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The Wrestler

Darren Aronofsky's 2008 dramatic film about a down and out professional wrestler.

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I gotta find some of Randy's old matches on Collisum Video

  • Aug 27, 2011
Rating:
+5
One of thing things I learned after following pro wrestling a few years back is what happened to those names I used to hear about all the time like Jake Roberts and Lex Luger.  I never heard about them dying considering what big names they are, and then I learned a bitter truth.  Those big names and they're big lifestyles came crashing down.  Jake Roberts and Lex Luger were the inspirations for the character of Randy "The Ram" Robinson who is the focus of The Wrestler.

Mickey Rourke is Randy "The Ram" Robinson who was a huge wrestling phenom in the 80's with action figures, video games, fame and drugs, as well as a heavy road schedule that ruined his family life and left his daughter estranged from him and one day, the fame and money were gone, the lifestyles side effects set in along with bad health and Randy supplements his income working at the local supermarket when he can while working indy wrestling shows on the weekends getting what little money he can.  In the meantime, Randy frequents the local strip club to meet his would be girlfriend who tolerates him but knows that Randy can't separate his wrestling life of playing a character and reality and treat her as anything but a stripper.  Things look rough but Randy plugs along with partying and wrestling.

One day, a heart attack sidelines Randy with the doctor telling Randy to cut the drugs and working out, and that includes wrestling which means now Randy must, for lack of a better term, grow up and it forces Randy to do things he had been avoiding like getting a real job instead of his show business one which isn't fun and making amends with his daughter which is rough.

I gotta ask though if director Darren Aronofsky watched Beyond The Mat before making this, and if so how many times since that film painted such a portrait of what wrestlers do in the off time or in they're lives since Randy is such a strong mirror image to Jake Roberts, from a drug addiction, to being down and out and even the estranged daughter.  I've heard enough of these stories about other wrestlers whose best days are behind them and it felt so right on and Mickey Rourke is perfect in this role. 

The nice touches come from seeing Randy's own action figure akin to those spring loaded ones from the 80's and even the meet and greet which is so sad, seeing broken down former wrestlers earn a few extra bucks taking pictures in a big empty room with only so many people to see them.  A personal favorite has to be Randy having fun with kids one morning play wrestling with them, to later getting a local kid to play the old NES game he starred in and having the kid leave after one pity round of playing since it's obvious the kid would rather be playing newer and flashier games and not sitting in a rundown trailer with a run down guy trying to relive a little glory.  The game incidentally is a modded Wrestlemania NES game with characters meant to look like Randy.  Awesome.

The ending comes very appropriately and had I not seen another Aronofsky movie recently, almost predictable.  You can see it coming, it almost hurts to watch, but you almost cheer it too as it unfolds as Randy comes into such a character that you do want to see make his return and puts things on the line, if he succeeds, hey he can go back on top and leave the humdrum world behind and if he doesn't.....well, like all pop culture phenoms, we'll always have the memories and they will live on past all of us.
I gotta find some of Randy's old matches on Collisum Video I gotta find some of Randy's old matches on Collisum Video

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August 31, 2011
I enjoyed this movie immensely and one of those things that I was a little bummed that I didn't see it sooner in theaters. The cast was stellar and the story was full of very human emotion. Nice review!
 
