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People do strange things in search of a challenge. Some climb mountains, others embark on wilderness hikes, and some, like myself, test the limits of human endurance in the pursuit of tireless self-improvement. Daleks say ExterminateLike, for example, spending 80 straight hours watching Dr Who, then trying to explain to my landlord why I screamed "exterminate" at the nice man re-tiling my bathroom until he left without caulking the bathtub seal. Or, say, seeing exactly how long one can live entirely on McCain Pizza Pops before brain rot sets in and I start taping Electric Circus for posterity. All this, in search of a challenge. A challenge so great, it will thrill the world with its completion. Something on par with the scaling of Everest, the first man on the moon, and the Debbie Diamond "20 Man Gang Bang". And finally, I've found one. And its name…is Rocky. It is my firm belief that no man has ever seen all five Rocky films and lived to tell about it, and I intend to be the first to attempt such a feat. Not immediately consecutively, of course, as no mere mortal can take than much Sylvester Stallone at one time without dropping 40 IQ points, sprouting chest hair like a Rogain accident and losing half their vocabulary to a brain hemorrhage. No, as this is the first of many challenges that I plan on putting myself through, I set an easy goal, merely watching the films within the same week: a task which is still comparable to breaking the 4 minute mile. I'm not going to say I made the right decision, devoting all those hours to stunningly inept boxing movies, but I think, on the whole, it has made me a better person. Granted, I now shun all forms of communication with the outside world, locking myself in my apartment and eking out a hermit-like existence for fear that setting foot outside my door will bring me one step closer to a sixth Rocky film, but as that keeps me away from children, legally I believe that it's one step closer to rehabilitation. Anyway, in order to spare others from the inevitable consequences of the path I've chosen, I've condensed my impressions of the five Rocky films into the following article, in a sort of Unabomber manifesto explaining why I'll be breathing a sigh of relief when Armageddon brings the world to its knees.


Now, the first Rocky film, aptly entitled Rocky I, is widely regarded as the best of the series. And, admittedly, it is. Despite its flaws, the film remains an uplifting, inspirational, and heart-warming str5fdg hgfgh. HuffingCrap, I can't even type that without cracking up and collapsing on my keyboard. Let's try again. The film remains an uplifting, inspirational, and heart-warming tale. The main thrust of the story is a simple man's triumph over adversity, which, though predictable and somewhat clichéd, is still pleasant to watch, provided you're extremely high on gas. I'm actually not joking. There is a very specific type of brain damage you have to have suffered in order to find this treacly, gooey mess appealing. It's a precise mix of dizziness, severe nausea, and mild confusion that only an afternoon spent huffing regular unleaded out of a paper bag behind the rec centre will provide. So essentially, the only people who could possibly like this film are the cast of Kids and certain isolated native communities in Northern Canada. Actually, come to think of it, I bet a few of the guys I hung out with in high school probably own the box set, as they were generally loaded enough to enjoy pretty much anything less cerebral than the maze on the back of a Cheerios box.

Thankfully, most of them are in jail now, incapable of adding their voices to the throng chanting for another Rocky film, sly fights a dinosaurwhere Sly fights a dinosaur or some such nonsense. As for this particular filmic gem, there is absolutely nothing redeeming. In it, our hero, a thick-headed bruiser for a local crime boss, finally gets his chance to make it big by selling a semi-retarded screenplay about a boxer who gets to fight Action Jackson. For some reason, his scam works, and we're left watching what's intended to be the uplifting tale of an underdog struggling to make it to the top, but is instead a vaguely distasteful examination of how North American society rewards brute strength and populist tripe over intelligence, so long as it gets the unwashed masses rabid enough to buy more beer at the boxing ring, or at least go see the movie twice.

Rocky II

Rocky II, on the other hand, gets worse. The first film was a tortuous experience in itself, as it makes us wait nearly two hours for the climactic fight - which ends up being delivered in a dull, over-dissolved montage and ends with Rocky not actually winning. Instead, he's merely proud of himself for staying standing for the duration of the fight. a troubled marilyn manson fanI don't know about you, but I can stand up for 20 minutes straight most days without demanding a reward, although I do think I deserve a medal for sitting through the whole movie. Rocky II, on the other hand, climaxes with Rocky fighting Apollo Creed again, only this time Rocky wins. Essentially, this means we have to sit through the same movie all over again, only with a slightly different ending. While this worked for Austin Powers, it's irritating here, kind of like American Pie 2. This film also marked Sly's directorial debut, which is a mistake on par with giving a troubled Marilyn Manson fan weapons training. The term ‘heavy-handed' does not do the film justice. Anti-racism commercials made in high school video classes have more subtlety than this. But this is just the beginning of the cycle of irritating Rocky sequels.

Continue to Part Two

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