WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for a recent Oscar-winning Best Picture!

*From my log of computer troubles: I decided to turn this machine on to polish off my hotly anticipated evaluation of triple-digit selling comics from 1995; that was at about 3:05. It's now 3:33, and I've just gotten Blogger open and now the computer won't allow me into my saved documents. And it's still gonna be four long days until my other computer can be reached. Awesome.

*No spell-check either! Typing directly into Blogger. Let me know of the more awful errors.

*The other day I saw "Million Dollar Baby"; I have no clue why there were three straight horror movie trailers preceding it. Horror movie have really gone downhill... or maybe their trailers are no longer trying to impress anyone figuring that the usual teenage crowd will show up no matter what. "Dark Water", for example, looks like a goddamned laff riot; I thought the first trailer was kind of silly, but this one really pushes hard selling the 'oooooh spooooooky water boy and girls' premise. And they kept the bit where the little kid is paining in watercolors and she just can't stop and, and... I just know somebody didn't think this was hilarious during the production of the film, and I can only wish I could climb inside this person's brain and see the world through their eyes.

The feature presentation was pretty decent. Eastwood, as a director, is plainly concerned with getting the themes of the film across to as much of the audience as possible, so he's got a nasty tendancy to spell things out. It's not enough for Hilary Swank to be spirited home from her big fight on the road, in ironic consideration of her earlier voiced desire to drive back home, she has to verbally point this out in the scene itself, to set the moment in boldface and underline it for good measure. I'm unsure if anyone in the crowd I was with could possibly miss the fact that Swank's character was acting as a 'daughter' for Clint Eastwood, as opposed to his biological daughter who wants nothing to do with him, but director Eastwood makes damn sure that this is carefully explained in those final moments, as the definition of those mystery words are revealed. Still, the bits with Eastwood as a talented healer of wounds in the ring who can't mend personal injuries (and later becomes faced with a physical malady that he must summon all of his conviction to 'heal'; he's always a physical success) has the potential to be particularly cheesy, but it came off fairly well.

The film has an interesting running focus on people building families out of the people they're with, as opposed to their natural families, which are always viewed in this film with justified distrust. At least Eastwood's relationship with his daughter was kept nicely shadowed; far and away the most ham-fisted bits of the film were with Swank's over-the-top cartoon white trash clan; mercifully, they were only on screen for two sequences, though I half-expected them to tear her out of the hospital bed and tie her to a nearby railroad track for Clint to ride to the rescue. It's bits like this that make me wonder if Eastwood's work here is so understated becasue he doesn't quite trust his abilities in louder, more eruptive drama. That's not a complaint; from what I've seen here, he simply knows his faults.

Walking out of the film, my brother said that there was a real potential for a franchise; the next film in the series needs to be a delightful slapstick comedy starring the goofy boxer in the gym on his road to the title bout. I agreed, but I told him that someone ought to be euthanized at the end, just to maintain consistency.

It was decent work, though. Didn't raise me to the skies, but I didn't feel like I'd wasted my time. Ha ha. Quite a rousing testimony for a Best Picture, eh?