Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rocky Balboa Returns!

I went to see Rocky Balboa yesterday... the first showing at the local theatre. I am huge Rocky fan and have been watching since I was a little kid. My family will attest that the number of times I've seen each one cant be accounted for ;)

Like everyone else, I felt Rocky V was a complete disappointment. Of course like everyone else, I thought this would be a complete joke when I first heard of it. That was until I saw the trailer. From that point on, I said it might work.

Rocky Balboa, the sixth and final installment of the series goes back to its roots. It will remind you in many ways of the original. The movie evolves a bit slowly but with good reason. We find out that Rocky's wife has since passed and you can sense the grief that Rocky has. We are re-introduced to Paulie providing the necessary comic relief as Rocky is in mourning on the anniversary of his wife's passing. Rocky revisits a lot of the old stomping grounds in Philly and Adrian appears in an almost ghostlike manner. Rocky is basically living in the past remembering the good times... the better times.

Rocky now keeps himself busy with a small local restaurant named after his wife. It's an Italian restaurant and most of the patrons are there to remember the old times and hear Rocky tell stories of his past. Rocky puts a sport coat over his sweatshirt and plays the nice guy... shaking hands and visiting each table many times repeating the same stories and then posing for photos.

Rocky's son Robert (played by Milo Ventimiglia) is also reintroduced to the viewing audience. He's grown and is trying to make it in the corporate world but somehow feels that his father's fame and name have kept him from achieving greater success. The distant relationship is seen as Rocky makes attempts to visit his son and maybe grab a cup of coffee only to be brushed off as quickly as he came. On his way out, you can see that Rocky is still revered in the community stopping to sign autographs and always treating people to a hello.

Rocky really only has his son and Paulie left in his life. You can feel the sense of loss and lonliness with his wife gone, his career over, and his son's distant relationship. Rocky can't let go and even Paulie urges the former champ to stop looking back.

Rocky revisits some old stomping grounds in Philly below the tracks and even takes a look at Mick's gym which now is severely rundown. He stops at a local pub where we meet another old friend, "little Marie" back from the original movie. Marie is all grown up and on a bad streak of her own, struggling to get by but still a friendly face... even if she told Rocky "screw you, creepo" the last time they saw each other. Rocky, always being the nice guy, offers a helping hand and a ride home trying to find the best in a bad situation.

It seemed as though things were just going day by day until an episode of ESPN hit the airwaves with the basic question, "What if?" What if the current heavyweight champion Mason "The Line" Dixon (real-life boxer Antonio Tarver) fought Rocky "The Italian Stallion" Balboa in their prime? Who would win? A computer program that matches athletes from different eras predicted Rocky as the winner.

The current champ is seen as greedy and too good for the modern day, watered down version of boxing. Mason Dixon is going through opponents with ease but the fans have lost interest and turned on the champ who is seen as money hungry, cocky and not the true warrior that a Rocky Balboa used to be.

The film used real-life commentators and analysts who then discussed the possible outcome. The analysis was split and it definitely stirred things up within Rocky.

With all the things going on in his life, Rocky doesnt have a way to express himself. Rocky isnt a writer or a man of words. He's a fighter, and fighters fight. That's the only way he ever got rid of pain or anger so the question begins to creep up in his mind. He goes to his friend and confidant, Paulie who of course thinks he's crazy but as Rocky says "there's still stuff in the basement" referring to his heart and feelings. There's a "beast" within him that needs to be fed. Paulie leaves Rocky without support mocking him in much the same way we as viewers do but now we realize why he would want to. Rocky then goes to discuss the idea with his son who also dismisses his desires with little regard.

Rocky, just wanting to do some local club fighting attempts to get his boxing license on his own. Even though he has passed the necessary medical exams, he is turned down by the boxing commission. We are left with Rocky arguing his case fighting for his dream. The boxing commission listens to the compelling argument and grants Rocky his license.

