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Thursday, January 04, 2007


When I first saw the theatrical trailer for "Rocky Balboa," my reaction was: "Is he KIDDING?"

At the same time, I had an overwhelming desire to see the film.

But I must admit to an attraction for cheezy movies. I'm the only person I know who paid money to see "A Very Brady Sequel" and "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" -- not on video, but IN THE THEATER. It's just that I have a loyalty to the characters.

I have no such loyalty to "Rocky" -- the think the series tanked after the first sequel -- but there was something fascinating about that trailer.

Rocky: "It ain't over 'til it's over."
Mason "The Line" Dixon: "What's that, from the '80s?"
Rocky: "Probably the '70s."

It's from the '70s, all right. 1976. I remember seeing "Rocky" as a college freshman 30 years ago. The movie played for nine months! Watch it again -- it's a good little low-budget movie. Great cinematography. Great locations. It's got heart.

So I saw the trailer for "Rocky Balboa," and felt myself getting sucked in. I knew I was going to call my brother. I would say, "I have this urge to see 'Rocky Balboa.' " My brother would say, "Are you serious? Of COURSE we should see 'Rocky Balboa!' "

Well, there we were on New Year's Eve weekend -- me, Brinie and Nephew (who was on winter break from college in New York City). We did it right. First, we watched the original "Rocky." Then, we went straight to the theater to watch "Rocky Balboa." All of the references to the first film were crystal clear to us. This is the way to see "Rocky Balboa."

I HAVE TO ADD: As a still-fledgling widower (it'll be 16 months in 14 days), a lot of the grief stuff that Stallone did rang true for me. I feel Sly really captured the way Rocky would be walking around in a kind of daze, putting up a front, smiling, joking, all the while thinking only of one thing. Says Rock at one point: "My wife, she's gone, but she ain't, ya know what I mean?" For me, it felt real, and I'm a harsh judge. With my newfound, and wholly unwanted, experience, I can spot cliches from 20 paces. To be honest, I resent the cavalier use of those cliches. "Rocky Balboa" touched me.


Blogger margaret said...

You're the second person from th APP who's said it's worth watching. I plan to see it.

2:26 PM, January 05, 2007  
Anonymous gail jeanne mcgillicuddy said...

awwww Mark. glad you could relate. Nothng worse than a bad cliche. You of all people would know the difference, in films AND in life.

I just don't dig the Rocky and I hate boxing movies even more. when it gets to HBO I'll watch a few moments. not a Stallone fan, boxing makes me wince. isn't he gettin' a bit long in the tooth to be dookin' it out already?

Glad you could relate. Seriously.

Kev's all excited about some Hurricane movie he saw on both of you're fave channeles TMC. Real old, but something about the editing between real and pretend scenes that even an professional can't spot the different? He stayed up all night watching it.

let's catch up soon. I'm off this week until Friday so call anytime, always up until at least midnight my time.

Happy New Year bro!

12:41 PM, January 08, 2007  
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