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Author Topic: The Wrestler - Movie Impressions  (Read 1636 times)
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disarm
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« on: January 25, 2009, 06:31:50 AM »

anyone else seen this movie yet?  i went to the theater tonight and think it's a fantastic film, easily one of the best i've seen in a while.  Mickey Rourke completely owns his character and deserves all every bit of the praise that he's been receiving.  his portrayal is definitely the kind of role that can define someone's career.  The Wrestler's great story, compelling characters, and sense of humor kept me interested from the opening credits to the dramatic conclusion.  a really great 80's rock soundtrack doesn't hurt either...especially an amusing little scene with a sing-along to 'Round and Round' icon_cool

whether you've been curious or haven't heard a thing about the film, i highly recommend checking it out.  does anyone else have any impressions? 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 06:44:59 AM by disarm » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2009, 11:50:08 AM »

I enjoyed it, though it is relentlessly depressing.  Seems like they based the story pretty heavily off the life of Jake "The Snake" Roberts (as seen in the documentary "Beyond The Mat"), and it's a fairly accurate look at the backstage life of indy wrestling.  Despite the title, it should appeal to non-wrestling fans as well.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Just don't expect a Rocky-esque ending.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 11:52:33 AM by Laner » Logged
WinoMcCougarstein
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 05:18:05 AM »

I watched it today, great movie. 
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 04:42:11 PM »

I added it to my Netflix.  I'm sure it's still out in the theaters but it doesn't seem to be the kind of movie that I'd actually go out to see.
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 04:10:22 PM »

For fans of the film or those anxious to see it on DVD, The Wrestler is one of today's new DVD releases along with Frost/Nixon.  I didn't get to see The Wrestler in the theater, but it's a definite purchase today and I hope to have time to watch it by the end of the week.  I have heard nothing but positive things about it and while it may be a bit depressing and quite the emotional ride, most of the time when we have movie nights with friends we watch fun action romps or amusing comedies.  I think it is about time to have a movie night featuring more impactful fare.  The list time we watched such a film was when The Departed was released. 
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2009, 03:15:20 AM »

Yeah, that was one depressing as hell character study.  My GF said she was kind of interested in seeing it, but ultimately passed.  I'm kind of glad she did, she would've hated it.  Lots of character building and exploration, very little in the way of concrete plot.  She's not one for slow pacing, lots of characterization, and ultimate ambiguity.  I quite liked it though.  It's probably one of those that I'll like much better after a week's gone by and its sunk in.
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2009, 11:41:22 AM »

I saw this a few weeks back. It was kinda meh.  It had some really good scenes but something was missing.
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2009, 04:34:31 PM »

What a sad, pitiful expose on the life of a busted down wrestler. I stayed with it although half way through I wanted to slash my wrists.
But I don't think they exploited the subject matter in anyway. I do believe that thousands of people live that way everyday. Those who only know how to do one thing and yet everything else in their lives suffers because of it.

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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2009, 07:29:14 PM »

One of the more depressing movies I have seen.  I kept seeing Mickey Rourke as he was in Diner and then seeing his face in the movie.....the parallels were hard to ignore.

Seems like almost a direct port of the Jake the Snake Roberts documentary

Marisa Tomei with nipple rings.....that was a scene I was not expecting
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2009, 08:33:11 PM »

Quote from: Jaddison on May 09, 2009, 07:29:14 PM

One of the more depressing movies I have seen.  I kept seeing Mickey Rourke as he was in Diner and then seeing his face in the movie.....the parallels were hard to ignore.

Seems like almost a direct port of the Jake the Snake Roberts documentary

Marisa Tomei with nipple rings.....that was a scene I was not expecting

Marisa has a smokin' hot body. Hard to believe she's 41.

I loved this movie, thought it was absolutely brilliant. Rourke was incredible. And man I loved how they did the ending!

Definitely not a happy movie, but didn't think it was nearly as depressing as some, in fact I thought the ending was pretty uplifting.
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2009, 08:42:24 PM »

I watched this one last week.  I found it uncomfortable to watch.  It was an interesting movie but depressing as hell.  I didn't know that it was based on Jake the Snake Roberts.   I'll have to check out the documentary.
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2009, 10:03:10 PM »

Quote from: Jeff on May 09, 2009, 08:33:11 PM


Definitely not a happy movie, but didn't think it was nearly as depressing as some, in fact I thought the ending was pretty uplifting.

Tomei was interesting.  In some of the scenes, she looked 20 something.  In some, she looked her age.  Totally depended on how they lit her, which was interesting.

The ending:


SPOILER SPACE BECAUSE TAGS ARE BUSTED!






Spoiler for Hiden:
You thought it was uplifting? Which part? He decided that he was basically going to kill himself because he didn't think he was able to be anything other than what he was.  Maybe he was right.  But the tragedy was that he was offered a chance to get out, and he turned his back on it.  He was enjoying working at the deli.  He had a chance to reconcile with his daughter.  The stripper was willing to be with him.  He either passively screwed it up (the daughter), or actively pissed it away (the job, the girl). 

Now, it's possible that the match ended well for him.  He might have gotten back into the game, and risen to the top again.  But my reading of it was that his jump off the top rope was pretty much it for him.  He partially made his decision when he walked down the ramp, but his final choice was when he looked up and saw that she'd left.  Her leaving was completely his fault, but it was the final straw that pushed him to the end.  You could read it as him going out doing what he loved, but I read it as someone being unwilling to change, and giving up on his life and himself because of it.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 10:09:26 PM by Chaz » Logged

Jeff
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2009, 10:46:13 PM »

Quote from: Chaz on May 09, 2009, 10:03:10 PM

The ending:


SPOILER SPACE BECAUSE TAGS ARE BUSTED!






Spoiler for Hiden:
You thought it was uplifting? Which part? He decided that he was basically going to kill himself because he didn't think he was able to be anything other than what he was.  Maybe he was right.  But the tragedy was that he was offered a chance to get out, and he turned his back on it.  He was enjoying working at the deli.  He had a chance to reconcile with his daughter.  The stripper was willing to be with him.  He either passively screwed it up (the daughter), or actively pissed it away (the job, the girl). 

Now, it's possible that the match ended well for him.  He might have gotten back into the game, and risen to the top again.  But my reading of it was that his jump off the top rope was pretty much it for him.  He partially made his decision when he walked down the ramp, but his final choice was when he looked up and saw that she'd left.  Her leaving was completely his fault, but it was the final straw that pushed him to the end.  You could read it as him going out doing what he loved, but I read it as someone being unwilling to change, and giving up on his life and himself because of it.

Here's why I found the ending uplifting:

SPOILERS


.
.
.
.
A set up for why I think the ending was uplifting

First off, I totally disagree with you that he was happy with his deli job. I think he hated that job and he was embarrassed to be there. His boss was a dickhead, and the customers were ... well ... customers. ("a little more. no, a little less, uh, a little more"). Think about it, this guy was a star and was well known and well loved in his world. He probably made a lot of money back in the day. Now here he is wearing a nametag and a hairnet and having to put up with that dick boss and idiot customers and having to wear the name "Robin". When a customer recognizes him as The Ram, he's royally embarrassed and he becomes enraged and loses it. Loved that job? no way. He definitely had a good attitude while working it, and tried to be upbeat and positive, but that's not the same thing as loving the job.

Next, he had that amazing day with his daughter, and he's one dinner date away from restoring his relationship with her and he blows it, by forgetting. (that, to me, was by far the most depressing part of the film - when she made him look her in the eye and she told him 'we're done', and you knew she fucking meant it)

Ok so he loses it at work, and cuts himself and then goes to the arena and says he wants back in. Cassidy (Tomei) shows up at his house first and by this time his mind is already made up. He goes to the arena and Cassidy shows up and begs him not to go out there. And he says "listen to them" (they were chanting "Ram! Ram!") "I'm home" he says, "this is where I belong"

The kind of uplifting I'm talking about here, is kind of accepting that death comes for us all, but how do you want to go out - having a heart attack in the back of a fucking grocery store wearing a hair net and making $7.50 an hour? or go out where you belong - 'at home' as he put it, doing the one thing he loved, in front of cheering fans who loved him?

It reminded me of Pan's Labyrinth. If you saw that movie you'll know what I mean by how the endings were somewhat similar.

It's kind of a dual-nature thing -- sad and uplifting at the same time.

