It sounds like a joke. But it is a bona fide comedy in the works. Two of the most famous movie boxers of all time are going to go head to head against each other in the ring. Sylvester Stallone is an acting middleweight who skyrocketed to the A-list on the back of an overrated movie about a heavyweight boxer named "Rocky." Robert DeNiro is an acting heavyweight who won his only Best Actor Oscar for his legendary portrayal of middleweight champ Jake LaMotta.
Both Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone have proven they have the capacity to maintain a more impressive body well after boxer retirement age than most boxers. Both actors trained hard and sculpted their bodies to achieve the kind of body that brings veracity and truth to the role. But here we are some thirtysomething years after those famous roles and we are talking about a comedy about retired boxers well into the process of becoming as curmudgeonly as Carl Frederickson. This boxing comedy, and haven't boxing comedies always been a successful genre by the way, is going to titled "Grudge Match."
Something just smells wrong about this from the beginning. Stallone and DeNiro in their respectively ripped realities in boxing movies of fifty shades of dramatic are something to behold. The "Rocky" series is overrated crud, of course, but there is still something a little sad about thinking of Stallone growing old and turning into a boxer filled with a comedic dimension. Even worse is the idea of going back to watch "Raging Bull" for the 50th time-in my own personal case-with the newly added dimension of imagining that intense guy on screen as crotchety old ex-boxer seeking a grudge match against one Mr. Balboa.
I first learned of this potential fiasco from the Gandalf the Grey of sportswriting, Mr. Frank Deford. The way Deford inserted the information of a boxing movie in which Stallone and DeNiro face off against each other as part of the background fabric in his eloquent tapestry on the subject of ice hockey, of all things, told me that it wasn't a joke.
A comedy yes. A joke no. Sure does sound like one, though.
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