Pulling John (2009/IndiePix DVD)
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Documentary: B
wrestling may be seen by most as a pastime, but there is a legitimate sport and
years ago, the Sylvester Stallone dud Over
The Top tried to make it more visible.
Now, we get the Vassiliki Khonsari/Sevan Mattossian documentary Pulling John (2009), and it is easily
the funniest and most amusing documentary about competition since King Of Kong.
refers to the longtime champion John Brzenk, who was a star in the Stallone
film, holding the title for the many years since that was released. He now faces a new generation of challengers,
but only two could possibly be the next successor: West Virginian Travis Bagent
and Russian Alexey Voevoda. They are both
interesting on and off the table, both have their own approaches, personalities
and distinctions. Both will eventually
face each other too.
the fired-up braggart who thinks he can do anything, loves himself and wants to
be the next champion, but his overconfidence leaves him the most vulnerable of
the three. Voevoda trains very hard, is
laid back, has a very realistic view of the world and makes some interesting
comments (like women wanting men I Russia with money versus a “real man” like
himself) that show character that will help him stay grounded. We also see much of John and learn all about
the sport and its history.
imagined this would be so good, but it is and if it finds its audience, it will
achieve what the Stallone film failed to do in really showing arm wresting as
more than just a pastime. I liked
everyone competing and the best part is you will see a standard of
professionalism and respect you don’t see in other sports enough. Very interesting and recommended, Pulling John
is highly entertaining.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image also looks
pretty good with all of its location video, but it can also be soft and have a
little motion blur throughout and it is still a documentary. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is not bad
throughout, but you do get some dropouts from location recording and those
instances are often captioned. Extras include
a comic book, Director’s Commentary, Additional Trailers and 50+ minutes of
additional footage, some of which should have stayed in.
- Nicholas Sheffo