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Bad Left Hook Movie Corner: Rocky Balboa

I doubt we'll have any sort of regular feature like this, but I went to see We Are Marshall on Christmas afternoon, arrived about ten minutes too late, and instead got a ticket for Rocky Balboa.

If you've ever liked the Rocky series before -- and I think you're perhaps a robot if you didn't -- you will likely find something to like about the final chapter. It's all human spirit stuff, as usual, but this time, he's a has-been with a decent enough life (they didn't make him down-and-out, thankfully) that just isn't fulfilling for a former world heavyweight champion.

Honestly, I thought the character Antonio Tarver played was tremendous. He wasn't anonymously evil or anything, just a champion that was in the place many champions find themselves in at some point, which is unpopular with the masses for professional things that may or may not be his fault.

I had a good feeling that the movie wouldn't wind up being as preposterous as the plot could have been, and I was happy that it wasn't. It's not REALLY a boxing movie, in the same way that Ball Four is not REALLY a baseball book. The sport is in the background. It's about the human element of it all.

I don't want to spoil anything, and I'm no Ebert, but if you want a thumb up or down, I go up without hesitating. It wasn't great (not as good as the first three), but it was good.

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