. My beloved Colin Firth is 6'3", while Bertie was a rather small man, very slight. Hooper often shoots Firth from above to diminish him, not only in size, but to diminish him as a person. He looks very small and tense and worried and not at all kingly.

In one shot, Bertie and Elizabeth are sitting together on a couch. Elizabeth sits up, sits forward on the couch, while Bertie sits back, huddled down. Hooper also quite often shoots Bertie so he's in one side of the frame and the rest of the frame is a blank wall -- negative space. The wall suggests the blankness of Bertie's life and his feelings of uselessness and fear. Bertie IS a blank wall until his speech starts to improve.

Wow, two great movies and they are available on DVD now. Be sure to listen to the commentary on The King's Speech. It's quite interesting.

Infinities of love,


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