K = one guy E = the other guy S = the girl
E: For those afraid that this is a movie about Hulk Hogan or anyone from the WWE (WWF, for those of us who remember Junkyard Dog)… you will be pleasantly surprised. The Wrestler is a character focused piece that shows the human side of a superhuman filled fantasy world.
K: The critical buzz on Mickey Rourke actually lives up to the hype folks! The best soul-seeking physical performance of 2008, which happens to be the comeback acting story of the year.
S: But, WOW, I had to look away for at least 4 scenes. They were brutal to watch. Very real and well shot but HARD to watch. (This ‘sport’ wasn’t my cup of tea when it first came out and still isn’t. So, I might be a little more squeamish than others of you.)
E: That may turn off some OSCAR voters. I thought some of the wrestling footage seemed like it came straight out of Jackass (who uses panes of glass and barbed wire in a fake sport?), but that extreme, sideshow side of wrestling is real too. I think this nomination is Rourke’s to lose.
K: Rourke’s recent compliment regarding 9/11 and the former President Bush presidency might hurt his chances in Hollywood for winning the Best Actor Oscar. Then again, Oscar voters generally like to reward comeback performances.
E: I thought all of the performances were solid. The movie keeps you interested in the characters. It has a lot to say about entertainment, performance, family. I thought there was a lot to take away.
S: I loved Marisa Tomei, too. How interesting to see the life outside the strip club of an aging stripper. I think this was better than her performance in My Cousin Vinny. OOOOOOO, but her dress at the Golden Globes or the Sags…the Pirate one…what was she thinking. I know, it was either channelling Johnny Depp or Gasparilla in St. Petersburg/Tampa. (It’s Mardi Gras for Pirates!)
K: Marisa Tomei had a comeback, Oscar nominated, sensual performance in this movie. Evan Rachel Wood shows why she’ll be a talent young actress to watch in future years.
S: Yeah, but do you find it as creepy as I do that tabloids are saying she is now dating her movie dad, Mickey Rourke? It creeps me out a little.
E: I saw this movie the same day as Gran Torino and thought The Wrestler was a more engaging (I think better) movie. You have to get used to the camera style. It’s almost shot like a documentary.
K: Kudos to director Darren Aronofsky for making a realistic looking film about the unglamorous post career of old school, professional (“fake”) wrestlers.
S: This was a big departure from his (Darren Aronofsky’s) other movies, too. I can think of The Fountain and Requiem for a Dream off the top of my head and those both had big fantasy elements to them. This one CERTAINLY did not. It was real, gritty and uncomfortable. I guess that makes for a good movie. Oh and he’s engaged to (maybe married, I don’t remember for sure) Rachel Wiesz from The Mummy movies. I loved her in those.
K, E and S ALL AGREE: Full Price. Rourke’s Oscar nominated performance worth it.