Million Dollar Baby: 10th Anniversary (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-04-2014, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
78





Studio and Year: Warner - 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 132 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Music by: Clint Eastwood
Written by: Paul Haggis
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 4, 2014







"I don't train girls..."


Film Synopsis:

"I DON'T TRAIN GIRLS", trainer Frankie Dunn growls. But something's different about the spirited boxing hopeful who shows up daily at Dunn's gym. All she wants is a fighting chance. Clint Eastwood plays Dunn and directs, produces and composes music for this acclaimed, multi-award-winning tale of heart, hope and family. Hilary Swank plays resilient Maggie, determined not to abandon her one dream. And Morgan Freeman is Scrap, gym caretaker and counterpoint to Dunn's crustiness. Grab your dreams and come out swinging.

My Take:

Million dollar baby tells the story of Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) a veteran boxing trainer who has devoted his life to the ring. He has experienced his share of trials and tribulations as a result, including an estranged relationship with his daughter. His best friend and employee Eddie Dupris is a former fighter who suffered a severe injury while under Frankie’s watch, a fact that brings Frankie great guilt. Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) comes from a dirt poor upbringing and has spent the prime years of her young life struggling to make ends meet while seeking to find a means to fulfill her dream of becoming a professional boxer. For Maggie there is nothing else that gives her life meaning and in Frankie she sees someone that can guide her. Upon their first meeting Frankie sees only one thing, a 31 year old girl, and he doesn’t train them. Not one to give up Maggie’s persistence, along with Eddie’s nudging and a painful life lesson learned Frankie agrees to take her on. What he didn’t see coming is what makes this film so very very good...


Based on the short story by F.X. Toole Million dollar baby is a marvelously crafted film that grabs on early and doesn’t let go right up until the credits roll. I saw it in the theater and can still remember how it affected and resonated with me. I find it to be a difficult film to watch. The characters are so well developed and correlated within the narrative that you quickly bond with them as the storyline smoothly draws you in at an emotive level. Maggie is immediately likeable and multifaceted from an identifiably humane perspective which only gets stronger once she wins Frankie over. You can’t help but root for her and eventually her and Frankie in tandem as their relationship evolves and blossoms. Million dollar baby is so much more than a clichéd rags to riches sports story although it shares many of those elements. This is a character driven film about two people who need one another. In addition to that are wonderfully rich subplots revolving around the relationships between Eddie and Frankie, Frankie and Danger (the southern 90lb boxing “hopeful”) and Maggie’s trailer park trash family.

Million dollar baby takes you on a bit of a roller coaster as it speaks to the human condition, exhilarates with sports action drama and then rips your heart out in tear inducing style that most who see it don’t forget. The performances are simply superb and are complimented by Clint Eastwood’s apt direction. The film won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. I find it to be a bittersweet and emotively involving film experience that while difficult to watch is among my favorites. I tip my cap to everyone that brought these characters and story to life. Million Dollar baby is a cinematic gem…


Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, some disturbing images, thematic material and language.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 78

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692



Video: 78

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699


Million dollar baby comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.

This appears to be the same video encoding contained on the original 2006 Blu-ray release and similarly offers little in the way of highly polished, razor sharp images that resemble the best that high definition has to offer but seems to represent the film’s elements well. Primary colors are tonally satisfying with deep blues and an inviting palette that mates well with the film’s subject matter. Complexions are texturally revealing with natural coloring that varies among the cast. Resolution is good but softer definition leaves the mid level and wide angle views appearing less resolvable in terms of fine detail. Close ups tend to be more revealing of subtle refinement. Blacks are not especially deep but I thought that they stood out nicely when onscreen with mixed content. Shadow detail is a mixed bag which leaves many darker scenes lacking in appreciable delineation and depth. Contrast is stable which empowers colors and brighter elements without negatively impacting fidelity.

