Posts Tagged ‘the wrestler

04
Feb
09

Movie Review: The Wrestler

wrestler

Yes, it’s true: the fans are fake.

 

Stars Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood. Directed by Darren Aronofsky.

 

The movie begins with Quiet Riot’s “Bang Your Head” while the camera pans over newsclippings and flyers of Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Rourke), a wrestler from the 80’s Golden Age of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Rowdy Roddy Piper and let’s not forget, announcer Mean Gene Oakland. “The Ram’s” career hit its peak with a showdown with wrestler The Ayatollah (Ernest Miller).

 

Cut to “20 years later”. Randy is a broken down being. He takes wrestling gigs when he can find them and “supplements” his income by picking up part-time hours at a local grocery store in New Jersey. When he’s locked out of his trailer park home he resides in his Dodge Ram van. His one friend in town is Pam (Tomei), a stripper who goes by the name Cassidy and who has some feelings for him.

 

And we’re inducted into the world of wrestling through Randy. It’s not all body slams, drop kicks, and rivalries; all the wrestlers meet up before the matches and decide who will do what when the time comes. We see Randy’s drug addiction, prescription and otherwise. He hides small razor bits under the tape around his wrist so at the appropriate time he can cut his face, the blood running down and adding to the “performance.” After one particular match he “drops like a brick” and awakens in a hospital, the recipient of a heart bypass and a doctor’s warning of death if he wrestles again.

 

This starts him attempting to change his life. He spends a day with his daughter, a girl who he hasn’t been around for during his entire career. He tries proposing to “Cassidy” who can’t decide to love him or leave him. And he tries operating behind the meat counter at the grocery store. All these things bring him back to square one: he is a wrestler. With the upcoming 20 year rematch with The Ayatollah, Randy has to make a decision:

 

The main point of the movie is: arrested development. Randy is still doing the wrestling circuit and poppin’ painkillers and other drugs to keep going. He listens to Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Poison and every other hair metal band you can think of. His Nintendo only plays a game of him versus the Ayatollah. He carts around his videotapes and has a Polaroid camera. As he looks around at other wrestlers/ friends, he sees their bodies breaking down (wheelchairs, colostomy bags). He’s lonely, tired, and depressed, and doesn’t know how to do anything that he hasn’t done for the past twenty years.

 

Cassidy is also dealing with arrested development. She’s a stripper in a small town in New Jersey. She has a nine-year-old kid. She wants to do better for her life, but isn’t sure how that will happen. She is cautious in regards to having a relationship. As she looks around she notices that the guys aren’t looking at her much anymore. Is Randy the guy that she needs?

 

I will give credit to Aronofsky for this movie. While I have not been a fan of his previous efforts, this movie was on a level I wouldn’t have believed that he could achieve. He made the film feel like a documentary film, which added to how “real” the character felt. Aronofsky made Rourke disappear into the role, and the film was better for it. It’s a sad, lonely, depressing, surprisingly comical at moments, head-bangin’, body-slammin’ drama.

 

And now I’m going back to working on my standing moonsault, chair shot, and el kabong.

 

My grade: A-

And for those who haven’t seen the trailer:

 

 

And a treat from The Onion:

 

 

01
Dec
08

Movie News and Views December 1, 2008 Trailer Edition

angelsanddemons

 

 

 

“Che” – Benicio del Toro in the first part of a two-part film series by Steven Soderbergh about revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Opens December 12, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=974&item=1

 

“What Doesn’t Kill You” – Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo are guys who grew up together in South Boston. After a trip to prison both return, but Ruffalo has a family to take care of and has to ask himself if the job Hawke wants to pull is worth it. Opens December 12, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1337&item=0

 

“The Wrestler” – Mickey Rourke plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a former 80’s wrestler who has one last shot against his nemesis, The Ayatollah. Trouble is, this match could kill him. Opens December 17, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1207&item=0

 

“Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans” – A prequel to the two previous films. Stars Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, and Rhona Mitra. Opens January 23, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1096&item=1

 

“New in Town” – Renee Zellweger is an ambitious company exec living in Miami who suddenly gets transferred to Minnesota. Hilarity and attraction to Harry Connick, Jr, ensue. Opens January 30, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1343&item=0

 

“Nothing But the Truth” – Kate Beckinsale plays a D.C. reporter who outs a CIA agent but refuses to reveal her source. Also stars Alan Alda, Matt Dillon, and Angela Bassett. Opens January 9, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1029&item=0

 

“Dance Flick” – The Wayans Bros. are back this time spoofing movies such as “Save the Last Dance,” “O,” “Hairspray,” “You Got Served,” and “High School Musical. I thought the trailer was funny… Opens February 6, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1340&item=0

 

“He’s Just Not That Into You” – Ginnifer Goodwin, with the help of Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson, try to figure guys (Ben Affleck, Justin Long, etc.) out. I just wasn’t that into the trailer… Opens February 6, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1016&item=1

 

“Pink Panther 2” – Steve Martin reprises his role as Inspector Clouseau. This time around, he has to stop a continent-wide crime wave. Opens February 6, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=752&item=1

 

“Race to Witch Mountain” – Disney remaking Disney, this time with Dwayne Johnson s a Vegas cabbie taking two teenagers to Witch Mountain. When he finds they’re really aliens and are on the run from government agents and an alien bounty hunter, he takes it upon himself to protect them. Opens March 13, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1129&item=0

 

“Duplicity” – Clive Owen is ex-MI6. Julia Roberts is ex-CIA. Together, they plan to make two rival companies go at each other. Opens March 20, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1240&item=0

 

“Adventureland” – A 1987 period-piece where a recent college graduate (Jesse Eisenberg) gets a job at an amusement park. Opens March 27, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1047&item=0

