"The Wrestler" Movie Review (Spoilers)

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DCRage
1/2/09 4:09:23PM
Just making this now so all I have to do tonight is edit it, getting ready to head to the theater to see it so very late tonight or tomorrow I'll have my review/thoughts on the film. If you don't have it near you yet it will continue expanding across the US this month.

Edit: Here it is, kinda crappy because I quickly whipped it up from memory after a very long trip home:
It’s clear early on that Darren Aronofsky did his homework. Early on the focus is equally what happens in the ring as well as behind the scenes-guys working on match plans, spots, taping themselves up, and in a very revealing scene to me Randy cutting a razor blade into small pieces and taping up one inside his taped wrists so he can blade at the right time. The first promotions featured are JAPW (Jersey All-Pro Wrestling) and WXW (World X-Treme Wrestling, Afa’s promotion). The wrestling was really good, Rourke played Randy very well. Of course it quickly hits the strip club afterwards, and I’ll just say that while Marisa Tomei looks pretty good…not really my type. Ultimately Randy shows he’s really got a thing for “Cassidy”, but he’s also not making enough so he has to sleep in his truck until kids wake him up. Then it moves on to CZW, which also was part of filming-and I soon saw that the praise that Necro Butcher got for his role was well-deserved indeed. He did his hardcore persona proud, plenty of blood & hardcore spots-this is where, if you’re squeamish, you MUST turn away for a couple minutes, it’s up-close graphic backstage stuff here and later until Randy has a heart attack that changes everything. Time to get away, get a real job (which results in some funny spots in a deli) and try to re-connect with daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood, who is way too albino-looking) while try to get life back in order and try to move on with “Pam” (Cassidy/Tomei) before it all falls apart and when some fan recognizes him in the deli, “Robin” again becomes Randy for the final match-a rematch of a 20-year-old main event against “Ayatollah” (a now-much bigger Ernest Miller). This is where the ROH filming came into play, you’ll recognize a few current & former ROH guys throughout the film as well as other indy guys, the only ones I recognized right away were Colt Cabana and Nigel McGuinness-a couple others but I couldn’t remember their names. So Randy goes forward with the match until it seems like he has another heart attack coming on, but he’s got enough for one last “Ram Jam”, which ends with…THEY PULLED A GODDAMN SOPRANOS FINALE! It fades to black right after he hits the Ram Jam and we hear a faint counting to 4, and that’s the flim. Draw your own conclusions.

One thing I also noticed early on: The film quality seems to be intentionally so-so, looks surprisingly grainy like it’s meant to be an 80s-style look. Works well here though. Rourke deserves all the praise and awards he’s getting, he played this role so well plus he & Aronofsky really makes it come off as a sort of “Beyond The Mat”-style bioflick, it definitely has me looking at wrestling and the older guys still going on the indies today a lot differently. Tomei isn’t bad for wearing little more than a thong for half the film (I admittedly wasn't terribly impressed with her performance) and about 1/3 of the movie takes place in the club so there’s plenty of…adult content. Best line? Randy to Pam/Cassidy before the final match when Pam tries to stop Randy from going out and perhaps killing himself-”The only thing that can hurt me is out there. The World don’t give a shit about me!” Inside I stood up and cheered at that line.

Overall, despite some minor flaws, unintentionally bad humor at times (and one very bad and predictable but perfectly-timed pun when Randy asks the deli boss for work but barges in when he’s watching internet porn at work, haha; Also one scene where Randy & a kid are playing an NES pro wrestling game but the sound effects are the ones from Pac-Man on the Atari 2600), and that gosh-darn ending, it’s still the best film I have seen in quite a while. It is indeed very powerful and moving and really did affect me a lot and even changed my view of wrestling a little bit. It’s very deserving of all the praise and awards it’s getting, and is indeed one of the best films of the year, if not the best. Must-see, this one will have a spot in my DVD collection when it comes out.

