Spike Jonze Urges People to Check Out David O. Russell’s THE FIGHTER

     December 1, 2010

Apparently I’m not the only one attempting to draw moviegoer’s attention to David O. Russell’s upcoming flick The Fighter. Actor/writer/director Spike Jonze recently sent an e-mail to Slashfilm’s Peter Sciretta promoting Russell’s upcoming true-life story of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward. Jonze also asked the site to feature the film’s second trailer, titled “Pressure” (first released back in October), whilst giving a shout out to co-star Christian Bale’s performance. Here is part of the e-mail:

Spike here. I’m writing on behalf of my friend David Russell, regarding his new movie The Fighter. Did you get a chance to see it yet? How insanely great is Christian Bale?  Can you do me a favor and post this 2 minute trailer called “Pressure” on your site?  The trailer that they put out originally makes the film feel a little generic and I just want to help David get the word out. I got to see it a few weeks ago, and I loved it, and if all you saw is the trailer that’s out, you might not know that it’s as interesting and strong as it is.

Jonze, director of last year’s Where the Wild Things Are, may be a biased source, having starred in Russell’s terrific war dramedy Three Kings (he also documented the filmmaking experience of Russell’s I Heart Huckabees), but I’m inclined to take his word vehemently. Especially considering the amount of praise the film has garnished in recent weeks upon its first screening. The Fighter stars Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams and will hit theaters December 10. Hit the jump for a few more thoughts on the film

The first trailer for The Fighter was mediocre at best – a sort of bizarre mash up of Wahlberg’s Invincible and Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man – and did little to distinguish the film from other “true life” dramas. The second trailer (featured below) more prominently displays Bale’s presence and exudes a gritty, realistic tone more in line with my early expectations of the film. Still, despite all that, awareness for Russell’s film seems relatively low; mainly due to Paramount Picture’s inability to properly (and consistently) market the film. While Jonze may not be the most recognizable figure to mainstream audiences, his word is sure to get the attention of skeptics – at least that’s what I’m hoping.

Check out the trailer below. If you find it isn’t enough to arouse your enthusiasm, check out the poster, and these three clips, plus some early praise for Bale’s performance.

Here’s the official synopsis for those who have been sleeping under a rock for the past few months:

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, Mass, where Dicky was once known as “The Pride of Lowell” having gone the distance with the world champion Sugar Ray Leonard. However, after losing that fight, like the town of Lowell, Dicky’s fallen on hard times. His boxing days are behind him and his life has become shattered by drug abuse. Younger brother Micky, meanwhile, has become the family’s fighter and fading hope for a champion.

But despite all of his work, Micky’s career is failing and he loses fight after punishing fight. Dicky and Micky’s tougher-than-nails mother, Alice (MELISSA LEO), manages his career and Dicky serves as his highly unreliable trainer. When Micky’s latest fight nearly kills him, it looks like it could all be over – until his iron-willed new girlfriend, Charlene (AMY ADAMS), convinces him to do the unthinkable: split with his family, pursue his own interests and train without his increasingly volatile and criminal brother. Now Micky has the chance of a lifetime as he earns a shot at the World Championship. But when his brother and dysfunctional family reenter his life, they must all reconcile their pasts and become more than just a family in name. With Micky and Dicky reunited, this becomes more than just a fight – it’s an all-out comeback for these brothers, their family, and their city. When it’s over, Micky will have become a World Champion, a Hall of Fame legend, and the new “Pride of Lowell”. The Fighter is a moving and often humorous drama about fighting for the people you love.

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