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THE WRESTLER - Aka… Yes, They Are Real and They’re Spectacular!!


By Old Dan Cedar - Posted on 14 May 2009

Your incandescent scribe had an immediate attachment to Mickey Rourke’s character, Randy “The Ram” Robinson.

No, not because I am a washed-up has-been, that constantly fantasizes about giving Marisa Tomei some much-needed wood instead of the ram jam. No, if you must know -Old Dan Cedar was born, “Robin”. If any of you homos make fun of me because of that – I’ll kill ya!!

It’s “OLD DAN”, to all of you Pervs that just want an old, broken down piece of meat!!

You can’t have it.

But I guess that all of YOU voted for “Robin” Wright’s future ex-husband for Peacenik of The Year. I hope you can live with yourselves when your uncle marries his 13 year old nephew at the end of YOUR president’s term in office.

When I first heard about the idea for this movie – I thought -who would be stupid enough to subsidize this pitch?

Here is something that you won’t hear Old Dan Cedar say very often….” I was wrong”.

Director Darren Aronofsky’s and writer Rob Siegel’s work of art takes us into the independent pro wrestling world - and underworld of Randy “The Ram” Robinson -some twenty years post heyday. With Randy trying to hold on to what he loves – namely the adulation, the spotlight and himself.

The Ram has been a selfish bastard his entire life and is a man jaded by life. Randy is good with that – because he gives as much grief to life - as life gives back to him. He is a man, alone. After he has a heart attack – we sense his loneliness as a taxi brings him back to his trailer home.

In watching his comeback – we feel that he wants to be Rocky. But there is no music. No Trumpets. No dancing on the steps overlooking Philadelphia. There is just Randy. Alone.

Just like Old Dan. Another thing that Randy and Old Dan have in common is that we both wear hearing aids, have problems with beer, pills and cigs. We both need a manicure. We forget stuff. We’re not as pretty as we used to be, and we shave our pit hairs, unlike you and your common-law wife driving in your Toyota Prius heading to “visit” your “Lifestyle” buddies in the piney woods of east Texas. But I digress.

There is an old saying that I heard once, “Athletes are the only human beings that we ask to accept death twice.” The point being, that athletes die when their careers end before their actual death. Old Dan Cedar thinks that is poetic license – otherwise known as bullshit!!

All bullshit aside - Any man that has had his old lady, Layla, kick the rug out from under him and flushes his Oxycontin down the toilet - when he is passed out in the corner of his 44th floor apartment – and his 4 year old son does a half gainer with a double twist to his untimely death…and though this tragedy leads to a top 40 hit…. All of the sudden – all of the money in the world earned from said hit - can’t replace an insolent child that we could easily replace in roughly nine months. Again, I digress.

In The Wrestler - we get the idea that the fans are idiots, the wrestling is fake, and Randy is a jackass. But the movie doesn’t take a judgmental approach to any of these realities.

They are just that – a given - the canvas upon which this masterpiece is painted.

Speaking of things of beauty – the great Marisa Tomei is cast as a stripper with a heart of gold. Her character, Cassidy, is also fighting padre time. And YES, She is more than a just a halcyon actuated image that you use for your endorphin induced fist fest.

Cassidy moves wobbledly between the fake worlds of stripping and wrestling to the real world of raising a child, discovering love and coping with the fact that the hip-hop generation doesn’t appreciate the greatness of Warrant.

One of the best scenes of the movie is when Cassidy and The Ram are sitting in a bar – having a beer, when Ratt’s Round and Round comes on over the Bose. The exchange between the two leads is, as MasterCard says, “priceless” - especially the rant about Curt Cobain being a pussy and the ‘80s being the best music of all times.

Where a movie is truly defined – the Money Shot - is the final scene.

As we are watching the ending play out there are several possibilities. One being - the determination that this is a true LOVE story between the boy and girl- and not truly about the sport (e.g. the Rocky ending). Another is - the win like a champion (e.g. the Hoosiers ending). And finally, the perfect ending – cold, hard reality - regardless of the fact that we don’t want to stop believing (e. g. the Soprano’s ending). Only this time, the film makers do what is right; they give it an extra 8 seconds to play out.

Sopranos Rant!! – The problem in the Sopranos final episode is that the Boys at HBO thought it would be cute to end the whack fest with a little mystery and have everyone be unsatisfied. It is called poetry, right? No. It is what is known as premature edit-ulation!!

The man whose love for himself, the spotlight and the crowd overcomes his love for anyone else.

Kind of reminds Old Dan Cedar of himself. All of the other bullshit is just window dressing.

My final wish in life would be to have one of the last synapses in my brain fire off, just before squeezing off one final log in my own private republican cabin, remembering one previous, true, lust-infested moment with the very real and the very spectacular - Marisa Tomei.

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