I tell you what I got for Christmas, and burn off the last of the Christmas songs…including that one I’ve been promising all December…I’m Giving Santa a Pikachu for Christmas!
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Geraldine Hughes, Milo Ventimiglia, and James Francis Kelly III.
Rocky is one of those things where, it was always there in my childhood, but I really didn’t embrace it. I only ever saw the first film out of a mild curiosity. But, I’ll admit, when I heard Stallone was doing a sixth and final one, I had a bit of a morbid curiosity towards it.
It’s been several years since boxer Rocky Balboa stepped into the ring, and he’s settled into retirement. His beloved Adrian has passed on. He’s grown estranged from his son Rocky Jr., as Jr. finds it difficult having such a famous father. And now, Rocky owns a little restaurant where he regales customers with tales of his glory days. Meanwhile, in the pro boxing world, the current champ, Mason Dixon, is losing a lot of respect, as there’s no more true contenders and he beats up far weaker opponents. And then, ESPN does this computer simulated boxing match – Rocky in his prime vs. Dixon – in which it shows Rocky would win. And this stirs something in Rocky. He sets out on the road to get back in the ring, but then Dixon’s money-grubbing handlers step in, and before we know it, Rocky’s in an exhibition match with the current champ. Does Rocky still have it? Or has he grown to old?
What I Liked
There’s just a lot of good vibes in this film. Everyone’s working really hard, and doing there best, and it really shines. Stallone is back in fine form in one of his signature roles. It’s just really, really nice.
What I Didn’t Like
Well, it’s a Rocky movie, and it follows the Rocky formula pretty darn closely.
It’s nothing mind-blowing, but it’ll warm you up and just make you feel good.
It’s a real CanCon Christmas, as I play some Christmas tunes by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. Plus, I was poetic about the DVD release of Clerks 2!
Directed by Martin Campbell
Starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffery Wright, Giancarlo Gianni, and Caterina Murino.
I’ve had a fixation for James Bond ever since I was 7 years old and saw Roger Moore doing a Bond spoof on The Muppet Show. Some of my earliest memories of television are James Bond movie marathons that were on ITV. Back when I was in university, TBS would have a James Bond movie marathon every November, and I have no idea how much study time I lost to Bond movies. And, in the late 90s, my Dad and I would always go catch the latest Pearce Brosnan as Bond epic. I don’t think there’s any other film franchise that’s spanned the generations like Bond. James Bond. Going to see the new one is…it just is.
For the first time ever, we get James Bond’s origin story. Bond has recently been promoted to 00 status, and when his first mission kind of goes wrong, he starts doing some rouge investigating. Along the way, he manages to piss off Le Chiffre, the banker to the terrorists. Before long, James Bond is sent to the Casino Royale to bankrupt Le Chiffre in a high-stakes poker game. Bond is accompanied on his mission by the gorgeous Vesper Lynde, an agent with the federal treasury who’s set to keep an eye on the government money that Bond will be using in the tournament. And before long, our hero is thrust into the middle of the mission that will turn him into Bond…James Bond.
What I Liked
Wow. Daniel Craig does a great job of introducing us to Bond. You can tell he’s still adjusting to the 00…he’s uncomfy in a tux. He’s got rough edges that need to be smoothed out. There’s some amazing stunts. And, because of the way this is set up, a lot of the Bond mythos is…introduced. It was very geek-tastic.
What I Didn’t Like
I do have to agree with several other critics in saying that it drags a bit in the middle. And, I can’t believe that co-writer Paul Haggis actually borrowed a few moments from a little TV show he created called Due South.
This is the first James Bond movie where I walked out of it going, “I can’t wait to see the next one!” This is just one great movie.
As promised, here’s the highlight reel from my first real on-air stint at a real radio station!
I reflect on the Tory leadership race, talk about what I’ll be getting you for Christmas, and play the first Christmas song of the season!