Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Second Best Movie In The Series

TigerBlog finally got around to seeing "Creed" the other day.

He's wanted to see it since he first saw the commercial for it, and he can't remember how long ago that was. He figured he would like it, and he was right.

First of all, it's a great idea for a movie. Rocky Balboa, the former heavyweight champion, trains the son of Apollo Creed, his one-time rival and then buddy who was killed, tragically, in the ring, in what was supposed to be an exhibition match against a seemingly unbeatable Russian, whom Rocky subsequently defeated, and perhaps ended the last Cold War in the process.

Now here was Creed's son, his illegitimate son who was born after Creed died, coming to Rocky to train him. Brilliant idea.

The movie did a great job of tying up some loose ends from the movies in the series that preceded it. That's one thing that TigerBlog really liked about it.

The fight scenes in "Creed" were great as well. They were much more realistic than the ones in the other movies, and they gave the sense that you were actually watching a real fight.

And the end? Even as the final seconds were playing out, TigerBlog wasn't completely sure of how it would end. That's a sign of a good movie. 

TigerBlog's biggest complaint is that it didn't use enough of the old music, which is such a big part of the franchise.

The best part? Sylvester Stallone. He was great.

His performance in "Creed" might have been better than it was in "Rocky," back in 1976, when the series began. Stallone did not win the Academy Award for Best Actor that year, losing to Peter Finch from "Network," who passed away before the awards were given out. Had Finch not died, prevailing logic has gone, Stallone would have won.

This time around, he's up for Best Supporting Actor, for which he's already won a Golden Globe. TB can't imagine he won't win.

His performance was, in a word, believable. He wasn't a caricature, like he'd been in some of the others. He was exactly what you would think Rocky Balboa would be like all those years after he first fought Apollo Creed.

TigerBlog Jr. said "Creed" was as good as the original "Rocky." TigerBlog isn't willing to go that far - the original "Rocky" is as good as any movie TigerBlog has ever seen - but it might have been the second-best of the seven movies.

How does TB see them:
1. Rocky
2. Creed
3. Rocky III
4. Rocky II
5. Rocky Balboa
6. Rocky IV
7. Rocky V

TigerBlog has written about "Rocky" many times before, including HERE. If you don't want to read it, TigerBlog asks the question of what your favorite scene from any "Rocky" movie is besides the training montage or fight scene in the first one.

As TigerBlog watched "Creed," it dawned on him that it had been 40 years since he saw the original, one night with FatherBlog, in a movie theater in East Brunswick.

He also told TBJ that back when he was in high school, movies at Movie City 5 in East Brunswick cost $1.50. Now? Two movie tickets, one popcorn and one soda totaled $41.

Last weekend, as TB has said, was the one of two (along with the weekend after Christmas) between the start of the academic year and the end of the academic year with no athletic events, so it made for a good movie-going time.

Ivy League sports didn't stop, though, and there were two travel-partner basketball games for men and women, leaving every team in the league having played one game.

By the way, if you want to catch up with Princeton's women through this point of the year, click HERE.

If you want to catch up with the men, click HERE.

There will be three more men's games and women's games this weekend, by which time everyone will have played two league games, against their travel partners, except for Princeton and Penn, who will meet in doubleheader at Jadwin Gym on March 8, the final day of the regular season.

The four teams who won their first game on the men's side were Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Columbia. The four games were won by a combined 22 points, and none of them were decided by more than nine.

The Princeton men are home Sunday against Bryn Athyn in the return-from-exams game.

The Princeton women do not have a game before next Friday (the 29th), when they play home against Brown and then Yale. Brown was 12-2 out of the league before losing 81-54 to Yale.

Of the eight Ivy schools, six are above .500 and four - including Princeton - have at least 11 wins with five or fewer losses.

The weekend of the 29th/30th starts the sprint to the finish line, with Friday/Saturday games for the six  straight weekends.

Things will start to settle themselves very quickly for both the men and women. Princeton figures to be very much in the mix on both sides.

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