The Functional Hermit

musings from a homebody

Posts Tagged ‘Mickey Rourke

Hermit Cinema: Iron Man 2

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The first Iron Man laid down all the groundwork for a successful franchise. Director John Favreau and most of the cast return which gave me hope. I’m sorry to say that Iron Man 2 blew that all to hell.

Robert Downey Jr. perfected Tony Stark as an arrogant yet charming playboy. In the sequel, he really only comes across as arrogant. Pepper Potts (Gwynneth Paltrow) plays less of a role here so that Scarlett Johanssen can run around in a skin-tight suit. Don Cheadle replaces Terrance Howard in the military pal role. Mickey Rourke is introduced as a new villain in a plot so thin, if you put it in some olive oil it would liquify in the pan å la Goodfellas.

This movie was such a disappointment it really doesn’t deserve any more of a writeup. It is watchable. But little else. Take a pass unless you’re bored.

I give this movie a D-plus.


 

 

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Written by the bee dub

November 3, 2010 at 10:24 am

Hermit Cinema: The Wrestler

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wrestler-poster-final-medsize

“Are you cool with staples?”

“Staples?”

“Staple gun…”

This exchange, where one wrestler warns the other agreeable wrestler that he going to staple him over and over, perfectly captures the essence of  the wrestling career of Mickey Rourke’s Randy “The Ram” Robinson. The fact that his character’s given name is actually Robin and not Randy, is also a perfect encapsulation of his inability to be honest with himself.

This movie has a lot of backstory and buildup for me. I used to be a huge Mickey Rourke fan. I’m a huge fan of Darren Aronofsky. (Pi is an interesting movie and Requiem for a Dream is one of the hardest-hitting, intense movies ever made.) With all the Oscar-related and return-of-Mickey-Rourke hype, I made sure to hold off on watching this movie for a little bit.

Bottom line, this movie delivers. It feels totally authentic and immersed in a world you know is there but never see. The hand-held camerawork gives it a very docu-feel and the acting is superb. This is one of those rare movies that feels as if you literally just happen to be sneaking peeks into someone’s life as it happens.

Mickey Rourke knocks this one out of the park. He’s a wrestler clearly past his prime. What else is clear is that he cannot bring himself to do anything else despite the fact that he’s barely, barely keeping his life and body together. The other wrestlers all look up to him. After every one of his matches, they all give him applause as he re-enters the dressing area to pay their respect.

Wrestling is all just a show. But one that they all give plenty of blood, guts and other things to perform. Watching ‘The Ram’ pull out a hidden razor blade so he can cut himself and shed blood for the sake of the match was disturbing and yet admirable. Match after match, the competition is fake but the sacrifices of the wrestlers are not. Robinson’s health is at serious risk due to all the things he’s putting into his body – some for the sake of wrestling and others just due to bad decisions.

You see his character needs to pull himself out of wrestling, and his mess of a life as well. Marisa Tomei’s character gives the viewer hope for this. She’s a stripper (Cassidy is her stage name, Pam her real one) that develops something of a connection with Randy. He also reaches out to his estranged daughter, Stephanie, played by Evan Rachel Wood. This relationship is my one gripe with this movie. Wood plays the material well but I felt it was a bit too convenient in a movie sense – “I hate you,” turns to “I’m glad to have you in my life,” with all too much ease.

I also felt the ending to be very predictable. Nonetheless, this movie is so well done I didn’t care. You want this character to find redemption, though you don’t know why you’re rooting for him. He knows what his problems and shortcomings are yet refuses to address them.

There are plenty of reasons to not want to watch what happens to Rourke’s character, but under Aronofsky’s skillful hand, you can’t turn away.

I give this movie a solid A.

Written by the bee dub

June 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm

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