The Wrestler

The Wrestler

I remember Pi and watching it the first time vividly.  When it became easy to find was right around the time I was beginning to take notice of these types of films.  It had a profound impact on me and I consider it to be one of the experiences that molded the way I watch movies.  Aronofsky followed up Pi with Requiem for a Dream, one I do not believe anyone walked away from unscathed.  I made his third film, The Fountain, my almost favorite of 2006, one most would completely disagree with me on.  Like all the small cadre of my favorite directors, I anticipate their future projects like a little boy on Christmas Eve.  Sometimes my expectations are up so high that if Jesus Christ himself walked out of the screen and sat down next to me to share popcorn I would shrug my shoulders and yawn.  It’s a curse.  I was not disappointed with The Wrestler.

Aronofsky is starting to make this look easy.  The story moves forward effortlessly through waters most other movies get bogged down in with sap and over-writing.  Watching this film was more like watching a documentary or following him around.  Much has already been written about Mr. Rourke’s performance, and I do hope he works some more and lays off the plastic surgery.  He turned the role into something you couldn’t imagine anyone else doing, not even the real guy this story was loosely based on.  Marissa Tomei has been showing off her body quite a lot lately, god bless her.  But the beautiful thing is not her courage to show off her body, but to take the parts she’s taking as the characters are complicated and anything but the damsels we’re so used to.

This is a deeply touching story about a man so far down on his luck it’s almost painful to watch.  The stuff that really stuck me was the estrangement with his daughter, something I have experienced in a way.  Even though the man is alone, broken and a pauper, he does what he knows in his soul he was put on this earth to do.  In spite of everything, getting to the end will make you smile with a sigh.

I want you to see this film, but I need you to do some heavy lifting training first because Changeling requires it.  If you go into this one out of shape, you’re going to sprain something that much I can guaranty.  Most of us know the story by now.  This Clint Eastwood helmed feature is a true story about a woman that lost her boy under mysterious circumstances.  Calling on the LAPD to help was apparently her mistake, as the corruption and brutality she faces thanks to that department in the late 1920’s is truly a rage-inducing experience.

I give Jolie a hard time in most cases.  She’s basically insane and her lips are crazy huge.  She plays two characters really well: the bitch and the insane bitch.  What she has done in this film, I really do have to give her credit for.  Not only did she break out of her bitch (although it was appropriately channeled at certain points), but as an audience member I felt her pain as if she was my own mother.

Clint Eastwood is an amazing director.  He effortlessly puts together a story that could easily feel like the History Channel, and gives us a film so gripping the two hours and twenty minutes flew by without being noticed.  There are some amazing stories of human spirit and the pursuit of justice melded into the main arc.  I went into this ignorant of the story as it happened and I was shocked and, well pissed off as it unfolded before me.  Honestly I want to go back in time and start punching LAPD officers in the face.

By the end of the film, one that I will not dream of ruining, you cannot help but hope that what Christine Collins went through happened for a reason.  As Rev. Gustav Briegleb says in the film, “..the Lord works in mysterious ways…”


Filed Under Film Box | 4 Comments


I was a little hesitant to see this movie because of my utter disdain for Bush… It is Oliver Stone though so I thought I owed it to him to give it a chance. The movie itself was good, well done, most of the characters seemed right on, although I had some problems with the Actress who played Condoleezza Rice… I mean Rice is definitely Bush’s puppet but she isn’t stupid and the character just seemed dumb to me. (That may have been more of a glitch in the writing though, not sure) 

It seemed a half hour too long, which is pretty characteristic of Stone’s films and I left the theatre feeling the same as I did when I walked into the theatre, which was disgust for the entire administration and the complete mess they have made of this country and the American name.

Howdie folks, Pip here.

My sister Tara found a cool quiz and sent it our way in which you have to guess the film by a single letter from the ‘one-sheet’ teaser poster of said film.  Some of them were really easy, others I couldn’t come close to figuring out.  See if you can beat my try of 23 correct without cheating!  QUIZ

Not only do I love films, but I love the behind-the-scenes action too.  I’m not talking about who Brad Pitt is shacked up with, I’m talking about knowing a funny story as told by the key grip on Lord of the Rings unit 14.  In fact I think I love the that stuff as much as the films themselves.  I have been known to see a film I love more than ten times, memorizing every last detail, but most surprising to some is the fact that I watch the fly on the wall docs that are on disc 2 of the special editions more than once too.  I’ll even go so far as to show friends what I think are particularly funny parts of a commentary track.  I have dreams of one day owning a rare collectable one-sheet and original film print collection.

When I tell you that a new Art House Theatre was just remodeled and had a grand re-opening literally two blocks away from my place, you’ll understand when I tell you that I was mind-bogglingly excited.  The place is really nice, too – and should be after one million dollars in renovations!  I went to go see a really cool doc the other day called “Man On Wire” which I will post a review up this weekend.  Already I plan on going back for every single release our neighborhood theater shows.  For all those lucky enough to have a local (or semi-local) art theater, show your support by going there as much as possible instead of the fancy multiplex.

Off of the soap box for me, let me know how you do on the quiz!

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