The new lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack is primarily front focused with minimal but effective use of the surround platform to extend the soundstage. The presentation is satisfying and competently conveys the elements present in the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue is primarily intelligible but could have mixed a bit higher as there were times where I had to increase the volume to make out softer spoken passages. The front three channels deliver the bulk of the sound and do so with good clarity and imaging. The surrounds and sub see occasional use and support the soundtrack’s elements with light spatial dimension and appropriate bass response.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) * NEW Million dollar baby: On the ropes – Featuring Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman and the filmmakers discussing bringing the film to life – 26 minutes

  • * NEW Audio commentary with producer Albert Ruddy

  • Legacy features: James Lipton takes on three, Born to fight, and Producer’s Round 15 – 56 minutes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer



Final Thoughts:

Winner of four Academy Awards Million Dollar Baby is a cinematic gem that doesn’t lose its rewarding flavor regardless how many times you see it. It comes to Blu-ray for a second time in this 10th anniversary offering that includes a lossless soundtrack and a few new features that offer deeper insights from the cast and filmmakers. If you already own the original high definition release and bonus features aren’t especially important to you than you can probably skip this. However if you don’t already own Million dollar baby (or haven’t seen it) and are interested in checking it out this new release will do nicely.



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 15 Old 02-04-2014, 12:49 PM
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Everything but the ending was great. The ending was contrived, unrealistic and dumb. Ruined the movie just like the endings in the movies Heat and Collateral to name a couple.

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post #3 of 15 Old 02-04-2014, 12:58 PM
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Highly recommended viewing!

I have an earlier version of the film so probably won't buy this release. Otherwise, I would definitely buy it because this is truly a great film in my opinion.

Thanks for another fine review, Ralph! smile.gif

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post #4 of 15 Old 02-04-2014, 04:38 PM
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I have the HD DVD version, time to revisit again, one of my favorites ...
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-04-2014, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Everything but the ending was great. The ending was contrived, unrealistic and dumb. Ruined the movie just like the endings in the movies Heat and Collateral to name a couple.

This makes no sense at all. The ending was fine.
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-04-2014, 08:41 PM
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Heat had a bad ending ???? eek.gif
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-05-2014, 07:32 AM
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I don't have this movie yet but thanks for the reminder that I need to get it.

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post #8 of 15 Old 02-05-2014, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mldardy View Post

This makes no sense at all. The ending was fine.

Yes it was bad. She would not have lost the fight. The other fighter would've have been DQd for the shot after the bell. Falling on the stool? Cliche and lack of imagination. Dumb ending.

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post #9 of 15 Old 02-05-2014, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
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Heat had a bad ending ???? eek.gif

Yep. Inept detective manages to track down a super criminal who had never even had a whiff of police on him in a major airport in the dark of night etc. etc. etc.... Yay! Happy ending. The bad guy gets caught. Totally unrealistic and didn't fit the characters up to that point.

And Collateral, dufus cab driver that never fired a gun before in his life manages to out duel a world class hit man. Give me a break!

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post #10 of 15 Old 02-05-2014, 08:06 AM
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Maybe for its 15th anniversary Warner should use their current codec as it's more sharper and brighter than VC-1.
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post #11 of 15 Old 02-05-2014, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Yes it was bad. She would not have lost the fight. The other fighter would've have been DQd for the shot after the bell. Falling on the stool? Cliche and lack of imagination. Dumb ending.

Just no.
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-06-2014, 07:34 AM
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Not too long ago I read the biography of Hitchcock. One would not believe, how many endings he had to compromise to satisfy the studios and the ratings committee. If you want to have enough viewers to bring in a profit (especially in this country) you have to often give up on the more logical ending.
And yes I also thought the ending of Heat was non-logical.

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post #13 of 15 Old 02-06-2014, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Everything but the ending was great. The ending was contrived, unrealistic and dumb. Ruined the movie just like the endings in the movies Heat and Collateral to name a couple.

I don't remember the ending for this one but the ending for NO Country for Old Men was the most horrible ending of any movie I've seen so far. But that's another story!
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-11-2014, 02:39 AM
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This is a personal fave of mine from beginning to end this movie was fantastic. Ill keep my copy though Ralph wink.gif

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post #15 of 15 Old 02-11-2014, 12:44 PM
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Still one of my all time fav movies.
Extremely thought provoking ending as it touches upon one of humanity's biggest taboo's - assisted suicide.

Thanks for the review Ralph, I will buy it just for the extras.

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