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Old 15 Dec 2008, 07:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Wrestler

Actual Wrestling Movies about Story and Heart and Substance are few and far between but Mickey Rourke stars in this little jewel of a movie called the Wrestler about a Broken down man who is trying to salvage the remains of his life in and out of the Ring.

I'm not going to lie, I was pretty moved by this Trailer, mainly because I've been such a Wrestling fan for so long it actually seems some what believable with all the stories of once great Wrestling Icons being broken down shells of their former glory, a recent example would be the Sandman.

Anyway, Watch this Trailer

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Old 18 Dec 2008, 11:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default The Wrestler thread.

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Darren Aronofsky to Direct The Wrestler
Source: WON


Last Friday, it was reported that screenwriter Robert Siegel's indie drama The Wrestler is in development at Darren Aronofsky's Protozoa Pictures, and now it appears that Aronofsky will direct as well.

The film centers on Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a 1980s-era star pro wrestler who has become a burnt-out shell of his former self. After he has a heart attack during a small-time match, a doctor tells him he could die if he fights again.

In an effort to build a new life, Robinson takes a job at a deli, moves in with an aging stripper and tries to build a relationship with her son. But the prospect of a rematch with his old nemesis the Ayatollah proves too tempting to resist, even if it means risking his life.

The Wrestler is targeted for a January 7 start. Aronofsky is also attached to direct The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg and Brad Pitt, which will presumably start after "Wrestler" wraps.
...I thought I'd dig this topic up, since Slashfilm did a script review for it.

http://www.slashfilm.com/2007/12/12/...-the-wrestler/

Some interesting tidbits:

"The Wrestler treats professional wresting with a respect and realism unseen previously in fictional films… Wrestlers talk through their match in the makeshift backstage (aka The cafeteria) and common in the ring practices like Blading (using a razor blade to open a gash on forehead) are seamlessly worked into the script."

"The screenplay also deals with drug abuse, including steroids, which will likely prevent future cross promotion from the WWE or any other major wrestling promotion."

I thought I'd dig this topic up, since Slashfilm did a script review for it.

http://www.slashfilm.com/2007/12/12/...-the-wrestler/

Quote:
Some interesting tidbits:

"The Wrestler treats professional wresting with a respect and realism unseen previously in fictional films… Wrestlers talk through their match in the makeshift backstage (aka The cafeteria) and common in the ring practices like Blading (using a razor blade to open a gash on forehead) are seamlessly worked into the script."

"The screenplay also deals with drug abuse, including steroids, which will likely prevent future cross promotion from the WWE or any other major wrestling promotion."

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Quote:
New info about The Wrestler on AICN:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/38144

In short: Springsteen is making a song specifically for The Wrestler, some say it's a very good small movie, and most monocle-popping of all is that supposedly there's talk about a best actor nomination for Mickey Rourke.... Who knows. Aronofsky is good though. It sounds promising.
Quote:
Indie film darling Darren Aronofsky stumbled with his most recent movie, "The Fountain," but he is back on track with "The Wrestler," which had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival and is seeking distribution.

Bolstered by a career-best performance from Mickey Rourke and outstanding work by Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, the film could nab audience interest, especially if Rourke's portrayal generates the awards fever that greeted Ellen Burstyn's turn in Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream."

Rourke plays a one-time wrestling star, Randy the Ram, still hustling 20 years past his prime. The strongest scenes are the opening sections that simply delineate Ram's daily routines. He continues to perform in low-rent arenas, and the film does a fine job revealing the mixture of fakery and bruising physical assaults that are part of the wrestling game. Ram can barely pay his rent, perhaps because he still spends money on his appearance -- dyeing his long locks, visiting a tanning salon and relying on steroids to stay in shape.
This sharp slice of life is not quite enough to sustain a movie, and so writer Robert Siegel has come up with a plot that hits too many predictable notes. When Ram suffers a heart attack, he tries to make changes in his life, reaching out to a tough-as-nails stripper (Tomei) and to his estranged daughter (Wood).

Although the film teeters on the brink of sentimentality, it never topples into the slush, and this is a tribute to the rigorous direction as well as the astringent performances. Still, there are mawkish moments: When Rourke and Wood visit an abandoned beachside emporium, a tear trickles down his cheek as he pleads for her love. "Wrestler" oscillates between hard-edged naturalism and stock melodrama but ends on an understated note of melancholy that seems just right.

Rourke dispenses with all vanity to plumb the depths of this well-meaning but severely damaged man. Tomei delivers one of her most arresting performances, again without any trace of vanity. Wood's part is smaller, but she captures the scalding anger of a woman neglected for most of her life. The supporting players add to the authenticity of the atmosphere. That authenticity is the hallmark of the production, with vivid cinematography and set design.

Ram might be the ultimate loser, but Rourke scores a winning tour de force.

Credit: www.hollywoodreporter.com

Quote:
Talk about comebacks. After many years in the wilderness and being considered MIA professionally, Mickey Rourke, just like the washed-up character he plays, attempts a return to the big show in "The Wrestler." Not only does he pull it off, but Rourke creates a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances. An elemental story simply and brilliantly told, Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is a winner from every possible angle, although it will require deft handling by a smart distributor to overcome public preconceptions about Rourke, the subject matter and the nature of the film.
Co-produced by Wild Bunch in France, where Rourke has retained his most loyal following through thick and thin, this is nonetheless an American picture through and through, beginning with the way it strongly evokes the gritty working-class atmosphere of numerous '70s dramas. Spare but vital, and with the increasingly arty mannerisms of Aronofsky's previous work completely stripped away, the film has the clarity and simplicity of a great Hemingway short story -- there's nothing extraneous, the characters must face up to their limited options in life, and the dialogue in Robert Siegel's superior script is inflected with the poetry of the everyday.

All the same, for the first few minutes one could be excused for imagining the film was directed by Belgium's Dardenne brothers, as ace lenser Maryse Alberti's camera relentlessly follows around aging wrestler Randy "the Ram" Robinson (Rourke) from the back, concentrating on his long, dyed-blond hair and hulking body before fully revealing his mottled, puffy face. This guy is 20 years past his prime, but he's still in pretty good shape and aims to get back on top on the pro wrestling circuit.

Ram seems to have always been a big fan favorite -- he is one of their own, a fearless bruiser the white working stiffs can root for against the assorted freaks, ethnic interlopers and outright villains in this macho cartoon universe. A beguiling early scene that firmly sets the movie on its tracks shows an event's muscled participants, all warmly easygoing and chummy with one another, pairing up and discussing what moves they'll make in their matches. A similar later scene has one of the wrestlers offering Ram his choices from a laundry list of dubious-sounding pharmaceuticals.

Apart from the momentary camaraderie of his ringmates, however, Ram is alone in life. At the outset, he's also penniless, locked out of his dismal trailer home until he can pay up. He works occasionally, lugging cartons at a big-box store, and his tough-guy posture is adored by small kids, but he's got no friends and nothing to show for his strenuous efforts.

From time to time, he has a drink at a gentlemen's club, where he visits aging stripper Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), whose days of using her body for her livelihood are similarly numbered. After getting a load of some of Ram's battle scars, Cassidy, whose real name is Pam, tells him he ought to see "The Passion of the Christ." "They threw everything at him," she says, to which Ram guesses Jesus must have been a "tough dude." Ram must confront his mortality after the film's second wrestling match, a bout so gruesome and barbarous it will force some people to look away.

Assessing his options while recovering, Ram decides to gently step up his relationship with Pam, as well as to try to reconnect with his daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), whom he hasn't seen in years. Both women have good reasons not to allow such a damaged man into their intimate lives, but even their most tentative signals of openness give Ram reason to hope for a new chapter in his life. His encounters with them are sensitively written and acted with impressive insight and delicacy, and Ram has one monologue in which he lays his feelings bare to Stephanie at a deserted old Jersey boardwalk -- "I deserve to be alone," he admits -- that is so great, one wishes it were longer.

After a stint at a deli counter that is the source of more good character humor, Ram decides to unretire and fight in a 20th-anniversary rematch of one of his most legendary bouts, "Ram vs. Ayatollah." Despite the hoopla, the way it all plays out is as far from "Rocky Balboa" as one could get, resulting in a climax that is exhilarating, funny and moving.

