Fighter, The

Featured In Issue 155, March 2011

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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David O. Russell
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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The Fighter, based on a true story, chronicles the life of working-class pugilist "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his against-all-odds triumph in the ring that united his fractured family and brought pride to his blue-collar hometown. Ward's troubled older brother, Dicky Eklund (Bale, who won the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor) trains Micky for the historic title bout. Micky is a struggling boxer long overshadowed by his older brother, a local legend battling his own demons. Their explosive relationship threatens to take them both down—but the bond of blood may be their only chance for redemption. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Director David O. Russell, The Warrior's Code: Filming The Fighter (HD 29:57), the featurette Keeping The Faith (HD 08:33), 16 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Russell (HD 16:53), the theatrical trailer, a DVD of the film, and a digital copy.

The 1080p 2.40:1 AVC picture is a cinematic triumph with a raw, edgy naturalness that reflects working-class towns and the genuine people who are portrayed. The imagery is nicely resolved throughout, with a textural realism that is captured in the City of Lowell's settings and also the ring. Details are impressively revealing, especially in close-up of facial features, clothes, and object textures, which establish the story's settings. The color palette is never exaggerated but appears to accurately represent the settings. Contrast is well balanced, with revealing shadow delineation and solid blacks. Fleshtones are naturally toned as well. This is a picture that communicates absolute realism and is perfectly supportive of the storytelling. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is conventionally produced, with production dialogue and ADR that is often wanting in spatial integration, though, the courtroom and prison sequences are perfectly integrated. The pop music score is loud and forward sounding but nicely recorded and aggressively surround enveloping. Sound effects and Foley are nicely produced and enhance the realism. While much of the interior dialogue setting is monaurally focused, the soundtrack opens up in several scenes, such as the bar, courtroom, prison, and the in-the-ring atmospherics, to deliver effective surround envelopment. The actual bouts are spatially impressive and dynamic and really create excitement. The .1 LFE effectively punctuates the action with deep, tight bass that accentuates every blow. At times this is a terrifically energized and exciting soundtrack that works well throughout the story's development. The triumph in the ring in the last scene is a tour de force! (Gary Reber)