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Monday, January 05, 2009

The Wrestler

I grew up on wrestling. I was a Hulkamaniac. I had the dolls, the memorabilia, the wrestling wring, videos, etc. I thought Hulk Hogan was a real life Superman. I was also a big fan of The Ultimate Warrior, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Superfly Snooka, and Jake The Snake to name a few. When the concept was first told to me that wrestling was fake, I got really offended, then defensive, then just hurt. I remember seeing a slow replay of Macho Man Randy Savage pinning someone and he never touched the guy when he flew off the rope.

I find it all nostalgic now. The Wrestlemania where Hulk Hogan body slammed Andre The Giant. It all makes me teary eyed thinking about it. This was, of course, back when wrestling went national. It was around the same time that Cable Television was introduced to the public.

All this being an integral part of my childhood, I was quite fascinated with this idea of a movie about a professional wrestler. Plus being directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Mickey Rourke...well....I had to see the movie.

I have mixed feelings about the film. It's not a happy story. It's gritty and the character of Randy "The Ram", I can see being influenced by a few real people. The true stories I've heard about drug addiction, suicide, and other sad things regarding wrestling is touched on in this film. The stand out aspect of the movie was Mickey Rourke, hands down. I think it was one of the best performances I've seen all year.

I've also gotta say that Marisa Tomei has been impressing me recently. I wrote her off in My Cousin Vinnie....the same movie she won the Academy Award for which I still think was a lame decision on the academy's part. But she really does a good job. Not to mention....she has a pretty nice body to look at since she is hardly dressed in the majority of this film.

Overall, it was worth the trip to the theater and I hope Mickey Rourke gets more good work out there.

3 3/4 stars.

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