The news flies all over and eventually toward the direction of the current heavyweight champ and his promoters. The champ dismisses the news and even the thought of a match but the promoters tell him that there's no money to be had in Pay Per View and the ESPN prediction has left a lot of people...well... curious. There was money to be had and they want to angle an exhibition in order to help the champ's reputation.

Before you know it, we have our Rocky montage going and we get to hear Gonna Fly Now one last time. Apollo's former trainer makes a return and strategizes a training regiment that will allow Rocky to throw some "hurtin bombs." The strategy is power and nothing more... to make the champ feel pain with any punch that is landed.

Rocky's son, Robbie comes to confront his father about the decision to fight... especially after hearing everyone around him talking about how Rocky is going to get killed in the ring. Robbie is falling under his father's shadow once again not being able to hold on to his own identity and blaming his father. Rocky, still feeling the pain and hurt tells his son that somewhere along the lines Robbie has changed. Rocky leaves his son with words of wisdom that life will always be cruel, hit you, and try to knock you down but its not how hard you hit back but how hard of a punch you can take. The words are left ringing and do manage to change his son's views and eventually win him over.

"Why is this called an exhibition? Because otherwise it would be called an execution." These are the words of real announcers ringside for the fight.

The weigh-in, opening moments and introductions as well as the first round are all shot as a real PPV fight with official HBO logos and tale of the tape. We are even given a cameo by Mike Tyson sitting along ringside.

Rocky Balboa brings a sentimental finish to the series and brings us back to the roots of the 1976 original. The movie may not win any awards in the box office but it will your heart if you are a Rocky fan or fanatic like me.


Official Site:

Official Trailer:

Interview: Sylvester Stallone

Friday, December 15, 2006

'Nip/Tuck' will implant itself here (LA Times)

'Nip/Tuck' will implant itself here
The daring FX series set in Miami seeks further enhancement with a move to a famous Left Coast address.
By Maria Elena Fernandez, Times Staff Writer

Source: Los Angeles Times:

Goodbye, South Beach. Hello, Beverly Hills.

McNamara-Troy, the debauched plastic surgeons of "Nip/Tuck," have hung up their Miami shingle and traded up (or so they think) for the reconstructive mecca of the famous ZIP Code 90210.

In last night's fourth-season finale of FX's series, Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) decided what viewers have known all along — that he can't live without his partner and best friend, Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh). In a season of several important goodbyes — Julia divorced Sean for good this time and left town with their two younger children; scalpel addict Mrs. Grubman passed away and nemesis Escobar was shot to death — the doctors shut down their Miami practice to start anew in Los Angeles.

The surprise ending only marks what fans have come to expect: Nothing on "Nip/Tuck" stays the same for long. So the season that began with the doctors celebrating their 5,000th surgery in Miami ended with the two of them glamming it up next to the Hollywood sign, with "Hollywood Swinging" playing in the background.

"I just felt there was nothing else they could do in that office," creator Ryan Murphy said. "They've been through too much. The show has always been about taking big risks and taking big chances and doing things you wouldn't expect. In Miami, these are supposedly the best plastic surgeons. Now, we'll do the flip of that. They'll be the little fish in the big pond, which is fun and shows a struggle and gives us room to grow."

That has not been a problem for the Golden Globe-winning series, which has reigned over the 18-to-49-year-old demographic in basic cable since it premiered in 2003. Even last year's over-the-top, macabre season, which turned off critics as well as some fans, didn't seem to make anyone stop watching. In fact, "Nip/Tuck" has grown 12% this year with adults younger than 50, and is poised to end the year with its most-watched season ever, a feat uncommon among 4-year-old shows.

Perhaps the show's continued success can be attributed to its restless energy and how in one hour it offers a taste of several different genres, mixing the real with the outrageous.

