Movie Reviews: The Wrestler, Gran Torino

The Wrestler

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Randy “The Ram” Robinson is a retired professional wrestler who after suffering a near-death injury, tries to get back into wrestling for one last match with his former rival.

The Wrestler is a good movie. Marking the return of Mickey Rourke and directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream), The Wrestler takes you through a journey that is in a kind-of documentary format, following “The Ram” throughout his experience, from everything to setting-up wrestling matches to packaging meat. The bottom line is that Randy is a piece of meat with nowhere to go, but the ring. The problem with the movie is not what it delivers, but what it’s missing. Although I can’t put my finger on it, it has the same problem as Benjamin Button. Just missing a bit of potential to be a great movie. Other than that, it’s a bad idea to bring a child to this movie.

I recommend: This is Spinal Tap, Raging Bull

Gran Torino

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Walt Kowalski, a cynical, bigoted Korean war veteran reforms a teenager who decided to (in order to become part of a gang) steal his prized Gran Torino.

Seeing this recently, I immediatly loved it. Clint Eastwood who directs and stars in Gran Torino, does an excellent job of both captivating the viewers and teaching them. After Walt saves (although tries to make it clear to the neighbors it was unintentional, it’s obvious that it wasn’t) the boy who tried to rob him, Walt becomes sort of a mentor to the boy and becomes more accepting of foreign culture and people. He decides to cultivate him, by not only getting him a job but poising him to ask out a cute Asian women. The drama comes from his cousin and their gang, who reject Thao (the boy) and threaten to kill him numerous times. In this sense, Walt also becomes a guardian angel and protects him from the horrid. While the acting is not particuarly fantastic (except for Clint and various other people who do a great job) Gran Torino is a very good movie and should be seen. Clint Eastwood is a badass.

I recommend: The Karate Kid, Million Dollar Baby

-s.

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