Cinderella Man Reviews
The look of this film is outstanding and very authentic, the cinematography is gorgeous and vividly brings the era to life; the script develops its characters well and doesn't rely on any clichés to get its story across. That is besides one, whilst everyone else has some depth Max Baer doesn't really have anything to him at all, besides being the antagonist to our story. It works because he really annoyed me and I couldn't wait for the fight to happen but the tiniest bit of depth wouldn't have gone a miss, and from the sounds of it, the actual Baer did have quite a lot to him, saying that, he did respect his opponent, but when the fight started? Well, all bets were off, still, Craig Bierko did a very good job. Speaking of, the boxing matches are excellently filmed and very involving; they are just dazzling to watch, gritty, powerful and really grab onto you. The final fight, that could have easily lasted about 20 minutes, I'm not all that sure, I lost track of time because of how involved I was, featured some masterful directing. I found the overall film very involving because before the final fight I was actually starting to get a little nervous for Braddock, now that's great filmmaking. I also never felt like Braddock was 'washed up' he just had a bit of bad luck, it happens to everyone, but then again I guess that's why they say he's only 'supposedly' washed up, but even so.
Like most successful boxing films, the story follows a familiar arc but this film succeeds because it is written really well, absolutely nails the setting and has good, likeable characters. It doesn't manipulate emotions out of the viewer, it actually earns them very well and it is ultimately a very feel good film but it's the best kind. However, it would have been interesting to see it break convention and show us what happened in his next fight, but, hey, who am I to kill the mood? It tells us what happens in Braddock's future right after he wins and I found that a little disheartening, it actually ends the same way 'A Beautiful Mind' did, only in terms of the text it shows on screen; the film also starts the same way as well, actually, with the music playing over the opening titles of the same companies that worked on both films. I also like the way the film handled flashback scenes and the way that it shows what characters are thinking, it's just really creative and smart. With excellent acting from a powerful cast, solid writing, excellent cinematography and all around well crafted by Ron Howard, 'Cinderella Man', is a fantastic example of classic filmmaking and it's another film off of the list.
Acting - 8.5
Writing - 8
Dialogue - 9
Plot & Characterization - 9
Cinematography & Editing - 8.5
Soundtrack/Score & Set Design - 8
How much I enjoyed it personally - 8