The Final Bell

When I first heard there would be a Rocky VI late last year, I had the same mixed reaction that most of you probably had: one part thrill, one part wince. But at the same time I knew that Iíd definitely see it because I feel like I sort of owe Stallone as these movies served as an unbelievable inspiration for most of my sporting youth. Well, at least until Saugus High transformed into a bunch of white kids who for some reason couldnít get enough of Big Daddy Kane and anyone associated with New Edition. Anyway, what better way to spend my time off from CRFC than see a Rocky VI matinee show at the Revere Showcase Cinema on Route 1, a place that I had spent many weekend nights in middle school (ok, high school too). Here are some of my random thoughts on the movie. And donít read this if you plan on seeing it ñ you should go in fresh!

 

Yo, Adrian?

I am not sure if Talia Shire threw in the damn towel or of Rocky intentionally rang the bell on her character, but I definitely missed having Adrian in the movie. To me, she was critical because she always had that extremely important conversation with Rocky that got the movie to the next level. Like her questioning Rockyís heart before the Clubber rematch that lead to him eventually beat Apollo in that race between the two shortest shorts on the beach. Or her questioning Rockyís brain at the top of the steps after Apollo died, leading to the No Easy Way Out scene that driving schools now use to teach kids the dangers of driving while under the influence of Drago. Women always have a way of questioning everything men do and making us realize that we are really just plain idiots sometimes. And without a strong woman figure in Rockyís life, there was nobody penetrating his soul, no humanity, no analysis of the self in this movie. Without Adrian in the previous movies, he would have just gone berserk and unconsciously killed people all the time (umm, like Rambo). I will forever be indebted to Talia as she is the only actor to appear in the two greatest movie series of all time: Rocky and the Godfather. May you rest in peace with Mick and Apollo.

 

Be A Thinker, Not A Stinker, Ok Kid?

Why is Rockyís grown son such a pansy? He gets yelled at by his boss, he sulks at bars when people cheer for his dad? If I was the son of someone as famous as Rocky, then Iíd definitely be milking that for all its worth a la Nicole Richie. I certainly wouldnít be a suit! Now, if he was a beefy fighter like Rocky played by, say, one of the Gotti kids, well, to me, that would make a whole lot of sense. Címon, heís Rockyís kid – he has to be a fighter!!! Sly could even rehash some dialogue from his fights with Adrian and have them thrown right back in his face by his son. ìSon, you canít fight Tyson, heís a killer. You canít win!î ìBut thatís the way Iím made, dad ñ Iím a fighter. I canít change who I am.î If Rockyís son was a fighter, Rocky VII, VIII and IX are very conceivable, arenít they?

 

Bless Me Father, For I Have…

If Sly was going to bring back random characters from the previous movies (Lilí Marie, Spider Rico, his turtles Cuff and Link, etc.), then why not just go all the way with it? Where was the cameo of Rocky visiting Father Carmine in jail after that whole child molestation scandal? Where was the cameo of his rabid dog Butkus aimlessly wandering the streets after Rocky was forced to surrender him because he couldn’t afford dog food? And where was the cameo of Frank Stallone moving into the Surreal Life house as Rocky watches on television in disbelief?

 

It Happens Here

I would have loved the press conference announcing the Mason Dixon fight to fully mimic the Rocky IV press conference announcing the date and location of his fight with Drago. Instead of Rocky somberly answering ìItís on Christmas, in Russiaî to a room full of aghast reporters, he could excitedly answer ìItís during Spring Break, in Vegas baby!î sending the crowd of reporters into a frenzy of glee and merriment. And the training montage could have been set in Vegas too, with Conti’s version of Springsteenís Lucky Town playing in the background. Instead of chasing chickens in the backyard, Rocky could be chasing strippers in the Olympic Gardens parking lot. Instead of running up the steps of the Philadelphia art museum, he could be running up the steps of the Palms Hotel all the way up to the Ghost Bar. Instead of pounding beef in the meat locker, he could be pounding king crab legs at the Bellagio buffet. And to top it all off, he could miss the fight entirely because he was on full tilt in the MGM poker room after getting his aces cracked by some 18 year old kid from Orange County who caught an eight high gut shot straight on the river. This has endless entertainment potential and I could go on forever.

 

There Is No Tomorrow

As I walked to my car after the movie, I actually wasnít all that disappointed in the movie itself because I didnít expect much in the first place. But I was suddenly overcome with this feeling of great sadness as I now realized that the Rocky era was truly over forever. I felt bad for Stallone, I felt bad for Adrian, I felt bad for Butkus, I felt bad for me – heck I just felt plain bad. How could I get over this feeling? Then I realized I was in Revere and I hadn’t had lunch yet. You know what else is in Revere? Yep, Revere Beach. And you know what lunch place is on Revere Beach? It’s funny, after one bite into that roast beef covered with just enough mayo and cheese, I forgot all about that Rocky Balboa guy

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