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Author Topic: MILLION DOLLAR BABY comments (WARNING: SPOILERS ALLOWED)  (Read 76374 times)
KC
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« on: December 15, 2004, 10:01:33 PM »

In this thread, spoilers are allowed. Anyone who has seen Million Dollar Baby and has more to say than can be safely posted in the "No Spoilers" thread, please give us your thoughts, comments or full-fledged review!
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Brendan
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2004, 09:32:33 PM »

I loved it! It's definitley Eastwood's best work since Unforgiven. I won't get into performances and such here, I'll save that for the Non-spoiler thread. Unless it's brought up here.

I really didn't see that coming at all; when Maggie fell on the chair and broke her neck. I figured Frankie was going to have a heart attack or we'd find out he molested his daughter (which I guess wouldn't be good since that was a tool used in Mystic River) or something else just not that. Interesting.

The scene in the church where we see Clint crying was pretty cool. When was the last time we've seen Clint do a scene like that before? It's not often. That scene alone could get him an Oscar nomination.

I'm still iffy on the whole euthanasia thing. I'm not offended or anything by it but it's just that what Frankie did, I believe, is considered murder. I understand why he did it and I know she wanted it to be done BUT no one else knew but the preacher and Scraps. Now I guess Frankie is on the run? That's just something that bothered me.

All the hospital scenes were some powerful stuff and had great acting by all involved. I also really liked how we never found out about Frankie's daughter.

Those are my thoughts for now.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2004, 11:22:06 PM by Brendan » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2004, 02:38:08 PM »

Come on!! Doesn't anyone else who's seen it want to comment?  :D
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Chessie
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2004, 01:35:02 AM »

Yes Brendan I will comment  ;D

Personally I loved the whole movie and I thought that every scene and frame was so well directed and written I couldn't help but love it.  I really admire the script I thought it was one of the best I've ever heard.  The dialogue was perfect.

A prime example of this was the scene where Maggie asks Frankie to put her down like her dad did to their dog.  There must not have been more then 20 words in that whole and scene and yet it was one of the most powerful in the film.  

My heart almost broke when Maggie hit the chair and broke her neck.   I swear the rest of my party gasped so loud it sounds like someones dieing breath.  

Clint's scene in the church where he has is break down was so powerful.  It was the first time I can recall seeing tears fall out of Clint's eyes that weren't immediately kissed away (Bridges).  I think it was a daring thing for Clint to do as an actor.  It's something no one really ever expects to see from Clint because he's so Man With No Name and Dirty Harry Callahan, and I think anyone who hasn't seen something other then those will be so shocked that he cries on screen.  I know my bestfriends were amazed he was able to do that.  Nobody I know, adult or student, besides you guys on the board, really understands what an amazing actor he is.   I really hope that this performance will help those who see him in stereotypical light and see more as a great dignified actor who hasn't just done one good picture.  

The ending left alot to be wondered about.  We never find out about Frankie and his daughters estrangement.  So it leaves alot of questions.  One thing I noticed and my best friends noticed is that the ending while it is so depressing it leaves an odd uplifting feeling.  It's quite strange.  

Still I love it.  
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2004, 10:54:06 AM »

I know I was shocked when I saw him crying. Like I said before when was the last time we've actually seen Clint cry on camera?

I also loved the chemistry between Eastwood and Freeman. You can tell these guys are great friends just by the way they casually bounce insults and dialogue off of each other. It never felt fake.
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tmw3nyc
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2004, 12:21:03 PM »

I agree.  I didn't see that coming.  However, at the end of the round before the last one, I thought she was going to hit her after the round and Maggie walked backwards to the corner IIRC.  So, I wasn't surprised abt the hit.  

The scene about the socks is one of the funniest ones I've seen in awhile, and yet had some interesting character reveals for Morgan Freeman.

What was interesting was that a priest wasn't a molestor or there just to be the butt of jokes.  I thought that stood out.  

The ending I felt was not done in a political Green Mile kind of way, supporting one particular view (in that case capital punishment).  I felt this movie was true to the characters and not preachy on either political spectrum.
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tmw3nyc
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2004, 12:23:26 PM »



I also really liked how we never found out about Frankie's daughter.