P.S. I don't think Cassidy abandoned him. I think she left because she couldn't bear to watch, not because she was done with him. And I think he didn't choose her, because he didn't trust her, or the outside world anymore.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 10:47:51 PM by Jeff » Logged
Chaz
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2009, 11:06:41 PM »

SPOILERS!!!












I never said he loved his job, I said he was enjoying it.  He was having as much fun as you could have working customer service that first day.  Then something (I can't remember what, was it the daughter thing?) happened, and that messed him up for the next day.  No, he certainly didn't love his job.

Of course, Cassidy couldn't bear to watch.  She knew what he was about to do to himself.  The difference between the ending of Pan's Labyrinth and this is that in Pan's, life is obviously not going to improve for the girl.  Death is a valid escape because of her surroundings.  In The Wrestler, his surroundings and current state of affairs were entirely his own doing, and could have improved, if he'd wanted.  The Ayatollah was there to illustrate that life after wrestling was certainly possible.  The tragedy is that he chose death instead of cleaning up the mess he'd made of his life.
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2009, 09:56:42 AM »

Spoiler Alert

I agree that he enjoyed his deli job as much as you could enjoy that.  But when he was down after watching the wrestlers and then told that girl i the bar "we had a show tonight" (I think this also happened right after Cassidy treated him like a customer) then did the coke and slept with her which followed him sleeping it off and forgetting dinner with his daughter....that was when he determined he was nothing but a fuck up.  I think it was also then he determined that he would only mess Cassidy and her kid up in the long run and so even when she apologized it was too late he had already given up on his ability to have or sustain a different life.

I took part of the message to be that the "superstar" lifestyle often sucks you in but is damn hard to let go of and so you are trapped because along the way you completely forgot (if you ever did know) what "real" life is and how to have one.
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2009, 01:00:26 AM »

Saw the movie today. I have to agree with the "it was depressing" crowd. It's a great case study on what happens when you think you will always be on top in your athletic/celebrity profession. It was like a 2 hour "Behind the Music" episode except with wrestling.

Along with mirroring Jake the Snake's personal life, The Ram also matched Hulk Hogan's hair, tan, physique, steroid use and rivalry with the Iron Sheik. Apparently Roddy Piper has 75% hearing loss in his left ear (same as Randy) from a match in the early 80's.

Spoiler for Hiden:
You knew that once things started getting better in his life (in regards to his daughter and Tomei) that he was going to fuck it up. I took it that he was committing a form of suicide in the end and wanted to go out on top.
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2009, 01:32:43 AM »

The Wrestler is more a mirror of Greg Valentine's life than Jake the Snake's.
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2009, 03:00:21 PM »

The wife, a friend of ours, and I all watched The Wrestler on Saturday night.  Everyone really enjoyed it.  I liked some of the subtle humor, the soundtrack was kick-ass, Rourke's performance was one of the best I've seen in quite some time, and while the film was somewhat depressing, it didn't leave me feeling down or depressed.  I think in part because The Ram made a conscious decision to go out the way he wanted to.  The Ram's inability to give up on being in the spotlight, no matter how much the spotlight has dimmed, even despite serious health issues, was a bit depressing, primarily the scene when he was signing autographs at the local VFW and took a moment to look around at the other retired wrestlers. 

It was also a shame to see him once again ruin his relationship with his daughter despite some good intentions, and while he didn't purposefully set out to hurt his daughter, it was an unfortunate byproduct of his questionable lifestyle and poor decision making.  He almost didn't know how to handle the real world, or didn't want to, and instead chose to constantly return to the wrestling world because it didn't have the pain, disappointment, and heartache that plagued his real-world lifestyle.  In the ring he was The Ram, loved and adored by arenas full of fans.  And at the end he came to the realization that the wrestling world was where he belonged, no matter the consequences.  If he was going to go out, it wasn't going to be while being criticized by a grocery store manager and packaging potato salad, it was going to be in front of an arena of adoring fans.  It's almost as if he came to peace with who he was, the screw-up he had been, and the star he was in the ring.  And he was okay with that. 

That isn't to say that being a screw-up is okay, but while he made an effort to reconnect with his daughter and develop some semblance of a normal relationship with Marisa Tomei's character, he came to learn that he wasn't up for the challenge of life and felt that he belonged in the made-up world of professional wrestling.

