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Cinderella Man (2005)
more about boxing than about people
As it turned out. I had watched "Million Dollar Baby", "Raging Bull", and "Rocky" (the first one), in the past 3 months. Each was approached with the same mindset: I hate sports, and nothings worse that sweaty, bloody guys hitting each other. But I was delightfully surprised with each. I found that they really weren't about boxing at all, but about the people and their lives, boxing was a side-note and the outcomes of the actual fights were irrelevant to the story. This one is different. This one is about boxing. It pretends not to be. It pretends to be about the working class uniting with a hope for the underdog. The fight scene in the end feels like it must be at least 30 minutes long. It feels like we see the ENTIRE fight. this is the climax of the movie, does he win or lose? who cares? I thought it was about standing up for something. no. it all comes down to a simple yes or no question. the movie feels very very contrived. the score sounds forced and artificial, the acting mostly functions on a surface level and the camera-work, don't even get me started on that. it's trying to have a STYLE with unstable cameras, and out of focus lenses. It's just distracting. I don't care much for the traditional classic shot framing style, it's boring. But Salvatore Totino's compositions make you feel unsettled when you shouldn't feel unsettled. It's quite distracting to have the person's face at the bottom of the screen, it doesn't matter if you are showing the entire head in the shot, you cut off the neck, and the face is at the bottom. It's very inconsistent as well. He switches between this off-kilter photography to a standard form, mid-scene. This wasn't healthy experimentation, it was the work of someone inexperienced. I kept joking that this must be his first time with a camera. But it turns out it really is only his fourth outing as cinematographer. This will probably win best picture next year, because it's trying so damn hard, and kissing the academy's ass. But it falls flat on it's face.
the most un-film-worthy subject ever
think of the most un-film-worthy subject you can and this is 10 times worse. A woman needs to complete as many crosswords as she can in a day. We don't even get to see the questions and think of the words on our own, we just watch her struggle. The woman seems so anxious and in a hurry to do the crosswords, but for some reason she spends the time distractedly walking all around the city when she could be focused at home. The acting is horrible, the actress huffs and puffs as she tried to think of the words, and we are left completely in the dark. The New York scenery is nice but the movie relies on it too much and it gets old fast. The movie plays like a rejected NYU student film. This film has no redeeming qualities and I do not recommend it to anyone, ever.