Bad Movie Studios Update – Godzilla, Gamera and YouTube!

Bad Movie Studios Update – Godzilla, Gamera and YouTube!

I thought it was about time to do an update. I’m starting a new series of reviews that’s going to be entirely focused around the Godzilla and Gamera films. I’m really excited to be starting this. but what’s more, I’m also going to start making the reviews into videos as opposed to just text. It will start with the Godzilla/Gamera reviews and then afterwards I will translate my older reviews into videos. Bad Movie Studios has a YouTube page and you can check it out here
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV1aeiHWlrwGNi1NZ2Coqtg/videos
That’s where I will be posting the videos. I look forward to getting started.

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The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (2013) – A Bad Movie Studios Film Review

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The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (2013)

A Bad Movie Studios Review

Now that the movie has been out for a few weeks, here’s part 2 of my Hobbit review, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. I won’t spend as much time talking about this film as I did the last one, because I actually talked about some of the more significant features of this movie in my Best of 2013 list. Go check that out by the way, it would please me. Well anyway, Desolation of Smaug made it onto that list and you don;t have to be a brain surgeon to understand that I like this movie and that I’m probably going to recommend it. But a review is about more than just recommending a film, it’s about explaining why I recommend it.

The very blatant thing about this film that I noticed first is that right from the get go is that if you never saw the first film, you wont have a single clue what’s going on. That seems like an obvious thing when you;re dealing with a sequel, but I still felt that I should mention it. If I hadn’t seen The Hobbit literally minutes before Desolation of Smaug, I wouldn’t have any Idea what was going on for a while too. Taking into consideration that if you’re going to watch Desolation of Smaug, that you’ve probably seen it’s predecessor.

Something that bothered me about The Hobbit was the vast amount of CGI in the film. The Lord of the Rings used CGI to convenient effect. The Hobbit used it so much and so often that it actually kind of took me out of the movie a little bit. With Lord of the Rings, yes I know there’s a lot of CG, but It’s the practical effects and massive landscapes with largely built structures that make those movies visual treats for me. The Hobbit doesn’t feel like that. It feels like it was trying to be large and vast like LOTR but didn’t achieve the same effect especially with the increased use of computer effects. Desolation of Smaug felt like it corrected this for the most part. The movie feels smaller, tighter and legitimately feels like an extension of itself rather than being tied to something else (LOTR). There’s still a lot of CG, and some if it is nonsensical (like the CG Legolas in one of the battle sequences for example) but I can stomach it more because it doesn’t feel like I have to look at it for too long.

The best thing about this movie to me is that it’s a 3 hour film, and the first in a while, that I’ve seen that didn’t feel like 3 hours. I can’t tell you if there were more action scenes in the movie or not but it did feel like it moved a lot faster than the last film. I felt myself being very interested in the events that unfolded, and the movie does increase the amount of side stories a little bit but it still flows pretty well. And it makes the main plot-line a much more grand situation than it was in the last film but it’s done in a way that keeps it simple so it doesn’t become a problem. And when things wrapped up in the (non)ending I was disappointed because I wanted to see more.

Most of the cast from the last movie shows up again for this one, and there are even some inclusions this time around that are all done pretty well. But the single stand out character in this movie is Smaug. Smaug is the dragon, and for the most part, main antagonist of the film. You got to see bits and pieces of him in The Hobbit in a flash back sentience that sets up the plot and its a great tease because he doesn’t show up for the rest of the movie. So it builds a decent anticipation to see him. The second movie gives you a feast of visual goodness over the dragon. He’s a major fixture of the third act and you are inundated with the sight of him. He’s an awesome character, thanks mostly due to Benedict Cumberbatch’s great performance. He does an awesome job as the dragon, really making him seem like a sinister and believable villain. He’s a total highlight of the film and the series in general.

Everything else that there is to talk about with this movie is pretty basic. The soundtrack is good, a decent score that fits the franchise. The acting is good, backed by a really good cast. The effects are for the most part okay, looking decent, although sometimes they do feel a bit fake. But I have noticed that the movie looks better without the 3D effects than it does with it. With it there seems to be a problem with the background and foreground blending properly when there is something live action on screen. But that’s a minor issue. I highly recommend this movie. It was a lot of fun to watch, and felt like another romp through good old Middle-Earth again. Definitely check it out.

