Monday, November 30, 2015


   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.

The Cast: 

   Michael B. Jordan is making his way in Hollywood and not letting the “downs” in his career (Fantastic Four) define him. I was amazed at the dedication he showed to the role just by observing the phenomenal shape he was in, and his performance complimented the legacy of the “Rocky” films that have come before.
   There is not much I can say about Sly Stallone that has not already been said. Back again as Rocky Balboa, the role has become a part of him and it’s just wonderful to have grown up with all the films and witnessed the progression of the character.

The Plot: 

   Adonis Johnson is a fighter. Since he was a child he has been unable to alter the call of his genetics. Taken in by the wife of Apollo Creed, she raises him as if he were her own, fully knowing what his true origin is.
   Raised in affluence and looking at a big promotion at a great job, Adonis fights in secret in Mexico…making short work of everyone he faces. Deciding he has to answer the call of the urge that has been driving him all his life, he quits his job and decides to fight full time.
   With nobody willing to officially train him in Los Angeles, he moves to Philadelphia with a plan to be trained by one of the greatest fighters of all time, and one of his father’s closest friends, Rocky Balboa.
   Rocky runs a restaurant named after his deceased wife called “Adrian’s” and has absolutely no interest in training anyone, even the son of Apollo Creed…but Adonis is a fighter that doesn’t know the meaning of giving up and eventually he and Rocky decide to see what will happen when they both commit to each other.
   What follows is a story that is the perfect complement to the Rocky franchise that travels in the only reasonable direction left…and having learned all the lessons from the previous films, is an instant classic.

The Verdict:
   It’s easy to pinpoint what has made the Rocky franchise so great. When you have a great story and you tell it with passion and sprinkle it with hard-hitting action and comedy…greatness is just inevitable.
   Michael B. Jordan did a lot of research and invested a lot of time and effort into this role and it’s evident when you see the detail and passion he delivers in his performance. By the end of the film I was left with little doubt that he is Adonis CREED…a person with not just the desire and passion for fighting, but the heart of a warrior that refuses to be denied the war.

   I was always touched by a particular scene in "Rocky Balboa" wherein Rocky goes to the cemetery and sits in front of his wife’s headstone. The tug on the heart is real…and that magic continues in this film for both he and Adonis which is, for me, one of the knock-out qualities of this film as such moments drive home the realism of the content. This wasn't just a film about fighters fighting, but a film about people living.

  If you are a fan of great films…and always wanted to know who won the third fight between Rocky and Apollo, go see this film. I’m certain we will see Jordan (and Stallone) again (trilogy?) and I encourage everyone to treat themselves to a film that easily punched four, out of five, cinnamon sticks in my cup of tea

Rating 4 / 5

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Strong Woman...?

   I can tell you now that this post is going to raise a lot of eyebrows and stimulate a lot of conversation. It may even garner outrage with some, but regular readers here know that provoking discussion is what this blog is all about, so prepare to be provoked.

   I was recently in a conversation with a friend when he mentioned that he was thinking about going back to giving women he was considering as potential partners, a test. Now…not one to leave opened doors open without at least peeking inside, I inquired about this test, and what followed was a profound exploration into what is, what makes, and what is being presented as a strong woman.
   First, let me clarify exactly what the test is (as some of you might want to take it…just because). The test is a simple question about a film. Who was at fault for the breakdown of the relationship in the movie “Love Jones?” We’ll get back to the test later (or not), for now…let’s take a trip down the rabbit hole this conversation created.
   The expressed opinion was that a strong woman in today’s society is viewed as one that is independent and self-sufficient and is in no way in “need” of a man. Further, that woman shares equality with men as reflected in equal treatment in all aspects of life. Many have just fully agreed with the previous statement, but probably have not given any thought to the plethora of such women that while, have no need of a man, also have no man. I’m sure there are some women reading this with the position that they don’t want a man, but has the strong woman philosophy contributed in creating this position? Is it really all the fault of men (keep this question in the back of your mind for further reference)?
   Let’s clear the air quickly about the fact that maintaining a household and raising children is one of the hardest jobs on the planet and this traditional role of women, even being done today by women under none-traditional circumstances, has proven they have a strength and resiliency that is truly divine. Anyone observing a woman doing this as a wife or single mother and not understanding they are observing a strong woman doesn’t understand the struggle. That said is there really a difference of applied strength between a single mother and a wife? One might say so considering that while a single mother has to provide as if there were a husband already doing so, a wife…a good wife, has to submit to her husband (uh-oh…here we go). While neither position is easy, if the husband is not doing right by his wife, submitting to him might be a lot harder than not having him around to deal with.
   Let’s talk about “submitting” though, cause I know there was a reaction when that word popped up. Here is what is does not mean in the relational sense.…it does not mean a woman is a slave to her husband. The only reference is was used in my conversation was from the biblical use and it simply means recognizing and accepting the role God has placed the husband and wife in. It is a voluntary act by the wife and as such, requires a tremendous amount of strength to do. That said, a woman should be very judicious with who she decides to partner with because all men are not ready for what is required of them (oh yes, there are two sides to this marriage thing)…while steadily dwelling on what is required of their wife.

   It has been said that the feminist movement killed chivalry. One could counter that regardless of circumstances, a man can still act thusly toward a woman. The counter to that being why would he even bother? If men and women share equal status, what is there left for a man to do for a woman and why? If equality was the goal, then why a different look at a man that suffers abuse by a woman? Why the disparity in the legal system for the same circumstances? There are a lot of rabbit holes we can explore when we really get into it, but I digress.

   The woman of today has many challenges facing her and I wonder if one of them is the the upholding of an image and ideology that might ultimately be contributing to a breakdown in family and relationships. So many questions…