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Review And A Half

Well! Some interesting things have happened since we spoke yesterday, and as might be expected I have some opinions on them.

  • Firstly, I have finished my read-through of of Box Brown’s André the Giant: The Life and Legend (a review copy of which was kindly provided by :01 Books), and all I can say is Wow. As I believe I mentioned when I received the book, I don’t have any great personal history with professional wrestling and was grateful for the frontmatter and backmatter in the book that explained the concepts of over, shoot, kayfabe, and other esoterica that the WW{F|E} congoscenti take for granted.

    I knew Mr The Giant almost entirely from his appearance in The Princess Bride, a relatively small part of a long life in show business that consequently gets relatively few pages here. And yet within those few pages, we get moments of quiet as André finds respite from the chaos and expectations of the ring via friendship with Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal¹, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright. Also Rob Reiner finds that André’s bar tab was US$40,000.

    That’s a funny bit, but it masks a sad truth — André never stopped growing throughout his life, his joints couldn’t support his enormous size, and he spent much of his life in pain. He drank mightily, to take away that pain, but also because his sheer size made his tolerance to alcohol almost unearthly.²

    Two little stories out of a few dozen vignettes — André loved telling stories, and they grew in the telling as much as he did. He appreciated show business, making sure the fans were entertained, and would go to any lengths to serve the narrative. Brown has gone to similar lengths to tell the story of André the Giant, and he’s done an admirable job.

  • Download codes for Kickstarter backers of STRIPPED went out (thousands of them), and I got mine last night after dinner.

    I had work today and couldn’t stay up to watch it.

    But there’s plenty of love for it on the Twitters, and some of it is even from people who aren’t in the movie!

    Kidding aside, I am anxiously awaiting the moment I can fire up the movie when I get home. It’s going to be marvelous. Review as soon as possible.

  • Lastly, I’d like to join the chorus welcoming Ada Marie Weinersmith to the world on this, Pi Day. In my opinion, she’s a marvelous baby, and I would welcome her to the world again! Well wishes may be sent to proud mother and father, and if their various online endeavours are late or missing for a few days, I’m sure we can give them some slack.

¹ Who, it appears, picked up almost immediately on André’s habit of calling everybody Boss, and everybody referring to André by the same nickname.

² When doctors were trying to figure out how much surgical anesthesia to use on a nearly 300kg human, they asked him how much it took to get drunk. A bottle of vodka would make him feel the beginnings of a buzz.

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