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Million Dollar Baby
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Warner Bros.
Kiddie Movie: Please leave them at home.
Date Movie: It's good for the both of you.
Gratuitous Sex: Just Maggie jumping rope in a sports bra.
Gratuitous Violence: It's a boxing movie.  Yea.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: A good chuckle or two.
Memorable Scene: The bitten tongue scene.
Memorable Quote: Nothing totally stood out.
Directed By: Clint Eastwood
Produced By: Clint Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy, Tom Rosenberg and Paul Haggis

Million Dollar Baby
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 2:17 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
There is a lot of controversy circling about "Million Dollar Baby," but itís not because no one thinks this isnít a great movie, and itís not even some problems with the boxing, itís about some of the choices made in the movie, but as I see it, this isnít really a movie about boxing, this is really a movie about choices, and choices are always controversial especially when emotions are involved, and someone will always disagree. What it does do is open up dialogue, and as long as you respect each otherís opinions, dialogue isnít such a bad thing. Enough about controversy, hereís the basics on the movie.

Maggie (Hilary Swank) comes from a trailer park and is a waitress. Frankie (Clint Eastwood) is a boxing trainer with a past that doesnít let him get his star boxer to the next level. Scrap (Morgan Freeman) manages Frankieís gym, and is always there for some advice that Frankie usually doesnít want to hear. As it turns out, Maggie is a scrappy womanís fighter who sets her sights on having Frankie train her, because, well, she considers him the best. Meanwhile, Frankie is having trouble letting his star boxer get to the dream of a title match, possibly because of things Frankie has done in his past rather than the dudeís ability. Maggieís first meeting with Frankie doesnít go to well for her, as pretty much Frankie tells her point blank he doesnít train girls, let alone girls who are too old to have a chance to be a boxing star. But Maggie doesnít back down. She scraped up enough money to become a member at Frankieís gym, where Frankie still ignores her, but Scrap sees a fire in Maggie that he knows Frankie needs (no, not that kind of fire, more a father/daughter fire), so he starts giving Maggie a tip or two.

As things have it, Maggieís persistence, and Frankie realizing she is just getting used by her new manager, pays off, and Frankie takes the task of training Maggie, and Maggie kicks a lot of ass. Another choice made, and this one eventually leads to a title shot for Maggie and more choices to be made. And thatís all Iím going to tell you about the movie because any more and youíll hate me.

I really loved this movie, even though I have heard some complaints. Some complaints have to do with the boxing itself, that things arenít that realistic (Michael Buffer on Howard Stern complained about the boxing scenes and that Frankie uses a dry sponge to pat down Maggie in the corner, because, if you ever watch a boxing match, isnít that sponge dripping wet? And Buzz Kilman on The Steve Dahl Show (in Chicago) complained about the outcome of the title fight, that the wrong decision was given, and most everyone else agreed.) but that didnít bother me that much because pretty much Maggie just kept kicking everyoneís ass. The other complaints have to do with the ending, which, for me, was the perfect ending rather than your general Hollywood cookie-cutter ending.

Like I opened with, I think this movie is really about relationships and choices and not so much about boxing. Maggie made a choice to pursue her boxing career, what she felt was her only chance to get out of the trailer park and away from a family that is just a total disgrace to the idea of family. Scrap makes the choice to keep working for Frankie, and helping out Maggie so maybe Frankie will start training her. And Frankie makes that choice to train Maggie which leads to many other tough choices being made, both as a trainer/manager, but also more like a father or best friend.

Iíve got to give "Million Dollar Baby" 5 stars out of 5, although I will say there are a couple of slow spots. Iíve got no problem with the boxing scenes, Iíve got no problem with the acting, and I felt the ending was the ending that needed to be up there on the screen. Thank God Clint Eastwood didnít cave to some pressure, which Iím guessing was given to him, to change it.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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