Creed

I went out to Best Buy to see what they had left with the Blu-ray discs. I bought “The Living Daylights,” “License to Kill,” “Goldeneye,” “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and “Die Another Day.” Over at Target, I bought a toaster and the Blu-ray edition of “Interstellar.” At Barnes and Noble, I bought the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “The Black Stallion.” I went out to see “Creed.” It was better than I expected because the characters were more or less down to earth. I did wonder how Rocky Balboa could be living so modestly after all the success in his boxing career. This was Sylvester Stallone’s best performance in a very long time. He is now the trainer and father figure to Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed. I thought a weakness was Adonis Creed’s character, especially when he is romancing his neighbor Bianca. He certainly didn’t have the personality of his father. My interpretation is that he was one of those athletes who is so busy training that he’s never developed social skills. I wished that Bianca didn’t have show business aspirations. Some of the elements from 2015 that were in this movie that I couldn’t stand were pop music and cell phones. There are visual references to the original 1976 movie, and sometimes it feels like we’re in the Philadelphia of Rocky’s time. Is every movie these days filmed in Georgia? The boxing part of the movie is the strongest part, although the basic question of whether a sport in which two people beat up each other is worthwhile is never answered. It seems that Apollo Creed’s son should have worked for social and political change instead of getting punched in the face numerous times. If he was giving up a height and reach advantage, it didn’t seem that he had much of a chance of winning his big match. I thought for a moment of “Million Dollar Baby.” There was some life left in the Rocky character, and Stallone and the screenwriters deserve credit for giving us something substantial and fresh. This movie recaptured a lot of the magic of the first Rocky movie, although it didn’t quite match it in overall quality. I’m not sure I would want to see a “Creed 2.” Apollo made me think of Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento and former player for the Phoenix Suns. Bianca reminded me of Lisa Bonet. The movie pleased the audience, which applauded at the conclusion. It’s worth going out to see. The boxing match at the end had some similarities with “Raging Bull.” I didn’t believe that Adonis Creed was a real challenger to the champion. That crowd that cheered on the champ in Liverpool was a bit scary because I thought they were going to yell out some racial insults. Stallone might receive some Oscar consideration for this movie. I don’t remember if any of the other Rocky sequels was as good as this one. I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs from November 22, 1972 were “If I Could Reach You,” “Nights in White Satin,” “You Ought to Be with Me,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Summer Breeze,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “I Am Woman,” “I’ll Be Around,” “I’d Love You to Want Me,” and “I Can See Clearly Now.” Some of the people who died on November 29 include Godfrey Cambridge (1976), Natalie Wood (1981), Cary Grant (1986), Ralph Bellamy (1991), Gene Rayburn (1999), George Harrison (2001), and John Knowles (2001). Today is a birthday for Andrew McCarthy (53), Howie Mandel (60), Jerry Lawler (66), and Vin Scully (88).

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