Rating (1-10): 9.5.
loller90278
1/2/09 4:31:45PM
i saw it about a week back, wasnt too impressed. i thought rourke was gonna blow me away but i think it was just a little above average. best thing about that movie was marisa tomei's profession

the movie overall was very "aaronofsky" like. you can always distinct his direction from other directors
grappler0000
1/2/09 6:09:20PM

Posted by loller90278

i saw it about a week back, wasnt too impressed. i thought rourke was gonna blow me away but i think it was just a little above average. best thing about that movie was marisa tomei's profession

the movie overall was very "aaronofsky" like. you can always distinct his direction from other directors



I saw it this past week as well...I really enjoyed it though. I would recommend it to anyone who is considering seeing it.
SpiderSilva
1/2/09 8:20:22PM
I watched part of it and it seemed good have fun and enjoy
DCRage
1/3/09 12:12:40AM
I edited the first post with my review. It was a 10 until the end. But the hour-plus trip out of my way to see the film was more than worth it, other than a couple complaints i had I greatly enjoyed the flim and left extremely satisfied. $11 so well spent.

This was also the first time I went to an "arthouse/independent" theater, this one (Landmark Theaters in Bethesda, MD, they also have one in DC) shows ONLY independent or arthouse-type films, a lot of foreign flims too that are released only to win awards, box office take be damned. It was a totally different movie experience. The inside of the theater was so much different, foreign movie posters, gourmet concession stand (couldn't find it), small auditoriums with nice decor & comfy stadium-style seating (Each can seat about 105 people, I counted about 80 for this showing), digital sound that really makes it stand out. I heard little things I likely wouldn't have heard otherwise. You can even buy indie movie DVDs & CD soundtracks. Won't really go to this place often though,what i did tonight was one of those once-in-a-long-time things because I just had to see this film, plus the only other theater showing it was a mile-plus from public transportation, and the walk is very dangerous. Tonight I only had to walk 1/4 mile. However, if indie/foreign/arthouse films are your thing I woudl recommend this type/chain of theater. And prices for conessions aren't terrible-large popcorn (so-so, I didn't like it much) and large soda only set me back $10.25. Elsewhere I go it's $15-20.
The_Metal_Maniac
1/4/09 2:49:23AM
I loved the movie. I've recommended it to all of my friends. Mickey just nails his role. I thought it was sad lol, but definitely a candidate for movie of the year.
TheCatFather
1/6/09 5:23:09PM
Very depressing movie, good but a big downer. I feel bad for Mickey Rouke, I saw The pope of Greenwitch Village the other night and Mickey was in his prime, and that was 15 years ago. Mickey has aged like 40 years since then and that depresses me the most. He fit the bill to the T. Marissa Tome is so hot and sexy, I love this movie but at the same time it made me feel like crap.
RampageOwnedYou
1/12/09 6:17:48PM
Im trying to skim what all of you have written up about the movie, but its clear to me the movie will be ruined.

I saw the preview last night for the first time, and it looks amazing, very deep and great acting, which usually draws me to a film. Whats even better I like Mickey Rourke, and I saw he won best actor last night at the golden globe awards.


My question is this......who is this movie about?. Is it a true story?

I thought it seemed like Jake the Snake, but didnt seem as if it was him.



Thanks
DCRage
1/13/09 7:08:29AM
It's not necessarily a "Based On A True Story" film although one could argue that it's based on real-life events. If you've ever seen a film called "Beyond The Mat", it takes elements from that film and blends them in with a storyline involving a fictitious character that supposedly is modeled after a real-life wrestler. Not sure who it is though.

Also, the film won 2 Golden Globe Awards Sunday-Rourke for Best Actor and Bruce Springsteen for Best Original Song for "The Wrestler" (end credits song). Marisa Tomei didn't win Best Supporting Actress.
RampageOwnedYou
1/28/09 6:24:31PM
Just thought i'd let you know I watched this last night.
Very good movie. I guess not the best movie to watch if your having a rough week. But was a good movie, and made you think more about the real wrestlers who give it their all for many years.

Great movie all around. Mickey R. Played the role as if he lived that life before.

I enjoyed it.

8/10
DCRage
2/26/09 3:21:06PM
FYI for those who have to wait for the DVD to see it or who want to get it: The scheduled DVD release date is April 21. Amazon.com has both standard and Blu-Ray versions available for pre-order now.
Boo_Radley21
2/27/09 1:51:37AM
The real question is...is it worth ten dollars?
DCRage
2/27/09 6:35:00AM
$20.99 on Amazon. Definitely.
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