Beyond The Mat

Beyond The Mat

4.5 2

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

     
 

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The controversial professional wrestling documentary Beyond the Mat was released on DVD in two versions. This unrated director's cut is superior to the R-rated re-edit. The image on this disc is a standard full-frame 1.33:1 transfer. The sound is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. Although there are no subtitles, the soundtrack is closed-captioned. TheSee more details below

Overview

The controversial professional wrestling documentary Beyond the Mat was released on DVD in two versions. This unrated director's cut is superior to the R-rated re-edit. The image on this disc is a standard full-frame 1.33:1 transfer. The sound is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. Although there are no subtitles, the soundtrack is closed-captioned. The highlight of the supplemental materials is the commentary track. In addition to director Barry W. Blaustein, Mick Foley, and Terry Funk, two of the subjects of the documentary, provide their insight into their lives and the film. Other features include production notes, cast and crew bios, and the 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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/22/2000
UPC:
0025192091025
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
1:48:00

Special Features

Feature commentaries by Mick Foley, Terry Funk, and Barry W. Bloustein; Theatrical trailer; Production notes; Cast & 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

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Scene Index

Chapter List.
0. Chapter List.
0. Menu Group #1 with 20 chapter(s) covering 01:47:46
1. My Wrestling Addiction. [3:19]
2. The WWF. [3:25]
3. A Potential Superstar. [5:47]
4. Boot Camp. [5:26]
5. The Tryouts. [4:26]
6. The Living Legend. [5:52]
7. Ecw. [6:27]
8. The Most Normal Wrestler. [8:33]
9. Jake The Snake. [:13]
10. All Kinds of Wrestlers. [11:14]
11. Time to Go Home. [7:40]
12. Jake's Daughter. [10:06]
13. No Self-Pity. [7:57]
14. The Royal Rumble. [2:01]
15. It's Showtime! [:01]
16. Daddy's Getting Hurt. [7:19]
17. It's Just a Boo-Boo. [2:10]
18. The Last Laugh. [2:53]
19. Epilogue. [5:58]
20. End Titles. [2:02]

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