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Filmmaker David O Russell has released a short audio commentary excerpt for a fighting sequence of The Fighter, his new film which stars Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. Russell discusses how he employed a recreation of an early-90?s HBO Sports camera crew to shoot the in-ring sequences. Watch the clip embedded after the jump thanks to The Carpetbagger . Official Production Notes: Inspired by an incredible true story, comes the gritty, affectionately humorous, yet stirring comeback tale of the unlikely boxing hero, “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), and his half-brother, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), who had to come apart as opponents before coming together as brothers in a scrappy fight to win a long-shot championship and strengthen the bonds of their family. Years in the making, The Fighter was shot in just 33 days on the blue-collar streets of Lowell, Massachusetts. Early on, producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman fell in »
- Peter Sciretta
By Kevin Bowen - December 18, 2010
I once referred to Christian Bale as The Actor Most Likely To Tick Off His Wife By Staying In Character Over Dinner.
Shortly thereafter, to my amusement, I read an article in which Bale admitted this was true, that his method actor’s commitment sometimes got on his wife’s nerves. With that in mind, Bale’s role as a crack-addicted ex-boxer in “The Fighter” must have been a rough few months for Mrs. Bale.
For the mainstream audiences that equate Bale with the stoic anti-hero of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” movies, Bale’s smoking-fuse performance in “The Fighter” could open eyes. This is the first film with popular aspirations in which Bale completely submerges into an edgy character. He lost weight to create a gaunt and wasting appearance, and »
- Screen Comment
Like every David O. Russell film before it, The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, is an aggravatingly uneven and impressively ambitious experience. Telling the real-life underdog story of welterweight boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg), Russell’s determined to make a boxing film we haven’t seen before. Something more along the lines of Jim Sheridan‘s The Boxer, in which the boxing serves as a plot device for bigger conflicts, bigger themes.
Don’t be mistaken, there’s a lot of fighting in this picture. In fact, there’s fighting between everyone in Micky’s mile-long family, from his mother (Leo) to his father (Jack McGee) to his crack-addicted brother Dicky (Bale). The family bonds are as strong as they are poisonous. Dicky once knocked Sugar Ray Leonard down – in 1978. He reminds the people of Lowell, Mass. (he’s nicknamed ‘The Pride of Lowell »
- Dan Mecca
Boxing movies have a certain advantage over other sports-related films, both in getting people who aren't necessarily interested in the sport to watch them, and in terms of metaphoric ease, and The Fighter takes advantage in every conceivable way.
The story of an immense struggle, somewhat obviously, The Fighter focuses on half-brother boxers Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale). As we enter their lives, Micky is trying to get somewhere in the boxing game, while Dickie is being filmed for an HBO documentary which purportedly follows the days leading to his comeback. Dickie's main claim to fame is having gone the distance with Sugar Ray Leonard some fourteen years earlier, and the film's ongoing debate as to whether Dickie knocked Sugar Ray down, or Sugar Ray slipped was a real subject of some controversy at the time (most people landing on the "slip" side of things).
- Marc Eastman
The 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is recognizing the fantastic talent of David O. Russell whose current film, "The Fighter," is fast getting Oscar momentum. Featuring one of the best ensemble dramas this year, Christian Bale may win Best Supporting Actor Oscar and Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actress. Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg did amazing jobs as well.
Russell will receive the Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs Film Fest Awards Gala on Saturday, January 8 to kick off the 2011 awards season.
Palm Springs is my hood, so I can't wait to see these fantastic and talented folks! Here's the rest of the press release:
.From his very first movie to the present, the talent and style of director David O. Russell »
I saw The Fighter last week and didn't even deliver a "this is all the time I have" 7 word review. I have more than 7 words on this one though what follows is not a traditional review. The first thing I tweeted was...
It still applies. Yep, Christian Bale is doing his best work ever in the co-lead role of Dicky Eklund (Let's call it The Fighters) or at least his best since American Psycho (2000). Barring Geoffrey Rush's mutant power (awards magnetism) the "supporting" Oscar is most definitely Bale's to lose. And this is an important distinction: It'd be his to lose even without his baity penchant for putting his health at risk to dwindle down to anorexic nothingness for a role. This is his third time doing so. We hope it's the last.
