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post #1 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=140525&d=1240415820
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

85






Studio and Year: Fox Searchlight Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 109 Minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital
Subtitles: Spanish
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Music by: Clint Mansell featuring Slash
Written by: Robert Siegel
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 21, 2009







"Love. Pain. Glory"



Film Synopsis:

Mickey Rourke gives the performance of a lifetime as pro wrestler Randy The Ram Robinson, a former superstar now paying the price for twenty years of grueling punishment in and out of the ring. But he's about to risk everything to prove he has one more match left in him: a re-staging of his famous Madison Square Garden bout against The Ayatollah. Darren Aronofsky directs a powerful cast in this action-packed saga of guts, glory and gritty determination.




My Take:

The Wrestler is a simple but engaging story about an over the hill professional wrestler named Randy Ram Robinson whose days of glory have passed. Ram (Rourke) has spent years physically abusing his body and living a fast paced, hard edged lifestyle that left little time for laying down a foundation of any kind. Its 20 years since he was wrestling's biggest draw, he lives in a trailer, works part-time at a local supermarket, and wrestles on weekends in front of small crowds for a mere pittance of what he probably made at the height of his popularity. His body is beaten and worn and he takes medication for back pain. Ram hasn't lost his passion for the sport that once had thousands shouting his name. His is still remembered by loyalists and respected by wrestlers both young and old. He is offered a re-match with The Ayatollah which will mark the 20th anniversary of their original/infamous Madison Square Garden bout but his health fails. He is told by the doctor that years of steroid abuse and other medications has taken its toll and he must retire.

This is difficult for Randy who then finds himself lonely and reflecting on his life. He turns to Pam (Tomei) a local stripper who goes by the name of Cassidy while working. Randy frequents the club and the two have maintained a steady but strictly disconnected relationship. Like Randy, Cassidy is past her prime but still has something to offer. He likes her and confides in her about his health and feelings of insecurity about his future. She sympathizes with him and tells him to seek out the only family he has which is his estranged daughter Stephanie. Pam helps him pick out a gift for her and he goes to see her. Randy hasn't been a very good father and Stephanie has a lot of baggage where he is concerned. They go out for the afternoon and are able to re-connect at least on some level. He is encouraged by their visit and essentially asks her to consider giving him another chance. The problem is that Randy is finding it difficult to separate himself from Ram and his attempt to adapt to life away from the cheers of the crowd and having to punch a time clock leave him frustrated and torn. When his affections are spurned by Pam and his reestablished relationship with Stephanie crumbles Randy decides that there is only one solution. His is prepared to risk everything because the only thing in his life that has ever been constant has taken place in the ring.

Wow. This was a really good movie. Mickey Rourke's portrayal of the gentle, caring and lonely Randy (outside of the ring) balanced perfectly against the grittier, long hair wearing, steroid injecting, high energy Ram that steps into the ring. This is a sympathetic and very fallible character that has positive traits that help to elevate his status as an honest and very likeable individual. I was captivated and moved by Rourke's utterly convincing performance. The scene that takes place at the pier between Randy and Stephanie was emotional and touching. Evan Rachel Wood is such a gifted young actress. She only has three scenes in the entire film. All were with Rourke and the last two were both powerful and memorable. Marisa Tomei has matured as an actress since her Oscar win for My cousin Vinny 17 years ago. The dedication she has to her craft was plainly obvious watching her in this film. Her Academy Award nomination was justly deserved in my opinion. The film's visual style was apropos and intriguing. The tight camera work, lighting and choice of music captured the essence of the world these characters live in. The Wrestler was shot in just 40 days and had a limited budget but that didn't keep it from being one of the most interesting character studies and best films I have seen recently.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

The Wrestler comes to Blu-ray from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 mbps.

This film's visual style doesn't lend itself to the crisp, high gloss, three dimensional look of most new release films released on Blu-ray but this is a creative decision that doesn't reflect negatively on its presentation. The video has an overtly grainy texture that gives it a gritty, filmlike quality. Resolution is excellent as images are clearly rendered with appreciable detail and discerning nuance during close ups. Colors are natural, tonally delineated and occasionally vibrant. Skin tones among the cast vary and range from Rosy to pale while appearing textural and lifelike. Blacks are deep but a bit flat and shadow detail was crushed slightly which left some of the darker segments ( like those in Randy's van and the strip club) looking less dimensional. I didn't see any signs of compression related artifacts or extraneous video noise.

The high resolution DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack featured Dialogue that is presented with crystal clear intonation, full bodied vocal texture, and deep room penetration. Imaging across the front of the room was excellent as sounds were integrated with precision. The films hard edged rock music is equally distributed through the main speakers and surrounds which augments it visceral quality. The room roars to life during the wrestling events as the sounds of the crowd and pulsating heavy metal music are charged with dynamic energy and tactile bass response. The music score includes a sweet sounding fuzz free electric guitar that draws upon the film's quieter moments to help set the mood. Like the rest of the music it is mixed throughout the soundfield and adds a somber and defining tone to the scene. Detail/clarity is first rate as things like the scratching of the pick against the guitar strings or the crinkling of crisp dollar bills is easily discernible. This mix is capable of successfully transitioning from being very raucous to very subtle while positively reinforcing acoustic presence and excellent aural dimension. This surround mix perfectly suited the style of the film and sounded great.



Bonus Features:


  • Within the ring - 42 minute documentary featuring background on the production and cast/crew interviews

  • Wrestler round table - 25 minute open discussion where professional wrestling legends talk shop and give their take on the film

  • The Wrestler music video - written and performed by Bruce Springsteen

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc - A standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC/Mac to a portable media device




Final Thoughts:

The Wrestler is a well conceived, directed and strong character driven film that provides an enriching experience that is highlighted by the superb performances by the cast. Its high definition video quality mimics its theatrical presentation and the high resolution DTS-HD MA soundtrack features an abundance of room shaking rock and roll classics that sound superlative. The bonus supplements aren't extensive but do offer interesting insights on the production as well as the chance to get the perspectives of some of professional wrestling's elite. The inclusion of a digital copy bonus disc sweetens the deal for those who like to take movies on the go. I am not sure how this film will hold up under repeat viewings but it is definitely a must see. Highly recommended.








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post #2 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 11:56 AM
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I thought the best scene on this film was the scene where there was barb wire and staples. The detail was really brought out during that wrestling scene. The Wrestler did indeed have a lot of grain and looked gritty, but this was intentional due to the nature of the film I would assume. Nice review Ralph.
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post #3 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 04:43 PM
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thanks for the review!
this was one of my favorite movies of the year....and was holding out on buying the bluray over the DVD til you posted a review...


by the way, if anyone wants a second opinion, here's my little review from IMDB (very little spoilers):

The Wrestler.
This is a tough movie to review for me. I saw it last night, and I'm still kind of digesting it. Maybe I should wait til I've seen it again before reviewing it, but what the hell, I'll write up my thoughts on the movie now, and see how they change with time.

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson was at the top of the wrestling world (we learn this during the opening credits), 20 years later, he is broke and wrestling at YMCA's and anywhere else they'll have him. It's a movie about a man that can't let go of his past, a man who is always one match away from regaining his former glory, a man who has ****ed up everything he's ever had....because wrestling is all he knows. He's only truly comfortable in the ring, and the movie is as much about his ring persona as it is about him trying find something in the real world to latch onto.

Randy is a regular at a strip joint where he befriends a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), and after suffering a setback after a match, she urges him to reconnect with his estranged daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). Randy's a good guy at heart, and as the film progresses, I really felt bad for the guy as you watch him try so hard to do the right thing, yet constantly **** it up....whether it is his relationship with his daughter, or attempting to turn his "stripper/client" relationship into something more.

