January 19, 2009

"So lower your expectations, and enjoy the Rourke."

Adam Bonin thinks "The Wrestler" is "a thuddingly obvious melodrama," but he's recommending it anyway.

18 comments:

Meade said...

"The physical universe of this film feels deeply authentic."

Man, I intensely hate that adverb.

Ann Althouse said...

I hate that noun... "universe." Imagine a whole universe of wrestling. Bizarre!

Meade said...

I can't recommend the movie (I checked my watch twice). The visuals were intense but lurid and the same story could easily be conveyed in daytime TV soap opera. In fact, daytime soap opera would be a more honest medium for the story.

I thought the most moving and convincing performance was by Evan Rachel Wood, as Randy's estranged daughter. Her point of view could have been better developed. It could have added a significant layer to the story and perhaps redeemed the overall nihilistic message - one which has become predictable and trite in movie making and one I have come to resent.

I did enjoy the evening but that had nothing to do with "The Wrestler."

Ann Althouse said...

I think they could have left out the daughter and the stripper. Just leave out the women altogether and show what it's like to be a wrestler in decline. But they had to put the women in so women might go to the movie. And then they had to take the woman's clothes off which really undermines the whole concept that you have to include women.

Meade said...

Good point and if you're right about the inclusion of the story lines involving women being nothing more than cynical box office grab, then the stripper scenes are even more crass and gratuitous.

But if you look at most professional wrestling audiences, I think you will see a fair number of women in (and out of) the seats. Also, leaving out Randy's mis-functional relationships with women would have left the movie and his character even more one-dimensional and empty. It might make a 20 minute YouTube clip however.

A vérité type documentary about a declining professional wrestler could have been fascinating, though I'll bet it would have to involve, to some degree, the wrestler's real relationships with real women. Most men have, for better or worse, relationships with mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, and former spouses... They form a large part of who we are.

Trooper York said...

"So just lower your expectations and just enjoy the Rourke."

That's what the midget dude said when he had to give Ricardo Montalban a hummer to get the gig on Fantasy Island.

Trooper York said...

Ew, that last comment had enough in it to piss everyone off.

Cool.

blake said...

Is Aronofsky over-rated?

I mean, not by audiences. Audiences don't go to his movies. But by critics? And by the people giving him money?

They gave him $35M for The Fountain, which grossed about $10M domestically.

They gave him $7M for The Wrestler, which is about at, what $3M? If it wins an Oscar it'll probably pass the $7M mark.

And now it's rumored that he's getting $100M to direct the Robocop remake? What in the guy's career makes someone think that makes even a little sense?

Chris Wren said...

"...and then they had to take the woman's clothes off which really undermines the whole concept that you have to include women."

Who's this "they?" Maybe they were just portraying realistically the role women are relegated in that "universe" (sorry)

traditionalguy said...

This parable of modern life is worth watching just to see other people having the same issues to deal with as you do. We are all performers now with the exception of pumbers, mechanics, farm workers and other Trades.So what's the good thru date for your acts? Another day and another dollar must now face all but the Inheritance Wealthy who have not trusted the Madoffs of the Money Management Actors Guild. All flesh is grass said some prophet...and an old wrestler does not lose because his losing is scripted into the "Professional Exhibition" called wrestling. He just gets pinned by his own admiration for the latest and greatest actor's performance. The stage is all yours now Mr. Obama.

Michael said...

Not many real movie buffs here.

"Just leave out the women altogether and show what it's like to be a wrestler in decline."

Yeah, that would have been quite the storyline.

And sooooooooooo unique and creative.

Michael said...

"The Wrestler, which is about at, what $3M? If it wins an Oscar it'll probably pass the $7M mark."

Like I said: Not many real movie buffs here.

*It's in limited release, only being shown on 144 screens, grossing over $11,000 per, and it's already grossed over $5,000,000.

Michael said...

Two of the most interesting films you'll ever see: "Requiem for a Dream" and "Pi"

Both via Aronofsky.

Meade said...

Gee Michael, you seem like a real movie buff. I could learn a lot from someone like you. Want to go to dinner and a movie with me sometime?

Ann Althouse said...

I haaaaaated "Pi."

blake said...

Michael concludes with his usual "logic" that me missing the last week's box office returns for "The Wrestler" means there aren't many film buffs here.

He then counters with those box office smash hits "Pi" and "Requiem" for a dream, which each made less than $5M.

If "The Wrestler" doesn't win an award, it won't break $12M. No matter what happens, it won't break $30M.

jdeeripper said...

Ann Althouse said...I hate that noun... "universe." Imagine a whole universe of wrestling. Bizarre!
------------------------

Heraclitus calls the oppositional processes eris, "strife", and hypothesizes that the apparently stable state, dikē, or "justice," is a harmony of it:

"We must know that war (polemos) is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being through strife necessarily."

As Diogenes explains:

"All things come into being by conflict of opposites, and the sum of things (ta hola, "the whole") flows like a stream."

In the bow metaphor Heraclitus compares the resultant to a strung bow held in shape by an equilibrium of the string tension and spring action of the bow:

"There is a harmony in the bending back (palintropos) as in the case of the bow and the lyre."

Heraclitus here references the Scythian bow, the horns of which pointed forward unstrung but back strung, or the deformation of the cross-bar of the lyre under string tension. The palintropos of an object would therefore be its stinting from the growth of the current instant by the decay of the object of the previous. This identity-not-identity accounts for such statements as:

"It is one and the same thing to be living and dead, awake or asleep, young or old.

A change is the result of a change in balance:

"Cold things become warm, and what is warm cools; what is wet dries, and the parched is moistened."

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Ann Althouse said...Just leave out the women altogether and show what it's like to be a wrestler in decline. But they had to put the women in so women might go to the movie.

Ah, the newlywed Mrs. Ann Hardin.

hillbilly said...

The vérité type documentary about a declining professional wrestler was already made in 1999. Beyond the Mat.