It’s okay to like The Wrestler even if you don’t like pro wrestling. In fact, I think if you aren’t invested in that sometimes barbaric and brutal “sport” you might get more out of it. As a kid growing up in the ’80s, I was a fan of the soap opera that was the WWF, cheering for the babyfaces and booing the heels. One of my pre-adolescent birthdays was spent cheering on Jake “The Snake” Roberts at a non-televised event. I grew up and stopped watching wrestling, and if I thought of it at all I did so with an adult’s eyes, wondering what I ever saw in something so obviously fake.
These days, I know it’s only fake in the sense that the outcomes are predetermined. The enormous physical toll it takes on the performers is real, and the mid-level guys are performing not only on the televised events, but the non-televised house shows as well. The more interesting a wrestler is to watch, the more athletic and acrobatic the performer’s moves are, the more likely that person is to end up crippled and/or in constant pain when they get older — if they even live that long. It is a sad state of affairs that many wrestlers die young. Wrestlers aren’t protected by a union and, last time I checked, don’t have post-career health coverage.
This is the world that Darren Aronofsky’s The Wreslter portrays. The life of a faded star, once world famous in the world of wrestling, now living in a trailer park working a job he hates, living only for the weekend when he can perform for audiences that are only a fraction of the size of the crowds he once drew, dreaming of a comeback. The movie is as good as you’ve heard, and don’t let any preconceived notions about the nature of wrestling keep you from seeing this important work featuring a powerful performance from Mickey Rourke, who, like his character, is similarly on the comeback trail.
[[image:090421_bluray.jpg:21 Apr 09 BD wrap-up:center:0]]
I am told by one of my legion of Twitter followers that purchasing the three X-Men movies on Blu-ray bundled together is actually cheaper than just buying the first two movies a la carte. “Unbelievable”, I wrote back. “They are actually paying you to buy X-Men 3!” I still wouldn’t take advantage of that “deal”, as while I’m not the biggest environmentalist in the world, I still can’t bring myself to buy something made of plastic just to throw it out.
The role that might have kicked off Mickey Rourke’s comeback was as Marv in Sin City, which I remember quite enjoying. I’ll check out this BD release, as I never caught the extended cut on DVD, and have been curious if it was any good.
I’m quite fond of Hellraiser — what’s not to love about S&M demons from hell? — and while it doesn’t immediately leap to mind as a movie that would benefit greatly from HD, I’m still moving it to the top of my Netflix queue. However, the many rereleases of Hellraiser on DVD have me gunshy about buying any movie that Anchor Bay is debuting on BD. Their whole business model on DVD was constantly rereleasing the same movies with additional features. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that they put out more than 10 editions of Evil Dead 2 on the market. I know I was suckered into buying at least three different versions of that movie.
Criterion has been killing it with their Blu-ray catalog. Had I the disposable income, I would buy everything they put out regardless if I had ever heard of it or not. Thank goodness for the rental model! Add to queue? Don’t mind if I do!
Thanks for reading Add to Queue, GameSpite’s weekly round-up of US Blu-ray release highlights. Sorry, rest of the world; region locks are the industry’s way of saying they still don’t understand the Internet. No tears, please. It’s a waste of good suffering. Cover art courtesy of Amazon. Follow Levi Tinney on Twitter, or add him to your PSN or XBL friends list: VsRobot. You can also contact him via e-mail via levivsrobot [at] gmail [dot] com.