Final Score – 8.5 out of 10.

Bad Movie Studios – Best of 2013

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BAD MOVIE STUDIOS

BEST OF 2013

With the year drawing to a close, I decided that I wanted to do some sort of “Best” list. So, I’ve compiled a list of the films that I’ve seen released this year. I’m going to run down some honorable mentions, and conclude with the film that entertained me the most this year. Keep in mind, this does not mean that it’s the best film this year from a technical standpoint, or that it’s them most creative or original. But just the one that I had the most fun watching. So let me get right to it.

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A Haunted House (Comedy)

Directed by Michael Tiddes

Starring Marlon Wayans, Cedric the Entertainer, Nick Swardson

When I saw the advertisements for this movie, I first thought that it was going to be another poor cash in on the “Scary Movie” franchise. I’ve long since thought that particular series has run it’s course and didn’t feel the need to watch a poor mans version of it. Well, I was wrong. This movie did more to remind me of the better parts of the Scary Movie franchise, and carries the legacy of that film better than it’s own sequels. It’s got crude Wayans humor, and a fun cast. I was far more entertained by this movie than I thought I would be. I would definitely recommend watching it with some friends.

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Movie 43 (Comedy)

Directed be (Assorted)

Starring (Assorted, Including) Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone

I have never seen a movie like this before. Movie 43 is basically a comedy anthology film. What makes is so unique is how damn raunchy it is, and how many A-List actors are in it. There’s literally too many to mention, but to add to those who I’ve already listed, you have Gerard Butler, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Faris, Kate Winslet and Chloe Grace Moretz. This movie had me laughing from the start, and if you’re a fan of ridiculous comedies, then this one is definitely for you. I haven’t seen anything else like it all year

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Identity Thief (Comedy)

Directed by Seth Gordon

Starring Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Robert Patrick

I didn’t see this movie by my choice. Actually, my mother is a fan of Melisa McCarthy, and so I went with her to go see it. Free movie right? Well, I’m glad to say that not only did I like it, I sat through it a second time. This is a good buddy/road trip comedy and a definite highlight for Melissa McCarthy’s career. Jason Bateman plays the straight man in this film, and she works off of him. And they both do a good job. It’s another movie that I recommend seeing with some friends. Worth a watch.

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World War Z (Action-Horror)

Directed by Marc Foster

Starring Brad Pitt

Upon hearing Brad Pitt’s casting for this movie, I already knew that it wasn’t going to be the same as the book that I read and loved so much. Let me be the first to tell you though, that I still enjoyed this movie even though it strayed so far from its source material that they could have called it something else. This movie is riddled with plot convenience and over-the-top sequences that crush the realism that it intends to set. But what you get instead is an entertaining ride that is churned out by thousands and thousands of running, screaming infected monsters chasing our main hero across the world. It was a fun movie, medium differences or not.

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Man of Steel (Sci-Fi Action)

Directed by Zach Snyder

Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon

I have to admit, I’m not really a big Superman fan. I love comic books and comic book heroes, and I certainly like the Man of Tomorrow, but I could never get over his boyscout like quality and adore him like so many. But with the director of Watchmen (2009) at the helm of this film, I couldn’t wait to see what was gonna happen. And I’m very pleased with the results. As DC tries to keep up with Marvel in the comic book movie department, they can finally say with all certainty that they’ve made one of the best superhero movies ever, and by FAR the best live action film featuring their mascot Superman. I really liked this movie. The fight scenes were awesome, with plenty of destruction and obliterating of Metropolis. The film is riddled with little inconsistencies, and if you nit pick it it’s the farthest thing from perfect. But if you tune off your scan for artistic achievement and just enjoy the “super” that this movie brings, you can’t help to like it.

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The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (Fantasy Adventure)

Directed by Peter Jackson

Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage

I won’t talk too much about this movie because it’s getting it’s own review shortly. But I should mention that I saw this movie as part of a double feature at my local AMC theaters, paired with the first Hobbit movie. That’s 6 hours of Hobbit. And let me tell you, this movie entertained me so much that 6 hours went by in a flash. When Desolation of Smaug was over, I was legitimately disappointed because I wanted to see more. I already cant wait for next December to finish this Trilogy. This is a Fantasy film that more than deserves to stand with the best of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and any other major fantasy film that’s been released. I liked it that much. Oh, and the dragon was F’n awesome.

