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Wrestler (Ws)
Wrestler
Ws
PG

     
     
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Movie Details

Studio: ALL
Format: DVD - Widescreen
Screens: Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

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Movie Reviews

Best I've Seen So Far This Year
Ron | Jersey | 02/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This isn't a perfect picture by any means, but it is a good solid story propelled by a fantastic acting job by Rourke. Having been to conventions and having seen sad old broken down wrestlers, this story was pretty accurate. The things some of these guys do for a few hundred backs in some backwater local show is amazing. Rourke is so believable in the role, some because of his acting and some because his life has been just as rocky as "Randy's". The film is short in a sort of semi documentary style and often feels gritty and raw. I am really looking forward to the dvd release of this film."
No Place For The Rest Of Us
SORE EYES | 02/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mickey Rourke plays a past his prime glamour wrestler who is estranged from his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood Thirteen). After a heart attack, a past her prime stripper which he is trying to woo (Marisa Tomei) urges him to reconnect with his daughter.

On paper, the plot of The Wrestler sounds cliche. But this film is more than the sum of its parts. Whereas modern films often turn on some obscure and predictable plot point, The Wrestler is carried by outstanding acting, writing and direction. Rourke is more than the stereotype of the beat down hero. He's sincere. He wants a place in the world. But there isn't a place for retired wrestlers-only retired investment bankers who pursued an MBA from birth and have second homes and trophy wives.

My sincere thanks to the people involved in this project. Thank you for taking the time to make good art. Thank you for developing characters and delivering great performances. Thank you for writing more than a hackneyed rerun of some past Hollywood hit. And thank you for direction that moves this story beyond the trite.

The Wrestler is one of the best films you'll see in your life. Spend the money to see this one in theaters."
How Much Does It Cost To Make A Great Film? Less Than You Th
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 02/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Known more for his visual appeal along with intriguing stories, director/writer/producer Darren Aronofsky shows a different, and perhaps better, side of his mastery in storytelling.

I first became aware of Aronofsky after seeing his impressive Requiem for a Dream back in 2000. Engulfed in that film's unique visual telling, I moved on six years later to see The Fountain. Extraordinary in just about every way, especially the special effects and how he integrated them into the plot, I then went out and tried to find everything I could by this unique man. What I found was very little. A few minor productions prior to 2000, Aronofsky is an enigma; he's not out there making a movie every eight months like some directors.

So when I heard praise being heaped upon THE WRESTLER, it was with great surprise that I found out Aronofsky was both producer and director. I wasn't surprised because it was him, but because the story just didn't sound like something he'd do. I mean, where's the visual appeal in the story of a washed-up pro wrestler? Time for me to eat some crow...

The visual appeal isn't there but doesn't need to be. This is a myopic view that focuses its entire lens on that of one man, and does it so powerfully, with such an amazing story, that fans of such things as Rocky, Raging Bull and Brian's Song would be proud to rank it among their favorite sports-related films of all time; it's in my top five.

Much of the excitement has been directed at returning film star Mickey Rourke. Returning, you ask? Where had he been? Strangely appropriate, Rourke had taken a hiatus from acting and returned to one of his earlier loves: boxing. From 1991 to 1995, Rourke had become a professional boxer and won a string of matches. But he also received some crushing facial injuries that required reconstructive surgery. These injuries are still noticeable in The Wrestler, but they also give the filming of Rourke's face a unique appeal since we're talking about that of a spiraling down wrestler who's failing body can't keep up.

Wearing hearing aids, reading glasses, and having to work at a supermarket in order to make ends meet, Randy `The Ram' Robinson (Rourke) is discovering what lay ahead for him, a previously successful wrestler with a fan following that's dying off ...kind of like himself.

Beside `The Ram' is a stripper who's also on her downward swing. Getting older and nudged aside by younger, prettier strippers, Cassidy (Marissa Tomei, Wild Hogs) spurns The Ram's romantic advances. She still feels like she's got some stripper time left in her, even though the clientele where she works seems to say different. The power with which Tomei pulls her battered, sex-object body around only to learn that she needs something more than a pole to dance around is incredible to watch. But can Cassidy learn that The Ram's love for her is something she needs before it's too late? This is where the crux of the story really pulls the viewer in and holds us to the very, very end.

The side story of The Ram's estranged daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood, Across the Universe) also adds a very human quality to the main character, and gives us more of the in-depth character analysis so many films lack. It also reinforced The Ram's loneliness in a world where aging sports figures learn of their early mistakes, and that trying to make amends often results in old habits cropping up and destroying any such possibilities.

Finally, I have to mention the gritty film style that Aronofsky chose for The Wrestler. Hand held camera's and grainy looking film stock all added to a years-gone-by feel that was very appropriate. It also saved a ton of cash. In fact, The Wrestler cost only $7 million to make but has, apparently, made over $70 million as of this writing. The shocking fact for me is not that it's made back ten times what it cost to make, but that Aronofsky did it without any significant special effects like he used in The Fountain (cost = $35 million to make), proving that this director has the potential to make just about any film, under any circumstances, with minimal expenditures. Although this information may not be terribly interesting to movie-goers, I find this extremely admirable considering the multi-gazillion dollar films that get greenlit and then flop at the box office.

Aronofsky is the man. And he's got a resume to be proud of, too. And The Wrestler should rank high on his list. It should rank high on yours, too. See it for Rourke's performance. Enjoy it because Aronofsky did a fabulous job."