"I think our signature in the first two seasons was that we could operate on so many levels at one time," Walsh said. "Sometimes it was gothic soap opera. Sometimes it was wicked black humor, and sometimes it was farce. Sometimes the soap opera thing was a parody, like our commentary on it, and sometimes it was full-on earnest. Last year, the humor got lost along the way and I think we really missed it. But this year I feel like we brought back those elements of the first two seasons and brought some new stuff, and for me, it's been the most fulfilling to work on."

It started with the show's new use of guest stars, which included recurring roles for Larry Hagman, Peter Dinklage, Jacqueline Bisset, Sanaa Lathan, Brooke Shields, Rosie O'Donnell and Alanis Morissette, and one-episode turns for Kathleen Turner, Catherine Deneuve, Melissa Gilbert and Richard Chamberlain.

"Ryan has always been someone who has had his own obsession with celebrity and I just couldn't think of a better way to incorporate characters than to bring in all of those extraordinary people," McMahon said.

And there was more: Scientology was introduced as the new religion of Matt (John Hensley) and Kimber (Kelly Carlson); Sean and Julia (Joely Richardson) had a baby with a deformity that provoked the final break in their marriage; the characters were shown 20 years in the future; and Murphy borrowed a trick from the movie "Magnolia," turning a four-minute montage in the finale into a music video.

Many of the season's high points were comical: Sean's interpretation of Bad Santa, Christian's stint as a ventriloquist's puppet, Christian and Dawn Budge's (O'Donnell) sexual tryst, sexy Kimber's faceoff with the Scientology figure Xenu, and the sneak peek viewers got of grown-up, messed-up Annie, the perennially neglected daughter of Sean and Julia .

"Poor Annie!" McMahon said. "That's exactly how you thought Annie would be because can you imagine growing up in such a screwed environment? I thought everybody was hysterical but if I look like that at 60, shoot me. I'll look like that at 85."

McMahon may not pleased with Christian's futuristic beer belly, but he and Walsh are both excited about the show's move to Los Angeles, which Murphy dreamed up when he pitched the themes for the fourth season to John Landgraf, FX president and general manager, earlier this year. Murphy, who is working with a new producing team, wanted to wrap up most of the show's ongoing story lines — which he did — and give his characters new challenges.

"It's a white-knuckle ride working with Ryan," Landgraf said. "I was worried because Miami has been a significant character in this series. But now I think it's exactly the right creative choice to make."

The move gives Murphy an opportunity to build new offices for McNamara-Troy and new bachelor apartments. "I just got bored with the sets. Now I can create these massively great new sets," he said enthusiastically.

Walsh was a little more introspective about the prospect. After filming his emotional goodbye with Richardson, who had to cut short her time on the show this year to take care of her ailing daughter in England and will come back for only a few episodes next year, Walsh said he was despondent over saying goodbye to her and to Sean and Julia's house.

"Joely and I have had so many intense scenes over the last four seasons in that house," Walsh said. "It's always so much more intimate to play those kinds of scenes with an actress, going through the worst a marriage can go through, than to do a sex scene. By the end, when she walks away, Joely or Julia, whichever one, it's very sad to me. There's a lot invested there."

Murphy understands the fans feel that way too, so Sean and Christian will not be moving alone. Matt and Kimber will have their baby, but Matt will move to Los Angeles to go to college and medical school. Kimber will be closer to Scientology and porn. Liz (Roma Maffia) will join the doctors and serve as their anesthesiologist. Julia and her children will visit.

"There's a funny message in all of this, which is that you can keep trying to change the things around you — your relationships, your clothes and where you live — and in an odd way, these guys always land back where they are," Walsh said.

But does moving to California mean that the doctors and best friends will live happily ever after? Or is "a brighter discontent the best that [they] could hope to find," as the song by the Submarines used in the finale's music video goes?

For the sake of the fans, let's hope for the latter.

