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Movie Preview: Rocky Balboa Meets Grumpy Old Men

On December 20th, Sylvester Stallone will return to the big screen in Rocky Balboa, the newest installment in a franchise we thought was long put to rest. The premise is pretty ridiculous. In fact, when I saw this trailer before Casino Royale, I joined a packed movie theater in roaring laughter. (Just hit "play" above and you'll see what I mean.) The story centers on an aging Rocky Balboa after he watches a computer-simulated boxing match between himself and the current young, beefy boxing champion. In the virtual world, Rocky is the predicted winner, so Rocky decides to try his hand at fighting the whippersnapper, having at least one computer program that believes in him. He begins training for yet another Big Fight, except this time, he's also up against a variety of ailments and frailties commonly associated with, you know, old age.

It seems like there's no good way to end this movie. A win would be pretty difficult to believe, yet if he loses, we'll have just watched an old man get pummeled. Even Rocky has reservations about returning to the ring, saying "I ain't interested in getting mangled and embarrassed." Judging from the trailer, it looks like it's a little too late for the embarrassed part.

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