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Mr. Beaks Hails Darren Aronofsky's THE WRESTLER!

Brooklyn-bred Darren Aronofsky has gone to New Jersey and made his NEBRASKA. As spare and haunting as Bruce Springsteen's acoustic masterwork, Aronofsky's THE WRESTLER is less reinvention than refinement: the relentless self-destruction of mind and body depicted in PI and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM has merged with THE FOUNTAIN's search for spiritual grace, while his audacious technique has been abandoned for a naturalistic approach that recalls the independent American cinema of the 1970s and 80s. This mostly suits Robert Siegel's straightforward narrative of a past-his-prime professional wrestler's fumble for redemption, but it emphatically agrees with Mickey Rourke, who owns the film as the breaking-down Randy "The Ram" Robinson. Though the opening credits' combo of Pro Wrestling Illustrated clippings and Quiet Riot gets the film off to a raucous start, this exuberance evaporates once the tableau shifts to an elementary school classroom, where fortysomething Ram - dyed-blond tresses flowing and muscles almost rippling - girds for staged combat. It's an ignominious setting for a warrior, but the gymnasiums of the New Jersey school system appear to be the only venue left for grapplers of Ram's era; and while he appears to be in better physical shape than most of his contemporaries (i.e. he lacks the unflattering flab-to-muscle ratio of lifers like Ric Flair or Dusty Rhodes), that heavy, persistent cough is not a harbinger of happy things. And yet Ram gamely goes through the motions for his remaining, hopelessly nostalgic fans, trading chops and elbows and clotheslines with a random "heel" until it's time to take to the top rope and deliver his finishing move, the "Ram Jam". This over-rehearsed spectacle may require Ram to draw his own blood (he heightens the drama by furtively slicing open his forehead with a razor blade - a common practice in the pro wrestling trade), but he's not complaining; this is the life he's chosen, and he's too far entrenched to be wishing for better now. Sure, he's got a dead-end puppy-dog crush on an aging stripper who works under the handle "Cassidy" (Marisa Tomei, every bit Rourke's equal), can barely pay his rent, and injects untold amounts of steroids into his body to stave off the sag; all that said, he seems to have made his peace with these minor disappointments. Besides, there's a big payday coming in a twentieth-anniversary rematch with his old nemesis The Ayatollah; as long as "Bob's willing to dust off the ol' turban", retirement, and god knows what else, can wait for another year or so. But then, after a particularly brutal match (which builds from innocent face slapping to actual assault with a staple gun), Ram's heart gives out. Suddenly, his reckless regimen of steroids and booze is untenable; if there's any other way to make a living, Ram has got to find it soon or face the abyss. But first he must find a reason to live, which leads to an clumsy play for Cassidy's affections (she's more comfortable with Ram as a customer) and a disastrous attempt at reconnecting with his estranged daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). It's in the reproachfulness of the latter that we're forced to square the affable, ingratiating Ram with the absent, unlikable father who turned Stephanie into a bitter young woman. For reasons that become clear later in the film, Ram stopped caring once the '80s concluded, and, rather than move on, he's opted to cling to his glory years. This is why he still rocks the hair-band locks and enters the ring to Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)"; but he's got to put all of that away for good if he's to successfully reconcile with Stephanie. If Siegel's screenplay has a weakness, it's in the father/daughter dynamic, which is hampered in the early going by rote dialogue and shopworn situations. It's creaky, but Rourke and Wood finally elevate the material in a pivotal scene at a deserted boardwalk; watching tough-guy Rourke blink away tears as Ram begs forgiveness for wrecking Stephanie's childhood is doubly painful because it feels as if the actor is seeking atonement for his own mistakes (many of which have been permanently beaten into his face after a midlife go a professional boxing). For moviegoers who fell in love with the potential of Rourke via DINER or THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, this is heartbreaking stuff - especially since the actor's career peaked during the same decade in which Ram essentially stopped living. When Ram tells Cassidy, "I hated the fucking '90s", Rourke's performance becomes a confession (look to the IMDb to relive the missteps). And when he turns on the old charm while working a dreary shift at a supermarket deli counter, connecting with customers as he dishes out crummy-looking potato salad, it ascends to revelation. Where's this guy been for the last twenty years? THE WRESTLER occasionally flirts with sentimentality, but Clint Mansell's understated score resists such temptation; he reflects mood rather than dictate it. Still, even when Aronofsky is nudging into uncomfortably mawkish territory, it feels like a ruse; the bottom just has to drop out at some point, right?. It does, but unlike the conclusions of PI or REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, there's exhilaration here. Ram may be gored on the horns of a losing proposition, but at least he's left with the dignity of choice: on his knees or off the top rope. It's a beautiful gesture, and it's the beginning of THE WRESTLER's claim to greatness. Smash to black. Then Springsteen. Acoustic Springsteen. Still at the end of every hard earned day, people find some reason to exist. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 5, 2008, 12:57 a.m. CST