About halfway through I was thinking , please , please don't let her be his daughter (or granddaughter) in some stupid Hollywood twist LOL
« Last Edit: December 22, 2004, 12:26:26 PM by tmw3nyc » Logged
Brendan
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2004, 02:33:51 PM »

What was interesting was that a priest wasn't a molestor or there just to be the butt of jokes.  I thought that stood out.  

I don't see how that would have fit into the movie anyways. It wouldn't have made any sense to have the character of the priest a pedophile. Unless he touched Frankie's daughter but then that would have been an entirely differant movie and would have turned into Mystic River.
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AKA23
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2004, 10:21:14 PM »

I've read everyone's comments and all of the reviews calling Million Dollar Baby a masterpiece, and I was really looking forward to seeing this film. I've now seen it, and after a first viewing I think I really have a strong dislike for it. Immediately after I saw it, I began to think that I really didn't enjoy it at all, but now I don't really know how I feel about the film. I've heard everyone calling it one of his best, and I don't see why, and I don't see what about it would make everyone feel that way. The father daughter love story is well done, and the parallels between Frankie and his daughter and Maggie and her family are clear. The theme that Frankie uses "always protect yourself" quite clearly expresses his own desire to do just that, and his anguish when he is unable to do the same for Maggie is hearfelt. The scene in which he agrees to train her only after placing all of these conditions on her that were again designed to protect his own heart is moving, but overall, I didn't feel tremendously moved or emotionally impacted in a positive way while watching this film.  Perhaps I misjudged the film. Perhaps I was unfairly prejudiced against it. Maybe if I see it again I'll love it, but I won't be able to do that unti it opens in wide release across the country at the end of January.

I do think that there were several things going into my intense dislike for this movie. I really don't like boxing at all, so unlike some, I couldn't really appreciate it on that level. I fail to see why anybody would want to put themselves in the position of getting beaten over and over again, especially when there have been more than a few cases of severe brain damage as a result. I understand the appeal of attaining the highest mastery in such a field motivating someone to become involved in it, but there are so many other things to attain mastery in that are far less destructive that I fail to see why boxing would be an attractive option. I also am strongly against euthanasia, so it was difficult for me to appreciate it on that level as well.

I also felt that the film was just far too depressing. I didn't see it as an "uplifting tragedy." I just saw it as a tragedy. Even Mystic River had some redeeming qualities that made it entertaining, but in the end, this one did not. Unfortunately, going into it, I knew much of the plot so I was aware that Maggie would become tragically paralyzed and that Frankie would later be asked to end her life, so I'm unsure whether or not that really affected my viewing experience against it, but even if I didn't know about it, I suspect I still would have really disliked the idea of euthanasia and wouldn't have been all that excited about the boxing. It's quite depressing really that I don't think I liked the film, since we all invest so much of our time on the board and Clint Eastwood and his films are a large part of our lives. To have a film of his be so disappointing really hurts.

I'm not saying that it wasn't well acted and well directed. I do think that for the most part, everyone did a good job, although I don't think the mentally challenged boxer added anything to the story, and at times really detracted from it, and I didn't think the portrayal of the priest was very good. Some of Morgan Freeman's voiceover I found distracting. Many of the supporting actors, like Maggie's family, I didn't feel did a good job. It had its good points, but I'm just saying that I didn't enjoy watching the film. There's a difference to me between a well made film and an enjoyable one.

As the film has been so loved by everyone who has posted here, and most critics, I'm really very interested in anything that I can do to like this film more, especially since it could be Eastwood's last performance as an actor.   If I can be made to think of it in a different way or have a different viewing experience. What are everyone else's thoughts? Did anyone have a similar view on a first viewing? I don't know. Do you think with another viewing my ideas about this film will change? I really would love to embrace this film, as I really am quite sad now (especially after investing 5 hours in travel, but ultimately, there's a long list of films in Eastwood's filmographies I'd rather watch than this one :(  
« Last Edit: December 23, 2004, 10:25:46 PM by AKA23 » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2004, 10:47:56 PM »

