Last night I had the great fortune to take in The Wrestler. This is a movie starring Mickey Rourke about a washed up wrestler that is trying to get his life back in order while wrestling the small time shows. I'm sure most of you knew that already, but there you go. Watched this at The Oriental with 3 other buffet members and two buffet wives. I'm sure there are at least 2 other members of this board that could talk about this better than me, but I'm bored and that's what the comments are for. We'll look at different aspects of this movie.
Acting: Mickey Rourke is not one of the guys that comes to mind when I think of incredible actors. I'm not sure that this movie changes my view of his acting skills, but damn was he good in this movie. I think he was so great because he wasn't forced to act all that much. Rourke has had one messed up life. He has been a boxer. He grew up in a crappy neighborhood. He has had failed relationships. He doesn't have a pretty mug. Reid summed it up best while walking out. After seeing his rough face several times, Reid said they couldn't have found anyone better to play this role. This also reinforces the fact that he didn't have to act much. I think the one part where he was really acting involved his first scene in the deli. That scene showed character development to a certain degree. The rest of the time he was playing a dude that might not be that far removed from it is really like to know Mickey Rourke. I mean the dude went on steroids to do this movie. That's dedication.
Marisa Tomei. Wow. I know that D3S said he heard that she was weathered, and she was a little bit, but man. I'm not sure what it is, but I thought she looked good. She had quite a messed up character to play and I thought she nailed it. Plus she had pierced nipples that she didn't mind showing. Nice.
Plot/Story: About what you would expect and I thought it was very well done. I read that this is somewhat loosely based on Jake 'The Snake', or maybe it just really reminds people of his now sad life. They really did a good job of capturing what it's like for these wrestlers that aren't part of the "show" anymore. I also really loved how they ended it. I'm not going to say anything here since I believe everyone on this board should see the movie whether they like wrestling or not.
Wrestling action: While I wish there would have been more, I think what they did have in it was rather good. Unbelievable some of the stuff they showed. That stuff is real and I grimaced in pain at least ten times. The actors in this movie really put themselves through the spots. Glass, barbed wire, staples, tables, and ladders. It was all there. It also gave those not familiar, and those that are familiar, with wrestling an insight into what happens during a match. Mrs. Reid posed some good questions based on the matches afterwards.
Cinematography: It took a bit at first to get used to the handheld camera shooting. Sort of Blair Witch like, but not as shaky. It gave it a cool perspective and made it feel more gritty. It was good they filmed this thing in New Jersey (pretty sure it was Jersey) because the bleak winter landscape went very well with the story. You want a depressing landscape that goes along with a depressing character... choose Jersey. I don't care what Zach Braff says, the Garden State ain't all that.
Overall I thought this was a good movie. I can see why it has gotten so much attention and won some accolades. There wasn't much of a budget and they pulled everything they could out of it. I once again highly recommend you see this movie. I also look forward to hearing comments from Moongoose, Reid, and Zone since they were all there last night.