Ok, I finally saw Million Dollar Baby. I was really worried about it sucking, since everyone else loved Mystic River despite it sucking. However, I was pleasantly surprised - this movie did not suck.
However, I do have a warning for all of you. Don't drink a large soda while watching it. It's long - over two hours. I started in on the soda when the movie started, and built, and built, and it was getting towards a climactic moment right when I needed to pee so badly it was beginning to hurt. And right when it gets there, and you think "Oh God, yes, I can finally go pee!", it veers off wildly in another direction and you realize what true pain is. I will say this, though, it gave me real empathy for her character - by the time the credits started rolling I knew exactly the sort of agony she was going through, and I was practically crying tears of joy by the time I got to pull my own plug.
Oh man. I can still remember that moment. It was moving. I can't remember the last time I felt that sense of relief.
The movie was good, too. Clint definitely recovered from that little dip - the movie was well done, with solid acting (they were a little too gruff at times, but that's ok) and the directing and editing were much, much improved from Mystic River. In fact, pretty much every aspect of the movie was better - it had more heart, it had more drama, it had better acting, it felt more professional and clean, and just in general was much more enjoyable. And, c'mon, the scene towards the end, with Morgan Freeman? You know you wanted to cheer at least a little.
I was pretty impressed by Hilary Swank, too - she really looked pretty tough and buff by the end of the movie. The training seems to have really paid off for her, and she made a fairly convincing boxer, at least to my untrained eyes. I thought some of her opponents went down a bit too easily, but she did a decent job of selling it.
It's kind of interesting, because a few months back I was reading an article somewhere (TONY?) on gyms and thinking that it might be interesting to join a boxing gym. I've done a little in the martial-arts side, and it'd be interesting to get some training in boxing just to see how it differs. I also think I need something a little more intense and physical; I always tended to be very hesitant in the ring when doing TSD, and it was a combination of nervousness about being hurt and also about hurting the other person. (Call me sexist, but it was especially awkward fighting girls, for me. Boxing seems to be a little more segregated than martial arts, and so that'd help. Once I'm more used to the concept of punching people, maybe I could branch out to be more gender-blind in doling out beatings. :P ) Participating in a sport where you're expected to beat on someone a little (and be beaten on) would probably be more than a little therapeutic. But now, of course, I'm sure that everyone and their mother has taken up boxing thanks to this movie. Ah well. Once the weather turns warmer, at the very least I can start running again.
On the way to the movie today, we walked by the beginnings of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. It was due to start a few minutes after the movie, so people were already gathering and the actual parade marchers were all assembling. ( Pics behind the cutCollapse )