Like I pointed out earlier, the movie is split fairly evenly between his wrestling life and his home life. Besides his daughter and the stripper, Randy is trying to make it with a normal job and some of the movie's funniest scenes come out of this. On the wrestling side, Randy is offered a dream gig; a rematch of his greatest match from his glory days. Randy's convinced that this is the shot he needs to make it back into the limelight, but what is he willing to sacrifice to fulfill that dream?

Overall, the movie is just fantastic. It's brutally honest and violent and emotional and almost feels like a documentary. All actors are pitch perfect in their rolls. This isn't a movie for only wrestling fans, so please don't let that stop you from seeing it. If you are anything like me, I have a feeling you'll be engrossed by the end of the movie. Which brings me to my only real gripe.....the ending. When the movie ended I felt jipped. I was angry that something I was enjoying so much would end like that. I was also a bit confused (mostly because it was so unexpected). Given time to think about it, I can appreciate the ending a bit more and I might even be leaning towards loving it. I am also fairly certain I understand what happened now(but I won't discuss that in a review). Also, I feel like Bruce Springsteen's song at the end IS part of the movie....it's not just a filler song to play over the credits, it just sums everything perfectly.
The movie is called The Wrestler... and it's pretty damn good.

A


P.S.
it's nice to see a movie where the strippers actually strip! Hey Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba, GO SCREW!!!!!!!!!!!
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P.S.
it's nice to see a movie where the strippers actually strip! Hey Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba, GO SCREW!!!!!!!!!!![IMG]http://www.***********************/track/img/3358/s09v0317fvxp/00.gif[/IMG]

Haha ... good to know. Thanks for the review to the both of you. From the sounds of it, it's worth looking into.
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post #5 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 05:53 PM
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Haha ... good to know. Thanks for the review to the both of you. From the sounds of it, it's worth looking into.

If you like Marissa Tomei you won't be disappointed. Might wanna give "Til The Devil Knows You're Dead" too!


P.S.
Sorry for making this about boobs Ralph...AGAIN
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post #6 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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If you like Marissa Tomei you won't be disappointed. Might wanna give "Til The Devil Knows You're Dead" too!


P.S.
Sorry for making this about boobs Ralph...AGAIN

Greetings,

Not a problem SS4life...


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post #7 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

thanks for the review!
this was one of my favorite movies of the year....and was holding out on buying the bluray over the DVD til you posted a review...


by the way, if anyone wants a second opinion, here's my little review from IMDB (very little spoilers):

The Wrestler.
This is a tough movie to review for me. I saw it last night, and I'm still kind of digesting it. Maybe I should wait til I've seen it again before reviewing it, but what the hell, I'll write up my thoughts on the movie now, and see how they change with time.

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson was at the top of the wrestling world (we learn this during the opening credits), 20 years later, he is broke and wrestling at YMCA's and anywhere else they'll have him. It's a movie about a man that can't let go of his past, a man who is always one match away from regaining his former glory, a man who has ****ed up everything he's ever had....because wrestling is all he knows. He's only truly comfortable in the ring, and the movie is as much about his ring persona as it is about him trying find something in the real world to latch onto.

Randy is a regular at a strip joint where he befriends a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), and after suffering a setback after a match, she urges him to reconnect with his estranged daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). Randy's a good guy at heart, and as the film progresses, I really felt bad for the guy as you watch him try so hard to do the right thing, yet constantly **** it up....whether it is his relationship with his daughter, or attempting to turn his "stripper/client" relationship into something more.

Like I pointed out earlier, the movie is split fairly evenly between his wrestling life and his home life. Besides his daughter and the stripper, Randy is trying to make it with a normal job and some of the movie's funniest scenes come out of this. On the wrestling side, Randy is offered a dream gig; a rematch of his greatest match from his glory days. Randy's convinced that this is the shot he needs to make it back into the limelight, but what is he willing to sacrifice to fulfill that dream?