Well one thing  I liked about the euthanasia aspect is that the film never turned into a proponent for it. It was just simply part of the story. It wasn't like the film Who's Life Is It Anyway? where it made a case for it or The Sea Inside, although I don't the latter makes a case for it either. Unfortuantly I feel this is what will turn most people off from the film. Those who don't agree with it will go out and tell their friends about this film and will make it seem like a terrible film (I'm not saying you will AKA) while others may be able to look past that see this film about these characters and the hardships and challenges they all face. It's one of the more "real" films to come out this year.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2004, 10:48:19 PM by Brendan » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2004, 12:41:20 AM »

AKA I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy the film, I really hoped that you would.   I know the euthansia aspect is really hard for some people to deal with, so I can understand why that might have contributed to you disliking the film.  

I'm going to shed a little bit of light on why I liked it and why other people might enjoy.  Mind you this is just my perspective.

I personally connected with the film, alot.  My major connection was with Maggie and Frankie.  Not that I didn't feel sympathy for Scraps (I know how it feels to be blamed for something you didn't do) and Danger.  I connected with the movie from the first time I watched the trailer, I know this might sound wayyy out in left field but bare with me.   When the trailer was released I was and still am, having major issues with my faith and my family.   As I watched the trailer and saw how apparent the father/daughter bond between Frankie and Maggie was I began to cry, I want to have that connection with my dad.  Another scene that hit my hard core was the one where Clint is in the church and the priest talks about him coming to mass every day and the only people that do that are the ones that can't forgive themselves for things.  Hit me hard, because I realized that was part of my issue, going to church because God would magically forgive me though I have to forgive myself.  

So from the get go I was turned onto the film because I believed that it would help me on a personal level, which it did.  

As I watched the film and saw what a good figure Frankie was for Maggie I thought wow why can't I have my dad act like him?  That'd be asking too much.  I was envious of Maggie, she always had Scrap around to support her and later Frankie, I want that.  Not for my boxing but for my writing and faith.  And, my vision for my life is something no one can see but me, like Scrap says its the thought of fighting for something nobody sees but you.  

It broke my heart to see Maggie dieing in that hospital bed, it broke my heart even more to see Frankie crying over.  I mean it's powerful if Clint has to cry.  While watching those scenes I felt like Maggie, trapped in my world and I can't move.  I got a funky family that isn't very supportive and not really a father figure.  But yet there's always this hopeful figure in my life, like there is for Maggie, it's Frankie.  And for me it's Clint.  

I know it probably sounds very odd that he's my father figure but he is, and has been for about a year now, and I can tell you he's much better then some of the other people I've had.  

When Maggie is sitting in the diner with Scrap and the agent walks in and Maggie goes to the agent and says no way you're getting me, I'm Frankie's (major paraphrasing), it just made me think.  How could someone be so devoted to another person, wow that's love.  And, that's something I want in my life, I want it between me and God, between me and my parents, between me and friends.  And, that scene is such an example, to me, of what love is.  

I felt so close to Maggie in scenes, the ones where she's dieing.  And, as I watched it I thought wow that's me.  I'm not physically dieing, but for a long while I felt dead spiritually and emotionally, I was dieing, people could see, I was in denial about it, still am to an extent, but I can realize that I was dieing, in some areas of my life I still am.  I know it now and I can make an effort to get better, will it take a long time, most things like this do.  But, I'm so grateful for seeing the film because it helped me realize what's wrong with myself and knowing it'll get better.  It got better for Maggie, she found Frankie.  I can only hope in life, I can find my Frankie, who I can actually have a real conversation with.

So why would people like this?  Why is it getting great reviews?  I think it's because the feelings that are conveyed are ones every person feels.  At one point in everyone's life they feel like Frankie, they can't forgive themselves... alone...  People feel like Maggie, this underdog that needs to win or feels inferior (thanks to her ever so loving family)...  Scrap being blamed for something that wasn't your fault or regretting the past and your mistakes... even Danger so full of hope only to get beat up.  I think people recognize this film on a personal level and that's why so many like it and are claiming it's great.  The story is good, the acting is amazing, the directing is beautiful, and the script is astounding, but what is shown are the feelings and that's what a great movie does, it makes you feel.  
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2004, 10:04:06 PM »

Wow AKA,  I'm sorry you didn't like the movie especially after you made such a loooong trip to see it.  Maybe its because you had your expectations a little too high or perhaps the subject matter disagreed with you, or you knew too much about the movie.  Any which way but loose, you don't have to like the movie, it is ok. I don't  think your membership will be revoked.