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Evil Dead (Horror)

Directed by Fede Alvarez

Starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci

I’m a huge fan of the Evil Dead series and have seen Sam Raimi’s work probably a couple dozen times. So I was skeptical but interested when I heard that a remake of one of my favorite franchises from my favorite genre was being made. Well, I’m glad this movie exists. Evil Dead pays ample homage and fan service to it’s source material, while still being different. It brings the blood, gore and over-the-top creepy Evil Deadness in spades. It’s a movie I recommend to fans of the series, to fans of horror, hell I recommend it to everyone. I just loved this movie, and I can’t wait to get the blue-ray copy to watch it again.

And so, here we are. Time for me to tell you what my favorite film of 2013 was. Well I’m happy to inform you, that Bad Movie Studios’ pick for the Best of 2013 is…

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Pacific Rim (Sci-Fi)

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Staring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi

I’ve been waiting for Godzilla (2014) to come out for close to 7 years now. Godzilla is probably my most favorite thing ever, from all the way back when I was a toddler. This of course raises in me a huge love for giant monster movies. Pacific Rim was like my appetizer. This movie was just awesome. Giant monsters? Check. Giant robots? Check. Movie based entirely around them fighting? Check. I absolutely adored this movie. It was the one time that I can remember where I felt like a kid again in the movie theater. And it helped boost my anticipation for Godzilla’s upcoming return. Now I know what you’re thinking. How could Pacific Rim be the Best of 2013? It’s so ridiculous. Well, first remember that I wasn’t judging these movies by quality but by the sheer entertainment value it brought me. And on a personal level, no film entertained me more than Pacific Rim. A movie that instills joy and nostalgia so deep in me that my anticipation for something that I love gets to a fever pitch HAS to be my favorite movie of the year. The acting is pretty bland, the story is ludicrous, and it’s probably the most unrealistic thing I’ve ever watched. And that’s cinema perfection. Pacific Rim is one of the best films in it’s genre, and my favorite film this year. So it’s with great pride and joy that I claim Pacific Rim as Bad Movie Studios Best of 2013.

I hope you enjoyed my Best of 2013 list. As promised, I’ll get to putting out Hobbit: DoS shortly. Then after that I’m going to try to get some video game stuff out. And that should close out the year for me. Well, I hope your year has been good, and I’d love to hear what your Best of 2013 is like. Maybe you’ll agree, or what’s more likely…you won’t. But oh well. You can’t all be as awesome as me I suppose.

The Hobbit (2012) – A Bad Movie Studios Film Review

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The Hobbit (2012)

A Bad Movie Studios Film Review

I decided to do a two part review of The Hobbit and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug after planning to see them both at my local movie theater in a double feature. Six hours of Lord of the Rings in 3D. I’m not big on seeing movies in 3D, because I find it a gimmick that shouldn’t really effect my opinion of a film. And by that, I mean that a film shouldn’t be based around 3D as a selling point, and my opinion shouldn’t have to revolve so much around an added feature. To be honest, The Hobbit and Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug are the second (and third) films I’ve seen in 3D. The first being Thor (2011). Anyway, I’m going to write these reviews back to back, with a little space put in between their release. So let me first talk about 2012’s, The Hobbit.

Everyone and their grandmother knows Lord of the Rings, whether they’ve seen the films or not. They are fantasy adventure epics that pretty much define the genre. Most people know that they are based on a series of books by J. R. R. Tolkien. The books in the series were published between 1937 and 1949. But before Tolkien wrote that trilogy, he wrote The Hobbit. I would hazard to guess that these days most people know the series by the films instead of the books. And before this series of Hobbit movies was produced, most people didn’t really know about the tale themselves.

