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The Wrestler (2008)


10/10: TIFF 08: Sacrificial ram The Wrestler
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's a fascinating thought I had going into Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. I began to worry that a straightforward tale may not be playing to the director's strengths. It wasn't until the end credits that I recalled Requiem For a Dream being an adaptation and his debut π being pretty grounded in reality despite its surrealistic tendencies. So in actuality, the guy had only made one non-straightforward film, and all to immense success, at least in my eyes. So, as of now, the guy is four for four. Not only does Mickey Rourke own the screen every second of the movie, but Aronofsky lends just the right amount of his stamp on the proceedings, creating a definite top ten inclusion for my end of year list and, by far, the best film I had seen at the festival.The story deals with an aging professional wrestler, a man...

8/10: Charisma, heart, and hard work make a comeback of a has-been
Thursday, October 2, 2008

Billed as Mickey Rourke's big comeback, this film is the finale presentation of the New York Film Festival 2008. Awarded in Venice and shown at Toronto, it features a winning performance by Rourke. It's a simple story, a mixture of raw authenticity and old fashioned corn about a washed up professional wrestler who's 20 years past his prime and resists admitting it till he has a heart attack and is forced t turn to the only two people he has in his life, a lap dancer and an estranged daughter. It's pretty monochromatic and claustrophobic, but the tiny framework shows off Rourke's generous, authoritative performance. Rourke's weathered, soulful face and sweet-sad smile sell the movie.Early scenes establish that Randy 'The Ram' Robinson (Rourke), who has long graying bleach-blond hair and wears a hearing aid, still has fans from his heyday in the 80's and warm contacts in the pro wrestler...

7/10: Heartbreaking
Saturday, June 6, 2009

OK, after all the talk, literally, talk after talk of how wonderful Mickey Rourke's performance was in The Wrestler and that he's finally back in action. So I just had to see what all the hype was, especially after everyone started panicking when Sean Penn took the 2009 Oscar for Milk, I was curious if this movie really was as good as everyone was making it to be. So I'm going to give my honest opinion which either is going to get me a lot of hate mail or the "un-useful" marks on my comment, but I'm an honest user, I tell it like it is. The Wrestler is actually a really good movie, I would say that it was one of the top 10 that came out of 2008, but one thing that I really didn't like about the movie was the way it was made and the ending, which I'll explain...

9/10: An excellent drama about an aging wrestler
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Wrestler won the Golden Lion a few days ago in Venice. Obviously that's going to build up some high expectations but director Darren Aronofsky introduced it as a "simple little film" and he didn't want the movie to get over-hyped. He said it's been a busy week as he only finished the film 6 days ago!! Randy "The Ram" Robinson, played brilliantly by Mickey Rourke, was a star professional wrestler in the 1980s. He had a legendary pay-per-view match against the Ayatollah in his prime, his own Nintendo game, posters, "Best of The Ram" VHS series and legions of fans who worshipped him. The film begins in the present day with The Ram collecting a paltry sum of money for his latest fight only to discover he's been locked out of his trailer home because he's behind on his rent. He has a good physique for his age - with the aid...

8/10: good movie
Monday, March 23, 2009

I really enjoyed this movie, which tells the tale of Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke), a former big-time pro wrestler fallen on hard times, most of which seem to be the result not of bad luck but bad planning and bad habits. Forced to compete in violent and dangerous stunt matches with other former big-timers and young wannabe wrestlers.It's the first film about pro wrestling that I've seen which shows the amount of brotherhood that exists between many of the wrestlers, the amount of planning and skill that goes into the matches, and so forth. It's also a story about a once great athlete, and so at times it veers or threatens to veer into rather standard melodramatic territory. For instance, the sub-plot with Randy's daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) is fraught with peril but I'd say they did an OK job of it. I definitely like the Marisa Tomei character...

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