The Wrestler (Movie Review)

All you need to know is that The Wrestler is the best film of 2008.

Note: I'll probably revisit and rewrite this review somewhere down the line. As it stands, I really cannot recommend this film enough. There really is no criticism I can (in good conscience) level against it. I'm also aware that the third and fourth paragraphs don't gel as well as they could have (that's why I inserted the picture and caption there and not elsewhere), and that the seventh paragraph feels like a rushed ending. Reviewing things that are good is something I need to work on.

I've heard this is excellent and that Rourke does a fantastic job, and I plan to see it. I have to say, though, that I just saw Slumdog Millionaire and would have no problem with that winning best picture, either.

i agree with ellimist337 all the way

Having just learned that the director of The Wrestler is Darren Aranofsky, my interest in this film has shot up.

This is an incredible movie, I actually had a chance to meet Rourke and Aronofsky at Ring of Honor (I do some editing for them), ended up not getting to go but that scene really got me. It was also cool seeing so many of the people I've worked with, like Paul E. Normus and of course Necro Butcher in the film, good thing they didn't go with the WWE for this film. Any fan of wrestling needs to check this movie out, and if you know someone that doesn't even like wrestling, they'll like the movie, it's just that good. Awesome review, man.

Best movie though? I thought Gran Torino was a teensie bit beter.

Nice review. I'll ocassionaly see ads for this movie on tv and I thought it looked pretty interesting. I'll have to check it out.

Maybe I'm going to watch it if I have the opportunity to.

You should see it if you're a fan of wrestling for sure.

And Rourke's performance was so sincere I thought it was hard to watch the actress, because next to them they looked like they were acting - and they're great actresses.

But its both funny and really sincere, and really sad. But beautiful too.

I went to see this film today as well, and almost did a review as well, but you beat me to the punch, and since I am in more or less in agreement with your review,(and if you look around, seemingly every pro critic as well) I feel like it would be a little redundant to write my own bit of praise heavy prose. So this post will serve as my official opinion on the film.

Not the best movie of the year, so I have to disagree there. That film would have to go to Wall-E. You can't dismiss it because it's animated. Nonetheless coming in number two to Wall-E is not something to be ashamed of and since the Academy is likely to ignore brilliance because it's covered in bright colors and kid-friendly marketing, this is the film I'll likely be rooting for come Oscar time. I haven't seen Slumdog or Frost/Nixon yet(I will) but those are the only two films I haven't seen that would even have a chance at knocking this one out of my second favorite of they year.

It's a lot harder to write a review about a movie you love, than one you dislike, but Maet did a respectable job. My only point of contention is the last paragraph, where you say that the underlying them of the film is acceptance, and well that is certainly a powerful theme in the film, I feel it certainly not the only theme and not always the strongest. I think it's a little presumptuous to pick out one theme in a film that is complex and call it the underlying theme. It might make a reader who hasn't seen the film watch it in such a way that they miss out on some of the other things going on. It's as if a teacher told you that the underlying theme in Huck Finn was racism before you read the text, and the student thinking it's a book about racism misses out on the other things Twain has to say about society. (I had a teacher do this in High School, and it led to some inane class discussions where students tried to deconstruct everything to relate to racism) I'm rambling on now, so I think I'll stop before my response is longer than the actual review.

dcheppy:
Not the best movie of the year, so I have to disagree there. That film would have to go to Wall-E. You can't dismiss it because it's animated. Nonetheless coming in number two to Wall-E is not something to be ashamed of and since the Academy is likely to ignore brilliance because it's covered in bright colors and kid-friendly marketing, this is the film I'll likely be rooting for come Oscar time. I haven't seen Slumdog or Frost/Nixon yet(I will) but those are the only two films I haven't seen that would even have a chance at knocking this one out of my second favorite of they year.

Animated features never get a nod for best picture because they are still treated as second rate film (God knows why though since Pixar usually spends about four years making each film). I liked Wall-E, and if any animated feature does deserve a nod and/or win for best picture, Wall-E is certainly it (Considering all animated films ever, not just from this year). Why Wall-E doesn't get my vote for best film of 2008 is because Pixar still handles timely themes with the young and not the mature in mind. Of course they do it better than anyone else, but the potential of the film is undermined when it's still expected to perform within the confines of the genre and cater to the under 12 audience. I would've loved to see an alternate ending on the Blu-Ray though.

Slumdog is brilliantly directed, but the acting leaves a bit to be desired. I too have yet to see Frost/Nixon. Actually, there are a lot of other movies I should have seen today instead of MBY:3D (Valkyrie, Revolutionary Road, Doubt, etc.) but at the moment I was more interested in seeing if there really is potential in a 3-D revival.

I'm waiting till the Oscar nominees are announced on Jan.22nd before I start making my picks. At the moment, I'm fairly certain that Danny Boyle will get best director for Slumdog, and that's as far as I'll go right now.

Maet:

Why Wall-E doesn't get my vote for best film of 2008 is because Pixar still handles timely themes with the young and not the mature in mind. Of course they do it better than anyone else, but the potential of the film is undermined when it's still expected to perform within the confines of the genre and cater to the under 12 audience. I would've loved to see an alternate ending on the Blu-Ray though.

Slumdog is brilliantly directed, but the acting leaves a bit to be desired. I too have yet to see Frost/Nixon. Actually, there are a lot of other movies I should have seen today instead of MBY:3D (Valkyrie, Revolutionary Road, Doubt, etc.) but at the moment I was more interested in seeing if there really is potential in a 3-D revival.

Good points. I wonder what Wall-E would've been if the last third had a little more bite. I'm not sure it would've been any better, but it would be interesting to see what Pixar would do with a movie if it wasn't making films to be enjoyed by children. I actually think Wall-E in part worked so well, because of its apologetically bright outlook and optimism. It meshed well with Wall-E's infectious good nature. Not every movie needs a dark side to be mature. Plus it's hard to deny that Pixar's execution is nearly flawless, between art design, pacing, sound design, music, and animation, there is not a category where Pixar lags.

BTW Doubt is very good and gets my fullest recommendation. I wish I could say Valkyrie interests me because I have a lot of love for Bryan Singer, but the trailers just don't look good and subsequent mixed reviews don't help. And there's nothing wrong with enjoying a good or even bad slasher flick now and then.

It's nice to see someone who can intelligently talk about movies(that aren't sci-fi/fantasy/anime)on the internet(or IRL for that matter).

The Wrestler = WIN

good review

Some cracking reviews and comments here

The wrestler was a good film. But for me and a few other people i know have seen it, its not top oscar material.

Rouke was good, the story and script was good but there was something not there for us, that makes it non oscar winner for me.

I saw it a few days ago and I really enjoyed it. A powerful movie for sure.

dcheppy:

 

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