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More The Wrestler (2008 film) reviews
review by . February 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****      Well, this is rather surprising; Darren Aronofsky directing a sports flick. How about that? So how well does this little stunt pull off? Well, I'll tell you, and believe me; you're going to be surprising. As it turns out, Aronofsky's "The Wrestler" is no stunt at all, but that's not to say that it's the kind of film that you'd expect out of the guy either. Mr. Aronofsky's follow-up to his ambitious, flawed, but indefinitely artsy "The Fountain" proves to …
review by . July 04, 2010
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WHO HE WAS TO WHO HE IS - TAKE THAT JOURNEY WITH HIM
      THE WRESTLER      There have been films made before about wrestling and by wrestling I mean pro wrestling, but none like this. This film is the portrait of a man who is coming to terms with his own mortality, literally and also for his craft. There have been many things said about this movie but there seems to be one constant, and that is Mickey Rourke's masterful performance. For those who have not seen this I can tell you right now that he was …
review by . July 15, 2009
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Yin and Yang
WARNING: This review contains spoilers!      There are certain fundamental aspects of American culture in the 1980s that I found to be, for lack of a better word, repugnant. The crassness of commercialism was everywhere, politics went straight to hell as Reaganites celebrated American Right-wing supremacy, music fans suffered through the pangs of the glam rock movement and the superficiality and the hedonistic excesses that it embraced, and the yuppies on Wall Street were idealized …
Quick Tip by . July 14, 2010
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Mickey gives the kind of performance that we all knew he still had in him. Marisa Tomei was equally amazing.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Powerful movie that depicts the side of wrestling and sports that we may not think about, getting older and dealing with trying to continue doing something you love.
review by . February 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
movie poster
Stories that delved into the inner human spirit and tales about redemption have been beloved by critics since anyone can remember. Small wonder, since films that exhibit pure humanity can undoubtedly touch the hearts of audiences--it is a premise that is both fascinating and quite easy to relate to. Inspired by the documentary "Beyond the Mat", director Darren Aronofsky's "The WRESTLER" is a film with a lot of things to say, and may well be Mickey Rourke's best performance; this role may indeed …
review by . December 28, 2009
This movie was a huge and pleasant surprise for me.  I thought it would be more about the wrestling sport/soapstory.  Instead we get a compelling tale of a man that was so into the wrestling game that he ignored the rest of his life.  Mickey Rourke plays a wrestler nicknamed The Ram, who can no longer persue wrestling so he soon realizes that his "real" life is total misery and he really has nothing outside of wrestling.        Ram tries to rekindle …
review by . December 08, 2009
A Gripping Look into the Lifestyle of Professional Wrestling, but a Little Over Hyped...
Growing up a wrestling fan and knowing the business inside and out, The Wrestler hit home in a lot of ways.  I wasn't just a wrestling fan, I used to idolize these guys and perhaps one day, be one of them.  As I got older and was able to differentiate what was real and what was fake, I felt I was able to connect even more with them and what they go through because of all the inner politics that go on in the industry.  The minute the film started, I was blown away at just how well …
review by . December 13, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Outstanding performances by principles; great supporting cast.      Cons: Predictable; slow in places     The Bottom Line: After all the hype surrounding The Wrestler, I expected more.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. When I was growing up watching professional wrestling on Saturday afternoons was a ritual in our neighborhood.  All of the “guys” on the street …
review by . September 22, 2009
Mickey Rourke puts in an award-winning performance as Randy "the Ram" Robinson, a pro wrestler well past his prime who cannot give up doing what he loves best. Randy lives in a rundown trailer (which the landlord locks him out of when he can't pay the rent), drives an ancient van, works part-time for a grocery store, and spends his free time at a strip club, where he flirts with a stripper whose real name is Pam, played by Marisa Tomei. After he has a heart attack and the doctor tells …
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John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Wiki

Robin Ramzinski, ring name Randy "The Ram" Robinson, (Mickey Rourke) is a professional wrestler who was a major star in the 1980s but is now years past his prime and wrestling on the weekends for various independent wrestling promotions in the Elizabeth, New Jersey area. After a show, a promoter proposes a 20th anniversary rematch with his most notable opponent, the Ayatollah (Ernest Miller), who now owns a used car dealership in Arizona. Their first match together sold out Madison Square Garden, and Randy agrees to the rematch, wishfully thinking this high-profile match could help him get back to the top.
  • Mickey Rourke as Randy "The Ram" Robinson/Robin Ramzinski
  • Marisa Tomei as Cassidy / Pam
  • Evan Rachel Wood as Stephanie Ramzinski
  • Todd Barry as Wayne
  • Ernest Miller as Bob / "The Ayatollah"

Also appearing in the film are actual professional wrestlers: Blue Meanie, Johnny Valiant, Ref Hanson, Tommy Rotten, Andrew Anderson, Brolly, Danny Inferno, Necro Butcher, Mike "RAGE" Miller, Paul E. Normus (who died in early 2009), Nick Berk, DJ Hyde, Havoc, Johnny Mangus, Billy Dream, Eric Cobian, Sabian, Nate Hatred, Sugga, L.A. Smooth, Whacks, Devon Moore, The Funky Samoans, Jay Lethal, Jim Powers, Kid USA (as Randy's stunt double), Ron Killings, Claudio Castagnoli, Romeo Roselli, John Zandig, Chuck Taylor and Nigel McGuinness.

The Wrestler is a 2008 drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel, and starring ...
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Details

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sport
Release Date: December 18, 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Robert D. Siegel
DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009
Runtime: 109 minutes
Studio: Wild Bunch, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Protozoa Pictures
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