Sunday, January 07, 2007

Yet Another Movie Review

As promised, here is my final movie review from pics seen last weekend.

Movie review: Rocky Balboa

I know what you're thinking, because I was thinking it too - what the hell was everyone thinking?????? Sly is, like, 210 years old and unless this is about a fight over hot tub space at a retirement home, what in the world can they do even semi-realistic?

But then there's the other side of me that loved the Rocky movies (well, not five) and couldn't resist the opportunity to see another. Rocky 1 & 2 were the perfect showcase for all-American blue collar grit. It was the common man rises to greatness and it's the kind of inspirational stories that we all love to watch. The kind of stories that give the underdog hope. But I have to admit, Rocky 3 is still my all-time favorite. C'mon, Hulk Hogan, Mr. T and all you women out there are lying if you say you don't remember that fabulous scene with Rocky running on the beach. Good God, the legs!!!!

Since my husband liked the Rocky's too (not so much for the legs, though), he was all for checking out this pic. Then a very suprising thing happened - it was good. Now, I'm not saying it's great film, but it was a good story and miracle of miracles - an aged Rocky fighting a young heavyweight champion wasn't exactly as far-fetched as it originally sounded.

So here's the premise, Adrienne has passed and Rocky has this hole in his life - understandable since Adrienne was the glue for so long. Then there is this new computer game that matches old athletes against their new counterparts (both in their prime) and Rocky came out the winner against the current heavyweight champion. All of these things got him to thinking. Now, for movie purposes, Rocky was in his 50's (Sly is actually 60) and the champion was probably meant to be in his late 20's (maybe as far as early 30's). So this doesn't sound plausible, right?

Not necessarily, and this is why I think it could happen the way the movie portrayed it.

I was an avid boxing fan for a lot of years. Not so much lately as I haven't found a heavyweight I love and that class is definitely my favorite. The champion in the movie is what I like to call a "manufactured athlete," in that he was probably the product of a middle class family who started training to be a fighter at a young age in a sterile environment and with plenty of expensive coaching. The movie presents him as someone who has never really been challenged at all in the ring. Rocky, on the other hand, is the original tough guy. He's a street brawler - a guy who had to be tough to survive. And that's where I think he's got a huge edge over his competition.

Mike Tyson is a prime example of what I'm talking about. I contend (and this is my opinion of course) that in his prime, Mike Tyson was unbeatable. By anyone. Anyone at all in their prime. The reason I believe this is because in addition to a ton of talent, Tyson is an animal. That gives him an enormous advantage over a civilized fighter - a manufactured athlete.

Rocky also delivered one of those classic lines during the movie that I really enjoyed. It went something like "It's not about how many times you win. It's about how many times you get knocked down and keep going." What a fantastic observation about character. Think about your favorite books, movies, the stories you're writing (if you're a writer). The stories we love are about characters we identify with who keep going against the odds to get what they want.

My final thoughts: Definitely worth the price of admission and not a disappointment to all those long-time Rocky fans .
Check in tomorrow when I tell you about the movie rental that will make you want to slit your own wrists.


Jane Graves said...

I'm with you, Jana. I loved the movie, too! Amazing how something that had the possibility of being so incredibly dumb turned out to be so emotional and uplifting and just plain entertaining.

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi Jane - I so agree. It WAS an uplifting sort of film and if you were a Rocky fan from the past, I don't think you can help but love this movie.

Tori Lennox said...

Was that Milo... whose last name I can't pronounce, let alone spell from Heroes and formerly Gilmore Girls I saw in the TV ads? And does he play the son? I'd been wondering about that. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

ohhh, sorry, Tori. I don't know Milo, but if he normally plays a whiney, ungrateful little bitch then it's probably the same guy. :)

I did not exactly like Rocky Jr.

Tori Lennox said...

I Just looked it up on IMDB and, yep, that's him. *g* Luckily, he's not so whiny on Heroes (though I thought he was plenty whiny on Gilmore Girls).

Kelly Parra said...

I haven't seen it, but yeah, I'm a Rocky fan. Something about the underdog and I've always loved his character. I'm glad this Rocky stays true!

Jana DeLeon said...

Well, tori, then I guess he's your man. I'm glad to know he's not always a wimp.

Kelly - you gotta love the Rocky's. (except 5) Definitely the king of the underdog stories.

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