Thursday, May 31, 2007


A Movie You Could Only Love . . . On an Airplane

What's up, everyone?

These days, Our Man in LA does a lot of traveling for work, and when you go almost anywhere in this great land of ours from the Left Coast, you get an in-flight film. Generally, they're not the kinds of movies that you'd generally shell out 9 or 10 bones for. You know the kind - animated films not by Pixar that take place in a toilet . . . or anything starring Tim Allen.

Or a little art house spectacular that I'm here to discuss.

A little gem called . . . ROCKY BALBOA.

Oh yes. And as someone who has witnessed the trials and travails, the slice of life ethos of Robert "Rocky" Balboa in episodes I, II, III, IV and V: Go for It!, I figured, "Yes! This is going to be craptastic!"

By the way, if the picture in this post were at all legible, you'd see Rocky. And FYI, this line of sarcastic delivery is an homage to FLETCH, which is a callback to yesterday, which is . . .

Aw, never mind.

Anyhoo, here's the thing that about ROCKY BALBOA that got me down. It's nowhere near as ridiculous as I thought it would be. Fact is, that as Rocky movies go, it's probably no more ludicrous than Part IV (the one in Russia with an actor playing Gorbachev). It's a fair bit better than V: Go For It!

I know! Yikes!

I'm not going to spend much time going through the convolutions of the plot. For one, it's out of theaters. For two, I don't believe that any of you could get it at a video store and maintain your dignity. That's why it's an airplane movie, people.

But OK. Just so we're clear on the pros and cons of this little flick, here's Our Man in LA's take:

First of all, this is what I buy from ROCKY BALBOA:

1) That Rocky, now retired, owns an Italian restaurant with a small sports bar area. It's called Adrian's, after his late wife (who died either because of "woman's cancer" or because Talia Shire had too much pride).

2) That Rocky walks around the restaurant most nights, telling stories of his big fights to tourists and guys who pay a little extra for a nice bottle of wine.

3) That Rocky's son - Rocky Jr. - is a huge loser who only maintains employment because his bosses would really like to meet his dad.

4) That Rocky might pine for fighting and think he's got one more good fight in him. I'd even be willing to believe that he might wish he'd thought of the Foreman grill, but not everyone can be soooo innovative.

5) That Paulie, his brother-in-law, is a drunk, moronic loser with barely enough money to cover his bills. You know, in contrast to the drunk, moronic loser who mooched off Rocky in the other movies.

And 6) That boxing's really not all that popular anymore, and boxing promoters are looking for something - anything - to make the sport interesting.

Now here's what I don't buy . . . hope I'm not spoiling anything here.

1) That Rocky, age 60, could go 10 rounds - 10 ROUNDS! - with a 25-year-old heavyweight champ.

Actually, that's about it.

Don't go out and rent it. It's silly, and the clerk at your local Blockbuster will snicker at you every time you come in. And it's not bad enough to have real camp appeal. It'd hardly be worth talking about , but Our Man in LA's gotta blog lest he be called out again.

So Sly Stallone's not all that great anymore. The jokes aren't so good, the fighting's silly, but I did snicker when I heard this dialogue exchange --

Rocky: Yo, it ain't over till it's over.

Heavyweight Champ of the World (the current one): What's that, from the 80s or something.

Rocky: Yo, that's probably from the 70s.

Laughed out loud, I did. Then I quickly looked around to make sure nobody heard me. Didn't matter, of course. Who cares what the guy in 27 C thinks of me? Go back to your soliataire, 27C!

Later . . .

you MUST read this onion article: "Rocky II, III, IV Decisions Overturned After Stallone Caught With Performance-Enhancing Drugs"
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