All right, you Probies… Ever since I started this place out here I’ve wanted to do something about ROCKY but I always feel daunted (and kind of scared) (and kind of inspirationally crying) about writing about something that I absolutely LOVE. It’s easy for me to watch something miserable like MAD COWGIRL and come out here and throw rotten cabbage at it but, what about the shit I LOVE? Depending on the day, if you ask me what my favorite movie is, the answer will be this or THE PROFESSIONAL. It took me forever to try and tackle THE PROFESSIONAL and even I recruited help for it (the ipc has a wee boabby) but I think that went over OK. So now… here I am… having a couple of solo cocktails , writing an intro for this post. Will I be publicly ridiculed?? Will I do my favorite movie justice? Will I flop around and fail like I did on GALAXY QUEST? Will I start crying like I do EVERY FUCKING TIME during the last round of this boxing match????? Maybe!!!
I remember going to see this in the theater with my mom. I remember her bawling her eyes out after the thing. I remember we listened to the soundtrack on 8 TRACK every day to and from school. Oh hell – what did I just write?? For you JBs out there:
Stereo 8, commonly known as the eight-track cartridge, eight-track tape, or simply eight-track, is a magnetic tape sound recording technology. It was popular in the United States from the mid-1960s through the late-1970s, when the Compact Cassette format took over, but aside from a brief early period of moderate popularity in the UK was relatively unknown in many European countries.
8 TRACKS!!! I have a working 8 Track console upstairs that I like to play some Allman Brothers on every now and then. And some Floyd. And some Dr. Hook. But – back to this. When I started watching this I put something out on Twitter that I was going to watch it and someone replied with “Never seen it all the way” (or something) and I was like “WHAT THE FUCK???? WHY????” (or something) and the reply I got was “I don’t have a penis.” (That’s verbatim). I’m guessing the assumption is that this is a movie about boxing that only swinging dicks will like. That’s not really the case here, folks. There’s a little boxing in it at the beginning and the end but that’s not what this is about. It’s about getting a fucking chance and despite having all of the odds against you – you take that chance and you try. You try and go the distance. That’s the story of my fucking life right there. I try.
Rocky’s a normal, poor, regular guy who happens to be a boxer. He can’t box well but he’s big (and dumb) and can take a pounding in the ring. BUT – if he lands one of those lefts on your body, you’re going down. One day, he’s busy minding his own business when the undefeated Champion of the World (of boxing) Apollo Creed rolls into town for a big fight on Independence Day. His opponent backs out for some health reasons and Creed is left with no one to fight. He goes to the local Boxing Registrar and picks someone out of the book: The Italian Stallion. That’s Balboa (Rocky) and he accepts even though he knows he’s going to get beaten to shit and NO ONE will ever pick him to win. He knows he can take a hit but this is Apollo Fucking Creed ferchrist’ssake but – he doesn’t have any money and he’s in love with the local nerdy pet store employee, Adrian. If he wants her to be his girlfriend, he’ll need some dough to take her out on dates.Which leads me into this next section. At the heart of this, this is really a love story. A simple man trying to find love. Trying to find a partner. Sure, he’s a boxer and that’s his job but, aside from waytoogoddamnmuchtalking, this is really a story about Rocky and Adrian with some boxing thrown in. I mean, how is it NOT heartbreaking when, after going fifteen rounds with Creed, after getting beat to a bleeding pulp, he’s surrounded by a zillion people and Adrian sneaks into the ring. What does he say? “Adrian, where’s your hat?” (she lost it in the crowd). That’s fucking love right there, baby. He could have said: “I just fought the fight of my life and I lost but, I did it. I went the distance.” But no – he asks her where her hat went because that’s what he fucking cares about. HER. If you’ve seen this and you read my shit – you’ll know that I don’t like a lot of talking. Well – Rocky talks and talks and talks and talks talks and talks and talks and talks talks and talks and talks and talks talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and it’s kind of irritating but the true measure of this movie is the story and the inspiration that comes from it. All he ever wanted to do was contend. To try and go the distance. And he did it. HOW FUCKING GREAT IS THIS MOVIE??? You don’t have to be a male to be moved by this movie. It’s a wonderful piece of work.