Gonna Fly Now

I've been on a Rocky kick of late, having recently visited Philadelphia and jogged up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Rocky Balboa, the 6th film in the series, comes out this Christmas. I give it 2 to 1 odds that it sucks beyond human comprehension. Seriously, it has turd written all over it. The whole premise is completely absurd and the plot appears to be a scene-for-scene rehash of Rocky I. Outside of the opponent's cool name - Mason "The Line" Dixon - I saw absolutely no redeeming cinematic qualities from the trailer.

Still, I would be willing to take anyone's bet that the film makes a gazillion bucks and stands out as the "King of the Crap" this holiday film season.

45 year-old Rocky comes out of retirement to serve up a beat down to a young punk is a can't-miss formula. What washed up 45 year-old would not want to show today's professional athelete how they did things back in the day, back when men were men and everyone walked to school shoeless, uphill, in the snow, both ways? Plus, the "loves to relive the old athletic glory days" demographic, which includes your's truly, will eat this stuff up...

Yes - the whole Rocky franchise is kinda cheesey. But, you can't deny its genius. The irresistable American metaphor just works perfectly. Like Rocky, we all work hard and make sacrifices to beat the odds. We can take 100 blows to the head and still have enough steam to knock-out the opponent in the 12th round, all while wearing American flag trunks. Rags to riches, believe in your dreams, "Eye of the Tiger", Mr. T AKA "Clubber Lang", James Brown, stupid talking robots, "Adrian!" - all things uniquely American, all things Rocky. Heck - in Rocky IV, the Italian Stallion knocks out Ivan Drago to singlehandedly end the Cold War. (Cue the John Phillip Sousa, the flag waving throngs, and the "U-S-A", errr... "Rocky! Rocky!" chant...)

Only in America can someone start by beating sides of beef in a meat packing plant and end up beating Apollo Creed to become the heavyweight champion of the world. Also, only in America can we have a bufoon of a boxing promoter that makes millions of dollars by incessantly spouting "Only in America!" and that also inspired the shady Richard Gant character in the hopelessly terrible Rocky V.

I doubt I'll see "Rocky Balboa". As my wife will attest, I'm pretty selective when it comes to shilling out $30 to see a movie. (I'm a sucker for the popcorn and Icee combo.) That said, I'm still anxious to see how it reviews and how it fares at the box(ing) office.