    by banville

    Sounds boring.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Shit, they're screening this already?

    by Gwai Lo

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:04 a.m. CST

    hell yes

    by ranma627

    Aronofsky and Mansell are my guys. Absolutely adore Requiem and the Fountain.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Rourke Needs a comeback

    by Broseph

    He was going strong for a while but as of late he hasn't done shit.I hope to see more of him as marv

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Can't Fucking Wait!


    I love aging warriors of the rings film. Wallace Beery was a God to me in THE CHAMP. I can't wait to see a filmmaker that puts souls on screen like Aronofsky - put his stamp and take on this material. Can not wait!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:09 a.m. CST

    It sounds good, I hope it is. Aronofsky deserves success.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    I love his movies. I hope I love this one.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:11 a.m. CST

    so happy we didn't have to wait another 7 years...

    by Rindain

    ...for new Aronofsky. Can't wait for this.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:12 a.m. CST

    I thought of this as a movie idea a few years ago

    by bigbadbua

    Because I'm a big fan of wrestling, so I'm hopeful that this will be as good as I think it can. Sadly, stories like this are more the norm than the exception in wrestling, where guys die all the time from abuse of any number of substances, and when that doesn't seem bad enough a story like Chris Benoit comes along. Its a rough business on the performers, and I hope this film captures that aspect.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Wrestling Fans

    by bigbadbua

    Anyone else looking for "Have A Nice Day" by Mick Foley to be turned into a movie? Probably my favorite book of all-time.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:15 a.m. CST

    I want Aronofsky to be busy until 2017.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:16 a.m. CST

    I hope Aronofsky gets to make all of his dream projects.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:17 a.m. CST

    by pomofo

    I'm glad Nicholas Cage dropped out of this movie, so Mickey could get the role

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:18 a.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    It follows the lead of BEYOND THE MAT in a way. The toll of the job is painfully evident in Aronofsky's film. I bet he was a fan of this stuff growing up (as I was).

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:18 a.m. CST

    I gotta win the lotto to fund Aronofsky.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    I'd throw money at Del Toro to!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:22 a.m. CST


    by Lashlarue

    Darren is back on track. Let's put that cinematic abortion called The Fountain behind us.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Mr Beaks

    by bigbadbua

    I'm glad to hear you say that because I loved Beyond The Mat. Seeing what has happened to guys like Terry Funk and Jake Roberts is almost tragic if you're a fan of wrestling.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:27 a.m. CST

    "Can't Fucking Wait! " How do I sleep after this?

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    Damn, I gotta go to bed! You said it Harry! This is going to be awesome. Aronofsky always surprises me. Always. It's going to be brutal, honestly brutal. He's the master of that. He makes emotion real, you know? He makes you feel it.<p><p>AICN, get an interview with Aronofsky as soon as you can; I wanna hear what he has to say, and what's coming down the line.<p><p>That's it, I'm watching the FOUNTAIN right!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:33 a.m. CST


    by nilskidoo

    would have made a KILLER Comedian.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Normal Aronofsky? No!

    by SanityKaos

    Bruce Springsteen! What!? Robocop! What!? I want weird Aronofsky!!! Not normal Aronofsky!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:36 a.m. CST

    The Fountain owned...

    by Lord John Whorfin

    in 2006. Name a film that was more visually interesting.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:37 a.m. CST

    I love Arnofsky

    by enderandrew

    And yet The Fountain only had visuals going for it. That movie was really lost in translation somewhere.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:40 a.m. CST

