The Wrestler

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LIVE FO RETSINIM
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The Wrestler

Post by LIVE FO RETSINIM » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:39 pm

I would like to say it’s a typical Mickey Rourke movie, as it IS Mickey Rourke, but instead I will just say it’s a great movie. Sad as all get-out at times, but great none the less. It really got me thinking about my own life and getting older, and I noticed the greatest benefit of getting older is Marisa Tomei gets naked in every movie she does now! This is fuckin’ great cause I have had the biggest boner over her since My Cousin Vinny. God I would love to bury my head between those legs for about a week or two. Oh her body is tight as hell for an older babe, she is just so hot. Mickey Rourke is disturbing looking as usual.

Well, All in all, I give it 2 spits on my nuts with a happy ending.
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Post by DylanDog » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:52 pm

I never liked Marisa Tomei until seeing "Until The Devil Knows You're Dead". Needless to say, she has aged very well...
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Remo D
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Post by Remo D » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:14 am

I actually caught THE WRESTLER last week but held off writing about it because it gave me plenty to think about.

As I write this, we're anticipating the annual ROYAL RUMBLE pay-per-view event--the only PPV I ever order, in fact... I just wait for the results on everything else as I keep up with the weekly shows... these days, largely for my son's sake.

Yes, as you know, I love professional wrestling to the point where I've paid it frequent tribute as part of my show. A quick refresher--there's no way I could possibly be a wrestler myself (as one look at me will confirm), but I've always wanted to be part of the show--not only have I always enjoyed the spectacle myself, but I've also had the first-hand experience of having a crowded arena actually "pop" for me as I performed a stand-up/impersonation bit for the WWE (then WWF) audience in the center of the ring... and I insisted on taking my "manager interference" lumps when we finally staged a Halloween brawl at the MANOR.

I've always loved the showbiz aspect... and I've had nothing but healthy respect for anyone who gets into the ring and does what these performers do. The effect it must have on their bodies, their lives, their families... good God. This was the part of the show that we weren't supposed to acknowledge--but in this day and age, it's been eagerly incorporated into ongoing storylines, tell-all documentaries, fictional treatments and, of course, real-life calamities.

Now, I'm not in the business, so I make no presumption of judging anything based on personal insight--or from pop promotion. Instead, I listen to those who know from experience. I only read wrestling-related autobiographies by those wrestlers who write completely for themselves with zero "ghostwriter" and/or company input. And so far, that's limited to Mick Foley and Bret Hart (excellent, compelling and highly recommended for the true-life drama even if you're NOT a wrestling fan).

And in the past few years, I've made the acquaintance of several local professional wrestlers, one of whom became a close friend and frequent MANOR cohort (you know him as Mad Mark Mak). I took my family to see the local grapplers of the WPWA (with special 'name' guests Gangrel and Vicious Vic Grimes), little suspecting that some of them had actually stumbled across MY show.

I was distressed at the small turnout, but made it a point to give the wrestlers every bit of the enthusiasm and support a crowd can give (my son Cameron joined in the fun by advising a villainous Italian-American tag team to "go sleep with the fishes")--I especially enjoyed the opportunity afforded when a member of Parental Advisory told the referee to check the teeth of the vampiric Gangrel, as I got to call out "Why bother? The only one who bites is YOU!" The angry "Hey, SHUT UP!" I got in return convinced me our efforts were appreciated!

And finally, at the end of the show, we made a point of finding and personally complimenting each and every wrestler we could--heel, face, it made no difference--they were knocking themselves out to entertain us and we simply wanted them to know that it was worth the effort.

As I said, eventually I got to know several of them more or less personally--one in particular. Now, Mark and I had both seen the acclaimed documentary BEYOND THE MAT--a film vilified by Vince McMahon's WWE because of its unflattering portrayal of the true-life experiences of several of its big names. Vilified--but NOT called false... see the difference?

And when THE WRESTLER came out? Mark and I had the same thought... Darren Aronofsky had seen BEYOND THE MAT and was inspired to dramatize the story of Jake "The Snake" Roberts... names and other specifics changed, of course.

We'd heard all about the amazing performance of Mickey Rourke (a "comeback kid" in his own right, of course) and the breathtaking combination of brutal professional wrestling and searing drama. I'd seen PI and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (missed THE FOUNTAIN, I fear) and was taken aback at Roger Ebert's suggestion that Aronofsky had never done anything "remotely like" this (a man slowly destroys himself with steroids and other forms of abuse and you don't see a REQUIEM connection? not even a SMALL one?). And I couldn't wait to see this film.

THE WRESTLER is everything you've heard and then some. It gets everything right (as far as I understand the nature of the beast). The excruciating effort to please even the smallest of crowds. The energy the audience legitimately supplies. The wasteland of a nearly-abandoned American Legion hall serving as a "Legends Signing" venue. The sheer brutality of a barbed-wire, broken glass, you name it gore match (go ahead and call it "fake" if you want, but you'll never catch me using that word in context). The effort to reconnect with an estranged daughter... and the effort to form a "real life" relationship with another performer forced to keep her private life separate (Marisa Tomei is every bit as good as Mickey Rourke as the stripper/would-be-girlfriend, but after her knockout role in BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD, you aren't surprised one bit, which is why Rourke's been getting all the attention).

Plenty of real-life wrestlers can be spotted--some as themselves (Ron "The Truth" Killings), others not (Ernest Miller as "The Ayatollah"); but as you might have guessed, this does NOT proceed under the sanction of the WWE (in all fairness, when the Oscars were announced, WWE did include a WRESTLER featurette as part of its programming). Instead, ROH (Ring of Honor) gives its name and blessing to the main event. A bold move to be sure--the publicity may well be worth it, but they knew as well as anyone that THE WRESTLER isn't about making the business look good. It DOES, however, make a strong case as to why the wrestlers continue to do what they do. And it's one of the best films I've seen this or any year.

And I'm still looking forward to the ROYAL RUMBLE. When it's done well, there's no substitute.
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Remo D
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Post by Remo D » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:06 pm

Boy, did I speak too soon...

Remember when I said that WWE had distanced itself from THE WRESTLER... except for a brief promo piece after the Oscar nominations were announced?

That was nothing. Leave it to Vince McMahon to turn this genuinely tragic film--which he originally wanted NOTHING to do with--into a retroactive publicity machine for himself!!!

Wrestlemania 25: Mickey Rourke vs. Chris Jericho. No joke.

And what can I say about Mickey Rourke going along with this? It's his life, and I can't judge--but I really have to wonder if this is truly the best possible followup to newfound critical respect and an Oscar nomination...

I don't know. I truly don't know.
My dog's breath smells like peanut butter...

...and I don't even have a dog!


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