Actual conversation from the house of Sal last night:
Me: "Son, why aren't you in bed like your mother told you to be?"
10-year-old son: "Dad, Rocky's on, and it's almost time for the fight."
Me: "Which Rocky?"
Son: "Rocky III. Mr. T."
Me: "Well, OK."
Let's face it--the "Rocky" series is a terribly important part of every young American boy's development. And thanks to channels like Spike TV (which last night had the whole 5-episode marathon on), some Rocky movie is on pretty much every week. Admittedly, Rocky V (Tommy Gunn) was pretty horrible, but it's still a decent action flick. For my money, there is something truly awesome about each of the other 4, plus the recent finale. I, II, and VI (Balboa) are all very good, well-made films. Don't forget that the original won the Oscar for best picture. III may be the most fun of all of them... and don't pretend that Mr. T. wasn't really cool in '83. He may be a caricature now, but when he made his debut in that movie, he was a MAN. And the cold-war showdown with steroidally-enhanced Ivan Drago and the training in Siberia sequence--that's just a great guy movie. The message of Rocky is priceless: if you train harder and are tough enough to take the pain, you can conquer enemies that are bigger and stronger than you. That's worth a few more minutes at bedtime.