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Movie Review: The Wrestler

Alternate Title: Requiem for a Dream

Story: What happens to an already battered, scarred, beaten, steroid using, pill popping wreck of a guy when he can no longer do the only thing he knows how to do? This captivating film written by Robert D. Siegel and craftily directed by Darren Aronofsky will have you rooting for this professional wrestler who is way past his prime.

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson lives in a trailer park, can barely meet his rent and is relegated to performing in small events and mall autograph signings. His life is in ruins. The film sounds formulaic but is developed in a way that breaks most of the rules. You will find yourself interested, in a semi-documenary way, in the behind the scenes world of wrestling. The long time pals, who beat one another to bruised pulps are actually buddies who respect one another and choreograph the action. The film is about despair, hope and resolution. I highly recommend this comeback kid film for its heart and soul.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u14BC9tBRAA

Check out a very young Mickey Rourke in 1981' Body Heat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLAbh_LceNw

The full Bruce Springsteen's original song he wrote for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OSvJvSwmd4

Acting: Mickey Rourke as Randy, is almost unrecognizable. The ravages of time have not been kind to him. He is perfect in the role. Marisa Tomei as Cassidy, once again, surprises me with her fine performance. Evan Rachel Wood as daughter Stephanie, has a small but pivotal role.

Trivia: Director Darren Aronofsky went to Harvard. He is engaged to British actress Rachel Weisz. Writer Robert D. Siegel was the former Editor in Chief of The Onion. Mickey Rourke has at least seven tattoos including a tiger head with Chinese symbols on his left shoulder, a bulls skull on his right bicep, and a shamrock on his left forearm. Marisa Tomei has a tattoo of the Egyptian Eye of Ra (protection, good luck abundance) on her right foot. She has dual citizenship between America and Italy. She sometimes travels under the Italian passport.

Predilection: None

Critters: A ferret

Food: The Ram works at a deli counter and there is a fine scene, perhaps a classic, having the do with egg salad.

Sex Spectrum: Pole dancing

Soundtrack: An eclectic bag of music selections (mostly loud) by Clint Mansell with an original song by Bruce Springsteen that plays through the final credits. There is also a special shout out to Axel Rose during the credits.

Opening Titles: A montage of clippings of The Ram's career is seen behind the titles.

Visual Art: A detail oriented set that gets you to know The Ram's surroundings very well.

Theater Audience: About 30 guys and three women.

Weather: Winter in Northern New Jersey is gray.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 3 -There is a scene at the beginning of the film that is almost unwatchable. It inlvolves barbed wire, razors and a staple gun. I could not watch.

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: It would not surprise me if Mickey Rourke was a dark horse candidate for a nod and I would think Brice Springsteen will get a nomination for best Song because - well, he is Bruce Springsteen.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen is the way to go but if you miss it, rental is just fine. For some of Mickey Rourke's other films, try renting: Sin City Wild Orchid, Angel Heart, .Nine 1/2 Weeks, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Rumble Fish, Diner, Body Heat

Length: Under two hours