A Tale of Two (Half) Brothers
But what's my favorite thing about The Fighters other than him? »
- NATHANIEL R
Andrew Jarecki New York; 'All Good Things,' 'Capturing the Friedmans'I think my job usually is to be like a second instinct, brain, and conscience for the actors. I have to work at least as hard as they do, especially prior to and during rehearsal. I have to be able to come in and provide options.For example, in "All Good Things," there's a scene involving a disagreement between the characters, where one is telling another something we all suspected was true, but the scene was not working. So I suggested, "Let's try a 'What if?': What if it's not true, what if what he's saying is a lie?" It radically shifted the scene. I like actors trying a scene one way and then another way and then another way. And if the actors are up for it and with you, they're really thrilled. It's having »
By Irene Lee
The film adaptation of "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" has been getting a lot of buzz lately, especially since Mark Wahlberg confirmed exclusively to MTV that he's set to star as adventurer Nathan Drake. David O. Russell is currently writing the script and will direct the film, which marks the fourth time he and Wahlberg have teamed up to make cinematic magic happen.
Last week, Wahlberg also revealed to MTV that Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were being courted to play his father and uncle, respectively, in the film -- and interesting bit of news considering Drake's family plays no part in the "Uncharted" video game. Well, thanks to some new "Uncharted" details that have emerged, we finally know why the normally solo drake is getting some relatives.
Russell, who's halfway done with the "Uncharted" script, told the La Times that although the video game focuses on Nathan »
- MTV Movies Team
Photo: Paramoun Pictures
One of the top Oscar hopefuls this year is The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. It's the story of Micky Ward (played by Mark Wahlberg) and his stepbrother Dickie Eklund (played by Christian Bale) from Boston, Ma. For those of you who don't know, Irish Micky Ward was a light welterweight contender best known for his three exciting bouts with the late great Arturo Gatti. Eklund was a fighter as well and once sent Sugar Ray Leonard to the canvas before succumbing to a serious crack habit that derailed his career. The film is directed by one of my favorite directors David O. Russell (Three Kings, Flirting With Disaster) and along with Wahlberg and Bale, the film also features Amy Adams and the underrated Melissa Leo.
Boxing pics have historically been a tough sell, but I have high hopes for this one. »
- Bill Cody
If there is one director that I constantly take shots at, it’s David O. Russell. I’ve been such a Lily Tomlin fan (especially in “All Of Me”, criminally underrated) that ever since I saw the footage of Russell tearing into her, well, he used a certain word that’s fairly unforgivable. I will admit that “Spanking The Monkey”, “Flirting With Disaster”, [...] »
First time director, John Stalberg has crafted a fun and breezy stoner comedy that this critic suspects will find a devout fan base whenever it finds distribution and gets released. High School is destined to become requisite dorm room screening fare ala Dazed & Confused, Half Baked, Super Bad, and Harold & Kumar. You're hearing it first here, this is going to be a huge sleeper hit and nearly every frat boy in the U.S. is gonna have a DVD of this in their collection right next to Old School.
The film takes an overused one note comedy routine we've seen hundreds of times before and builds it into an epic and brilliant premise. We've seen plenty of films where unsuspecting straight edged characters accidentally get high in public spaces via magic brownies or other mind altering substances. Flirting with Disaster, Death at a Funeral, and even Transformers 2 utilized this gag. »
The Fighter tells the true story of Boston fighter “Irish” Micky Ward and how he was helped to the world lightweight championship by half-brother and his trainer Dicky Ecklund.
Dicky Ecklund (Christian Bale) is a former boxing legend that squandered his talents and threw away his shot at greatness. Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), his half brother, is the struggling journeyman boxer who spent his life living in his big brother’s shadow.
The Fighter is the inspirational, true story of these two brothers who, against all the odds, come together to train for a historic title bout that will unite their fractured family, redeem their pasts and, at last, give their hard-luck town what it’s been waiting for: pride. The story unfolds on the gritty, blue-collar streets of Lowell, »
- Allan Ford
Whoa! After watching this new spot, I'm pretty damn sure Christian Bale is going to win Best Supporting Actor next year for this. During tonight's season finale of AMC's "Mad Men" (which everyone in the industry watches), Paramount aired this fantastic new two-minute TV trailer for David O. Russell's The Fighter, the new boxing drama out in December starring Bale and Mark Wahlberg, as well as Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. The embed is from Deadline, who exclusively debuted this awards-focused spot online. In comparison to the first official trailer, which I already thought looked incredible, this makes it look even better. Enjoy! Watch the new TV spot for David O. Russell's The Fighter: A look at the early years of boxer 'Irish' Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him in the mid-80s. The Fighter is directed by David O. Russell, of Spanking the Monkey, »
- Alex Billington
The one thing everyone always says about the Playstation 3's "Uncharted" games is that they're just like playable action movies. The first game, "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" introduced the roguishly charming treasure hunter Nathan Drake and last year's sequel swept up tons of awards. Both gamers and designers name as it one of the best games of this console generation.