 

“The Ugly Truth” – Gerard Butler is a chauvinistic TV host and Katherine Heigl is his new producer. He tries to help her romantically with a “new guy,” but his work has unexpected results. Opens April 3, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1238&item=0

 

“Star Trek” – Chris Pine plays Captain James T. Kirk is this “reboot” of the franchise. Also stars Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and Leonard Nimoy. Opens May 8, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=450&item=3

 

“Angels and Demons” – Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon. This time he’s taking on the Illuminati. Opens May 15, 2009 View the teaser trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=659&item=0

 

“Up” – The next Pixar movie about a 78-year-old man named Carl Fredricksen, who uses balloons to make his house fly. Unfortunately he has a stowaway: 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer Russell. Opens May 29, 2009 View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1190&item=1

 

“2012” – It’s not the year 2525, but it’s just as disastrous… Roland Emmerich is behind this apocalyptic movie staring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, and Oliver Platt. Opens July 10, 2009 View the teaser trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1275&item=0

 

“Give ‘Em Hell Malone” – Thomas Jane. Ving Rhames. Elsa Pataky. A private eye fending off thugs from loot. All done Seventies-style. From the director of “Highlander” and “Resident Evil: Extinction.” Coming soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer2.php?id=1345&item=0

 

 “The Great Howard Buck” – John Malkovich plays a magician whose illusions are becoming more transparent. He takes on an assistant played by Colin Hanks. Watch for Tom Hanks playing Colin Hanks’ father (there’s acting for ya). Coming soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=138&item=0

28
Nov
08

December Movie Releases

untitled

 

 

“Cadillac Records” – Biopic on the record company that gave starts to Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Etta James, and others. Stars Adrien Brody, Mos Def, Cedric the Entertainer, and Beyonce Knowles. Opens December 5, 2008

 

“Frost/Nixon” – Based on the real life events of British talk show host David Frost interviewing ex-president Richard Nixon after his impeachment. Stars Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, and Oliver Platt. Opens December 5, 2008

 

“Punisher: War Zone” – Ray Stevenson plays the Marvel character who, this time, is taking on a New York underworld boss it wants to control it all. Opens December 5, 2008

 

“Che” – Part One of Steven Soderbergh’s two-part saga on revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevera. Stars Benicio del Toro. Opens December 12, 2008

 

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” – Keanu “Whoah” Reeves stars in this remake about an alien who comes to Earth to deliver a message: live in peace or be destroyed. No word on if he’s bringing the cure for cancer or not… Opens December 12, 2008

 

“Delgo” – CG animated epic about a teenage creature struggling to unite two warring nations. Contains the voices of Val Kilmer, Eric Idle, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Opens December 12, 2008

 

“Milk” – Directed by Gus van Sant, this is the biopic on San Fran’s first homosexual mayor, Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn). Also stars Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, and James Franco. Opens December 12, 2008

 

“Nothing Like the Holidays” – The Rodriguez family is converging on Chicago for Christmas. Stars John Leguizamo and Alfred Molina. Opens December 12, 2008

 

“While She Was Out” – Kim Basinger is an abused housewife who gets out of the house and goes to the mall, only to run into murderous thugs. Eventually, she finds herself in the woods with only her wits and a toolbox. Opens December 12, 2008

 

“Gran Torino” – Clint Eastwood plays a man in his seventies (who knew?) who saves the life of his Asian neighbor’s son, much against his prejudice. He ends up in a war against the gang that assaulted the son. Opens December 17, 2008

 

“The Wrestler” – Mickey Rourke stars as Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a burnt-out 80’s wrestler who has one last shot of glory: taking on his arch-nemesis “The Ayatollah.” Thing is, this could cost him his life. Also stars Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. Opens December 17, 2008

 

“The Brothers Bloom” – Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo are brothers pulling a con job on a wealthy woman (Rachel Weisz). Also stars Robbie Coltrane. Opens December 19, 2008

 

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Brad Pitt is the title character: a man who was born looking ancient and regresses in outward age as he progresses with his inward age. Complications arise when he falls in love with Cate Blanchett. Opens December 19, 2008

 

“Seven Pounds” – Will Smith stars as a guy about to commit suicide who falls in love with a woman. Also, he tries changing the lives of seven people for the good. Opens December 19, 2008

 

“The Tale of Despereaux” – CG animated tale of a mouse whose ears (and ambitions) are far too big for his Mouseworld. He becomes an outcast and his journey leads him to a Princess named Pea, whom he must rescue. Opens December 19, 2008

 

“Yes Man” – Jim Carrey finds that “yes” is the new “no” and that saying it can be liberating. Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks… Opens December 19, 2008

 

“Bedtime Stories” – Adam Sandler watches his sister’s (Courtney Cox) kids. When he reads them bedtime stories, elements of the stories bleed into reality with hilarious results. Opens December 25, 2008

 

“Marley and Me” – Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston adopt a Labrador puppy. Comedy hijinks supposedly ensue. Opens December 25, 2008

 

“The Spirit” – Frank Miller takes the director’s chair and brings “The Spirit” to the screen. Gabriel Macht plays the titular character: a cop who fakes his own death to fight crime. Also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, and Jaime King. Opens December 25, 2008

 

“Revolutionary Road” – Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet team up again, this time going forward a few years to the 1950’s, playing a couple dealing with personal problems while living in their Connecticut suburb. Opens December 26, 2008

 

“Valkyrie” – Tom Cruise heads up a cast of people trying to depose Hitler in Word War II. Based on a true story, and they’re stickin’ to it. Opens December 26, 2008

 

“Defiance” – Daniel Craig is one of four brothers saving Jews by taking them into the forest and setting up their own village with the help of Russian resistance fighters. Based on a true story. Opens December 31, 2008