As probably the majority of the world knows, the sport of professional wrestling is fake, idiotic, ridiculous and even embarrassing to watch. The new movie “Fighting With My Family” is about an impoverished family of professional wrestlers who desperately try to make a living traveling around small towns and run down arenas near London England. A reality like this is depressing to watch and as soon as you ask yourself why would anyone want to do this for a living, you realize that in poor areas like this for many people, there is no other choice. You are poor, your parents are poor, your parents are wrestlers and where you live is a nightmare, so you do whatever you can to survive.
The last movie about the depressing reality of the wresting profession that has been produced was “The Wrestler” starring Mickey Rourke, released in 2008. The Wrestler was a very good movie and represented a comeback for Rourke due to his outstanding acting. With the wresting profession, like so many other professions like it, we only hear about the very few who made it to the top. It is extremely rare that anyone can parlay this ridiculous sport into acting like Duane Johnson and John Cena. Their success stimulates the fantasies of so many other poor people who think they can be rich and famous too. The road to fame with wrestling is years of performing in horrible arenas around the country while risking a career ending injury by flying in the air and landing on someone or someone landing on you. Why something like this is as popular as it is around the world is a mystery to most of us, but perhaps its popularity is born out of the rage people feel towards their job, their boss or their own depressing life reality.
The good news is that Fighting With My Family is not really just about the wresting profession, its about money, making a living, never giving up, injustice and extreme jealousy. It is also about the realization that unless you are your own boss, your life is very often in the hands of someone else who can decide your fate in an instant.
The brother and sister in this wrestling family played by Florence Pugh as Saraya Knight and Jack Lowden as Zak have dreamed their whole life to be rich and famous wrestlers and after a chance meeting in London with “The Rock” they are both called in to try out to be members of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Then the reality sets in that organizations like the WWE could care less about the dreams of two poor kids who live in the outskirts of London. They only care about making money and they will only choose the very few who have the right look or attitude that they alone judge. Unfortunately, the WWE only wanted Saraya and not Zak and for the rest of the movie the jealousy that Zak feels towards his sister greatly affects their relationship. Unfortunately for Saraya, the life of a wrestler or as women are called, Diva’s is not what she thought it would be and much to my surprise the physical training of all of these athletes is extremely difficult to get through with many people giving up along the way. The final story arc is not unlike a movie like Rocky and even an Officer and a Gentlemen with a singular moment during training that was remarkably similar to a turning point in that movie. The actor Vince Vaughn is very good in a serious role as the trainer of the wrestling recruits.
The Rotten Tomatoes for this film are an extremely high 91% and I give this a solid 95% for this outstanding true story that was turned into a great screenplay. I highly recommend this Fighting With My Family as the best movie so far in 2019.
One of these days there will be a futuristic science fiction movie that is written, produced and released that does not paint such a dire picture of the future of the world, where there has been some sort of a nuclear war, and people live among pieces of broken machines and robots. This story takes place in the year 2562 and has one of the most depressing world environments I have ever seen in any movie.
The new movie “Alita: Battle Angel” has extremely impressive special effects that include some of the same technology that has existed since Avatar, released in 2007. Unfortunately and once again, special effects were considered more important than a great story. The main character in this movie, Alita is an animated robot created using a technology where the actor is fitted with motion detector devices and filmed in front of a green screen. Alita’s eyes are very big, like the characters in Avatar, and her big eyes make her a very likable character. She is found by a scientist played by actor Christoph Waltz and put back together and during the first third of this movie, it is found that she has special combat skills and is a robot over 300 years old. Even though she is a robot, she can love with a human and even eat food, something I have never seen a Robot do in any movie. Why would any Robot ever need to eat human food?
The problems with this movie are that its too long, well over 2 hours and the story is all over the place, especially at the end with a convoluted plot that was never explained well enough and even includes a Rollerball type of game where people can elevate to a higher world if they win. The fight scenes are many and probably too intense for any child under 15 years old and there are also scenes of bounty hunters who are hired to kill other robots and humans. The reasons for this part of the story, were another part that was never made clear enough. Alita: Battle Angel is another movie that has a comic book counterpart that the audience would have to read before they would be able to understand the entire story. This is all about bad screenwriting and it should not be necessary to know about any story before hand when you see a new movie. Its all about explaining what is going on in a concise easy to understand way and this movie skips over too many important things to make this story more understandable to the majority of the audience.
This movie also starts Jennifer Connely and Mahershala Ali who seem to have been added to this cast, only to attract more box office and other than the money, I wonder why either one of them decided to do this movie. Due to the technology and history with Avatar, James Cameron is also involved with this movie as a co-screenwriter. Cameron is both a great director and screenwriter, but for this script it seems he was too distracted with other projects to give his full attention to this one.
The Rotten Tomatoes review is only about 59% and I would have given this movie only about a 50% and due to all the problems, I cannot recommend it.
There have been way too movies like “Isn’t It Romantic” starring Rebel Wilson made over the years where someone gets hit on the head and then falls into a completely different world either because they believe they are different like last years “I Feel Pretty” with Amy Schumer or because they are in a dream world because they are in a coma like this story. Some of the messages of Isn’t It Romantic are very good, including the belief that so many Romantic Comedies give the world a false example of what relationships really are. A person has to love themself first before they can love someone else, very true. However, the story was not strong enough despite these messages to recommend and ironically became a movie that the main character hates – a bad romantic comedy.
It seemed like the screenplay for this movie was green-lighted entirely because of the log-line: “A woman who hates romantic comedies hits her head and winds up in a world of romantic comedies”. I am amazed that this story was considered good enough to provide millions in funding and make a movie from it. There are definitely way better ideas than this one and all aspiring screenwriters wonder why some movies are made and others are not.
You have to admire actress Rebel Wilson for being a successful and bankable in Hollywood as one of the very few overweight actors to not only star in but now produce their own movies. Isn’t it Romantic reunites actor Adam Devine as Rebel Wilson’s love interest with almost the same relationship they had in the first 2 Pitch Perfect films. These two seem completely incompatible physically and perhaps that is part of the joke here, but there is nothing I found funny in this movie. Actors Liam Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra are also in this movie for reasons that have nothing to do with the story, and everything to do with increasing the box office.
The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this movie is an anemic 65% and I am more in the 50% range, believing that this movie should be missed.