Thursday, December 25, 2008

Standard Operating Procedure

Went back to the ArcLight Theater on Sunset Boulevard Tuesday night to see "The Wrestler." I was glad to see before they showed the movie an usher gave the traditional "Welcome to the ArcLight" speech. The screening went off without a hitch.

Nominated for three Golden Globes, "The Wrestler" features on heck of a performance by Mickey Rourke as a washed-up professional wrestler determined to have one last ride on the glory train. It's a very touching look at fleeting fame, aging and building relationships. And it's very, very funny in parts.

My Grandfather Green used to love watching wresting on TV. Looking back on it, I think he really liked the outrageousness of the characters. And it was a waste of time telling him it was all rigged. He wouldn't hear of it. He was adamant. I learned early on just not to go there.

Speaking of older gentlemen with strongly held views, tonight I went to see Clint Eastwood's new movie "Gran Torino," nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Song (actually sung by Clint Eastwood). Eastwood plays a crotchety widower who is very free about expressing his racism and disdain in general. In fact, he regularly growls during the movie.

No one is proud of rooting for a racist, but kind of like Don Rickles with a shotgun, Eastwood's character has more bark than bite. And there's something kind of cool about seeing a 70-year old Dirty Harry. And pity the poor gang bangers in the neighborhood who decide to make his day.
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