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Echobase Watches ROCKY BALBOA Beat The Meatloaf!!

Merrick here...
Echobase went to a ROCKY BALBOA screening in London and sent in this look at the film. I was disappointed to hear that his screening was so sparsely attended; I want this film to do well. I’m a ROCKY fan. But I’m more a fan of the character than the films themselves. He’s a normal, imperfect person whose luck is often hard & whose challenges are great. He’s a hero because his reality is not always heroic. He’s someone who is very simple, even when confronted by complexity. He’s driven by some of the same hopes and misgivings that any of us might face on a regular basis. There’s a truth to Rocky…we don’t see that in too many broad stroked characters these days. It’s nice to have him back…but I’ll miss him a lot. Also, I should probably mention that this is the first time I’ve heard the phrase “beating the meatloaf”. I hope this becomes a widely accepted euphemism for practices other than…training. It’s really funny. Here’s Echobase...
I've been a long time reader but I'm a first time writer. I had the chance tonight to see ROCKY BALBOA, otherwise known as Rocky 6. It was a small screening in London at the FOX theatre in Soho. The theatre itself is very small and half of the seats were empty.. in other words not many people seemed too interested. Who could blame them.. I mean, let's face it, the trailer after all is not that good. Who on earth would want to see a 60 years old Stallone playing a boxer?!?! Anyway, let's not answer that question. I can safely say that the few people inside seemed to be pretty hard core fans as I gathered from the cheers at the first few notes of Bill Conti's memorable theme. Now, let's talk about the film itself. I'll try to stay away from BIG SPOILERS and just hint at a few things which I don't think will ruin your enjoyment. Is it better than Rocky ? Absolutely not!! Is it better than Rocky V? Well... DEFINETELY!!! Is it a good movie? Well... let's put it this way, it could have been so much worse! It's by no mean a masterpiece, but it's very watchable and after all, if you go and see this movie it is because you like Rocky, and in that case you won't be disappointed. All the good intentions are there. All the elements that made the first film (and to a certain degree the second one too) a good movie are in place. The slow pace, the simple and understated dialogue which in its own way seems quite real, the classic music, even the photography which more often than not seems to remind us of the 70s and early 80s. Even the goddam clothes seem to be the same!!! I mean, does that guy ever bought some new sweat pants? Rocky runing up the stairs (and the freeze frame at the top), beating the meatloaf, the slowmotion during the matches, the breasted girls showing the numbers of the rounds, the not so-cute girl who flirts with Rocky, the "black guy" to fight, the dog, whose Rocky befriend... Basically it could seem like a re-vamp version of thefirst movie the way "Superman returns" seems like a remake of "Superman-The Movie". The real question is: why? Why now? Why making another Rocky? Haven't we seen enough of him? Who needed a Rocky VI, a part from Stallone, who before this had really come off our radars and needed a comeback quite badly? The film is written and directed by Stallone himself and something has to be said: he put his heart and soul in it. Every scene is almost an homage to a previous moment in a previous movie. The intent I guess (aside from making a few bucks and try to get Stallone back on the big screen)is to allow us to say a last goodbye without that sour taste that the previous film had left in our mouth. The excuse for the film is quite ludicrous:I won't go into it so much, because I don't really want to give away too much. The less you know about this film the better, since there's so little story in it. Even the trailer (though quite misleading at least in the general tone of the film, gives away quite a bit) Rocky is old. His face looks like a wreck and his mumbling speech are at their worse. Adrian is dead and he now lives a solitary and quite frankly sad life. He has pretty much nothing left a part from his memories, an Italian resturant he owes and a distant son. The film might as well be called "Stallone", since it's about a "once upon a time" star now half forgotten and with no much use... That's why I'm saying that Stallone put his heart and soul in the film. Despite the silliness of it all, you can tell that all his intentions are sincere and that he made this film mainly to give a respectful ending to his main creation. A final goodbye, before we can say "the end" for the Rocky Balboa. And yes, it is all ludicrous, it is all very pointless, it is all a bit of a dejavu'...but hey by the end of it I was there, supporting my hero and cheering at the screen like I used to do when I was a kid and went to see the earlier movies. So, as long as this is really the end, I will forgive him this indulgency of a movie. At least it was respectful of the past it didn't ruin all my good memories for the previous parts. Call me Echobase

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