“The Wrestler” — Mickey Rourke gives the performance of his career as Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a washed-up wrestler who was a big hit back in the 1980s but is now long past his prime. No longer a part of the big circuit, Randy accepts matches for a few local indie promoters earning a few bucks here and there and then works a day job at a supermarket in New Jersey.
One day he gets an offer to perform a 20-year-anniversary rematch of a Madison Square Garden bout between himself and his arch nemesis from the ’80s, “The Ayatollah,” who is now working at a used-car lot in Arizona. Randy begins to get himself back into shape and in the process, has a heart attack and is told that he can no longer wrestle or take steroids again or he will die.
In the midst of all of that mess, he tries to hook up with a stripper (Marisa Tomei), who like Randy is well past her prime but still has a few good moves left. He also tries to make peace with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), before he ignores the doctor’s advice to go ahead with the wrestling match that probably will kill him.
“The Wrestler” is one of those great indie films filled with awesome performances, a great story and none of the pat mainstream Hollywood endings. It’s one of those films you heard a lot about but probably didn’t get a chance to see in the theater. Now’s your chance.
“Top Gear 10: The Complete Season 10” — With more than 350 million viewers worldwide, “Top Gear” is one of the most popular television programs on the planet. Only recently have we in America heard of it because of its airing on BBC America.
It’s a show about cars, but with a difference. The three guys who host the show aren’t professional drivers or automotive-industry journalists. They’re just three dudes who are crazy about cars. Great cars. Like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bugatti and Lotus.
In one episode, they take a Bugatti Veyron (the most powerful, fastest production car ever made) and race it against a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet. In another episode, the guys are challenged to buy a car for $1,000 and modify it to sail the English Channel. And in what is probably the best show of this season, the gang goes to Africa, where they each buy a cheap car and then attempt to race each other through the African wilderness.
Each episode contains a challenge segment like the ones mentioned above, along with reviews of newer car models, news, test drives and a celebrity interview segment where, at the conclusion, the celebrity must get behind the wheel of a “reasonably priced car” and drive a timed-lap on the show’s race track. If you ever wanted to know how fast Dame Helen Mirren can negotiate a hairpin turn, then “Top Gear” is the show for you.
“Hawaii Five-O” Sixth Season
“Dallas” The Complete Eleventh Season
“Rhoda” Season One
“My Own Worst Enemy” The Complete Series
“iCarly” Season 1, Vol. 2
“Tiny Toon Adventures” Season 1, Vol. 2
“Freakazoid!” Season 2
© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.