The Sexy, Surreal Slice & Dice of Nip/Tuck

Source: The House Next Door
Written by: Ross Ruediger

border=0>Tonight FX delivers the Season Four finale of its highest rated series, Nip/Tuck.
Based on the 14 episodes presented thus far, this season's subtitle should be
“The Apology”, because after the disaster that was Season Three, that’s what was owed to long-term fans -- and it’s largely what producer/writer Ryan Murphy and his band of twisted lunatics delivered.

To read the rest of my latest dissection, make an appointment at The House Next Door.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nip/Tuck Wrap-up Chat!

Come stop by MySpace and chat!! Nip/Tuck Fanatic Blog @ MySpace

I caught the show!! I paid $50 for a hotel room across the street just to watch it since mine doesnt have FX! I'm dedicated :)

Incredible ending and loved every minute of it. Sean and Christian are going to take over Hollywood!!! You gotta love it. Now they have to get Liz over there!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Episode 14: Willy Ward

This Nip/Tuck episode was all about change... plain and simple.

We start out seeing that Sean is starting to get over his holiday depression but still feeling the effects of Julia leaving him. Everything anyone says seems to trigger a memory that he can relate to.

Michelle is in the midst of a change of her own... falling for Wilbur. They almost made her look human pushing the little guy on the swing.

Welcome back Gina! I couldnt get over how nice she was when she first got into Christian's office. Christian baited her as much as possible but she didnt give in... but then it wasnt long before she stormed into the restaurant and became the psycho Gina we all know and love. It was pretty cool to hear the spa mentioned... I think that's first time we heard it was sold.

Willy Ward was an absolute nut but then again, so is everyone else that comes in for surgery these days. I loved the music they played during the surgery (“I'm Your Puppet” - James & Bobby Purify).

I think James killing herself caught everyone by surprise did you see the way she called about the child kidneys? Just cold and ruthless... she pulled it off without a hitch.

I absolutely died laughing with the whole Matt/Sean scene. Matt comes into the office to speak with Christian about some intimacy issues with Kimber... yeah that conversation would have went well.... but ends up talking to Sean. Sean stumbles all over at first mentioning the Kimber doll and wanting to bring it out. I loved Matt's comment about Sean sounding like Doctor Ruth!! "Christian will tell me how to make her hot. You make me feel like I'm talking to Dr.'s totally embarrassing." Then Sean goes off his rocker and starts telling Sean how to give her anal and be confident about it! OMG!! Sean turned into Christian!

She's a former pornstar. You've got to be assertive, be a man. When she says she wants you to give to her in the rear...and believe me... Kimber will say that ! You tease her first with your tongue. She'll beg you to stick it in but you hold off. Wait till she rithes and screams till she cant take it any more and only then do you give her what she wants! You pound her so hard she'll beg for mercy! The neighbors will either move out or send flowers. That's what I did with her... ....what I'd do...


Quote of the night came from Matt to Sean after this little chat: "If that's what you did with her, I can't imagine what Christian and Kimber did together."

So Michelle will be Wilbur's mom.. we'll see how long that lasts. She got a brief moment to gather herself and think she was free when James blew her brains out... but then our old friend Escobar made an appearance surprising Michelle in her own car. You see, he was James' boss and now Michelle will have to take her place! LOVE IT!!

The real twist of the show came when Sean felt left out again regarding Wilbur being missing and not knowing about James being Michelle's madam. He wants Michelle and Christian to buy him out.... he wants to be on his own and find himself.

It really seems that Sean is becoming Christian and vice versa. Christian is focused on family while Sean wants to find himself and it appears he is ready to let loose. I cant wait to see the new Sean!!!

Great episode in preparation for the finale!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

MSNBC: Rosie O'Donnell to join ‘Nip/Tuck’ full time?

Rosie O'Donnell to join ‘Nip/Tuck’ full time?
Actress says she's been offered leading role on plastic surgery drama
Credits: Keith Shimada / AP
Source: MSNBC

Rosie O'Donnell played lottery winner Dawn Budge during the fourth season on "Nip/Tuck."