Overall, the movie is just fantastic. It's brutally honest and violent and emotional and almost feels like a documentary. All actors are pitch perfect in their rolls. This isn't a movie for only wrestling fans, so please don't let that stop you from seeing it. If you are anything like me, I have a feeling you'll be engrossed by the end of the movie. Which brings me to my only real gripe.....the ending. When the movie ended I felt jipped. I was angry that something I was enjoying so much would end like that. I was also a bit confused (mostly because it was so unexpected). Given time to think about it, I can appreciate the ending a bit more and I might even be leaning towards loving it. I am also fairly certain I understand what happened now(but I won't discuss that in a review). Also, I feel like Bruce Springsteen's song at the end IS part of the movie....it's not just a filler song to play over the credits, it just sums everything perfectly.
The movie is called The Wrestler... and it's pretty damn good.

A


P.S.
it's nice to see a movie where the strippers actually strip! Hey Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba, GO SCREW!!!!!!!!!!!

Same here.I love this movie.The story,sound,picture quality was a top notch.I thought The Ram was pointless and hopeless in his remaining life so he decided to work again which he already knew what would happen to him.Agian,nice review,Ralph.
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post #8 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 08:47 PM
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Mickey Rourke's can die a happy man now, he gave a performance of a life time in the wrestler. Great, great, great film
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post #9 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 09:07 PM
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Excellent film and Tomei looks fabulous at 45!

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post #10 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by heyheyhey View Post

Mickey Rourke's can die a happy man now, he gave a performance of a life time in the wrestler. Great, great, great film

Oop! This BD cover was told the ending.
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post #11 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 09:13 PM
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Excellent film and Tomei looks fabulous at 45!

She looked real sexy at her age without plastic surgery,I guess.
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post #12 of 33 Old 04-22-2009, 10:29 PM
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Great Film, one of my favourites. It's a shame that Rourke didn't win Best Actor this year

Just letting people know to stay away from the Canadian Release from Alliance. It's missing the Documentry ( but sports a better cover art )
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post #13 of 33 Old 04-23-2009, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

If you like Marissa Tomei you won't be disappointed. Might wanna give "Til The Devil Knows You're Dead" too!


P.S.
Sorry for making this about boobs Ralph...AGAIN

Oh, man, she was AMAZING in Devil Knows Your're Dead!

(sorry, Ralph lol)
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post #14 of 33 Old 04-23-2009, 08:49 AM
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Only saw bits and pieces of this movie since i didn't get a chance to see it in the theatre but it looked kind of good. I might get this one.
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post #15 of 33 Old 04-23-2009, 09:04 AM
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A must own for me.
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Great Film, one of my favourites. It's a shame that Rourke didn't win Best Actor this year

+1. Great review for a great film.

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post #17 of 33 Old 04-23-2009, 08:06 PM
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This was the best of entire life's career as an actor for Mickey Rourke,almost the same his real life and the prize for him is many great offers for new films,glad for him.This scenerio almost looked almost the same as R.Downey Junior.
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post #18 of 33 Old 04-24-2009, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

If you like Marissa Tomei you won't be disappointed. Might wanna give "Til The Devil Knows You're Dead" too!


P.S.
Sorry for making this about boobs Ralph...AGAIN

Ralph,

What's with all the pornographic reviews

Guys, just hold your comments when "Snow White" is reviewed...I know she doesn't look as good as she once did and HD is going to show ALL of her flaws. But really, she's pushing what, 80 now? What do you expect?

