Apr 192010

by Frank Stabone

Some films are classics that you can watch over and over again. Just like all movies, the first few times you watch the film you focus on the content and do not sweat the details. But then one day you watch it and something just doesn’t seem right.

You remember in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy first meets Glinda the Good Witch? (You remember that? That was awesome!) Glinda comes up to Dorothy and asks her if she is a good witch or a bad witch. As Glinda puts it, a good witch is beautiful while a bad witch is ugly. Therefore Glinda is implying that Dorothy is no looker, but then again not a total hag either. Something like this tends to not be noticed as easy as say how ludicrous it is that Jeff Goldblum is able to eliminate the alien menace by implanting a primitive computer virus from his 1996 Mac laptop onto the alien’s far superior server. Because alien attackers have never heard of firewalls. No, that is just silly. And this is sarcasm.

Glinda’s dissing of Dorothy is a small quandary which minorly affects the overall movie. (If you are looking for a more glaring mistake from this film, consider how after receiving his brain The Scarecrow declares proudly “The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.” This sounds intelligent and all, but it’s not an isosceles triangle; it’s a right triangle. Sorry, pal, you got one of them “Abby Normal” brains.) But there are some mysteries or plot holes that just irk me whenever I watch the movies.

First off, let’s look at the Boxing movie genre.

Rocky IV and the Case of the Speedy Premier

I’m sure I could pick out a lot of things from the Rocky canon that strain credibility. Like Rocky Jr. being bullied by E from Entourage. No way would the kin of Balboa get a beatdown by someone who did their undergraduate work at the University of Hobbiton. Nor am I buying that during the climactic final fight that the Russian contingent would turn on Drago halfway through and start cheering for Rocky. Sorry, never happening.

There is an even bigger problem I have with the final fight. In between rounds fighters spend only one minute in their corner. That’s it. Sixty seconds. Before the final round begins, one of the Russian Politburo guys becomes upset with Drago not being able to finish off Rocky and the crowd changing allegiances. So he takes matters into his own hands. He sssllloooowwwly stands up and heads to the ring. Miraculously he gets to ringside seconds later. How did he get from his luxury suite to ringside so quickly? In a crowded arena this would have taken several minutes. Instead the middle-aged Red did this quicker than if he had freefallen there. But if that was not enough for you, Drago and him have enough time for a brief conversation AND confrontation which results in Drago physically assaulting the government official and telling him and the world that “I win yas eeb yas. YAS EEB YAS!!!” One of the greatest soliloquies in film history.

The rest then is history. Rocky KO’s the commie and the Cold War ends, but not before Drago and his wife are taken off to Siberia and never seen again. But are we really supposed to think all that action was able to happen in less than one minute? I don’t think so. The only way this happens is if The Politburo are in control of the Omega 13 unit from Galaxy Quest, which you of course know allows its user to go back in time 13 seconds. Maybe if he resets this thing about four or five times this whole situation would be resolved.

Rocky II’s Controversial Decision

Okay, one more Rocky problem.

The climax of Rocky II ends with Balboa knocking down Apollo, but loses his balance from exhaustion so that both end up on the mat. What proceeds is the longest 10-count in movie history, which I timed at about 65 seconds. (Apparently from what we’ve seen here and with the Premier, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity does not apply in the Rockyverse.)

But let’s forget about that. The biggest problem with the 10-count is at the count of 9 Apollo is flailing away in the corner and Rocky is half standing against the ropes. By 9.5, Apollo, Apollo IS DOWN! So he’s done. As Adrian would gleefully say to Apollo, “YOU CAN’T WIN!!” Apollo can only lose or draw. But when the referee announces “10!” we see Rocky still wobbly, still not standing with his glove still on the ropes. He did not beat the 10-count. He was close, as he looks to be fully upright at about the 10.3 mark. As much as I love Rocky, this fight should have ended in a draw. Apollo should have retained the title. There should have been a Rocky 2.5 to settle the score.

How Long Was Rocky Training in Russia?

You remember when I told you I would only talk about one more Rocky problem?

…I lied.

When Rocky left for Russia his son was about 8 or 10. But once he came back his son had jumped in age to 13 or 14. Did the Balboas’ airplane enter a wormhole or something? Did the Russkies put Rocky in some internment camp for years like the Chinese did to Jack Bauer? Anyone else getting the feeling that Sylvester just cannot think 4th Dimensionally?

Paulie’s Robotic Assistant

I said I would only talk about one thing that bugged me about Rocky. But as you have probably noticed, several things need to be said.

Now that I think of it, this is my biggest beef with the Rocky films. Where in the hell did Rocky get Paulie’s special robot? Keep in mind Rocky IV came out back in 1985, a full 25 years ago. At that time this had to be the most sophisticated robot ever created worth millions of dollars. Such a robot is still not available now. The best we have are those lame droids that vacuum a house or a pool, or mow your lawn. But in the Rockyverse by now we would probably have a cyborg as the current heavyweight champion.

No more Rocky talk from here on out.
I promise.

Million Dollar Baby: Nothing Like a Boxing Movie That Doesn’t Know the Rules to Boxing!

Believe it or not, everyone’s favorite reporter Skip Bayless wrote about this movie’s multiple flaws shortly after the movie came out. To this day it remains the only time anything he ever said or wrote made any lick of sense. So I am not going to delve on what he wrote about too much.

As I had so clearly stated in my last article, I was not a fan of Million Dollar Baby. The reason is simple. The final act of the movie is spent inside a stale hospital room where Hilary Swank is laying down acting all vegetable-y. As a result of her opponent sucker-punching her after the round has come to an end, her neck was severed after her head fell fully onto her corner stool. Now she’s a quadriplegic. (Duh, spoiler alert) In the chats she has with Clint and her mother (who is also Dewey Cox’s mother, no less.) a phrase is uttered that absolutely destroys the entire movie.

“But you lost the fight.”

Wait a minute… What was that? You lost the fight? Somehow the referee and judges ruled in favor of the psycho French chick who brazenly broke the rules which directly resulted in a major injury. This is not the WWE, where it does not matter if the heel shoots the babyface with a Glock and pins him as long as the referee does not see it.

Nor is this ‘Nam.
This is Boxing.
There are rules.

One of them is if one combatant hits the other after the bell, either points are taken away or it is ruled a disqualification. Once Swank hit the mat, she should have won the fight by DQ. It’s that simple, people. Not only that, crazy psycho French chick could possibly face criminal charges as a result. But no, instead Swank tells Clint to kill her. She wins the Oscar. He wins the Oscar. I vomit.

If you think I am done, you clearly do not know me too well. I’m just getting warmed up, HOOAH!! Coming on Wednesday will be my analysis on how Dottie Hinson’s treachery has been ignored for far too long. Also included in my baseball section will be why Pop Fisher’s managerial skills were both dreadful and dangerous.

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