Is Rosie O'Donnell joining the cast of "Nip / Tuck" full time?

That's what Rosie said to the studio audience during a break on the set of "The View" on Wednesday. She said she's been offered the female lead of the show since Joely Richardson is leaving for a year.

She said that she'd play the character of Dawn Budge, who was introduced in a guest role this past (the show's fourth) season. Dawn would be the owner of the plastic surgery center and do things like "sneak Cher in the back door" and then hire paparazzi to take pictures.

Rosie added that it would be a 15-week shoot in Los Angeles. She didn't say if she was going to do it, but it sounded very much like she's leaning towards it.

No word on how this could affect her schedule with "The View," but Rosie has said that she's only signed on to co-host for one season of Barbara Walters' morning talk-fest.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ryan Murphy: Joely Richards will be back!


I just want to make a statement now. Why all the pessimism, guys? You all at this point must know I am extremely loyal not only to the fans, but the show. I am still in negotiations for seasons five and six, and am extremely optimistic a deal can be made. I just finished editing the finale, and it hit home to me how much the crew and cast means to me, and how much I want to stay on. And when you SEE the finale, and the resulting twist, you will see how much I truly want to continue to take the show in shocking fresh new directions.

So please. Until you hear it from me, consider me in -- loyal to the show, and you guys, who have made the show what is is. Of course, I will continue to post on this forum on the OFF season as you guys updates, ideas, thoughts for season five, etc. And I want to hear from you what YOU want. After the finale, which I hope you all will worship, I would really like to hunker down on this site with my beloved Diane, Luby, CJ, Richard AM, etc. and see what direction YOU would all like to take the show...after this season's finale, I think you will agree the possibilities (new characters, etc.) are LIMITLESS. I will use you guys to help me come up with new ideas. And please, trust me -- Joely IS coming back. Enough with this doom and gloom about our beloved blonde-tressed actress. Trust me on this. I have never lied to you guys before, and I never will.

So again....let's all be positive and hopeful, until the fat lady sings. I think this year has been a great collaboration between me and the fans -- you guys. I couldn't have done it without you. And as for the future...I won't do it without you, either. I need you guys, as much as you need me and this show you all love. I'm not leaving the show -- how's that for an Xmas present?

OPTIMISM rules. I'm tired of cynicism, and bad vibes. Lord knows the world is hard enough as it is. We all need something positive to cling to in these trying times. Trust me.



Ryan Murphy Promises Death!


"I indeed did promise you all a death, and I am a man of my word. That's all I'm going to say about the finale.
Someone...important. Someone...none of us can live without.
Don't listen to the spoilers. No one has gotten it right, and no one will. I have filmed several versions, ala Sex and City, so know one knows but me. And I'm not telling!

I am editing the finale as we speak, and am very proud of it. Someone earlier posted "is it my favorite finale"? In many ways...yes. It wraps everything up, and yet leaves so many possibilities for the future...a future very changed from the McNamara/Troy that we have come to know. It reflects a changed different from where I started when I came up with the pilot, etc.

I know you all hate me now for the tease, but this is all I can say. I'm very emotional as I edit this damned finale. Goodbyes are hard."


Who's the better mother? Michelle or Gina?

I honestly had to laugh at some of the responses I am reading about Michelle being a much better choice as a mother than Gina. I've read many post replies stating that Gina shouldnt be a part of Wilbur's life and that Wilbur would be much better off with Michelle.

So let me get this straight... Michelle has continually lied, cheated, been blackmailed, murdered, conspired, married for money, and killed for more money is a better option than Gina??? In what world do you all live that think this?

Yes, Gina's a slut... we know this. She uses foul language to Christian and is HIV but cmon!!! Michelle must be playing the victim very well because you all are hooked on her act! LOL... It's Gina's biological kid!!

Tell me what you think