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post #19 of 33 Old 04-24-2009, 09:59 PM
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I thought this movie was ok but I was expecting more out of it. I liked the behind the scenes at the wrestling matches and thought it started out great but faded a little in the middle and I wasnt crazy about the ending. Mickey Rourke was great in it though and looked a lot like Michael PS Hayes

Marisa Tomei in a fishnet body suit...all that needs to be said

-
If you havent listened to it yet can you really say its not better?
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post #20 of 33 Old 04-27-2009, 02:05 PM
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Just a wonderful character driven film. I can't say much more about Mickey Rourke's performance than has already been said by everyone on the planet. It is heartfelt, genuine and brilliant. Marisa Tomei is absolutely fearless as an actress. For her to take a role that involves as much nudity as it did was brave. Of course when you look as good as she does (a spendid body, no?) why not? What struck me was the camraderie and respect that exists between the wrestlers. Not 2 minutes after beating each other to a pulp, they're hugging and congratulating each other for putting on a good show. Even his "arch-rival" Bob (The Ayatolla), has the utmost resect for him. The basic humanity of these very hard working, not highly paid guys really shines through. Randy is geniunely well liked by them and by a lot of people in his town. The Ram seems to be a decent guy who has made many bad choices in his life. It did remind me a lot of the film that featured Jake Robert's story. I haven't seen Milk yet so I can't compare Rourke's performance to Penn's but Sean must have been spectacular to get the Oscar over Mickey.
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post #21 of 33 Old 04-28-2009, 12:10 PM
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Cal1981, you've got a bit of a spoiler in your post.
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post #22 of 33 Old 04-29-2009, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyheyhey View Post

Mickey Rourke's can die a happy man now, he gave a performance of a life time in the wrestler. Great, great, great film

He did an excellent job in The Wrestler, but his premier performance (IMO) is in Bar Fly. Check it out.

larry

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post #23 of 33 Old 04-29-2009, 08:02 PM
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Cal1981, you've got a bit of a spoiler in your post.

My bad. Edited.
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post #24 of 33 Old 04-30-2009, 06:22 AM
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Thought it had some decent acting but over all one of the most overrated movies of last year. The ending completely ruined it for me, movies that fade to black and roll credits during a climax seems like a complete cop out ala Sopranos.
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post #25 of 33 Old 04-30-2009, 08:50 AM
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You should put a spoiler tag on your post.

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post #26 of 33 Old 04-30-2009, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

P.S.
it's nice to see a movie where the strippers actually strip! Hey Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba, GO SCREW!!!!!!!!!!!

Not my type of movie usually but sounds like its worth getting just for this
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post #27 of 33 Old 05-01-2009, 08:34 AM
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hmmm.underground wrestling.it's a great movie[IMG]http://www.******************/data/img/3722/m09d0317xktz/2.gif[/IMG]
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post #28 of 33 Old 05-03-2009, 10:05 PM
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I enjoyed this film. Thought Mickey and Marisa were both very good. As Ralph mentioned in his review, they chose to go with the "grainy" look. While I would prefer to see "pop" when I watch a BD, it really didn't take away from my enjoyment of it.

What I did find annoying, has nothing to do with the film itself. Why do the studios insist on packing these disks with multiple preview trailers, warnings etc., before getting to the main menu? Additionally, not allowing you to navigate to the menu without doing a chapter skip.

BD+ is bad enough, do they have to add even more fluff to slow down the process of just getting to the film? Maybe Warner has the right idea, just going directly to the film.

Anyway, I still thought "The Wrestler" was a real good watch. Nice review, Ralph.

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My BDP-05FD, still going strong and still my favorite player!

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post #29 of 33 Old 05-17-2009, 07:52 PM
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watched for the second time tonight (once in theaters, and now once on BluRay).
I actually liked the movie better the second time, and if you read my review above, I very much liked it the first time.
the PQ is decent enough, but it really does have a homevideo feel to it. I haven't seen the DVD, but I'm pretty sure it's a nice step up.
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post #30 of 33 Old 05-30-2009, 10:34 AM
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Watched this movie and I really enjoyed it. I used to watch wrestling as a kid and up until about 9 years ago, and the movie was very moving (and also disturbing). I thought Rourke gave an amazing performance. How he did not win best actor, I have no clue.
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