BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003797Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Million Dollar Baby
DVD disk
07.29.2005 By: Scott Weinberg
Million Dollar Baby order
Director:
Clint Eastwood

Actors:
Clint Eastwood
Morgan Freeman
Hilary Swank

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A crusty old boxing manager butts heads with his newest student: a poor little trailer-park gal who happens to have the heart of a lion.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Is Million Dollar Baby a good movie? It won Best Picutre, didn't it? (OK, fair enough, The English Patient also won Best Picture, and I've yet to meet a single person who loved the damn thing.)

Yes, Million Dollar Baby is a damn good movie, chock-full of fantastic performances, smart and insightful wriitng, a solid handful of fantastic boxing sequences, and a narrative left-turn that comes out of nowhere and smashes into you like a Mack truck.

This is a fantastic movie.

You don't need me telling you how phenomenally cool Clint Eastwood is, both as an actor and as a filmmaker -- but I will. This is a guy who went from starring in Italian cowboy movies to becoming one of Hollywood's premiere storytellers. The guy's done a truckful of bona-fide masterpieces, and Million Dollar Baby is only his latest piece of cinematic gold. (Unforgiven is still my favorite, though!)

Presenting his tale in crisp and efficient fashion, Eastwood is also smart enough to hire the best of the best, which explains why you'll see folks like Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman in leading roles; Eastwood wants to work only with the best, and (needless to say) he does precisely that.

Adapted from a series of stories by F.X. Toole (by superlative screenwriter Paul Haggis), Million Dollar Baby is not so much "about" boxing as it's about the power of the human spirit. That sounds like a pretty corny statement, I know, but the film takes a shocking left turn at the end of Act II, and you slowly begin to realize that Eastwood has a lot more on his mind than just a "big, rousing boxing finale."

Million Dollar Baby is gruff yet touching, smart and somewhat sweet, and an absolute heartbreaker through and through. I firmly believe the movie deserves all the praise it's earned thus far ... and a whole lot more.

THE EXTRAS
Nothing but the movie itself (and the original theatrical trailer) resides on Disc 1, but a second platter is full of some fairly excellent supplemental material.

Born to Fight is a 20-minute featurette full of cast & crew interviews, while the 14-minute Producers Round 15 is pretty much more of the same, only it focuses a bit more on Mr. Toole's source material and the methods in which the stories were translated for the big screen. The final featurette is a 25-minute sit-down called James Lipton Takes on 3, which sees the ever-annoying Mr. Lipton moderating a round-table discussion with Eastwood, Freeman, and Swank.

Frankly I was expecting a bit more in the supplement department than roughly one hour of various interview / chit-chat segments, but each one offers some solid insight on how Million Dollar Baby got made, so I'm not complaining all that loudly. (A cast & crew commentary would have been the icing on the cake, though!)

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I remember sitting down at a press screening for Million Dollar Baby and getting hypnotized for a solid two hours. This is a brave, touching, and amazingly heartfelt piece of drama -- and it's just another huge and shining feather in the cap of one of America's finest filmmakers. And please, folks, if you're not yet familiar with what happens towards the end of Million Dollar Baby, do yourself a favor and see this movie before someone spoils the damn thing for you. The conclusion of this film punched me in the gut and left me dazed, dizzy, and desperately wanting to shake Mr. Eastwood's hand. It's just that good.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| March 2017 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Fantastic Beasts
  • 2
    Sing
  • 3
    Moana
  • 4
    Doctor Strange
  • 5
    Fifty Shades Darker

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting