One reason I will never be rich and famous is that I can’t just stitch up the iconic image of Rocky that everyone loves. You know the one. Instead, I had to stitch my favorite scene,in which Rocky’s eye has swollen shut and he asks Mickey to slice him open. I had to stitch that version of bloody, wretched, loser Rocky because that’s the best thing about him – he’s not a champ.
He doesn’t become a champ until the sequels, and all of the sequels are varying degrees of awful. As much as I love Mr. T and Ivan Drago (insert “USA!” chant here), the first Rocky is the only real Rocky in my world. I think Stallone blew his wad writing that first screenplay, because the rest of them were shit. Maybe he is one of those “artists” who must be dejected and miserable in order to produce anything of quality, kind of like Bruce Springsteen. However, I have a feeling he just tried to ride the Rocky train for all it was worth, and he did. I should also mention that I was one of those assholes who went to see Rocky Balboa in the theater. That was a tough lesson for me. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Rocky, but the rest of the franchise is best left in the $1 DVD bin at the local re-sale shop. And that includes any future releases. Funnily, I know I’ll feel the urge to be first in line to see Rocky XXXIV, if it is ever made. I may have to refer back to this post as a reminder.