Shot in rough-and-ready handheld style, pic atmospherically reeks of low-rent lodgings, clubs, American Legion halls, shops and makeshift dressing rooms on the Eastern seaboard in winter (it locationed in New Jersey and Philadelphia). Stylistically, it's agile, alert and most interested in what's going on in the characters' faces.

And that is a lot. Physically imposing at 57, with a face that bespeaks untold battering and alteration, Rourke is simply staggering as Ram. The camera is rarely off him, and one doesn't want it to be, so entirely does he express the full life of this man with his every word and gesture. Ram's life has been dominated by pain in all its forms, but he's also devoted it to the one thing he loves and excels at, so he asks for no sympathy; he may have regrets, but no complaints.

As vibrant -- and as naked -- as she was in last year's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," Tomei is in top, emotionally forthright form as she charts a life passage similar to Ram's, if much less extreme. Once her character stops stonewalling her father and hears him out, Wood provides a fine foil for Rourke in their turbulent scenes together. The many supporting thesps, especially the wrestling world habitues, are richly amusing and salt-of-the-earth.

Credit: www.variety.com
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Quote:
Darren Aronosfsky's "The Wrestler" was awarded the Golden Lion for best picture at the Venice film festival today. The film, starring Mickey Rourke in what has been tagged as his comeback film, has received nothing but critical acclaim since it started the film festival circuit in the last several days.
Fox Searchlight Acquires The Wrestler
Source: Variety
September 8, 2008


Quote:
Variety's Anne Thompson reports that Fox Searchlight Pictures has picked up director Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler at the Toronto International Film Festival for about $4 million. The drama, starring Mickey Rourke, won The Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.

The film centers on Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Rourke), a 1980s-era star pro wrestler who has become a burnt-out shell of his former self. After he has a heart attack during a small-time match, a doctor tells him he could die if he fights again. In an effort to build a new life, Robinson takes a job at a deli, moves in with an aging stripper and tries to build a relationship with her son. But the prospect of a rematch with his old nemesis the Ayatollah proves too tempting to resist, even if it means risking his life.
Quote:
Ernest “the Cat” Miller is a former WWF wrestler who, in this movie, plays “the Ayatollah,” a faux-Arab wrestler from the eighties. The character now sells used cars and is fat and happy in retirement. Miller has three scenes, two of which involve no wrestling at all, and he’s funny, quiet, and dead-on perfect. We had no idea he was a wrestler in real life until we checked IMDb. Credit: NY Magazine

Quote:
ROURKE BLADED!

From imdb.com:
Rourke Slashed Himself For Fight Film


Mickey Rourke spilled blood in his latest movie role as a wrestler - by deliberately cutting himself with a blade during a fight scene.

The Angel Heart star taped a razor blade to his wrist and sliced his face as the cameras rolled, to make his part in upcoming film The Wrestler more realistic.

His co-star Wass Stevens tells the New York Daily News that Rourke took the drastic action after hearing how real-life fighters sometimes faked injury - to the delight of fans watching.

Wass says, "So Mickey taped a blade to his forearm, and when the time was right, sliced his forehead."



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Quote:
Rotten Tomatoes has it polling at 100% with 24 reviews in so far.

Quote:
Director of "The Wrestler," Darren Aronofsky, said in a recent interview that Vince McMahon called him, requesting a private screening of the movie.



Quote:
A small follow up to this, I heard an interview with Aronofsky today on the Howard Stern Show, and he said he is personally giving VKM a screening tomorrow. Howard said he thinks McMahon will love it but from what I have heard of the movie, I don't know.
12-19-2008^^^^^

Quote:
He also said they had a screening yesterday attended by Flair, Valentine, Piper and Beefcake where Piper apparently cried in Rourke's arms
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Old 18 Dec 2008, 11:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So yeah, I really want too see this movie.
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Old 19 Dec 2008, 05:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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BEST. PICTURE. EVER.
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Old 19 Dec 2008, 06:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Since there was a thread already made on this I just merged them.

I really would like to see this movie, it just looks amazing.
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Old 29 Dec 2008, 07:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Watching it now.
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Old 01 Jan 2009, 02:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That was one fuck of a movie.
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Old 02 Jan 2009, 06:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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yup that movie was fuckin sweet.
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Old 15 Jan 2009, 07:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just got released here and I just got back from it, Fuck that was a gut wrenching film...

Sad but touching ending...
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