The story of the film primarily revolves around Bilbo Baggins (uncle to Frodo Baggins) being swung into joining a group of thirteen Dwarves and the wizard Gandalf, as they make their way to the Dwarve’s ancient treasure filled mountain home. The mountain is now home to Smaug, the fire beating, gold hoarding dragon that killed most of the Dwarf people. So, the company travels across Middle-Earth, battling Orcs, goblins and the impending evil of Sauron, on the quest to regain their home. The plot definitely has that grand adventure feel that Lord of the Rings is known for, but to me it’s actually pulled off better for the most part. The story and situations aren’t as big as the more famous works in the series, but they are more coherent and less complicated. I have a much easier time following the different subplots with the different characters. Much more of a convenient experience than Lord of the Rings. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I haven’t watched the original trilogy in a while, but I just recall forgetting more of what happened in those movies than I did remember. Something that I did find interesting, is that even though there are a lot of changes from the source material and even a decent amount of padding (it’s hard to turn 300 pages of literature into 9+ hours of film) The Hobbit doesn’t really feel like it drags along any place. That’s impressive to me. Yes, it still does feel like a 3 hour movie, but that 3 hours moves at a solid pace. I have found myself able to sit through it on 2 separate occasions without the need for a break. Also, I know there are a lot of different opinions on how the plot of the film goes. Some will undoubtedly take issue with the changes, both the additions and subtractions, to the original works. Some will be able to look at it as it’s own thing and appreciate it as such. Well, I haven’t read the books (as I’ve mentioned) so I have no ties to the preexisting text. This means that I fit into the second category. I will say however that I hope the fans that aren’t taking a liking to the changes that a medium swap demands can still look past that and see the competent narrative that this film brings to the table. It’s not amazing or a spectacle playing out before your eyes, but it works and gets the job done well.

The cast in the film is solid as well. Ian McKellen does a great job as the wizard Gandolf yet again, and Martin Freeman’s Bilbo has settled in to me as one of the stand out characters in the series. He’s FAR more likeable than Frodo and Sam were. And he’s equally as entertaining as Mary and Pippin. Of course the returning side characters are good too. Hugo Weaving as Elrond is good, as well as Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. But personally I was just overjoyed to see Christopher Lee return as Sarumon the White. I’m a big fan of Lee, whom I’ve liked ever since seeing him portray Dracula in the HAMMER films. So seeing him again in The Hobbit, at around age 90 no less, was awesome. A new character that we get to spend some time with, is another wizard by the name of Radagast the Brown. He’s a sort of “in touch with nature”…madman, for lack of a better word. He’s played by Sylvestor McCoy. You may know he actor that plays him as the seventh Doctor from the long running Doctor Who franchise. He’s good here, giving Radagast a feverish eccentricity that fits well with the character. To be honest, the only characters that are a little underwhelming are the dwarves. They’re actually all likable for the most part, and I found myself wishing for them to succeed in their quest. But with so many of them on screen at once for most of the film, it’s hard to give them all distinguishing qualities. Well the filmmakers tried their hardest, and they were successful, if albeit they did so modestly. The dwarves are all different, but this amount of variety comes with the detraction of them all begin pretty one dimensional characters. They really cling to the single aspect of their personality that makes them different than the others in the group for the entire feature. And I’ve also noticed that their group tends to have a very common sense of emotion. By that I mean, when one is sad, they all end to be sad. Or mad, or happy or what have you. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you could easily make a case for this actually deepening their character pools collectively, showing bond and unity as friends and family. Or you could just say that they all happen to be conveniently like minded. Take your pick.

Something that I’ve noticed about this movie, is that I actually think it looks better without the 3D. The 3D gave me problems focusing on certain objects on the screen, and pointed out the CGI in the film like you wouldn’t believe. And that was my first criticism on the movie as a whole, the large amount of CG. When I think about Lord of the Rings, I think of the practical effects. The groups of 200 soldiers on screen at one time, the villages built entirely from scratch. The huge, vast landscapes. Not to say that this film doesn’t have that, but I definitely feel that there was much more reliance on CGI in this film than on the others in the Ring series. This isn’t to say that the computer effects don’t look good, they look fine. But to me CGI is pretty noticeable. And I just happened to notice it more than I would have hoped for this film.

I guess overall, my opinion on The Hobbit is that it’s just different. It’s got a pretty good fantasy story, good scenes of battle and combat, likable characters, plenty of moments that suspend disbelief and entertain, and that classic Tolkien feel. But it doesn’t feel like Lord of the Rings to me. And to be honest, I find that a strength. It didn’t feel like a retread of the same old thing we’ve seen before 10 years ago. Not too much anyway. It really feels like it’s own adventure, and in my opinion, one that entertains me a little bit more than Lord of the Rings did. It’s a story that I’m more interested in seeing the continuation and ultimate conclusion of.