1. Going in I had no expectations of the movie.  Usually I am very disappointed if I want to see a movie.  I remember when Gladiator came out I was really looking forward to seeing it, and when I did I disliked it a lot.  After seeing it again on DVD a year later, I enjoyed it , I didn't think it was great but my expectations were way too  high so I disliked it.  Also, I saw a lot of that with Star Wars when the new ones came out.  Most people who were looking forward to it hated it.  I didn't really care too much and when I saw it I liked it (except that Jar Jar Binks, man the haters are right abt that)

2 Subject matter:  I fight all the time and I am involved in that world so it is meaningful to me.  Why would anyone want to be in the military or in politics or a doctor ?  But I do understand that it is not a part of your world. 
Also, I didn't see it as being a cheerleader for mercy killing.  It seemed to be even handed in the issue.  If you are so much against it, then knowing the ending ahead of time, maybe you should have known you would have not given it a chance.  As for me, I have not seen Mystic River yet, I will eventually though.  Some movies are like that they get 4 star reviews or 0 stars. Recent ones that come to mind are :
The Passion of the Christ
F9-11
Closer


For Chessie:
Aren't you only 16 years old ? Things will change for you a great deal in the next few years.  What you do now will shape how your life will be in the future.  You will look back at your bad times and see them as small stepping stones.  However, I am not belittling how you feel.  Keep your head up :)
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2004, 11:17:14 PM »

Thanks for your responses, guys. I'd invite everyone who has seen the film to add in their responses to my post because I did find them very thought provoking. Of course, I'll definitely give the film another shot when it opens in wide release. I think Clint is the only one around who could get me to pay for a movie I didn't like twice just to see if I had been missing something.

As for the film, I think that it's not possible to fully appreciate this discussion without delving into the topic of assisted suicide. I don't think we need to do it in a disrespectful or overally controversial fashion, but I do think that films like these can be enhanced by discussion of the core issues within them. Personally, I completely disagree with assisted suicide on many levels. I think its difficult to discuss this topic without asking the fundamental question of whether or not each and every one of us believes that life is entirely our own. I believe that it is this question that is fundamental and must be considered in a discussion of this topic. If you believe that life is entirely your own, then you would similarly believe that anything you do with that life is entirely your decision, and therefore ending that life would be a morally justifiable act. If, however, you believe that your life is not entirely your own, and that your life does in fact impact the life of everyone whom you come into contact with, then the discussion becomes more complicated. If you believe that there is more to your own life than your own subjective desires and experiences, and that your existence impacts everyone on some level, then it becomes a much more difficult question to ponder. I don't believe that my life is entirely my own. The direction of my life is up to me, but my life is not entirely mine. My life belongs to others as well. I believe that I have a duty to others in this life and a dutry to the society in which I was born. I feel an obligation to engage in something in my life that directly affects the life of the individual, and by extension, the society. Therefore, I don't have the right to  make selfish decisions such as ending my life because, as I've said, I have an obligation towards this society, and I don't view my life as singularly mine. If I did, then I could see why someone who was in pain would feel it morally aproppriate to end their life, but I feel that if somebody still has their mental faculties then that individual can still be of enormous benefit to society. I believe that even though Maggie had undergone pain and paralysis, she could have still been enormously beneficial to society, and her story could have impacted the lives of many.

One of the pre-eminent minds of our time, Stephen Hawking, is confined to a wheelchair and can only speak with the help of modern technology, but were he to have committed suicide, I ask you to think of how much we would have lost. Does Stephen Hawking have the right to decide he no longer wants to live? Does he have the right to deprive the world of his great insight? I don't believe that he does. I don't believe that any of us does. What about Christopher Reeve? If Christopher Reeve had decided that it was simply too painful to live the life of a quadrapalegic after having experienced the life of Superman, think of what we would have lost. Rather than wallow in self pity, Christopher Reeve took the very admirable step of fighting on, and in doing so inspired millions.

