Beyond The Mat

Beyond The Mat

4.5 2
Director: Barry W. Blaustein, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Terry Funk, Mick Foley

Cast: Barry W. Blaustein, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Terry Funk, Mick Foley

     
 

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This no-holds-barred documentary look at the unforgiving world of professional wrestling gets a solid presentation for its release on DVD. Beyond the Mat has been given a full-frame transfer to disc in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Surround. The narration and interviews are in English, with no multiple-language options

Overview

This no-holds-barred documentary look at the unforgiving world of professional wrestling gets a solid presentation for its release on DVD. Beyond the Mat has been given a full-frame transfer to disc in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Surround. The narration and interviews are in English, with no multiple-language options, though the feature is closed-captioned in English. Bonus materials include a commentary track featuring director Barry W. Blaustein, Mick Foley, and Terry Funk; notes on the film's production; biographies of the cast and crew; and the movie's original theatrical trailer.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Chris MacDermott
Beyond the Mat bills itself as "The movie Vince McMahon doesn't want you to see." What's the World Wrestling Federation chairman trying to hide? Ever since his testimony several years ago that (gasp!) professional wrestling is indeed scripted, McMahon and his WWF have continued to push the envelopes of taste and physical endurance under the banner of "sports entertainment." Nobody denies that pro wrestling is a show anymore. But maybe McMahon doesn't want you to see the physical toll that the "fake" matches take on the performers. Beyond the Mat was not only shot backstage at wrestling events but also in the hotel rooms and hospitals where wrestlers live. Director Barry W. Blaustein, a lifelong wrestling fanatic, gained the trust of his heroes and follows them around, very quickly stripping them of their larger-than-life personae. We watch as faded legend Terry Funk refuses the strong advice of doctors and family to quit the game. He confronts the recently retired Mick Foley (aka Mankind, Dude Love, and Cactus Jack) with footage of his family's reaction to him being brutalized by The Rock with a folding chair. The sight seems to hurt Foley -- a devoted, loving father -- much more than any chair-shot. But the scariest footage captures former champ Jake "The Snake" Roberts, who chats openly about his crack addiction and the deep rift that his profession caused within his family. The convergence of acting and sports can take a very heavy toll, and Roberts's nonchalance about his problems is glaring proof of that. Beyond the Mat has plenty of body-slams -- behind the scenes and otherwise -- to please wrestling fans, but its dramatic impact will likely mesmerize non-devotees as well.
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
Promoted with the tagline "The Movie Vince McMahon Doesn't Want You to See!," the documentary Beyond the Mat was challenged by the WWF mogul to halt its advertising campaign on television. It's not that the film views wrestling in any kind of negative light, it just brings some compassionate human interest to the brutal sport. It doesn't even attempt to question the deep-seated homoeroticism of the spectacle, but maybe that's another subject. Writer/director/interviewer Barry Blaustein clearly has respect and admiration for the individual wrestlers who participate, yet he sounds kind of embarrassed to admit his fascination with the sport. Although it covers a wide variety of wrestlers, the film's emotional focal point is Mick "Mankind" Foley. His human tragedy involves a conflict between a rising superstardom and a sincere commitment to his family. Even though the fights are obviously staged, his adoring wife and kids are still traumatized by the severe beating in the ring, which Foley is then made to watch on videotape. Blaustein is clearly interested in the sadness behind the lifestyle, with much time devoted to the wistful wannabes risking major injuries with hopes of one day making it big. The aging, drug-addicted Jake "The Snake" Roberts appears as a washed-up has-been, a warning sign signaling the results of constant body damage. Though not incredibly ambitious, Beyond the Mat does manage to get at the heart of the motivations behind this unique cultural phenomenon.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2004
UPC:
0025192397622
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Surround]
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
39,585

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by Stars Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Mick "Mankind" Foley and Director Barry Blaustein; Commentary by Star Terry Funk and Director Barry Blaustein; "On My Life in Wrestling and "The Royal Rumble" with Star Mick Foley; "Dinner with the Guys" featurette; Theatrical Trailer; Production Notes; Cast and Filmmakers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barry W. Blaustein Interviewer
Jake "The Snake" Roberts Participant
Terry Funk Participant
Mick Foley Participant
Vince McMahon Participant
Joanie "Chyna" Laurer Participant
Darren Drozdov Participant
Jesse Ventura Participant
Rock Participant
Tony Jones Participant

Technical Credits
Barry W. Blaustein Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Nathan Barr Score Composer
Barry Bloom Producer
Michael Grady Cinematographer
Brian Grazer Producer
Shawn Holden Sound/Sound Designer
Ron Howard Producer
Michael Rosenberg Producer
Debra Marie Simon Co-producer
Peter J. Verrando Sound/Sound Designer
Jeff Werner Editor

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. My Wrestling Addiction
2. The WWF
3. A Potential Superstar
4. Boot Camp
5. The Tryouts
6. The Living Legend
7. ECW
8. The Most Normal Wrestler
9. Jake the Snake
10. All Kinds of Wrestlers
11. Time to Go Home
12. Jake's Daughter
13. No Self-Pity
14. The Royal Rumble
15. It's Showtime!
16. Daddy's Getting Hurt
17. It's Just a Boo-Boo
18. The Last Laugh
19. Epilogue
20. End Titles

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Beyond The Mat 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read the other reviews of beyond the mat and i belive that vince mcmhaon did try to stop this video but i guess he was too late to do anything he may have money&power but he hasn't the guts do do a thnag.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago