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Million Dollar Baby "Deluxe Edition"

Clint Eastwood extends his oeuvre of dark dramas with an ill-titled but satisfying film about an aging, nearly washed-up, boxing coach Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) who trains a dirt poor 31-year-old female boxer Maggie Fitzgerald (Hillary Swank) at the run-down gym he owns. Eastwood's highly cultivated dramatic sense permeates the unconventional story and fires Swank to deliver her best performance since "Boys Don't Cry." Paul Haggis' condensed script slopes too hard toward delivering a dramatic third-act sucker punch, but Eastwood's expert direction and layered performance minimizes much of the source material's obvious flaws. Morgan Freeman brings his customary keen level of commitment as Scrap the custodian of the gym and best friend to Frankie. Voice-over narration slightly mars this otherwise exquisite cinematic achievement. Special features include a CD soundtrack of the film, a featurette about female boxing ("Born To Fight"), a making-of featurette ("The Producers' Round 15") and an interview featurette wherein James Lipton interviews Clint, Hillary and Morgan with his insufferable signature style of interview. Aspect ratio is 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen with sound quality delivered in Dolby Digital 5.1. (Movie - Four Stars, DVD features - Three Stars) Rated PG-13, 195 mins. Total with extras (Warner Home Video)   

August 24, 2005 | Permalink