    ~~~Aronofsky for "HUNT THE DARK KNIGHT!"~~~

    by The Marquis de Side 3

    if Nolan leaves and doesn't do the third Batman film, I'd like to see an Aronofsky entry into the franchise with Bale. he's definitely got the unsentimental chops. it's only "THE FOUNTAIN" where I found the sentimentality to be too much, and the conquistador scenes to be like "MONTY PYTHON & THE HOLY GRAIL". but Darren is one of the greats. <br> <br> oh yeah, and Mickey Rourke will FUCKING own!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Lord John Whorfin

    by bigbadbua

    I was more visually interested by Pan's Labyrinth in 2006, and as enderandrew just said the visuals were about all The Fountain had going for it. Too weird for its own good.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:41 a.m. CST

    I thought the Fountain was pretty simple...

    by Lord John Whorfin

    guess not.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Sounds like ...

    by VoxMillennium

    the movie Barton Fink would have made if he'd had a free hand.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Pan's Labyrinth...

    by Lord John Whorfin

    truly a contender. Both films showed viewers things they haven't seen before. I supposed I should have stipulated that I was considering American film, but Pan's Labyrinth was pretty great, too. Even if it did get wide US release in 2007.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Devil On The Canvas!

    by pleasebanme

    Don't worry, it's just a B-picture.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2 a.m. CST

    sounds great - aronofsky for the question movie!

    by ironic_name

    the question!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Please lay off Rourke and Aronofsky fellas.....

    by StraightToHell

    OK, Rourke might not have put out mindblowing work in the 90s (still, even in that lame Van Damme flick Double Team, he was an awesome bad guy), but that doesn't change the fact that he is still a legendary actor who is one of the two or three best working actors in US right now. His single scene in The Pledge was one of the most shattering episodic bits of acting I've ever seen. And what about his supporting turn in The Rainmaker? He is sublime in a relaxed, hilarious performance that manages to steal every scene from Danny DeVito and Matt Damon, which in itself is an amazing feat. And though Animal Factory came out in 2000, and isn't technically 90s, he was astounding as the gay cellmate of Edward Furlong. Just listen to the commentary by Eddie Bunker and Danny Trejo (both ex-cons) who say that Rourke should have won an Oscar for that role. So, it ain't like the guy was frozen all that time. if anything, the roles I just mentioned would make other actors drool with envy. Even his "wilderness" years dwarf other actors' best consecutive work. The dude is a legend. And The Fountain was simply brilliant. The visuals rivaled anything that Cameron did with his movies in terms of beauty and genuine originality. And yes, he does make films that are supercharged with emotions. But have you seen Bergman's and Kurosawa's films? Many of their works EXPLODE with emotion. So, why is that bad? It took me a while to warm up to Pi, and though I still think the ending didn't work, it's still one of the best first films ever made. He is a serious talent and if this keeps up he just might be inching his way into the Michael Mann/Gilliam/Polanski territory. And with both of these dudes working together, I can't wait to see this film!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Mr. Beaks is the best reviewer

    by Unlabled

    What a magnificent way to describe Afronosky and the feeling this film creates. You are my must read when I come to this site now.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:36 a.m. CST

    ARONofsky is the GREATEST filmmaker today

    by BrightEyes

    and if you don't think so you can go FUCK YOURSELF!!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:41 a.m. CST

    @ mr beaks

    by jason baum

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:42 a.m. CST

    @ mr beaks

    by jason baum

    (sorry bout that) is this film an awards season contender? i've been dying to see it, and thought its originality would carry it into the awards arena, so i'm curious. great review, jealous as hell that you got to see it!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:57 a.m. CST


    by shogunshin

    anyone want to see greatness, do not forgot to watch BARFLY. rourke was so disgusting and dirty in that movie. you could feel the dirt just watching the flick. ROURKE rules, and i hope he gets on track to keep making great films.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 3:13 a.m. CST

    Wow! I was on the fence with this one..

    by Marxeffect

    Now i cant fucking wait!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 3:14 a.m. CST

    "I hated the fucking '90s"?

    by newc0253

    strange, but looking at IMDB, the only thing i saw Rourke in during the 90s was the Rainmaker in 97.<p> i knew his career took a nose dive for a while but ... damn.<p>

