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The Wrestler
The Wrestler
Actors: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
R     2009     1hr 49min

Genre: Drama Rating: R Release Date: 21-APR-2009 Media Type: DVD

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Movie Details

Actors: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/21/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 49min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 19
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Kathi E. (hdwoman) from WESTPORT, PA
Reviewed on 2/20/2011...
Mickey Rourke proves he can still act. Pretty good.....slow in a couple spots but holds your attention to the end.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jeff P.
Reviewed on 10/26/2010...
If you have not seen this movie, you are missing out. Big time.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Canes N. from WALLACE, NC
Reviewed on 9/7/2010...
Mickey Rourke is incredible in this movie! I LOVE that the movie was made with real people, in real places and not with an insane budget. This movie so proves that is the story and the actors, not the money you toss at it.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 8/26/2010...
Nothing sugar-coated or Disneyfied here. Hard, gritty realistic story that, predictable or not, comes close to the misery, pain, disappointments, and endurance of many trying to lead better lives. Not really depressing when you consider what it's trying to reflect. If you want cheesecake, look elsewhere.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

The resurrection of Mickey Rourke
Movie Fan | 03/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've been a wrestling fan since the '70s and it's one of those things that I have to hide from most people because they think it's a joke or they just don't understand what it's appeal is. Then came along "The Wrestler" and now my friends are asking me questions and taking interest in "the business". I saw the movie with some friends and family and we had some very spirited discussions afterward. They couldn't believe that these guys would, for example, mutilate themselves to have blood in matches (a practice called "blading" that's performed with a small piece of a razor blade), or that years spent in the ring will leave most wrestlers battered and even disabled thanks to the legit wear and tear that wrestling has on the body. Most people assume a wrestling ring is a trampoline, but it's actually like landing on concrete and over time there's a price to pay for taking bumps on such a hard surface for so many years. "The Wrestler" reveals all of these issues wrapped up in an enthralling and emotional motion picture you wont soon forget.

Life imitates art on several levels in "The Wrestler". For example, the movie shows the dark side of steroid abuse that has caused a laundry list of wrestler deaths in just the past 10 years (the pressures of the Monday Night War era claimed the lives of countless wrestlers). Well, during the first backstage wrestling scene, Mickey Rourke's character shakes hands with a wrestler that is huge and jacked to the gills. That wrestler died from heart failure a few weeks before the movie's release. Also, there is a scene where another huge and overly muscular wrestler sells several illegal muscle enhancers to Rourke's character. That wrestler was recently arrested for selling drugs. But the real story here, is how Mickey Rourke's character of Randy the Ram mirrors Mickey's life in many ways. Both are former stars, both have pushed their bodies to the limit in sports (Mickey revealed on the Charlie Rose show that he was forced to quit boxing because one more serious blow could've been it for him) and both want to get back in the spotlight. Thankfully, Mickey has achieved his goal of regaining the spotlight. As for Randy, that's a different story.

Randy the Ram, seems to be based on a combination of former wrestlers Lex Luger and Jake the Snake Roberts. Lex Luger's ailing body and rock bottom financial situation plus Jake's volatile relationship with his daughter were definite inspirations for screenwriter Robert Siegel. Mickey takes the experiences of Lex and Jake, along with his own and shapes a character that he was born to play. The part was originally written for Nicholas Cage, but I can't imagine anyone but Mickey Rourke playing this part. Mickey plays Randy with such heart and soul that he truly makes the audience feel for him. We feel his pain, we relate to his shortcomings and we cheer him on to find love and rebuild the relationship with his daughter. When Randy apologizes to his daughter for being on the road wrestling and not being there for her when she needed him, you feel it.
As a wrestling fan, one of the most powerful scenes takes place at the end when Marisa Tomei's character begs Randy not to wrestle just moments before the start of a match due to his heart condition and Randy tells her that he belongs out there. It's the only place he fits in, it's the only place he feels successful and loved. Randy's music then hits and a man who looked broken down and beaten just a second ago, busts thru that curtain and walks out as a superstar with the crowd eating out of his hand. It's a powerful scene that sums up why so many wrestlers find it so difficult to walk away from the business.

