Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Maybe a little uplifting escapism is in order.

Trains were bombed in India by practitioners of the "religion of peace", killing well over a hundred innocents. A Chicago subway derailed , causing a fire and sending hundreds to hospitals. The "religion of peace" was apparently not responsible, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they took credit. Two abducted U.S. soldiers were brutally murdered and mutilated by "religion of peace" adherents who chose to tape the heinous act. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The point is, day-to-day reality can be a very depressing spectacle. A very depressing spectacle indeed.

I would like to take just a little break from this doleful cavalcade of current events and report that there will be a new "Rocky" movie, entitled "Rocky Balboa" released in December. A trailer can be found here. Frankly, when I first heard rumors that a new "Rocky" movie was in the offing, I thought it was a joke, but I must say that now, I'm looking forward to seeing how they go about ending the story.

Yes, I know that the "Rocky" series decended into farce after the 3rd installment (many would argue it was earlier than that), but I admit that I'm a bit of a sucker for these films (though even I didn't like IV or V). They are good escapist fare where the underdog strives to overcome daunting odds and, in the end, triumphs. Is it realistic? No, but movies like this will lift your spirits, if you allow them to. Was "Field of Dreams" realistic? Well, of course it wasn't. But it was a very moving film and to this day I can not watch it without tears rolling down my face.

Call me a rube if you will, but I like escapist movies that inspire me and make me feel good.

The "Rocky" series has suffered a great deal of criticizm, some deserved and some not. As I said, I think IV and V sullied the reputation of the previous three. That said, you may wonder why I am looking forward to the 6th installment when I have already admitted that the 4th and 5th were "bridges too far" in the series. Let's just say that I would hope that the last in the "Rocky" series will redeem the series, much like "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" redeemed the abyssmal "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom".

Admittedly, it will be an uphill battle as the very thought of a 50-something Rocky Balboa going up against a young fighter in his prime is, well, a bit of a stretch (to say the least) . Then again, isn't that what "Rocky" was always about?

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