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Old 04-23-2018, 12:32 PM
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Default HBO Sports: Andre The Giant

I watched the long awaited documentary of Andre the Giant, and in spite of it having a rotten tomato rating of 92%, I really didn't like it.

This is not a documentary for someone who wanted to learn anything about Andre the Giant beyond where he was from, what he looked like, how much he supposedly drank, how sad it was to be him, or how Hogan feels about him.

One thing I am very thankful for is that they didn't push the bullshit story (apparently started by Cary Elwes) that when Andre the Giant was a child he wasn't allowed on the school bus for being too big and was driven to school by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett where the two developed a warm friendship. It's a fun little story, but there isn't a shred of truth to it. It never fails that if Andre comes up in conversation, I have to put some nearby dumbass in their place who tries to talk about "Think you know all there is about Andre eh? Did you know that he and Sam Beckett were best friends!?"

One thing I am slightly annoyed by is that there's a brief snippet of a news story stating that Andre was seriously being considered as a draft option for the Washington Redskins. This was a publicity stunt by Vince McMahon, and he's admitted that before.

The documentary isn't just affiliated with WWE, it's so gunked up with pro-WWE bullshit that it doesn't surprise me that Kevin Dunn is the executive producer. Watching this documentary, you'd think that all Andre ever did in terms of being a prowrestler was a little bit of training in France, the WWWF, some time off, then the WWF. You're assured of all of that being true because Hogan spends three quarters of the documentary relaying it to you.

There is too much fucking Hogan in this film. I would have been able to deal with Hogan being in this film if his time was evened out with literally anyone else. Ric Flair speaks for about ten seconds, and that's only to make light of Andre's shoe size to indicate that he must have had a large penis. Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Cary Elwes, and Robin Wright all share happy memories of Andre for about thirty combined seconds. Tim White was given a decent amount of time, which makes a lot more sense than having Hogan and Vince relate to me how comical it was when Andre farted.

This documentary, to me, was more about prowrestling history than it was about Andre's place in it. I was lectured on idiotic bullshit like the territory system, and how Vince McMahon heroically changed everything into a national system because he was smart enough to see that cable tv was becoming a thing. Watch it for yourself, they literally imply that Vince's insight into the wonder that was cable tv inspired him to broadcast his show around the country and that that was the sole reason for the WWF going national.

I really got mad when they suggested that Andre left the WWWF because he was too weak to handle the schedule. For what seemed like twenty minutes, they went on and on and FUCKING ON about how fucking awesome Hulk Hogan is and how Hulk Hogan did this and Hulk Hogan did that and Hulk Hogan Hulk Hogan Hulk Hogan and... oh wait, what the fuck is Andre doing here? Oh right, he came back for WrestleMania 3 because (according to the documentary) he wanted to die but didn't want to die until he had a big match. So WrestleMania 3 happened, and they milk the hell out of a bullshit story relayed by Vince and Hogan that Andre was never clear about how the finish would go and that there were doubts in their minds that he would even put Hogan over. According to this documentary, after WrestleMania 3 Andre was done with prowrestling and became a recluse at his ranch until he went back to France and died.

Andre.... wrestled Hogan at WrestleMania 4 as well, didn't he? Yeah, I'm pretty sure he did that. Whatever, Kevin Dunn strikes again.

I get that this documentary is about Andre the Giant, and that it didn't want to distract by exploring the drama and accomplishments of Monster Roussimoff. It's also likely that they didn't want to acknowledge all the times that Andre has been slammed, and the time that Canek beat him clean. If they had done that, it would have exposed their bullshit story and it would have slighted our impression of Hogan's accomplishments.

I don't recommend that anyone on this forum watch the documentary, but if you must and you don't want to get HBO, I was able to find it as a free rental through DISH On Demand.
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Last edited by enviousdominous : 04-23-2018 at 12:35 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2018, 01:22 PM
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Yeah, I was disappointed as well. He was really big. Thanks. Had no idea. HBO can give four hours to a Garry Shandling doc (which I really enjoyed by the way) but this went just felt like a rehash of that other Andre doc from 20 years ago.

I'm a big Andre fan, a big Bill Simmons fan, a big HBO fan, and a big David Schumaker fan. Everyone behind the doc seemed to make a movie for not me. I left underwhelmed, the complete opposite of how I felt after the recent Flair doc.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:09 PM
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We must've watched different programs because I liked it. Also, they clearly acknowledge that Andre had a career in wrestling outside of the WWWF/WWF. They also make it a fact to say that Hogan and Andre had met several times in the ring before WM3 and that Andre had lost before and what not but for the purposes of WM3 all that never happened.

