The Wrestler

DVD Reviews | By on Apr 29th, 2009

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Todd Barry
Written By: Robert Siegel
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky
Studio: Fox
Buy on Amazon.com

Oscar nominated film, starring the comeback kid; Mickey Rourke in an once-in-a-lifetime role playing Randy “The Ram” Robinson is now out on DVD and Blu-Ray, and what an excellent film it is. Co-starring Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood, the film is about how one wrestler struggles to keep the fame around him 20 years later from his world famous wrestling match at Madison Square Garden. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler is low budget, and has that Indie feel when watching the film. A compelling story and excellent casting make The Wrestler one of the last year’s top films.

Struggling with life in New Jersey, Randy “The Ram” Robinson is still trying to hold onto his fame as a Professional Wrestler, and it’s a pretty grim existence. From one lousy wrestling gig to the next, The Ram still puts all his might into each match. Cutting their face, or falling onto a table, wrestlers really throw themselves into their craft to make it entertaining for the fans. You quickly get a sense at how sad these wrestlers have come from when they were huge stars and now facing off in matches that are at High Schools and tiny venues, not to mention the memorabilia shows where 10 fans show up and it’s a good turn out. Randy is beat up physically and mentally. He has to endure the pain of matches over a 20 year career by heavily medicating himself, and also working as a deli clerk at a supermarket dealing with unruly customers. The way the film is shot is sort of like a documentary because it’s like they are following around the aging wrestler as he goes about his daily routine of working out in the gym, going to the tanning salon and then trying to line up matches to earn a few dollars. In his spare time, he flirts with a stripper, Cassidy (Marisa Tomei) who turns in an excellent performance not to mention she looks fantastic. Randy has an estranged daughter, Stephanie (Wood) whom he tries to repair the relationship by dropping by from time to time to see he could win her back. Bailing on his daughter years ago, you can see why she doesn’t want anything to do with him. Without spoiling too much, Randy “The Ram” Robinson endures some hardships and must make some life decisions that may affect his career and the big 20 year reunion match up against his foe, The Ayatollah. His decisions may not surprise you but certainly make you think what decision would you have done if you were him.

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Not much as far as extras is concerned. You get the Music video by Bruce Springsteen for which he won a Golden Globe and there is 40 minute documentary with the Director Darren Aronofsky. The documentary takes a look at the production and pre production of the film, but does not feature any interview footage with the star, Mickey Rourke. I was a bit disappointed to find that there were no other extras on the set, but considering they probably rushed this out into production so that it was as close to the Oscars as possible. I would think a special edition release would come out in the future.

I was pleasantly delighted by the film and was truly impressed with Mickey Rourke’s performance. Everyone has said this performance was made for Rourke and I agree. I also feel his comeback started back when Sin City was released a few years ago. Maybe the mainstream noticed this film as Mickey’s comeback performance, but how could you go wrong with his role, Marv in Sin City? This certainly was an excellent film and performance and I believe Mickey deserved the Oscar for playing “The Ram.” He’s an actor that just throws himself into the role and lives it. He pretty much was going through this prior to the film anyway since Mickey is a big fan of boxing and wrestling already. It’s nice to see the wrestling community embrace the film because these guys live it and endure the pain and struggles that the career demands.

Features:
– Within the Ring – A No-Holds-Barred One-on-One with Wrestlers and Filmmakers
– “The Wrestler” Music Video – Written and Performed by Bruce Springsteen

Audio:
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color

Video:
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround

Subtitles:
English, Spanish

RATING & SUMMARY:

Favorite Scenes:
Facing off against The Ayatollah, Trying to lead normal life, Anything with Marisa Tomei
Rating: R
Running Time: 109 mins
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating:

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