My Final Score – 7.5/10

Not perfect, not broken. It’s a decent first installment to a trilogy that never had to be, but that I am glad exists. Next time, I will do the sequel to this film, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) – A Bad Movie Studios Film Review

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

A Bad Movie Studios Film Review

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I’m going to try to keep this review short. Usually I would go into detail over a few pages worth of text what I thought of a film, but I’ll have another review coming out shortly and then a Best of 2013 thing that I’m gonna do. And I just put out the review on The Wrestler a few days ago, so I don’t want to over crowd myself with work. It is the holidays after all.

So, the Hunger Games. I heard about the books a few years ago, and remember thinking that if they were so popular that I’d see them go the way of Harry Potter sooner rather than later. And wouldn’t you know it, they did. The Hunger Games film franchise has grossed over a billion dollars so far. That’s impressive since the series is only half way through it’s four film run (the third book is being turned into two movies, a la Harry Potter: The Deathly Hollows). I saw the first film (simply titled) The Hunger Games when it released last year (2012) and I had heard a lot of good things about it. Well, to give you a short statement about what I thought, it was okay. I thought it was very reminiscent to the Japanese film Battle Royale. It focuses around a similar premise as The Hunger Games, and actually predates the release of the first book in the series. Anyway, I liked the idea, the presentation was pretty cool, and there was a good supporting cast in it. My gripes about the film were mostly that I thought it felt too long and that Jennifer Lawrence’s character felt dull. And don’t even get me started on that useless bastard Peeta. I didn’t think that Josh Hutchinson did an impressive job with the role, and felt that the character was really bothersome and never developed properly. Now before I go any further, let me be clear that I have not read any of the books. I know things are going to be different anyway and that the transition in mediums calls for change. But that shouldn’t have any impact towards how I feel about the film. It’s its own thing and should be viewed as such.

Okay, now let me get to the actual subject of the review, Catching Fire. Well, I can immediately say that there were some definite improvements in the sequel and one’s that I was very pleased with. Mostly they revolve around the introduction of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the larger focus on the supporting characters. I liked the cast in the first film, and like it even more in the second. I like Woody Harrelson , thought Lenny Kravitz did a good job, felt the same about Stanley Tucci, and I love Elizabeth Banks. I also love Donald Sutherland, I pretty much can’t complain about him in anything. So it was nice to see their characters given more screen time in this film. It helped break up the moments in the movie that focused on Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss and Josh Hutchinson’s Peeta. And as I mentioned before, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s addition was the stand out feature in this movie. He did a fantastic job, absolutely stealing the show for me. His presence and delivery were just 100% perfect. Those though, are largely the only real improvements that I felt were made in the film. It still felt longer than it needed to be, taking a long time for the plot to move along, and retreading a lot of the same things of the first film. Also, even thought they are the main characters, I find Katniss and Peeta to be mostly unlikable. Katniss comes across as dull, and uninteresting. Peeta is worse for me. I genuinely don’t like him. He’s more bearable in Catching Fire, but still retains this “dead weight” aspect that he had in Hunger Games. From what I’m told, he’s supposed to be a bit like that, so I guess I can’t really complain if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. But that doesn’t make me like him any.

Something else that bothers me about this series, is the lack of pacing on character development. Aspects of characters personalities and things that become important to the story (mind you, I mean the movie and not the book) are just glossed over. And when change is made, it’s abrupt and there’s no build up to it. It’s annoying when I’m supposed to understand that Peeta is strong, but they never indicate that he is. Or that I’m supposed to understand that Gail (Liam Hemsworth) and Katniss are having deep relationship problems, when I’ve only really just been introduced to the fact that problems in their relationships exist.

Overall, I wouldn’t say that The Hunger Games: Catching fire, is a bad movie. But it’s definitely flawed and I would say that its overrated as well. It isn’t a must see, gold encrusted jewel from the treasure vaults of Xerxes, but it isn’t a terrible watch if you can stomach it’s length. Sp I suppose, give it a watch if you liked the first one. But if you only thought it was “meh” like me, then there’s a lot better you can do with your time for 2 and a half hours.

Final Score – 6.5/10

The Wrestler (2008) – A Bad Movie Studios Film Review

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The Wrestler (2008)

A Bad Movie Studios Film Review

I’m a huge wrestling fan, and have been for years now. So when I first heard about this movie, I have to say my interest was peaked more by my love of the squared-circle, as opposed to my desire of seeing a creative masterpiece. And I’m happy to say that this movie is both. The Wrestler is directed by Darren Aronovsky (2010’s Black Swan) and stars Mickey Rourke as former pro wrestling star Randy “The Ram” Robinson. It depicts him slogging through life after 20 plus years on the road, entertaining fans the world over. Now aged considerably with his career flung back into gymnasiums and armories, he battles a myriad of issues, including his deteriorating health, less than less than stable relationship with his estranged daughter, and his inability to adjust to daily life without the sport he’s given his body too for so long. This film is credited as resurrecting Mickey Rourke’s career and getting him into mainstream appeal again, as can be seen with his inclusion in the films The Expendables (2010) and Iron Man 2 (2010). The praise for his performance in this film was shown with his receival of a BAFTA award, a Golden Globe Award, an Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The film in general has gotten pretty critically acclaimed as it won the Golden Lion Award in the 2008 Venice Film Festival. Roger Ebert also called it “one of the best films of the year”. But the awards for this movie go beyond just Mickey Rourke, as Marisa Tomei (who plays a single mother/stripper/love interest in the film) was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. So it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of people like this film. And I’m one of them.

I don’t really wanna talk too much about the plot, as I feel like I’ve summed it up fairly well, and I don’t want to spoil it for anybody the hasn’t seen this movie yet. I will comment however on Mickey Rourke’s portrayed the fictional wrestler Randy “The Ram”. Well, to be short, sweet and to the point, he did a great job. Rourke is very believable in this film, really getting across the many different stages of joy and grief that his character goes through. It’s a standout performance in a film that has solid acting all the way around. Marissa Tomei also does a really good job, coming off as a real person instead of a character. And Evan Rachel Wood as Stephanie (“The Ram”s daughter) is very good as well. This is the only role I had ever seen her in, and I can at least say that she made an impression with me. Her scenes with Mickey are great drama pieces that drive home the emotion of the film.

Another great aspect of this movie is it’s good use of cinematography. There are a few cool and interesting shots in the movie, and overall, it has a really interesting look to it. I would actually say that there’s an indie look to it as a whole (if such a thing truly exists) which is fairly fitting since The Wrestler was filmed with a budget of $6 million. It has this sort of dulled color pallet that keeps very well with the tone of the story. And the editing of the movie is reminiscent of a music video in it’s use of short jump cuts and how it keeps the visuals as simple but effective as possible. There’s also an almost documentary feel to the film at times, where the camera gets close in on the characters and follows them around in a way that makes you feel you are actually right there with them. There’s a clever use of zoom in some shots as well that is both very natural to the eye but creative.

Of course, what would a movie about a professional wrestler be without wrestling. And this movie doesn’t disappoint. There are 3 different matches featured in the film, and they are all shot beautify and in such a way as to show the “dance” that’s going on in the ring, and be entertaining as well. What’s really cool is the use of real wrestlers and independent wrestling promotions in the movie (such as Ring of Honor). None of the wrestlers come off as hokey when on camera either. From them, it seems real, like another day at the office. And to those men and women, it is. What’s also interesting to me, is that Mickey Rourke actually learned how to wrestle for this movie. He was trained by WWE Hall of Fame wrestler, Afa Anoa’i, one half of the wrestling tag team the Wild Samoans.

This movie really satiates me on a lot of different levels. The film student and director in me loves it’s creativity, technically sound and aesthetically pleasing visuals, and the rock solid performance of it’s actors. The wrestling fan in me loves the very true to life look at professional wrestling, both the good and the bad. And the great match scenes are lots of fun. Overall, this movie is a total package, being both entertaining and very good at the same time. Some people might get turned off by the subject matter of the film, but don’t let that stop you from giving it a watch. I highly recommend it.

Final Score – 89