The last known survivor

So, I saw a preview screening of "Rocky Balboa" (a/k/a "Rocky VI: Please Forget About Tommy Gunn") last week. and, as most critics around the world seem to agree, it really wasn't all that bad. Sure, there were a lot of clunky, "dramatic" speeches from Rocky and the climactic fight is both clumsily presented and not that engaging, but all the flaws are erased by the return of Sylvester Stallone's major contribution to the cinematic world: the training montage.

The training montage, or at least the Rocky training montage, was absent from the much-maligned (but still highly quotable, according to Tinsel and Rot) "Rocky V." In its stead was the Rocky/Tommy Gunn kinda-training montage, which didn't quite do the trick. Still, it built up to the glorious ending, where Tommy Morrison shows off his acting chops, which were just about as good as his professional boxing chops. And in case you didn't follow Tommy Morrison's boxing career, that was not a compliment.

(As an aside, part of the reason why Antonio Tarver doesn't suck as Mason "The Line" Dixon [worst opponent name ever] in "Rocky Balboa" is because he isn't allowed to talk much. So, see, something was learned from "Rocky V.")

Of course, the montage may have just needed some time off after the montage to end all montages that was Rocky training in the frigid Russian winter in "Rocky IV." Actually, there were two: one with the synthesizerrific stylings of Vince DiCola and this one, the true classic, buttressed by "Hearts on Fire" from the legendary John Cafferty (sans Beaver Brown Band):

I'm so glad Rocky beat that Russian piece of garbage.

Anyway, back to "Rocky Balboa." With this final installment (and, really, I think this is it), Burt Young solidifies his status as the unsung hero of the "Rocky" series. For proof, view the clip from "Rocky Balboa" below, which includes another in the long line of great Paulie quotes:

"Ice is stupid. People standing on ice are more stupid." Brilliant. Really. I'm not being ironic.

So, to sum up: "Rocky Balboa" gets the Tinsel and Rot Seal of Approval. Of course, you've read my other likes in life, so maybe that Seal of Approval aint all it's cracked up to be. I report, you decide.

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