Monday, April 18, 2011

Gentlemen's Choice

Director: Mickey Grant
Distributor: Mickey Grant Productions
Released: 12/08

Talent Featured
Chris Adams, Jean & Cyril Adams, Jeanie Adams, Julia Adams, Karen Adams, Neil Adams, Shea Adams, Tyler Adams, Balon "Booray" Bradley, Nathan Bickerstaff, Killer Brooks, Billy "L.A. Steele" Cole, Sky "Lacey" Cole, Bill Colville, Rev. Tommy Drumm, Mickey Grant, Gary Hart, Pam Hernandez, Laurie Knight, Tom Lance, Martin Leyko, David Manning, Bill Mercer, Brent Parnell,Dorothy Parnell, Trinka Porrata, J.D. Reed, Dr. Rock, Emily Urban, Kevin Von Erich, Tony "Banger" Walsh, Earnest Wilkinson, John "Raven" Wymer, Roland Zamarano

The Good
I had this documentary for many months before the circumstances were right to watch it. I expected a lot of violence, vulgarity and tales of substance abuse that does not make for a fun evening movie with the family. This certainly had plenty of that and more. Toss in a few doped up and burnt out strippers, pro-wrestlers and buddies, vindictive indy performers and crabby old ladies and you've got the total package. The cast of characters in this was truly amazing and perhaps the greatest strength of this film. Yes, there were some people missing (mostly former peers in pro-wrestling, although many of them are dead or became estranged from Chris Adams), but it included practically every direct family member he had, a variety of friends and associates as well as some of the people who spent time with him for only a passing phase of his high-speed life. The quality of this was acceptable, it seemed almost jokingly low-rent at times because many of Chris's colleagues were kind of lower class people. There was definitely a tragically interesting story here and Mickey Grant did not try to gloss things over. Little pieces in this, such as comparing Chris Adams' to the infamous gunslinger Doc Holliday (who he apparently admired and dressed like during his fourth wedding), having him explain to a camera how his children are his world as his daughter behind him throws sand until it gets in her eyes and revealing that Chris had put a hit out on an indy valet to that very valet on camera, provided this shocking insight into the type of man Chris Adams was. If anyone thinks Mickey Grant wanted to put Chris Adams over (so to speak), they'd be wrong. This is a fair investigation in the life of man who had so much, but seemed hellbent on self-destruction.

The Bad
This documentary is about a pro-wrestler, but it's not about pro-wrestling per say. Chris Adams' fame was derived from pro-wrestling, specifically his time wrestling in World Class in the mid-1980s. He, like many of the young stars of World Class, were given so much, so quickly that they turned into some of the most deplorably immoral folks in the business. Some notable characters died, many of them survived, but none left Dallas untouched by the culture there. Chris Adams, could have gone elsewhere and been successful, but he chose to stay in Dallas and try to sustain his wild lifestyle. He went from a young and promising talent who loved fast cars, blondes and the nightlife to a broken down drug addict who was abusive, cruel and unable (or unwilling) to save himself. This is an extreme case, but one that mirrors the decline of many former pro-wrestlers. If some people disliked "The Wrestler" for its portrayal of pro-wrestlers, then you certainly will not like this.

The Rating: ****1/2


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