Available now on VOD is director Igal Hecht‘s documentary The Sheik. Funny at times and jarringly raw at others, the film offers a look at the life of Khosrow Vaziri, better known by his fans as The Iron Sheik. In only 95 minutes the film does an admirable job of spanning Vaziri’s life before, during, and after his legendary professional wrestling career. This approach leaves you invested in Vaziri as a person rather than just as a wrestling/social meda icon, making the highs feel sweeter and the lows all the more tragic as a result. There’s much to like about The Sheik but, as a kid who grew up watching wrestling, the most interesting parts of the film for me were those dedicated to Vaziri’s time in the WWF (now WWE). Seeing the way that the Iran hostage crisis helped fuel The Iron Sheik’s ascent in pro wrestling as the sport’s greatest villain/heel is a fascinating example of the way Vince McMahon has used social issues and xenophobia to help build an entertainment empire. Hearing Vaziri talk about the offers he had from individuals who wanted him to go against McMahon’s plan and beat Hulk Hogan is yet another highlight. All told, The Sheik is a highly entertaining doc that anyone with a shred of pro wrestling nostalgia should go out of their way to see.
Recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 will attempt to make up for last week’s absence by featuring hits from this week and last including the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the news that Roberto Orci is no longer directing Star Trek 3, the first trailer for Terminator: Genisys, Bond 24 getting an official title and casting announcements, and the first trailer for Universal’s Jurassic World. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.