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 3:51 a.m. CST

    Can't wait!

    by danthemagnum

    As an independent wrestler myself I personally cannot wait for this film. Bunch of my buddies are going to the screening at the TIFF.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 4:58 a.m. CST

    Bright Eyes I agree with you..

    by DOGSOUP

    ..But YOU go Fuck YOURself anyway!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Wow...this can't come soon enough!

    by spooky2k

    This write-up has made me even more excited to see this film. Aronofsky is one of the greatest film makers around today, and if what this review says is correct (that he's found the blend and style of his other films but with a more naturalistic style), then I cannot wait.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Parallels with Jake Roberts?

    by dastickboy

    This film sounds fantastic, hope this gets decent distribution in the UK. As soon as I started reading it I immediately recalled the scenes in Beyond the Mat featuring Jake Roberts. That was a gut-punch if ever there was one. He always seemed such a steely, centered character, but his real life was just an absolute mess. Was far and away the most heart-breaking thing in that particular film.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Rourke never took a nosedive

    by nilskidoo

    He left hollywood for a few years to be a pro boxer. He is old school tough, like Robert Mitchum.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Bret Hart's book should be made into a movie.

    by Dragon Man

    Apparently he wants to turn it into a ongoing series with a similar vibe to The Sopranos and he's trying to get it developed.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 7:24 a.m. CST


    by pdennett316

    You took the words right out of my mouth, this movie sounds like an extended version of the Jake Roberts scenes from Beyond the Mat. <p> The stories Roberts told in part explained why he was the way he was, and why he was in the wrestling business. Partly because his dad was a wrestler, but I believe mostly as an escape from the problems of real life. The chance to be this powerful, confident character in the world of wrestling is no doubt heaven for someone looking to escape whats happening in real life. Roberts discussing his sister who was murdered and her body never recovered really opened up why he was the way he was - then seeing the impact that in turn had on his daughter was heart-wrenching. <p> This review has completely turned me around on this flick from zero interest to must see.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Great Director & Cast, Perfect Post Summer

    by cowboyone

    Stoked for this. Mickey Rourke as a has-been is inspired casting and Aronofsky always delivers. Can't wait! Where's my trailer?!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 7:31 a.m. CST

    must see

    by DrLektor

    So this is the wrestling equivalent of Rocky? That works and has been a long time coming. Except the big fight this time is a crock of shit and the hero has to eat humble pie, leaving the ring with nothing but his dignity. From the bits I've seen and the blurb I've read and now Mr. Beaks... have to say I'm sold.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST

    marisa's tittahs, do they make an appearance?

    by ironic_name

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST

    for HEADGEEK, BEAKS etc....

    by brassai2003

    Just an idea. when you can, could you embed a trailer with the reviews? I know many are too early, but some have trailer. I think this would be awesome and give a bit of context to the review and TB'ers a chance to visulize the characters.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    vewwy vewwy excited

    by T 1000 xp professional

    Thank God it's actually real and coming soon for the rest of us. IT doesn't even feel so long since we had the fountain. This release is surely a blessing.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    I'm tired of perople trashing the Fountain.

    by R_Sammy

    You people complain that movies are becoming generic and unoriginal with all of the rip offs, remakes and sequels, but when something actually comes along that is unique and a genuine work of art you don't appreciate it.<br>I'm very curious to see Aaronofsky tackling very different subject matter. He has been gradually developing a more naturalistic style and I'd like to see how he does when shedding his stylistic flourishes. <br>Hopefully this movie can be his resume for taking over the Batman franchise after Nolan's done with it. I hope the suits realize that its hiring a skilled and creative team instead of some hack that made TDK good and not just because its "dark."