It is for primarily this reason that I strongly disagree with assisted suicide, and suicide in general. It is not even necessary to delve into the deep religious beliefs that I and others may have that dictate that because we were created by God only God has the right to decide when we die because that is an argument based on faith and not practicality, and is not something that everyone may universally accept.

Not only this, but assisted suicide brings with it a whole host of logistical problems. Exactly who has the right to decide who may be assisted and who may not be? What kinds of diseases will be allowed, and which ones will be exempted? If a person is ill with cancer, do we allow that person to die? What about someone who has simply lost the will to live and is so clinically depressed that they no longer see a hope for living? Should we allow that person to die? Should we allow that person to acknowledge that there is no hope for recovery? What if a person has Alzheimer's and knows that within a matter of time they will soon have to be taken care of by others and that they will slowly slip into mental decline? Should that person be allowed to die to escape the inevitable suffering, and the loss of dignity, that is to come? What about Maggie? Maggie was paralyzed and had a leg amputated, but she suffered no life threatening illness at the time. Should it be merely enough that somebody no longer wishes to live a life of paralysis? Should we as a society be encouraging that kind of self-defeating attitude? Where exactly is the agreed upon standard at which we are to allow those who no longer wish to be of this world to leave it? Who is going to decide that standard?

These are just two of the reasons that I disagreed with assisted suicide, but they are two of the most important. I invite everyone in their discussion of the film to discuss your own view on this topic, and I will respect all differing opinions and views. Whether or not you agree with me or not, I hope to learn something from this discussion. As I have, please do feel free to use direct examples from the film in your discussions.

It is not that I don't feel enormous sympathy and compassion for Maggie's situation. I realize that it is enormously difficult to live a life of pain and suffering. I also realize that Frankie's act was an act of love, and not hate, and that the reason that he allowed Maggie to die was because she no longer had the will to live, and he wanted to help relieve her suffering. I also recognize that Frankie had a fatalist sort of attitude about her death and felt that if it wasn't him, she would have found a way to accomplish the goal of ending her suffering in another way, and Frankie, in loving her, didn't want to make a decision that paved the way for her to initate her own method of death, which would have caused even more pain and suffering. In deciding to end her life, Frankie felt paralyzed himself because emotionally he felt as if he knew what he had to do, but spiritually he knew that what he was doing was wrong. He felt that by allowing her to continue living, he was single handedly assuring her more pain, and by ending her life, he was ending that very pain. Although he committed a sin in doing so, he had to weigh whether allowing her to suffer was a greater moral sin than ending that suffering, and in the end, he decided that it was. I think he decided wrongly, but it isn't because I have no compassion for Maggie's situation. It is largely for the reasons that I stated above. What does everyone else think, and what are your own views on this topic of assisted suicide? How do you feel these own views impacted your viewing or affected your overall impression of the film? 

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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2004, 12:59:03 AM »

For Chessie:
Aren't you only 16 years old ? Things will change for you a great deal in the next few years.  What you do now will shape how your life will be in the future.  You will look back at your bad times and see them as small stepping stones.  However, I am not belittling how you feel.  Keep your head up :)

Thanks for your concern tmw3nyc.   I know things will get much better.   

Re-reading my post it sounds like a have a really dim outlook on life.  I'm not that depressing, but there are things I'd like to be better.    ::)

What does everyone else think, and what are your own views on this topic of assisted suicide? How do you feel these own views impacted your viewing or affected your overall impression of the film? 

I personally have a lot of issues with the idea of suicide.  Assisted or unassisted.  As a person who has seen it with my ever so dramatic friends, I don't take the subeject lightly.  Joking about it really ticks me off. 

I'll start with unassisted suicide.  Being that many of friends possess borderline characteristics (what do you expect my friends and I are depressed playwrights?  ;)), I deal with the occassional "Chessie I want to kill myself..." speech more often then I'd like to.   I think that it's a ridiculous thing to do and it's cruel to all those involved, and especially in my age group of 14-18 year old high school kids, it's really lame.  Kids don't get that crap will pass, you don't need to die because you broke up with your boyfriend!   

