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The Fighter (Blu-ray)

The true-life story of "Irish" Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his triumph in the ring despite the obstacles his fractured family put in his way. Whether it's his drug-addicted older brother (Christian Bale), his overbearing mother (Melissa Leo), or the endless parade of white-trash sisters, Micky must persevere in order to earn a shot at the title.

I expected something along the lines of Rocky, but the story is more in tune with The Wrestler, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ward's rise to the top happened in the mid-1990s, and I remember watching him fight for the title, but I didn't realize how high the mountain was that he had to climb due to his family struggles.

Video Highlights

  • AVC/1080p encode on a BD-50 disc
  • Gritty cinematography
  • Preserved film grain
  • Deep blacks
  • Occasional softness on long shots (filtered look)

Audio Highlights

  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack
  • Dialog driven soundtrack
  • Fight scenes open up the soundstage
  • Great music selection

The cinematography has a low-budget, gritty feel to it, but it's used to enhance the story of Micky's working-class life. The fight sequences feature a lot of jaggies, but don't adjust your display; these were done to mimic the HBO video from the original fights.

Bonus Materials

  • The Warrior's Code: Filming The Fighter
  • Keeping the Faith
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Commentary by director David O. Russell
  • Theatrical Trailer

While certainly not a pick-me-up, The Fighter is one of the better films from 2010 due to the terrific performances by Bale and Leo, who both earned an Oscar for their supporting roles. The presentation is outstanding and definitely worth a look.

Release Date: March 15, 2011
Studio: Paramount

Movie: 8/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 9/10

Review System

Source
Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player

Display
JVC DLA-RS40 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Electronics
Integra DTC-80.2 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PVA-PF60 power conditioner

Speakers
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Cables
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics

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