I saw The Wrestler today.
The sequence where he runs afoul of a staple gun is masterful. Mickey Rourke is discussing with great articulation the moves to come with his opponent, a bookish type who looks for all the world like Stanley Kubrick, before they proceed to knock seven shades of dinner out of each other.
Nicely done and yes indeed, all the scenes with his brethren worked juxtapositional magic, but I wasn't won over by the whole film, so slavishly did it stick to formula.
Yeah yeah, Marisa Tomei's the tart with the heart. Yeah yeah, Evan Rachel Wood is the wronged daughter. Yeah yeah, the little man beats him down 'til he can't takes no more and he has to go for that one last hurrah.
Rourke's charisma made it entertaining, but at the heart was a film carefully choreographed and lacking in genuine tension, much like the sport itself.