As for unassisted suicides with adults.  I don't personally know anyone who has committed suicide, but alot of my adult mentors have had people who have died because of suicide.   Adults, have a lot more options than kids when it comes to seeking medical help, or at least they should if they're working.   Get therapy, get medication.  Get something.   Suicide is not an option, in my book. 

Now assisted suicide.   I do not support it.  I think any form of suicide is awful.  I don't think people have the right the take their life away, I think that's God's decision and people shouldn't mess with that.  Who are we to play God?   And, that's the only religious thing I'll say tonight. 

As for Million Dollar Baby, even though I have big convictions about suicide, it didn't bother me.  I don't support what Frankie did.  I think it murdered his spirit and his hope, and that's something I'm not for.   It was fine for the story because I saw some beauty in it, in how Frankie performs the ultimate act of love.  I don't support the behavior, I think it worked fine for the film, but if someone did it in real life, I would be appalled...
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2004, 10:00:55 PM »

Hmmmm.... AKA

You make a strong case and it seems your beliefs are strong, however,  just because you disagree with his decision it does not mean you have to dislike the movie.  Maybe you just think that both their decisions were wrong.  The movie isn't cheerleading the subject.  At least thats the way I feel about it.  I don't feel like the whole movie is about suicide/assisted suicide, although it plays an important role in the second half story and characters.  I feel there are a lot of other issues and themes going on such as family, responsibility and forgiveness.  Frankie fights to keep his relationship with his daughter alive by sending letters every week.  However, he was likely a absentee father who neglected his daughter as Maggie was by her own family.  In Maggie, Eastwood finds the relationship he fought so hard to get with his own daughter. When Maggie spits the pen out of her mouth she comes to realize that her family is not something she should fight for(throwing Eastwood out of the room beforehand) as Eastwood realizes his daughter must feel the same way about him.  It is very bittersweet that they realize what they have and lose the false hopes they had kept around with them for so long   ; they lose what they have always wanted which was right in front of them but what they fought so hard against accepting(Frankie gains a daughter and Maggie a family).  As Morgan Freeman says in the narration ," Everyone is allowed to lose a fight".  There is something about accepting defeat and choosing which battles to fight.  There is a message of living your life for today and not living in the past or having false hope and choosing to live and let people in your life, as well as choosing to let it go as well.

addition: An example of this is in the semi-retarded fighter who wants to be the champion of the world while never throwing a punch.  It is very comforting for him to hold on  to this ridiculous notion.  When he does go in the ring he gets demolished.  When he comes back at the end it shows a lot of heart as his hopes had been crushed.  Its easy for people to talk about things and never put themselves on the line"to battle in the arena and know victory and defeat"  and that does not refer just to fighting but all things in life.

just my $.02
everyone feel free to tear my rambling apart :)
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AKA23
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2004, 11:37:09 PM »

You're not rambling Tmw. I'm enjoying reading these posts. You have some interesting points. I do have strong views on the subject, although I do try to consider both sides of the issue. It's interesting that you don't vew the film as supporting assisted suicide, but I felt as if it did, at least after a first viewing. It was certainly not a resounding endorsment of it, but the film, at least to me, did seem to view Frankie killing Maggie as the most humane and the most correct moral decision, so in that way, I do think that it did support the idea of assisted suicide because it placed the action in a positive light. I would have liked to have seen more discussion of the topic and more contemplation on the part of Frankie before having decided because I wasn't sure the issue was fully explored. I think it would have made for an even better film if there was a bit more than the one church scene. Even that I didn't find very probing on the issue.

I also didn't see an uplifting message within the film because in the end, everyone lost. I agree that several interesting themes were dealt with, including many of the ones that you mentioned, in addition to a few spiritual themes on the nature and existence of God and the role of religion in every day life. I can't see this uplifting message because in the end, Frankie took a chance, and in gambling, he lost. Maggie took a chance, and gambling, she lost. Frankie and Maggie formed this incredible relationship, and they learned to love each other in a way that they didn't believe was possible, and in the end, that love was lost. Maggie died. Frankie killed her. That's the end of the story. The story is about redemption, and it's about the regaining of a family, but it is also about the tragic loss of that family. The film introduces hope, but it then quickly becomes stripped away. The viewer is then left pondering whether or not the film has taken a stand on whether or not Frankie and Maggie are better off having known each other. Is it better to lose love and find it again only to lose it once more? Is that an uplifting message? In the end, Scrap, Maggie, and Frankie all lost.   

I also feel as if it would have been a more emotionally powerful film if the ending was not ambiguous and involved Frankie turning himself into the authorities, or at the very least, questioning his actions and re-evaluating what he had done. In this re-evaluation, he could have either decided that his decision was right, or he could have regretted it. I felt as if the coda at the end did not allow for Frankie to take full responsibility for his actions. If he believed his actions were truly right, then in my view, he should have been willing to take full responsibility for those actions, but instead, he didn't. The film would have been more powerful if Frankie had decided that even though his action was completely illegal, and spiritually damaging, that he was going to do it any way and in doing so, he was willing to risk his life and his future happiness. In doing so, in his mind, he had performed the ultimate act of love, and he was willing to risk everything, even if it was at the expense of his own freedom. He didn't do that. Instead, he ran. 

Although this film is dealing with some interesting themes, in my mind, there were many things that didn't work. I felt as if the Danger character belonged in a completely different movie and that every time he appeared, the film turned from a sobering character drama into a comedy. This was probably done to introduce comic relief and to give us a break from the central story, but for me, it was distracting. I didn't feel as if any of the supporting characters were well developed. The three main characters had their story developing, but the priest, Maggie's family, and all of the supporting players at the Hit Pit were underdeveloped. While some are hailing Morgan Freeman's narration as an asset, often times I felt as if his narration was overly repetitive and often took me outside the main events of the film. I came away feeling that the entire narration may have been unnecessary, and that the film would have been even more powerful had Eastwood just allowed the story to play out on its own. For a director who usually employs the most subtle touches, Freeman's narration felt overly manipulative, and at times distracted me from the main story.

I'm sure for many, this is a minor point, but as a matter of realism, there would have been no way Frankie would have been able to kill Maggie and walk out completely undetected. A hospital is never completely devoid of people. The film made it seem as if Frankie and Maggie were the only ones in the entire hospital, when in reality, there are always people monitoring at all times. There would never be a time when a hospital would be so desolate.

I don't know about everyone else, but I felt as if this film definitely deserved the R rating. The very notion that this film and Space Cowboys has the same classification is ridiculous to me. The themes and issues discussed in this film were most definitely above the comprehension of the typical 13 year old kid, and I'm a bit confused as to why Warners would want this film to have a PG-13 because in my estimation very few children under the age of 17 would want to see this film anyway. Maggie biting through her own tongue in an attempt to commit suicide and her death by Frankie's hand are certainly not themes and topics that I believe a typical 13 year old child would understand or appreciate fully.   

Please do keep commenting and posting, and as more people see the film, please do scroll up and read my post and add in your own views on the film, on assisted suicide,   or on anything else that you wish to comment on. 



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Brendan
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2004, 11:58:14 AM »


I don't know about everyone else, but I felt as if this film definitely deserved the R rating. The very notion that this film and Space Cowboys has the same classification is ridiculous to me. The themes and issues discussed in this film were most definitely above the comprehension of the typical 13 year old kid, and I'm a bit confused as to why Warners would want this film to have a PG-13 because in my estimation very few children under the age of 17 would want to see this film anyway. Maggie biting through her own tongue in an attempt to commit suicide and her death by Frankie's hand are certainly not themes and topics that I believe a typical 13 year old child would understand or appreciate fully.

The MPAA is run by a bunch of idiots. I never understand the way they rate movies. They give something like Charlie's Angels a PG-13 rating because it features: action, violence, language, sexual innuendos, half naked women, and a whole other boat load of things but yet they give the film Whale Rider a PG-13 rating because it features a one, very small drug referance which little kids would miss if they see it and some very brief language. And Mystic River was rated R for: violence and language. Now... tell me which film above deserves to be rated R over the other ones?