Don't let the fact that "The Wrestler" takes place in the world of professional wrestling keep you from seeing it. You don't need to be a fan to enjoy this movie. Wrestling is merely the backdrop for the drama taking place on the screen. Everyone puts in amazing performances. Rourke and Tomei deserve their Oscar nominations and Evan Rachel Wood nearly steals the movie. Just keep this in mind while watching it. Don't get too wrapped up in the drama, because after all, it is just a movie. And movies are just fake, scripted entertainment with predetermined outcomes."
An emotional, gritty return for Aronofsky--I mean Rourke
A. Brodie | 02/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Wrestler marks Darren Aronofsky's growth as a film-maker from strange, science-fiction tinged films to films with emotional resonance in a real setting. I am a huge Aronofsky fan, loving Requiem for a Dream nearly as much as Pi, but I was underwhelmed by his last effort, The Fountain. His films are almost unbearably intense, most prominently shown in Requiem, but The Fountain abandoned his first two films' grittiness for a sleeker, polished story-line, exploring ambitious philosophical themes while failing to deliver on the emotional level. For a while, I was worried where Aronofsky's career would go, especially after seeing that he was helming a project called The Wrestler, which seemed to deviate from the subjects of his previous works.

The Wrestler gets everything right. Aronofsky trades high-minded philosophical themes for a more grounded, concrete narrative. He also reestablishes the inventive camera-work that made Pi and Requiem so aesthetically stunning, shooting almost the entire film on a hand-held camera. And, lastly and most refreshingly, he reinstates the violence and shock-value of his first films, escalating the wrestling scenes to cringe-inducing bouts of brutality and decadence. However, such violence is in aid of characterization--to show the hearts behind these men in the ring, to demonstrate the toll such entertainment may take on one's body, all in the service of a loyal, loving audience.

"The only place I get hurt is out there," says "The Ram" as he enters the ring towards the end of the film. Rourke, giving a breathtaking performance that should have EASILY triumphed at the Oscars (it's a travesty that he didn't win), provides us a window into the tortured soul of a man who's thrown his life away for the sake of his profession. No matter how much Ram deviates from our idealized vision of a hero, the audience never feels any animosity towards him; he screwed up, and he knows it, but he can't help it.

The mirrors to Rourke's life are easily seen, making the film into some manner of Greek tragedy rather than mere drama. It is Aronofsky's presence, and a wonderfully crafted script, that sets The Wrestler above other comback portraits like Rocky; the brutality is reminiscent of Raging Bull, and the style behind the film is a marvel in itself. The Ram is equated to Christian iconography, pointed out by Marisa Tomei's stripper, in that he suffers for humanity--not only is it an effective comparison, but it gives the film more depth than the average comeback piece. The buildup of sounds is used frequently as well, to great effect, to further the window in the life of the Ram.

The film is not for everyone; my sister refused to watch the wrestling scenes, because they are quite shocking. Some scenes are rather melodramatic, but effectively so, making the film a draining emotional experience (I went teary-eyed at least twice). But, it is a rewarding film if you have any interest in the craft, or wish to see the performance of a lifetime by Mickey Rourke."
Whats real and whats fake ...
Joel S. Schneider | San Francisco | 03/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not going to try and get too analytical with this review. "The Wrestler" is about soulfulness - about what's real and whats fake. Love is the most powerful emotion and Mickey Rourke, with the steady hand of Darren Aronofsky, was able to reach way down and tap it. I'm not afraid to admit that I actually felt love for the Ram character - and there is nothing formula about that. The character Rourke created had a reality and a humanity that made me feel his pain like it was my own. I suppose when you're able to recognize your self in someone else, the boundaries vanish and one feels compassion - one feels love. The film really moved me, shook me up, and ever since I've seen it, just thinking about Ram stirs my emotions. This touches something far deeper than sentiment. Mickey Rourke is wearing his soul on his skin (as pointed out by Suzannah Troy). Rourke has always pushed acting into the realm of "the real world". He's done this to the point where the characters he's played have seemed to reflect his actual life - and, to a certain extent, his life seemed to be bouncing off into parallel fictions. As an actor, he seems very technically in control of his craft, of the detail - but as a person, totally out of control when it comes to his life. He's acting and he's living on some very painful but mythic level - that's what I think makes him so absorbing to watch. I found it so touching to watch this broken down wrestler, this action-figure hero, reaching out, trying to make contact with his daughter and with the Marisa Tomei character - with the feminine - but he was locked into his pain. There is no "Rocky", Hollywood ending to this movie. Creating such a pure experience of reality out of something as fake and disrespected as wrestling is really finding the sacred in the profane - its finding somethin high in what would, on the surface, seem to be low.
Aronofsky has created the setting and put his belief in a great actor (who has wrestled many of his own demons) to find redemption and give us all something profound and timeless. I can't wait to see what they both do next."