Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator punches you in the face as it selects Million Dollar Baby.
Why it’s famous: Clint Eastwood re-teams with Morgan Freeman after Unforgiven for more Oscar gold, trading the vistas of the Old West for dingy gyms, with a toughened-up Hilary Swank on board as a wannabe boxer.
Here’s what happens: Country girl Maggie Fitzgerald travels to LA hoping to be trained as a boxer by famous trainer Frankie Dunn. It takes a lot of convincing, but Frankie eventually comes around. The two enjoy great success in the ring, until a near-fatal accident brings it all crashing down.
Movie geekishness: Many people love this movie, but boy does it rub me the wrong way. The downbeat, bummer second half of the movie is at odds with the underdog-sports-hero tale of the first half. I’m left with the feeling that the creators are trying to be tearjerky just for the sake of being tearjerky.
Get your film degree: Your screenwriting 101 teacher has told you over and over that screenplays shouldn’t have voiceovers, even though The Shawshank Redemption did it well. This movie offers another Morgan Freeman narration, and despite his awesome voice, this narration shows just how unnecessary most narrations are. It offers no new information, no extra flavor. It’s just there, and Million Dollar Baby would be the same movie without it.
Thoughts upon this viewing: No to this movie. Just… no.
Next week: Pea soup, anyone?
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