Now getting to your questions I don't it was rated PG-13 to try and get 13 year olds to see it. Perhaps the MPAA just felt there wasn't enough there to warrant an R rating.  The boxing scenes are nothing. You can turn on the TV and see people fighting all the time and as for Maggie biting her tongue, I've seen worse in other PG-13 films.
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tmw3nyc
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2004, 02:38:46 PM »

Interesting post AKA...

I disagree with you in where you say they all lost.  I feel they took chances and won.  Although the final outcome is sad, think of all the things they won by taking a shot.
One of Morgan Freeman's speeches decribes this.  Maggie would not say she was unhappy with her life.  She accomplished many things by taking a shot.  Think of what would have happened if she just stayed at home in the trailer park,  never doing anything or setting out on her own to Los Angeles.  Think of all she would have lost out on.  She got to see the world, become a champion, she gained a lot. As the line from Braveheart goes, Every man dies, not every man really lives.

I also like that Eastwood's films leave things open to the viewer to decide what happens.  In High Plains Drifter there is a mystery as to who the character was.  And in Unforgiven, you are left to decide what ended up happening to the characters after the event.

And about hospitals , and there always being guards around.  Unfortunately I've had to spend a lot of time in hospitals the last few years (not as a patient) and I can tell you that you can get in and out and do all sorts of things unnoticed.  He didn't just walk right in and he spent so much time there that he knew where and what to wait for to go in. Although....an alarm should have come up when her heart monitor flatlined.  It seemed like a smaller hospital, so I'll give half a point to you for that.

Yes, we will become very popular once the movie gets a wide release.  Hopefully, everyone reads through our posts and we got the ball rolling!!!! 

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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2004, 05:35:39 PM »

I've have not seen the movie yet bu I've read a few detailed reviews and was listening to a fellow employee discuss the details of the film. After digesting the information, I am troubled by the film being described as "a spiritual movie perectly timed as Christmas release" as critic Emanuel Levy and NY Times critic Charles McGrath write. Eastwood's character Dunn basically provides an assisted suicide for Maggie. I don't see this as a positive, uplifting event where Dunn "redeems himself an experiences a moral and emotional rebirth?!"My personal belief is that it is most important to protect the dignity of the human person. I believe the "Right to Die" advocates misunderstand it's meaning which is Not to procure death by one's own hand or someone elses, but to die peacefully with human and Christian dignity. It is one thing to terminate some "extraordinary" means of treatment if the results fall short of expectations. In other words, the treatment or support of one's  life would be greatly disproportinate to the results forseen - strain and suffering are out of proportion to the benifits. One can administer normal medical means, which may not be sufficient to sustain life, but would not be equivalent to suicide; it is merely the acceptance of the human condition. There seems to be a prevalent thought that good deeds can come from an evil act. The Catholic Catechism points out this error - good faith does not change the nature of a murderous act. The assistance of suicide is an "intrinsically" evil act. Columnist Judie Brown responded well in commenting on the outcome of the movie when she stated that it is a shame that evil gains victory through the progressive secular hollywood media. I am not taking away from any good acting or direction values the movie may possess but I think Eastwood would have made a greater impact by displaying a more positive "love story with boxing as a side story." By sifting through all accounts, Frankie Dunn's actions do not seem redeeming or heroic but are the fruits of misguidance and cowardice. I like dramas as well as action movies, but the ones that leave the greatest impression are the ones in which a positive, moral message is conveyed. For example, I have seen the movie The Chinese Connection in which Bruce Lee's character exacts revenge for the killing of his friends. When Bruce was asked why he chose his character to die in the end, he replied that he wanted his character to pay for the crimes of murder; moral justice. These are traits many actors have expressed in their films, not forgetting certain Eastwood classics. I was curious why the far left media crowd praised this movies' "Christmas" message.
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2004, 06:11:38 PM »

I've have not seen the movie yet

This thread is for ppl who have actually seen the movie.  You should post this in the official review thread, since you are reviewing the reviews and the media and not the movie. 

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