Talk of an "Uncharted" movie has been floating for the last two years or so, and it seems that Sony Pictures has finally locked in David O. Russell for the project. With work like "I Heart Huckabees" and "Flirting With Disaster" on his curriculum vitae, Russell may seem like a weird choice to direct an action-game adaptation. But, don't forget that he's also done "Three Kings," a film whose mix of comedy and action augurs well for an Uncharted film.
As far as casting goes, nothing's been announced but Hugh Jackman »
- Evan Narcisse
There's positive movement on the Uncharted: Drake's Fortune movie after word first broke of the project back in June 2009.
THR reports Columbia Pictures has hired David O. Russell to write and direct the movie adaptation of Sony and Naughty Dog's popular Playstation 3 video game franchise. He had previously flirted with the project earlier this year but was pulled into Pride and Prejudice and Zombies instead. With the move to Uncharted, Zombies' fate now hangs in limbo.
Kyle Ward was originally tapped to write the Uncharted screenplay but then gave way to Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer. It is unknown whether Russell will be using any of Thomas and Joshua's work or if he will be starting from scratch.
Back in May, Russell first flirted with the project, but then moved on to develop a big-screen adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies."
But his quest to direct the PS3 game adaptation pulled him back in, leaving "Zombies," for the moment, undead.
Despite making his somewhat combative reputation with left-of-center indie films such as "Spanking the Monkey," "Flirting With Disaster" and "I Heart Huckabees," Russell appears to be making a serious move into bigger-budget mainstream movies. His next film, the boxing drama "The Fighter" from Paramount, comes out December.
In the mold of epic adventure films like "Tomb Raider" and "Indiana Jones," the "Uncharted" game's storyline follows a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, Nathan Drake, as he searches for the treasure of El Dorado on »
- By Gregg Kilday and Jay A. Fernandez
Zombies and romance. A perfect combination for movie date night on Halloween.Director David O. Russell pulled out of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” which had a scheduling conflict with its star Natalie Portman. Vulture reported Russell jumped on board with “Old St. Louis,” starring Vince Vaughn instead.“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is based on the best-selling novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. It is a parody of Jane Austen’s book with an army of undead zombies. Portman is also listed as a producer on the film.Russell previously directed movies like “I Heart Huckabees,” Three Kings,” and “Flirting with Disaster.”As for “Old St. Louis,” it is about an absentee father and traveling salesman’s life change experiences after his daughter became a part of his life again. This film is being produced by Vaughn and his sister Victoria Vaughn.I don’t know on whether to laugh, cry »
From his iconic role on the TV series "M*A*S*H" to recent turns in films like The Aviator and Flash of Genius, there's no doubt that Alan Alda is one of the finest actors of his generation. Most recently Alda had some fun on NBC's "30 Rock" and now The Wrap reports he'll have a bit more with not one, but two more roles in two different comedies. The first will see him paired with Ben Stiller, with whom he previously co-starred in Flirting with Disaster, in Brett Ratner's action comedy Tower Heist. The second has him joining Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in the romantic comedy Wanderlust from writer Ken Marino and director David Wain (Role Models). In Tower Heist, the story follows a team of operations and maintenance workers at a Manhattan luxury high-rise who use their inside knowledge of the building to stage an intricate »
- Ethan Anderton
Alan Alda has been cast alongside his "Flirting With Disaster" co-star Ben Stiller in Universal's "Tower Heist," and the Oscar-nominated actor will also join Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd in the comedy "Wanderlust," the studio announced on Tuesday.
"Wanderlust" stars Aniston and Rudd as a married couple who try to escape their modern society by moving out of New York. »
Since we seem to be having a trailer weekend, here’s another one for you, the trailer for The Fighter, with Mark Wahlberg and Christan Bale, who, as you can see, lost A Lot of weight for the role. The film is coming out at the end of the year, and a lot of people in the business are buzzing about it.
It’s obviously very Rockyish as you can see, and George Tillman Jr was actually once attached to direct the film before it went to David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, Flirting with Disaster) whom industry journalist Anne Thompson recently said: “There is no single entity who is perhaps more widely loathed in Hollywood than David Russell”. He does have a rep for being a major jerk of the first order, and that’s saying a lot considering the jerks that populate Hollywood.
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