Friday, October 12, 2007

Week 19: Rocky Balboa

Well, well, well. It's finally happened. After a year of keeping our Netflix account password secret from Grant, he finally cracked the code. And this is the result. Rocky Balboa. You have to be freaking kidding me. Is it 1984 again and someone forgot to tell me? If Grant starts whispering Lita Ford lyrics to me, I'm calling my attorney.

I haven't been this astonished since the day -- years ago -- he rented Volcano, starring Tommy Lee Jones. Guess what happens in Volcano? Are you stumped? Well, Columbo, let me break it down for you. It erupts. Hum-dinger!

I am not happy about this development. On a related note, I am guessing Sly Stallone is not happy about his latest face lift, although I'm not even sure if "lift" is the appropriate term. It's more like a brutal shove, resembling a custard that didn't properly rise in the oven. His neck is smooth and taught like a 16-year-old's. But his brow line? Well, it's, uh...sheesh. It's frightening. And thanks to his overzealous brow waxing and raven black eyebrow dye, you can't take your eyes off it.

Stallone wrote and directed Rocky Balboa. All I can say is that this is definitely a movie that has been written and directed. It was perhaps a wise move on Talia Shire's part to turn this film down and play dead. Adrian's death is the central theme of the movie. And now Rocko has to try to move on from her death and decides to do what any rational 60-year-old would: go back in the ring one more time to take on the current heavyweight champ, forty years his junior.

The movie is choppy. The plot outlandish. The writing is atrocious and the acting is forced. The worst line of the movie (and there are many), has to be from Rocky's new love interest (a girl who looks and plays the part of Pam from The Office): "You show him that the last thing to age on a person is his heart." I'm guessing after Sly wrote that line he tried to smile but his mangled face lift wouldn't allow it.

I derided Grant mercilessly through the whole miserable film, but even I have to admit that when the familiar music started playing for Rocky's token fight training montage, I brightened. I think it's a physiological response for any kid who grew up watching Rocky movies. We just love a good training montage. I particularly love his unorthodox training tools like the ox cart in Rocky IV. This time? He throws beer kegs and spars with a raw side of beef in a meat locker.
It was nostalgic and charming even though blood was splattering Rocky from the raw beef. That bit of melancholy aside though, let me issue you a warning, Stallone. If you ever decide to write and direct another Rocky movie, in the words of Ivan Drago from Rocky IV, "I will break you."

And Grant. I love you. You are a good person. You are a wonderful husband and father. But I am changing our Netflix password. And if you ever figure it out again, "I will break you."

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