DVD Review: The Wrestler

Mickey Rourke in The WrestlerMickey Rourke and The Wrestler arrive on DVD this Tuesday, April 21, 2009. Rourke, easily considered the biggest comeback kid of 2008 – if not the 21st century – went from career obscurity to major Oscar contender overnight with his tragic performance as an aging professional wrestler in Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece.

The Wrestler was denied Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director despite the movie’s superiority to the other films in the race. Frankly, this one makes Slumdog Millionaire look like a TV movie – but voters tend to like the feel-good over the flat-out brilliant. Thankfully, the movie garnered some attention through Rourke’s close race with Sean Penn for Best Actor – and Marisa Tomei’s Oscar-nominated performance.

As one might expect, the DVD release doesn’t offer much other than the movie itself. A barebones film shot on what is presumably a barebones budget, The Wrestler DVD contains only a behind-the-scenes featurette and a music video. The featurette is actually halfway decent, as it delivers 40+ minutes of info with absolutely no promotional intentions behind it. It doesn’t explain things as much as it shows them; the result is an interesting documentary that unfortunately doesn’t actually teach anything about the production.

Of course, no one’s buying The Wrestler for its bonus features. The movie is excellent, and in fact was rated my second best movie of the 2009. Highly, highly recommended.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews