Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

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Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

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Article excerpt

Million Dollar Baby (12) Rating *****

FRANKIE (Clint Eastwood) is a fight trainer who runs an ailing gym in Los Angeles ( also home to his loyal confidant Scrap (Morgan Freeman).

Out of the blue, waitress Maggie (Hilary Swank) turns up at the gym and asks to be transformed into a prize fighter. At first Frankie refuses to accede to Maggie's demands ( but Scrap gradually convinces him of the merits of the idea.

Over a series of hard-fought encounters, Maggie discovers the woman she always knew she could be, and Frankie realises the strength of his connection with this spirited young woman.

Million Dollar Baby begins with a predictable plot and trio of archetypal characters ( and conjures pure magic out of the ether. You really don't see the killer punch coming. When it lands, with staggering emotional force and precision, we're out for the count.

Flight Of The Phoenix (12) Rating ***

CARGO plane pilot Frank Towns and his co-pilot AJ are sent to the Tan Sag basin in Mongolia to evacuate the disgruntled staff of an oil exploration operation which has recently been decommissioned.

The rig's chief roustabout Kelly is furious at company hatchet man Ian for shutting down her team, but she reluctantly rounds them up for departure. En route, the plane flies into a massive sandstorm that batters the craft, forcing Frank to crash-land in the middle of the Gobi desert.

The surviving 11 passengers and crew, including eccentric outsider Elliott, have one chance of escape ( by building a new aeroplane from the scattered wreckage.

Assault On Precinct 13 (Entertainment In Video, pounds 19.99) Rating ***

OFFICER Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke) and his colleagues take charge of a Detroit police station, which will be closed by the end of the week as part of sweeping cutbacks.

On the final day before a total shutdown, vicious mobster Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne) is temporarily housed at the station. With only a caretaker staff on site, corrupt cops, out for Bishop's blood, decide to launch a devastating assault on the containment facility.

The Sea Inside (Entertainment In Video, pounds 19. …

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