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST


    by frongbak

    SHould be great, and more grounded than the Foutain which I found too ponderous at times. I'm also jazzed to see Aronofsky tackle Robocop. I love to see great talents be able to expand their visual pallette and a hard-caroe action flick with social satire seem right up Aron's alley.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Not trashing Fountain

    by frongbak

    I admire the effort and would much rather see a director over-reaching for greatness even if the product is a bit of a mess. This film seems like the perfect way for Aronofsky to reel in his grand aspirations and focus on an intimate story. Requiem was incredible and it's style perfectly served its story.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST


    by the new transported man

    The tragedy & business behind pro wrestling is riveting to me, & I'm stoked that this movie is coming out. Just like I'm stoked that somebody made Watchmen. Forthcoming movies FTW.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Can't wait. Need a shot of Aronofsky...

    by onezeroone

    Am off to watch the Aronofsky Marathon... followed by a Rourke marathon

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Aronofsky is..what Richard Kelly wants to be.

    by knowthyself

    I really get that feeling when watching Any of Darrens films. Don't get me wrong I still like Darko..and Southland is my unguilty pleasure..but Aronofsky has an attention to detail and nuance that is hard to match. Aronofsky is on his way and WRESTLER may be his own "there will be blood". An undeniable masterpiece that finally gives him the accolades he deserves. And to hell with the critics..THE FOUNTAIN was a gem and the best film of that year.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Script was pretty putrid

    by RowdyRoddyStriper

    I read the script for this a while back and it was awful. The first act is pretty good, but once it gets into the daughter stuff it goes downhill real quick. Pretty maudlin and cloying. Hope Aronofsky rewrote that fucker, cause as is, it was pretty weak. That said, The Fountain is a fucking masterpiece. Pi has not aged well at all, and the less said about Requiem the better. But The Fountain was the shit. Easily one of the best studio made films of the last 20 years.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:21 a.m. CST

    This sounds like Aronofsky's comeback, not Rourke's

    by fiester

    Rourke's comeback was Sin City. Aronofsky is the guy who fell flat on his face with that colossal misstep The Fountain. <p> I wonder if this script was at all based on the life of Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Sounds like maybe yes.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST


    by fiester

    Your assertion that The Fountain was a "fucking masterpiece" makes everything else in your post irrelevant. If that's your aesthetic outlook, I now suspect the script your read was the masterpiece. Not enough New Age bullshit in it for you, pal?

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Sounds great

    by hst666

    Have to try to see this one. But come on. And who doesn't like some Quiet Riot!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST

    sounds like a snoozer

    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    well....seeing as how i CANT STAND "professional" wrestling in any way shape or form...whether it be the cheesiness or people knowing (and some NOT knowing) thats its fake and STILL loving it is silly IMO. not for me...even if im drunk, its a pass...ill wait for his Robocop re-do.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Aronofsky should do 1984.

    by Knuckleduster

    So excited about this. Fuckin adore all of Aronofsky's films. Any word on a release date yet?

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST

    To All My Friends!!!!!!!

    by IamZardoz

    Rourke really is a great actor that has made some dumb decisions. Hopefully this gets him back on track.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST

    work is good

    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    its good to see Rourke keeping busy...i thought he was the (only) good thing about DOMINO, i dug his character in Sin City (most interesting character, easily), and i even enjoyed him (for what its worth) in Get Carter as a slimy prick. hes got talent, for sure...but "professional" wrestling has always irritated rather watch a good MMA fight and watch someone get cut by a vicious elbow than to do it themselves with razor blades...such masochists aren't they???

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Release Date, Distribution

    by mrbeaks

    THE WRESTLER is still without both. I expect that to change soon, and I'm confident they'll find a way to get an Academy qualifying run this year.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Rourke's Been Great In Supporting Roles Lately

    by mrbeaks

    DOMINO, SIN CITY, BUFFALO '66, THE RAINMAKER... but this is the first time he's effectively carried a movie since JOHNNY HANDSOME. Some folks say nice things about HOMEBOY, but I remember being unimpressed with that one.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Rourke's done this before...

    by Guy Grand

    Except it was boxing. "Homeboy" had the same feel of this. I agree with 'fartedinthefaceofHollywood,' this thing looks like a snoozer. And that orgasm you had for acoustic Springsteen...well, "Homeboy" had acoustic Clapton. Ho-hum.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST


    by oducerproducer

    Yeah i agree as well with the Jake Roberts comparisons. As a wrestling fan & a filmmaker i must say, I'm glad there is a film that is showing wrestling in a not so stereotypical light, e.g. Spider-Man. As for Rourke, please don't forget the greatness that is Rumble Fish.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 12:50 p.m. CST

    if you hate pro wrestling

    by the new transported man

    You can still get into this movie. Pro wrestling is utterly retarded, but there are some amazing dynamics behind the scenes. The abuse, the business, the makes for a very interesting story, even more interesting when the subjects are past their prime & still tooling around in the indie wrestling world.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Beaks: You got the Springsteen lyrics wrong!!!

