New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.65: The Fighter

Micky and Dicky stare across the ring in awe of 
Micky’s formidable opponent in 2010’s The Fighter

Nearly 2 years after The Fighter hit theaters, both of its stars are still enjoying huge success. This summer, Mark Wahlberg scored big with Ted and obviously Christian Bale tossed the batarang out of the park with his powerhouse portrayal of Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. Previous to those blockbusters, as “Irish” Micky Ward and his half brother Dicky Eklund, Wahlberg and Bale give us the performances of their careers in The Fighter.


Most of The Fighter was filmed in Massachusetts, but one early pivotal scene was set in Atlantic City. Micky, a welterweight, was set to fight an opponent in his weight class, but a middleweight fighter who was 20 pounds heavier than him replaced the original opponent at the last minute. *SPOILER* Micky gets his ass beat. Micky’s actual match did indeed go down at the first casino hotel in Atlantic City: Resorts, but IMDB does not list Atlantic City as one of the filming locations so I doubt that this scene was filmed in New Jersey. They just merely slapped the Resorts turnbuckle on the ring and BAM! We’re magically whisked away down to Atlantic City in no time.

As far as I’m concerned, the film should’ve won best picture, but it did take home both the awards for best supporting actor and actress. Amy Adams isn’t hard to look at either.

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.57: The Hurricane

The Hurricane MovieAs I sit at my computer I can barely concentrate due to the violent winds firing a barrage of liquid bullets at my windows. Weather reports have supposedly downgraded the storm but it seems like we are experiencing a full fledged hurricane. The President and Governor have declared a state of emergency in New Jersey and the surrounding areas. About a million people have evacuated our shore towns. Casinos have been shut down for only the 3rd time in over 30 years. So, while I still have power and Internet service, I’d like to recommend some appropriate viewing in case you are looking for something to watch since you’re probably stuck indoors for the next day or so.

Despite accusations of it not being absolutely historically accurate, I still recommend you check out 1999’s “The Hurricane,” which features another first rate performance by Denzel Washington. Washington was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor and also took home a Golden Globe award for his work in the film and his turn was also lauded by Roger Ebert as being “on a par with his work in Malcom X.”

The biographical film of middleweight boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s life works best if you aren’t too familiar with his unfortunate story. Carter was wrongly convicted for a murder in Paterson, New Jersey in 1966 and spent 20 years in prison for it. It’s a compelling and tense drama filled with emotional performances and engrossing boxing sequences. The film also stars Deborah Unger, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger, Dan Hedaya, David Paymer, Debbi Morgan, and Vincent Pastore.

The Hurricane sign
A few interesting facts about the film:

– Bob Dylan’s 1975 protest song “Hurricane” is featured on the soundtrack and according to Wikipedia, Dylan visited Carter in prison and later wrote the song.

– Thanks to the film’s IMDB profile, the filming locations included East Jersey State Prison (Rahway Prison), Paterson NJ, and Trenton NJ.

– The picture of Malcolm X used in the film is actually a picture of Denzel Washington from the film Malcolm X.