I can understand saying that there was too much Hogan, but whether you like it or not, the biggest thing that happened to Andre in his career was wrestling Hogan at WM3 and being slammed by him. They also acknowledge that Andre continued wrestling after that event and that he didn't like being a heel.

I enjoyed the program. Was it great? No, but it's not as bad as you guys are making it out to be.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SSJPhenom View Post
We must've watched different programs because I liked it. Also, they clearly acknowledge that Andre had a career in wrestling outside of the WWWF/WWF. They also make it a fact to say that Hogan and Andre had met several times in the ring before WM3 and that Andre had lost before and what not but for the purposes of WM3 all that never happened.
It is possible that we watched the same program and still have different opinions.

If I recall correctly, New Japan Pro Wrestling was mentioned once, and UWA, AWA, IWE, GPW, and the WWA weren't mentioned at all. You could see the AWA logo in clips of Andre's interviews with Mean Gene, but I don't recall it being stated that Andre worked for AWA.

They did mention Andre being slammed and beaten, without any elaboration. From what I can remember, Canek isn't mentioned at all. I never said that they didn't recognize that Andre had been slammed and had lost before, I just speculated that they didn't go in depth into the other 90% of Andre's career because I believe that the WWE intends to keep pushing the bullshit idea that Andre was never pinned before WrestleMania 3.

For the purposes of this documentary, WrestleMania and WrestleMania 2 never happened either. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember any mention on Andre's involvement in those two shows. It wasn't a clear picture on Andre's career, it was a clear picture of how the WWE wants us to recognize his career.

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I can understand saying that there was too much Hogan, but whether you like it or not, the biggest thing that happened to Andre in his career was wrestling Hogan at WM3 and being slammed by him. They also acknowledge that Andre continued wrestling after that event and that he didn't like being a heel.
Alright, well, that moment was most certainly great for Hogan and the WWE. Andre had already had an amazing career up to that point, while he might not have had such a profound memory to stick in our minds it's still silly to imply that any research into Andre's career should fast forward to when he was way past his prime and took a body slam.

They show Andre going to the ring here and there, and Hogan claims that Andre didn't like being booed. They don't acknowledge Andre vs Warrior, Bigelo, or Jake the Snake. They only acknowledged Andre vs Savage so Hogan could chuckle through stories of how much Andre hated Savage, and even then they only showed a clip of a tag match involving Andre and Savage. From what I recall, they very briefly mention that Andre was in a feud with John Studd.

I was a huge fan of Andre's as a kid, more-so than I was a fan of the WWF and a hell of a lot more-so than I was a fan of Hogan. This documentary to me was just a shoddy disguise for a WWE infomercial.

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I enjoyed the program. Was it great? No, but it's not as bad as you guys are making it out to be.
To each their own. We'll never see a non-WWE controlled documentary on Andre to be certain if it could have been done better.
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Last edited by enviousdominous : 04-25-2018 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:44 PM
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I would love to see this but being in the UK as far as I know it hasn't been shown here, Tried online in the past week but have been unsuccessful in my search, If anyone has a link to it I would very much appreciate it. One of the wrestlers I would love to have seen in person but unfortunately never got the chance, Closest I came at least height wise was meeting the Big Show and shook hands with him his hands were huge.
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FromGlasgow View Post
I would love to see this but being in the UK as far as I know it hasn't been shown here, Tried online in the past week but have been unsuccessful in my search, If anyone has a link to it I would very much appreciate it. One of the wrestlers I would love to have seen in person but unfortunately never got the chance, Closest I came at least height wise was meeting the Big Show and shook hands with him his hands were huge.
I actually found the whole thing on YouTube, however, it had since been taken down.
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2018, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by FromGlasgow View Post
I would love to see this but being in the UK as far as I know it hasn't been shown here, Tried online in the past week but have been unsuccessful in my search, If anyone has a link to it I would very much appreciate it. One of the wrestlers I would love to have seen in person but unfortunately never got the chance, Closest I came at least height wise was meeting the Big Show and shook hands with him his hands were huge.
I don't have a link, but there are several viewing options. I'm not sure of what you have available in the UK, so apologies if some of these suggestions are geographically erroneous.

Amazon Prime has a free 30 day trial for first time users, and when you get it you can also get a free 30 day trial of HBO. You can sign up and cancel right after watching the documentary.

Hulu is allowing users to add HBO on-demand content for $4.99 a month until the end of June.

Check and see if your cable provider has an on-demand service, most of them do. You might have to dig deeper though. I have Dish Network, and I was skimming through their list of promotional free movie rentals and the documentary came up.
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