    by WWBD

    "At the end of every hard earned day, people find some reason to BELIEVE." It's the name of the song, for chrissake.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Think That Might've Been On Purpose, WWBD...

    by mrbeaks

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:13 p.m. CST

    the new transported man

    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    i hear ya man, and im sure there are things to be enjoyed in this film...i just take no interest in the "in the scene" and "behind the scenes" nature of the wrestling just dosen't interest ME at all really. sorta like Brokeback Mountain, i dont wanna see that movie...not because its about gay dudes, but because its a love story about two closet gay cowboys falling in love...and that particular subject material dosen't interest me enough to sit down and watch for a couple sure its a great movie and all, just as im sure films like "The Piano" and "The Crying Game" are great gilms in their own right, but ill probably never see them...because i personally dont care enough to

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Springsteen's Reason to Believe?

    by DKT

    Is that the track they use, or is it a new one?

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 1:17 p.m. CST

    No, DKT

    by mrbeaks

    It's a new song called "The Wrestler".

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:02 p.m. CST


    by the new transported man

    Yeah, objectively dramatic & moving or not, if you don't feel like watching a movie about wrestlers falling in love with gay cowboys, then Brokeback Wrestler is not for you.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST

    well, Beaks, I guess I am dumb then

    by WWBD

    but i don't get it

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Arnofsky is a genius

    by ChocolateJesusMan

    Arnofsky NEEDS and i repeat needs to remake that celluloid abortion that was "Constantine" And give us the Hellblazer movie we have been crying for (co-written by Alan Moore of course)

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST

    beaks, you dork, dont tell the whole f'n story!

    by pipergates

    Your piece is pretty well written, but to tell every little detail that happens is not to review. I'm very glad the film is good but it would kind of have been preferable to have an idea of what its like rather than have the whole f'n thing spoiled. Contain yourself.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by ironic_name

    EXACTLY! thankyou. <P> kelly is trying hart out to be aronofsky.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to this...

    by Forsakyn

    I didn't care for The Fountain (yeah, it was visually interesting, but I had no connection without it beyond that). Requiem for a Dream was great, though. And I love Mickey Rourke's work (I feel he's a fantastic actor), so I was glad to see him given the title role in this flick. I'll definitely catch this movie when it comes out.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 3:09 p.m. CST

    kelly is trying HIS hart out to be aronofsky.

    by ironic_name

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 3:20 p.m. CST


    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    a bit off the page thenewtransportedman. its only MY opinion anyway...which ill serve piping hot without hesitation, but i speak for no-one but myself and i try try try to convey that in my comments. its all good though...if this is your thing, then i suppose your in for a treat. personally...most of the movies im looking forward to are far off...Burn After Reading is the only thing thats on my radar at the moment.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST


    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    I've only seen Requiem for a Dream, and while its a great film...i felt like i had been dragged across broken glass after seeing it, so it was effective in that sense. havent seen Pi but hear good things....havent seen The Fountain and have only heard mixed feeling on that one. im not gonna say ill NEVER see The Wrestler, but its low on the list of movie-priorities (as ar a great and many films). im nervous about this Robocop re-do...fingers crossed HARD on that one...

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Swweeeeeeeeeeeeeet. Thanks, Beaks.

    by DKT

    Looking forward to it.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Kelly wants to be Kubrick

    by BrightEyes

    but Aronofsky is becoming Kubrick so that is why it seems that way.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 4:06 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    I can't wait to hear Clint Mansell score in every movie trailer next year! ITS GONNA KICK ASS!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 4:40 p.m. CST

    holy spoilers...

    by jandol

    OK, if you're going to go into that much detail of the ENTIRE MOVIE you might want to give people a bit of warning... Nicely written review, but, cripes... I have been really looking forward to this , and now I feel like there is going to be no surprise for me in it. That sucks.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 5:01 p.m. CST

