I said it in my list of must haves for April and I'll say it again: In addition to being a touching film with an astounding performance by Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler is one of those rare movies that a diverse group of adults can agree to see together. There's something for everyone, really: Action, romance, some tearjerking, etc.
The movie follows an aging professional wrestler with a ton of regrets. He tries to take control of his life, however, when he befriends an exotic dancer (Marisa Tomei) and attempts to make peace with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood).
In addition to earning all kinds of nominations during awards season, the movie contains one of my favorite scenes of the year. Special features include a featurette titled "Within the Ring: A No-Holds-Barred One-on-One With Wrestlers and Filmmakers" and music videos (presumably featuring Bruce Springsteen).
Two more up next, so
Director Ron Howard successfully adapts for the screen a Peter Morgan play (Morgan wrote the screenplay for this movie as well) that portrays President Nixon's infamous interview with journalist/TV personality David Frost.
The movie follows Frost (played by Michael Sheen, reprising his stage role) on his journey to get the disgraced former President (Frank Langella, who also originated the role on stage) on television to face questioning about his involvement in Watergate. It's a duel between two giant egos where only one can really win, and the filmmakers take creative liberties filling in the backstory to the famous historical event.
Special features include deleted scenes, "The Making of Frost/Nixon," footage from the real interview, and commentary with Director Ron Howard.
Notorious is a biopic based on the life of rap legend Christopher Wallace, a.k.a Notorious B.I.G., who was killed in his early 20s in a drive-by shooting.
Newly discovered actor and hip hop artist Jamal Woolard delivers a standout debut performance as the rapper, and is surrounded by other strong performances of well-known personalities (dead and alive). Naturi Naughton plays the pint-sized, naughty girl Lil Kim and Derek Luke does a great job channeling Sean "Puffy" Combs, as does Anthony Mackie as the late Tupac Shakur.
Special features include commentary with director George Tillman Jr., co-screenwriter Reggie Rock Bythewood and co-screenwriter Cheo Hodari, as well as commentary with Biggie's mom Voletta Wallace, Biggie's co-manager Wayne Barrow, and Biggie's co-manager Mark Pitts.