All in all a great film, one I could certainly watch again, and Rourke deserved the accolades and acclaim he received for this movie. 
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2009, 03:41:56 PM »

From what i read about Greg Valentine and Jake Roberts the film seems more Jake...this quote from the now sober Jake

"This ring is my wife...and I'm sorry to say it, but she is the only wife I've been faithful to. When I enter this ring, it is not to play games. When I enter this ring I am making love to my wife."
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2009, 04:12:13 PM »

I think The Ram's character was somewhat of an amalgam of a number of aged and battered professional wrestlers.  The Ram's strained relationship with his daughter was almost certainly taken from Jake The Snake's story as seen in Beyond The Mat, the hearing issues probably were based on Roddy Piper's own hearing loss, and even some of the other characters mirror real-world professional wrestling, such as Necro Butcher resembling the character of Mick Foley/Mankind.  While The Wrestler wasn't necessarily meant to be a documentary on any one wrestler's life, it borrows from a number of real-life stories and hits pretty close to home in its depiction of an aged and worn professional wrestler's unwillingness and inability to let go of the spotlight.
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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2009, 04:15:28 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on May 11, 2009, 03:00:21 PM

he belonged in the made-up world of professional wrestling.

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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2009, 04:56:16 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on May 11, 2009, 04:12:13 PM

I think The Ram's character was somewhat of an amalgam of a number of aged and battered professional wrestlers.  The Ram's strained relationship with his daughter was almost certainly taken from Jake The Snake's story as seen in Beyond The Mat, the hearing issues probably were based on Roddy Piper's own hearing loss, and even some of the other characters mirror real-world professional wrestling, such as Necro Butcher resembling the character of Mick Foley/Mankind.  While The Wrestler wasn't necessarily meant to be a documentary on any one wrestler's life, it borrows from a number of real-life stories and hits pretty close to home in its depiction of an aged and worn professional wrestler's unwillingness and inability to let go of the spotlight.

Well, a lot of stuff I've read about the movie says that Randy Robinson draws more from Greg Valentine than Jake Roberts, but I can see where Jake Roberts comes in.

You do know that Necro Butcher is a real wrestler, though, and was playing himself in the movie, right?
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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2009, 04:58:21 PM »

Finally saw it myself this weekend.  I enjoyed the story, the "insider look" they gave, the acting, the realness of it all.  That being said, I found the entire plotline involving Randy and his daughter to be extremely heartbreaking.  When he completely and totally fucked up his chance to resurrect an all-but-dead relationship with her, I sat there on the verge of tears.  Not just for him... but for her as well.  Out of everything the movie depicted, this to me was by far the most powerful piece.
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2009, 04:59:06 PM »

Quote from: pr0ner on May 11, 2009, 04:56:16 PM

You do know that Necro Butcher is a real wrestler, though, and was playing himself in the movie, right?

Obviously if I had I wouldn't have made the statement about Mick Foley.
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2009, 05:09:22 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on May 11, 2009, 04:59:06 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on May 11, 2009, 04:56:16 PM

You do know that Necro Butcher is a real wrestler, though, and was playing himself in the movie, right?

Obviously if I had I wouldn't have made the statement about Mick Foley.

Google!   icon_twisted
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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2009, 05:28:07 PM »

What storyline in the movie wasn't tragic?

The Ram's storyline = tragic

Cassidy storyline about how she is going to get out of the biz =tragic

Ram's daughter =tragic as she is clearly been hurting and will hurt over this a long time

The levels the wrestlers in these small venues go to to entertain for next to nothing...the blood the injuries = tragic

I guess redemption for Ram is that at least he is going out doing his thing rather than fade away

This movie could also be an allegory for many of the soldiers coming back from combat, especially the guys early on when services for them were non-existent to help them cope
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« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2009, 05:31:13 AM »

I caught this on HBO over the weekend, well, more like DVR'd it off of HBO.  damn, it was a depressing yet really well done movie.  Marisa Tormei was extremely hot, could have done without the pierced nipple though.  I was surprised to learn she's pushing 50.
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« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2009, 05:59:06 PM »

I just saw this and I thought it was a great movie.
Although I can understand the parallels to other wrestlers' real lives, the only wrestler I kept seeing in my mind was Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka from a look and wrestling moves perspective.
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