    The Fountain

    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    i remember there was a time when the film had a nice big budget and Brad Pitt set to star....then something happened and the budget was cut tremendously and Pitt backed out. sometimes i wonder what happened, studio lost faith in the film perhaps???....who knows, because what do movie studios know???....not much these days

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST

    "The Fountain" was terrible

    by TooWhippy

    All it needed was some fart jokes to bring in the ticket sales. People love that stuff.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 5:10 p.m. CST


    by zombiwolf

    I heard Bruce Springsteen for the first time today. Wasn't impressed but it sounds right for this movie.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 5:11 p.m. CST

    I bought the Eraserhead soundtrack

    by zombiwolf

    couldn't think straight for days.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 6:12 p.m. CST

    "his audacious technique has been abandoned for a naturalistic a

    by fassbinder79

    In other words its probably not any good.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 6:41 p.m. CST

    No Macho Man cameo?

    by zooch

    Oooooooo Yeeaaahh!

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 6:48 p.m. CST

    sounds great. darn good review

    by Jonah Echo

    Beaks. You did a good job with this. Now we just need a release date. Sounds terrific.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST


    by Broseph

    my mom has always praised that as one mickey rourke's best films.i need to buy i've only seen the part where him and frank stalone fight for beer money

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 6:58 p.m. CST

    This sounds a bit like John Huston's Fat City

    by skimn

    with Jeff Bridges and a amazing Stacy Keach. Man, you could taste the stale whiskey of that movie.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 7 p.m. CST

    Holy Fuck, that sounds boring.

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    Aranofsky makes beautiful, hollow, shallow, dull films. Requiem had all the depth and heart of an after school special. Looked fucking great though. Same goes for The Fountain. This just sounds like another plodding wannabe melodrama. Still, I'm sure Mansell's score will deliver trailer music for the next ten years.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 7:58 p.m. CST


    by quantize

    you must be an extremely dumb cunt

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 8 p.m. CST


    by Forsakyn

    You're coming across like some kind of whiny negative bitch. Oh, wait.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    SOLD! Love Rourke, love Aronosky, LOVED the FOuntain

    by Stormwatcher

    Frak anyone who doesn't you aint been in love or married. I will always treasure that film.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Going to see this on Tuesday

    by Garbageman33

    Between this, Slumdog Millionaire, Sugar, the Brothers Bloom and a few other titles, Toronto should be pretty good this year. Even though JCVD was a big disappointment.

  • Sept. 5, 2008, 11:09 p.m. CST


    by BrightEyes

    very true the fountain is one of the best films about Love ever.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 12:51 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    That was one nicely written review Beaks. Reminds me of Raging Bull. Can't wait.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 11:22 p.m. CST

    The Fountain

    by thot

    was really, really weird, and not weird in an entertaining way either.

  • Sept. 7, 2008, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Memories-Of-Murder you descibed EXACTLY how I feel

    by Proman1984

    About the movie. Love it, despite disagreeing with the message. Still, it made me feel awe and I congratulate Darren and Mickey on their achievement.

  • Sept. 7, 2008, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Hey! I hated the 90's too...

    by Yamato

    That decade sucked ass big time. This does sound like Jake the Snake. I would love to see an HBO type series based around the "Von Erichs" or perhaps the Harts. See all the crap and darkness of the world of pro wrestling.

  • Sept. 7, 2008, 3:43 a.m. CST

    This just won the Venice Festival...bring on the Oscars!

    by HarryBlackPotter

    Love Mickey Rourke and I've been waiting for him to finally get some recognition for the great work he's been doing for the last few years. Can't wait to see this.

  • Sept. 7, 2008, 1:41 p.m. CST

    i seriously can't wait

    by nogimmick this movie is going to be great, plain and simple, AND it has necrobutcher in it! HA!!

  • Sept. 7, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST

    hm, how about this one...

    by nogimmick

  • Sept. 8, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST

    yeah it was a great film

    by BurgerKing

    saw it the other night too

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 11:12 a.m. CST

    by Brian

    I need to see this movie immediately.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Seeing it tomorrow morning...

    by DanielKurland

    And cannot wait. So curious to see how Aronofsky deals with this.