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December 2006

Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop, just a man and his will to survive.
dun. dun dun dun. | Saturday, 12.23.06
As a male, is it my job to like Rocky. Upon entering this world, my birth certificate doubled as an endorsement of all things pertaining to Italians, Stallions, and dogs named Butkiss. It is my duty to watch the films whenever shown, be it 8:00 in the morning on a work day or 3:00 in the morning after a night of coking it up with transvestites in Newark. I bear this burden with the utmost respect, and I will always tear up when Adrian wakes up from her coma in Rocky II and whispers to Rocky, "Win." (Seriously, I was at a Yankees game, and in the bottom of the ninth inning, this clip was shown on the jumbotron, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Greatest moment in cinematical history.)

Holy mother of god why does he look like a California Raisin.
My friends and coworkers all shook their heads once the first short trailer hit the web. I sat there, eagerly loading the YouTube page, my hairs standing on end as the fanfare filled my ears. Memories of Sly running up the stairs in the first film, the freeze frame of Rocky and Creed at the end of Rocky III, and that fucking kickass robot that Rocky bought for his son in Rocky IV danced through my head. "I don't know, man," a friend or coworker would say, "he's like 60 years old." I'd roll my eyes in irritation... "Don't you see? He's got nothing left to live for, fighting is all he knows, and Rocky V was a goddamn HIV-infested mess. Rocky Balboa will kick ass." Unfortunately, they all left as soon as the clip ended, so my rant went unheard. But! I knew in my heart that I was right, and one day, when the movie hit Blockbuster or went on sale at Best Buy for $8.99, I'd have the upper hand! Me! And no one would ever be able to take that away from me!

So, since I don't like to spend money on films that can be obtained for free in the privacy of my own home and viewed as far away from the degenerates that inhabit moving-picture auditoriums as possible while sitting in my underpants, I lit a candle and clicked the "Download torrent" link while sitting Indian-style on a bed of palms, free from the distractions of every-day life. An hour later the unrar program sprung to life and placed the film neatly in my download folder... the pirated Pitchfork-approved albums and midget plumper cumshot pornography steered clear of its mighty filename, "Rocky.Balboa.XViD.DVDScreener-Distill.avi." Minutes later, I learned of a new copy, one without audio-sync issues, so, "Rocky.Balboa.XViD.DVDScreener-Distill.Redemption80.Fixed.avi" was brought into the world December 21st at 8:53 p.m." I took a week off work, grew a mighty beard and ate raw eggs at every meal... I would know when the most perfect viewing hour would arrive.

That hour occurred an hour and 41 minutes ago, and I'm here to let you know how I felt about the latest Rocky film entitled simply Rocky Balboa. This is it. The moment I've been building up for the past three paragraphs using a sorry attempt of overdramaticization and geeky file management references. You must be thinking, "My my my. That writer over at thismayhurt knows how to building tension. I can only hope that the new Rocky film, Rocky Balboa can reach levels of tension at least half of what I found over at that website on the internet, thismayhurt.com." As the credits rolled I reached a unanimous decision in my brain which can only be conveyed through human speech with the following word -

Eh.

Yes, "eh." The stupid, two letter response that has become the "uh" of the internet. Overused, obnoxious and completely unnecessary... this was the word that came to mind. Why "eh" you are obviously asking. Well, it's because, simply (AND WATCH OUT IF YOU AREN'T INTO SPOILERS BECAUSE THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD), I just didn't care. In the first two Rocky movies, Rocky has to prove that he's capable of being the champ. In Rocky III, Rocky has to fight Mr. T for some reason, and in Rocky IV, he has to avenge the death of Apollo Creed. Rocky V never happened. In Rocky Balboa I don't care, and neither does anyone in the film besides Rocky. Everyone's like, "Eh, your wife is dead, you're old as fuck... yeah, go fight Mason "The Line" Dixon, that's cool I guess." Maybe the movie will mean more to me when I'm too old to keep my bowels under control, or I lose everything that made me who I was. Maybe then this movie would have given me more than a few smile-to-myself moments where Rocky says something inspiring or when the ubiquitous training montage starts mixing shots of Rocky lifting heavy things with an image of an eagle soaring in front of an American flag that for one reason or another is on the moon.

The fight was over too quickly, and there was no "oh my god" moment that the other films handed out like coupons to a new sub shop that's opening across the street and will totally accept competitor's coupons, that won't be a problem sir please treat yourself to a bag of Ranch flavored Sun Chips and a 10-foot long pickle for your troubles. The only outcome that would have completely thrown me for a loop would have been if Mason Dixon killed Rocky in the first round and then raped his blood filled throat for an hour. Instead we get a ho-hum fight that only features a few decent exchanges interspersed with shots of Adrian's grave. I'm not saying it was a bad movie, but I wanted to feel that sense of urgency I felt during nearly all of the other films. So, if I had to grade the film, I'd give it a solid B, and underneath the B would be a note that read, "Please don't revisit this character again Sylvester. Nice effort, but maybe it's time to let Rocky retire gracefully."

And... scene. Wow, what an update. Oh, hello, I'm John Lacki, head writer of this very website, thismayhurt.com. We here at tmh headquarters would like to wish you and yours a very special and magical holiday, regardless of your religious background. Unless you don't believe in Jesus, because if that's the case then you're dead to me. That man died for your sins and you won't even buy him a measly ice cream cake for his birthday? He's partial to those crushed-up-cookie-things, so keep that in mind when you're browsing the ice cream cake aisle on the 24th. Now, to all my Christian homies out there, big up to the manger, frankincense and the immaculate conception y'all, knowwhaimsayin? Silent night holy night *wicka wicka 'fresh'*. But seriously, happy holidays and have a joyous and fruitful New Year, folks.

 

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