Sunday, January 25, 2009

Double-Feature Sunday (The Wrestler & Milk)

A couple things I should get out of the way, right out of the gate:
  1. Emily and I are simple people… we like simple things. We are the prototypical dinner-and-a-movie couple.
  2. None of these Oscar-buzz movies are playing near us. Northbridge, MA is apparently no friend to Hollywood. We have to drive a half-hour to see a lot of these.
With that in mind, when we made the haul to Worcester this afternoon to see The Wrestler, a movie I’ve been trying to see for weeks now, and discovered that any movie before 6:00pm was $6, we decided to see Milk too. My thoughts? Here we go…

The Wrestler
With all the buzz around Mickey Rourke’s performance (including his Golden Globe win and his Academy Award nomination), I had to see this movie. I wasn’t disappointed.

Rourke was brilliant, as advertised. When wrestling, Randy “The Ram” Robinson had me on the edge of my seat – particularly during cringe-worthy, ECW-style match. Out of the ring, he was emotionally devastating in the intimate scenes with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and his stripper romantic interest (Marisa Tomei).

During the final match of the movie, when The Ram matched up with The Ayatollah 20 years after their first match, it brought me back. It made me think of when Lex Luger slammed the Japanese beast that was Yokozuna. I have never been as proud to be an American.

Rating:
(4)



MilkI didn’t know one thing about gay activist Harvey Milk before seeing this movie (other than: 1. he was gay and 2. he was assassinated). That’s why I think this is such an important movie. I should have known who Harvey Milk is. Thanks to this movie a whole new generation can be introduced to him.

The film was excellent and Sean Penn was great. Director Gus Van Sant probably deserves the Oscar – if for nothing else making a movie with so much going on feel so easy.

It’s impossible to watch this movie and not think of Proposition 8 – the California ballot proposition that changed the definition of marriage and eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marry. Wake up people.

Rating:
(4.5)

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