Archives for posts with tag: Burt Young

You know how some of those true crime TV shows do cheesy reenactments? The ones where they film these low-budget scenes with obscure actors who sort of look like the people involved? The ones that make you wish you were watching an actual documentary instead of a docudrama? OK, so take the story of Chuck Wepner, the journeyman boxer who went toe-to-toe with Muhammed Ali and “inspired” Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa character, and turn it into one of those cheesy docudramas. Oh, wait – “The Brawler” (2019) already did. It’s not terrible, it’s just cheesy, but with a cameo by Paulie.

To say “Rocky IV” (1985) is simplistic is to say two more words than I think Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago said in the entire movie. Sylvester Stallone cashes in (or sells out?) by exploiting the Cold War in what turns out to be, more or less, a 90-minute music video of workout montages, flashbacks and forgotten ’80s hits. But there’s also James Brown singing “Living in America” when Apollo Creed enters the ring to fight Drago. That scene says more about the spectacle of boxing than anything ever filmed. If this movie only exists for that one purpose, it’s enough.

“Caddyshack” plus “Animal House” equals “Back to School” (1986). Unfortunately, it doesn’t belong in the pantheon with those other two, but it has a cult following and is worth watching on a rainy afternoon. A little Rodney Dangerfield goes a long way (see “Caddyshack”), but having him carry a movie is a too much of a good thing. This film is also extremely dated (Oingo Boingo, Robert Downey Jr. with blue hair). Still, there are lots of hilarious scenes in this story about a millionaire who enrolls in college to connect with his son. And, of course, the Triple Lindy.