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billy sol hurok
20th January 09, 06:09 PM
Background: I'm a fan of Darren Aronofsky, Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei. (They've each done work that I haven't liked too, so my fandom is not unconditional.) I watched pro wrestling as a kid, back in the stone age

This movie disappointed me. Much of it was very good, including the acting, but the writing was just this side of awful. As in overwrought, melodramatic and predictable -- verging on soapy.

It was a better movie than "The Fountain," which was a real mess (albeit more ambitious). And there were some beautifully observed moments. Todd Barry's performance was a delightful surprise. Marisa Tomei is still gorgeous. Rourke's performance is excellent, especially in view of the tripe he had to work with.

"Raging Bull" it ain't. Though not an utter failure, I can't exactly recommend it (though I figure I'll see it again on DVD, eventually).

CoffeeFan
20th January 09, 07:02 PM
Wow, your the first person who hasn't claimed this movie is the greatest thing EVAR!

Do you think that the hype may have caused you to be over critical or is the writing just god awful?

billy sol hurok
20th January 09, 07:09 PM
Do you think that the hype may have caused you to be over critical or is the writing just god awful?

Hadn't really paid attention to the hype, nor read any reviews previous. And my own expectations were certainly tamped down by "The Fountain."

Plot trajectory felt like a made-for-TV movie.

mrblackmagic
21st January 09, 10:52 AM
Weird because I liked the Fountain better.

I thought this was enjoyable. It's just I can expect two things from an Aronofsky movie. The first being it is well put together and the second being it's depressing.

Spade: The Real Snake
21st January 09, 03:16 PM
I just couldn't get into The Fountain.

bob
21st January 09, 03:45 PM
Is this movie accessible to someone who thinks professional wrestling is a very strange thing for people to be interested in?

Spade: The Real Snake
21st January 09, 03:50 PM
I have a question:

Didn't the critics hail Mickey Rourke as being "back from the dead" after Once Upon A Time In Mexico....and Sin City?

Or is it because this is heavy drama?

billy sol hurok
21st January 09, 06:38 PM
Is this movie accessible to someone who thinks professional wrestling is a very strange thing for people to be interested in?
Yes; I'd say it was made with that person in mind. I'm so many generations out of the pro wrestling loop that I couldn't identify the various guys doing bit parts, though they were apparently legion. In fact, the movie takes pains to compare pro wrestling to a sort of Passion Play.




Didn't the critics hail Mickey Rourke as being "back from the dead" after Once Upon A Time In Mexico....and Sin City?

Or is it because this is heavy drama?
A bit of both, I suppose. I mean, there's prosthetics involved here too, but it's nothing like the cartoon milieu of "Sin City." More the other side of cartoony: it's more about what a larger-than-life character does with his down time. (Haven't seen "Once Upon A Time" yet -- thanks for the reminder to stick it in the netflix queue.)

There are Big Scenes, and that sort of thing says Acting. Unfortunately, those are mostly the worst-written scenes. The beautiful ones are more low-key and unique: the rapport in the locker rooms, his persona at his other job, the signing gig at the VFW hall.

Rourke does a beautiful job of portraying a man of limited means who's trying to maintain his dignity in a tawdry, cut-rate world. His performance is very internal and understated, on those few occasions when the plot will shut the fuck up and get out of the way already.

It's harder to rate Tomei's performance in the Stripper With A Heart Of Gold role. She never gets to be much more than a plot device, though at best she's a very low-rent, schematic counterpoint to Mickey (she simulates sex for money, he simulates violence GET IT???)

Again, it's better than a lot of stuff out there. Like, there are some actual ideas knocking about. But the flashes of brilliance mainly kept reminding me of how much better it could have been.

Can't recommend, though I'm not waving anyone off it either.

Spade: The Real Snake
21st January 09, 07:03 PM
A bit of both, I suppose. I mean, there's prosthetics involved here too, but it's nothing like the cartoon milieu of "Sin City." More the other side of cartoony: it's more about what a larger-than-life character does with his down time. (Haven't seen "Once Upon A Time" yet -- thanks for the reminder to stick it in the netflix queue.)

There are Big Scenes, and that sort of thing says Acting. Unfortunately, those are mostly the worst-written scenes. The beautiful ones are more low-key and unique: the rapport in the locker rooms, his persona at his other job, the signing gig at the VFW hall.

Rourke does a beautiful job of portraying a man of limited means who's trying to maintain his dignity in a tawdry, cut-rate world. His performance is very internal and understated, on those few occasions when the plot will shut the fuck up and get out of the way already.

It's harder to rate Tomei's performance in the Stripper With A Heart Of Gold role. She never gets to be much more than a plot device, though at best she's a very low-rent, schematic counterpoint to Mickey (she simulates sex for money, he simulates violence GET IT???)

Again, it's better than a lot of stuff out there. Like, there are some actual ideas knocking about. But the flashes of brilliance mainly kept reminding me of how much better it could have been.

Can't recommend, though I'm not waving anyone off it either.

I'll probably rent it when it is out. I find myself being generally disappointed by well-hyped films that have had their minds made up for me, before I get the common courtesy of making up my own mind.

Thanks.

OZZ
25th January 09, 10:21 PM
Even though I liked the movie, I would be lying if I said I wasn't expecting a little more..or something.
I dunno, it was a tad predictable I guess that's what my problem with it is.
But I still really liked it and would recommend it.His acting is great and its definitely not a boring movie.
I have been a fan of Rourke's ever since I watched Angel Heart for the first time. Actually, Barfly is probably my favorite as far as his films are concerned.
This is the movie that Mickey would have liked Homeboy to have been - long time fans will know what I mean by that.
See it, its worth it.