has an average rating of 8.0 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are great & with a Digital Copy/DVD
– 115 minutes
This uses 29.1GB for the movie out of 39.1GB total.
Overall Verdict – Highly Recommended
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself is based on a true story, something common with great movies this year (in reference to “127 Hours” which I had previously reviewed). The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo. All of these actors give great performances. The film was directed by David O. Russell, executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, both Bob & Harvey Weinstein, as well as even produced by star Mark Wahlberg.
The story here (based very closely on the real-life one) involves a “fighter” just as the title describes but it’s really about two fighters, better yet two Massachusetts born half-brothers. Those being “Irish” Micky Ward (portrayed here by Mark Wahlberg) and “Dicky Eklund” (portrayed here by Christian Bale). These two half-brothers (from different fathers) both (over the course of time) have been or are professional boxers. Dicky on the other hand, unlike his younger brother Micky, is no longer a boxer, he instead is struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine. In fact, HBO is following Dicky around filming a documentary about him and he doesn’t realize it’s about how he went from this successful boxer that knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard to this drug addict. The story here is not totally just about this but it does play a huge part, as Dicky is a great trainer for his younger brother Micky and is vital to being in his corner of the ring. It’s only a good 6 or 7 minutes in before we see Dicky be absent from the ring to train his younger brother and only 1 minute later we see where he is instead; getting high on crack with his friends reliving his fight with Sugar Ray. The boys’ mother Alice (portrayed here by Melissa Leo) is also very vital to being part of things, as is also a friend of the family, an officer Mickey O’Keefe (playing himself), who fills in as trainer when Dicky is absent due to his drug habit. This sets you up for the film and its real plot. If I were to go into much more detail I’d feel like I was giving “spoilers” that could ruin your viewing of the film.
“The Fighter” was nominated for a total of SEVEN “Oscars” (Academy Awards) this year, including “Best Picture” category. It ended up winning a total of TWO Academy Awards; those being “Best Supporting Actress” (Melissa Leo) and “Best Supporting Actor” (Christian Bale). Also, no joke, there’s actually talks (started by star Mark Wahlberg) currently going around about a sequel to the film being in the works with the whole cast re-uniting. This depiction of these real-life people is just amazing and the portrayals by these talented actors are also just as amazing; that’s why this could easily work with a sequel. This family’s story is very touching and keeps you wanting to watch and see what happens.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. According to IMDb‘s technical specifications for the aspect ratio, this was shot on Super 35mm film. For most part, this release bares a very impressive on-screen exhibit, with rather precise definition of finer details, and a very balanced and clean neutral color palette. Within the release’s visual presentation, you get a very solid black level which relays some reasonable vibrancy from primaries, and cast an accurate display of a variety of fleshtones from the actors. As briefly mentioned above, the definition of finer details is incredible. That statement of course applies to the standard subjects one looks for in a High Definition release, though some great examples of this includes the close-up and even medium shots of Ward‘s boxing matches in which every drop of perspiration can be counted, and not to mention some slow-motion shots add to the amazement of the video quality within those scenes. There’s also the scenes that were shot using an actual HBO crew and that sport some interlaced lines and lo-fi visual style (as you’ll see in the screenshot below). There scenes just add to the realism, they don’t take away from the Hi-Def presentation in any way what-so-ever. All and all, this earns an impressive “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. The audio track that accompanies this release steers clear of ordinary and boring, and does not even rely on climatic scenes or the soundtrack to bare a livelihood within the 5.1 setup. First of all, dialogue is a large part of the dramatic story here, and is presented with clarity from the center front channel, avoiding any suffering from being overwhelmed by other audible happenings within the mix. On that note, some scenes that are primarily dialogue based are not thoroughly resting periods for the rest of the soundscape as would be the general case for other sound mixes. In this audio track, environmental sound effects of natural background noises occur within the left and right front channels, and event he rear channels; it’s not even a subtle dish of atmospheric tones that barely pops-up in the channels as it can be noticed without having the volume cranked-up. The music in the film sounds really great and gets a good amount of rear channel presence and boasts a good amount of LFE (bass) as well. All and all, this sound presentation isn’t anything that’s going to “blow you away” but it is solid and does the film complete justice. This earns a very nice “4.5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality. It does a little bit more than just get the job done.
Bonus Materials are ALL presented in 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @256kbps sound — unless otherwise noted below.
DISC 1 includes:
- “The Warrior’s Code: Filming The Fighter” (29:57 – HD 1080p)
- “Keeping the Faith” (8:33 – HD 1080p)
- “Deleted Scenes” (16:53 – HD 1080p) include optional audio commentary.
- Audio Commentary by Director David O. Russell
- Theatrical Trailer (2:32 – HD 1080p)
DISC 2 contains:
- Digital Copy of the film is included on a DVD-ROM which is compatible with both iTunes and Windows Media portable devices as well as Mac and PC computers. I have to comment that I like the way that Digital Copy works now (at least I know for iTunes) as you just insert this DVD and it will launch in iTunes (or Windows Media Player) and then copies the file off of the disc instead of actually having to download the file from a server. This is really convenient of a feature to be included for those less fortunate not on broadband internet access.
- DVD of the film is also included on the very same DVD mentioned above.
Overall, the bonus materials are very worthwhile and include a great amount of back story to this true story with interviews with the actual real-life folks. There’s also a great making of documentary, almost a good 17 minutes of deleted scenes (with optional audio commentary) as well as the audio commentary by Director David O. Russell, a DVD and Digital Copy of the film included. Fans will be pleased with the amount of supplemental material found here.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Be PATIENT with the loading times, as you should keep in mind that these files are (on average) at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.