Movie Review: The Wrestler (2008)

I’ve never really cared about wrestling. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to begrudge anyone that does watch and enjoy it, you go have fun. It’s just never been my cup of tea. So with this said, let’s talk about a movie that’s somewhat wrestling related.

Ladies and gents… “The Wrestler”.

Back in the 80s nothing could stop Randy “The Ram Robinson” (Mickey Rourke). He was one of the biggest wrestlers around, famed and beloved all over. But in the modern day things aren’t quite as shiny and wonderful. His fame is fading, and his numerous health issues are forcing him to retire. And we follow him as he struggles with trying to get his life back together and finding his spot in the world. So yeah, it’s not just sweaty dudes knockin’ each other around in this, it’s a very human drama. One about life, redemption, limitations, and finding yourself. It’s quite an emotionally engaging narrative that had me engrossed from the start up until the credits. Whenever we see these wrestlers on a screen they seem so larger than life, so it’s deeply fascinating to see one of them so humanized here. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s really a feelgood movie, because for most of it I kind of felt like shit, which was clearly the movie’s intention, so good job on that. That’s not a flaw, by the way, just thought it was worth bringing up. But yeah, the story in this is great.

The characters in this are all very nuanced and all feel very real, really bringing the viewer further into the drama. Mickey Rourke plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, the titular wrestler. Once a big star, now a bit of a mess. He is a really fascinating fella that I really liked following throughout the movie. And Mickey Rourke is fantastic in the role. Next we have Marisa Tomei as “Cassidy” a stripper that Randy has a bit of a bond with in the movie. She is currently going through some shit herself, and it’s interesting to see how that, along with the issues Randy bring in, helps develop her. And Tomei is great in the role. We also get some supporting work from people like Evan Rachel Wood, Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, and more, all giving good performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Clint Mansell, with some assistance from legendary guitarist Slash. It’s a moody, sad score that underlines the tragedy of Randy’s life. It’s quite beautiful and works really well for the movie. There’s also a handful of licensed songs used throughout, and they work quite well in their respective scenes.

“The Wrestler” was directed by Darren Aronofsky, and I think he did a fantastic job here. What I like about his directing here is that it’s very fly-on-the-wall in its execution, nothing of it is really that flashy. It really fit the story nicely, and it helped immerse me even further in the turmoil of Randy and those around him. Because this isn’t really a flashy story, it’s fairly down and dirty and occasionally depressing, and I think the directing captures that perfectly.

This movie has been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.9/10. It was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Rourke) and Best supporting actress (Tomei).

“The Wrestler” is a great character-driven drama that had me emotionally engaged from minute one. It has a great story, really good characters, great performances, great music, and fantastic directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Wrestler” is a 9.67/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Wrestler” is now completed.

Good movie is good. I’m sorry that I don’t have anything more clever for the end, but this movie kinda broke me.

Movie Review: Angel Heart (1987)

Ladies and gentlemen of the interwebs, it is that time of year again. The time where I for a full month focus my blog in on the spookier side of entertainment. I welcome all of you to the 6th iteration of The Month of Spooks! So let’s enter the nightmare.

Ladies and gents… “Angel Heart”.

New York, 1955. Private investigator Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) gets hired by the enigmatic Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to find a singer who’s gone missing. But as Harry investigates this disappearance, things start taking a darker turn than originally expected. What’s intriguing about “Angel Heart” in context to this month’s theme is that it isn’t immediately horrific, starting out more as a pulpy detective thriller that over time evolves into more of a psychological affair, building a looming sense of dread and paranoia. And I think the evolution is beautiful and electrifying. I am a fan of detective fiction, so to see it evolve into a horror story is fascinating to me, especially when THIS well. Never was there a moment I was bored, and many moments had me truly glued to what was going on. It’s a fascinating and creepy story that went places I didn’t expect, keeping me on edge throughout its entire runtime.

