I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

My Photo
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, December 22, 2006

Rocky Balboa (2006)

"The Italian Stallion" is now a middle-aged man, settled into a quiet life away from the lights of the ringside. He runs a restaurant, named after his beloved wife Adrian, who is now deceased. The film opens with Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and Adrian's surly brother Paulie (Burt Young) marking the day of Adrian's passing. Paulie accompanies Rocky around to the old haunts where Rocky used to hang out with Adrian. It's been a few years, but Rocky is still grieving, while Paulie is trying not to think about it. After a visit to the demolished ice rink where Rocky and Adrian had a date in the first film in this series, Paulie tells his brother-in-law, "I can't do this no more."

There is tension between the fighter and his son Rocky Jr. (Milo Ventimilglia). The younger man feels like he's always been obscured by his famous dad's shadow. This is apparent when Rocky Jr. is chewed out by his boss for being late to work. "I don't care who your dad is," the boss snaps. Moments later when Rocky appears to talk with his son, the boss, like everyone else, wants to meet the champ and have a picture taken with him.

Rocky meets a barmaid (Geraldine Hughes) who has a troubled bi-racial son named Steps (James Francis Kelly III). Turns out the barmaid is Marie, a young girl to whom Rocky gave some advice to about staying out of trouble in the first film. Rocky helps her out with a new job at his restaurant, and acts as somewhat of a father figure to her son.

ESPN airs a computer fight between Rocky and the current champ, an arrogant sort named Mason "The Line" Dixon (Antonio Tarver). The computer shows Rocky winning. Dixon's manager, L.C. (A.J. Benza) and a promoter, Lou DiBella (playing himself) convince the champ that it would be good business to fight Rocky. Rocky is bitten by the fight bug as well, and he applies for a boxing license. Rocky's desire to put on the gloves again is met with derision by the media, but as he tells Paulie, he has some "stuff in the basement" that he needs to get out of his system.

I liked how this movie tied in with the first, showing flashbacks involving Adrian (Talia Shire), Rocky's late trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) and his late friend and rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). I also liked Rocky as an older man. He's basicially the same guy from the earlier films, wiser, a bit sadder, but still carrying around the belief that he can make it. Those who are boxing fans--like myself--will recognize familiar faces including the aforementioned Lou DiBella; boxing historian Burt Randolph Sugar; sports reporters Brian Kenny, Larry Merchant, Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman; referee Joe Cortez, and announcer Michael "Let's get ready to rumble!" Buffer. Even former champ Mike Tyson makes an appearance. Antonio Tarver is a professional boxer, and talks as much trash here in his role as he does in real life before matches. Milo Ventimilglia is one of the people with special powers on the NBC sci-fi series, "Heroes".

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home