The characters in this are pretty interesting, all feeling relevant to the plot while also being engaging in their own right. Mickey Rourke plays Harry Angel, silver-tongued, snarky gumshoe from Noo Yohk. At first that is the side we see of him, something very familiar. But over the movie he develops in some interesting ways that I don’t wanna spoil. And Rourke is great in the role. Robert De Niro is great as the mysterious Louis Cyphre. We also get supporting work from people like Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Higgins, Brownie McGhee, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Trevor Jones, and I thought it was great. Like the narrative, it shifts a bit in genre, which is fine because of how well composed it is. Sometimes it’s eerie and suspenseful and sometimes Courtney Pine seduces you with his noir-inspired saxophone solos. It’s good shit. There’s also a few licensed songs used throughout, and they work quite well in their respective scenes too. So yeah, this movie has some good music.

Based on the novel “Falling Angel” by William Hjortsberg, “Angel Heart” was written and directed by Alan Parker (recently passed away, R.I.P). And I think he did an excellent job here. His directing hearkens back to old detective noir while still bringing the uncompromising imagery and suspense of 80s horror, and it mixes together wonderfully. This is especially evident when paired with Michael Seresin’s breathtaking cinematography. The combo makes for an insanely well crafted film.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/10. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.3/10.

“Angel Heart” is a beautifully crafted and disturbing gumshoe horror that I loved watching. It has a great story, good characters, great performances, really good music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for Angel Heart” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Angel Heart” is now completed.

Man… young Mickey Rourke was a handsome motherfucker.

Movie Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

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Time to return to the world of comic books! Or to be more precise, graphic novels… but you get my point. You might remember that last year I reviewed the original “Sin City” and really liked it a lot. So now it is time to review the sequel. Will I like it as much as the original? Let’s have a look.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”.

On a quick sidenote, there will be some minor spoilers from the original “Sin City” in here, so tread carefully if you haven’t seen it.

Once again we have three separate storylines featuring some characters. Let’s start with the main one, the one that the movie is named after (A.K.A. “A Dame to Kill For”). This story is a prequel to the first movie and follows Dwight (Josh Brolin). He has tried to put his violent past behind him and now works as a private detective. But his past comes haunting him as he gets involved with his old lover/girlfriend Ava Lord (Eva Green). And I’m not gonna say more about it because that would be jumping into spoilers. The sad part is that despite this being the main story, it is the least interesting. I felt like it dragged on longer than it had too and it was overall not very interesting, especially since it had a few weird side-plots that were a little unnecessary.
Next up is the plot called “Nancy’s Last Dance” which follows the character of Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba). Also, this is where we got some minor spoilers for the first movie so… stop reading if you haven’t seen it. Anyway, this is set after the first movie and follows Nancy a longer while after John Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) death. So now Nancy is a drunken stripper planning revenge against the man who caused Hartigans’ death. And that man is none other than Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). And this segment I thought was really good. So it is a little sad that this is the shortest segment out of all. But in this Nancy is a broken mess with some psychological issues and that makes for some interesting watching.
The final one is “The Long Bad Night” that is about newcomer Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a really lucky/skilled poker player who gets in over his head when he wins a game against… Senator Roark. Apparently Roark is everybody’s favorite target. Anyway, this segment might be my favorite one out of all three. It is suspenseful, it is funny and it is just really well executed. Interesting how the segment about a new character is the one I enjoyed most.
And if you’re wondering… yes, Marv (Mickey Rourke) has a segment too. A really short one in the beginning of the movie. But for the most part he plays a big(ish) part of all other segments.

All characters are interesting in some way. And all performances were really good… except for one, but I’ll get to that. Josh Brolin as Dwight was great, Jessica Alba as Nancy was great too which is really cool because she wasn’t that interesting in the first movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was also great as Johnny. And it was awesome seeing Mickey Rourke once again kick tons of ass as Marv. And Powers Boothe as Senator Roark was one of the most badass villains ever, I loved him in this movie. However, the one performance which was the worst, not bad, just not as good as all other ones was theo ne of Eva Green. And that is weird because she was one of the actors I had the most faith in, but here she just didn’t really fit too well as her character.

The soundtrack for the movie was done by Robert Rodriguez (Sidenote: Also the director of the movie) and Carl Thiel. And once again the music was really good and fit perfectly in the movie. It was badass, it was cool and it was just overall great.

This movie is as visually spectacular as the first one with it’s unique style of “black and white with some occasional color”. It looks great and it still helps hold the movie up a bit. The direction overall was great. And the action was just as brutal and violent as it was in the first movie. And that also means that the action was just as fun as in the first movie… especially when Mickey Rourke is involved. I can’t help it, he is awesome!

This movie was not very well-received, it was even a bit of a box office flop. Anyway, on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 43% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 46/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

Despite having a main plot that is not very interesting and a weak(ish) performance from Eva Green, I can’t deny the fun I had with “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”. Most stories were great, most performances were really good, teh music was great and the gritty, brutal and unique visuals are as awesome as ever. Time for my final score. *Grunt* My final score for “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is an 8,95/10. I do think it is worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is done.

I don’t know what else to say.

 

Movie Review: Sin City (2005)

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If you are a person that knows me, then you know I am a sort of all-round nerd. Movies, tv, anime, books…comics. Take two of those and you get a certain 2005 movie. And of course I mean comics (or more specifically, graphic novels) and movies. So what happens when you take one of the darkest and most brutal comic series, turn it into a movie and let Robert Rodriguez direct it? You get this interesting 2005 action movie.

Guys…the brutal and dark movie simply known as; Sin City.

Like I pretty much said, the story is based on graphic novels (very graphic, yes puns are allowed here) by Frank Miller who also happens to co-direct this movie. The story follows three different guys and their different situations, all of them involving crime…and a shit-ton of violence. To round up the gang we start with John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), a cop who is sick of the corruption within law enforcement in Basin City (Yes, that is the name of the town), he often refers to himself as old man (which he is) while dealing with a poor heart that could give out at any moment of stress. Next on the list is Marv (Mickey Rourke), a man who is dead set to find the killer of a hooker he slept with (even though he had no fucking clue she was a hooker). This guy is fucking relentless, I mean like wow! Nothing actually stops this guy, they just slow him down. Yeah. And to round up our list of flawed men we have Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen). A man who had some form of plastic surgery to change his face (his original will be revealed in the sequel coming august this year). He wants to stop this one guy who had hurt and threatened his girlfriend. He also helps out a part of town controlled by, and I am not making this up, prostitutes. There are a lot of things happening in this movie. There is for example parts where Marv fights this cannibal who is too fucking fast for him by the name of Kevin (Elijah Wood). There are a lot of fucked up things happening in this movie. But that is what makes it so interesting plot wise.

The characters in this movie are generally flawed, but only in one way unique to every character. But that is what makes them so damn entertaining to watch. The most entertaining characters were the more psycho characters. Honestly one of the best things go to the character of Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro). He is just so fun and cool. He also got a cool voice. But like I said…characters are flawed, but fun as hell.

The music in the movie is perfect for the movie it is in. It is a soundtrack about as dark and haunting as the rest of the movie. That is all.

One good thing to mention about this movie is that is for the most part in black and white. There are colors in it, yes. But they are mostly featured if they either are A: Based on a bodily fluid or B: Bright fucking red. The colors that you’ll see the most in this movie are Red, Yellow and Blue. You will see a few other, but that is not the most usual. But the black and white style combined with the every-now-and-then colors make for a nice detail in the movie.

The reception for Sin City back in ’05 was pretty much good all across the board. Hell, even Roger Ebert gave it a 4/4 stars. He thought it was that good. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 78% score. And that’s pretty damn good. It got an 8,2/10 on imdb and it placed #169 on imdb’s top 250 list.

So based on me thinking the story was good, characters entertaining, music nice, black and white goodness and in generally good action scenes, I will give this movie a 9,25/10. This movie is honestly a lot better than I thought I would think. If you get the chance, buy this lovely neo-noir brutality-fest. It is worth you time/money.

I have sinned by reviwing this (Puns again).

Bye now.