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Rocky Balboa

Reviewed by Gokhra

Many people grew up watching Rocky train hard, rise, fall and rise again in triumphant victory over and over. He became an icon and still continues. It's a wonder that even after so many sequels he still pulls the crowd.

This sixth "Rocky" movie makes you smile and wins your heart. Rocky Balboa is fifty something with arthritis and other ailments. He should be busy telling old tales about old fights. Well, he was doing just that but somehow he gets pulled into another fight.

Rocky runs a nice little Italian restaurant named after his late wife, Adrian (seen in brief flashbacks.) There's a back room in the eatery filled with Rocky memorabilia from the glory days and most nights he comes in to shake hands with the customers, pose for photos and tell the same stories, over and over.

This time Rocky's foe is an arrogant, undefeated, largely untested heavyweight title-holder named Mason Dixon, a.k.a. "The Line" (played by actual retired light heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver). When a video game fantasy matchup with the current champion shows Rocky coming out on top, some people have the bright idea to make money by staging a controlled exhibition match. When Rocky accepts the challenge, the media experts call it folly, and his son begs him not to do it.

Old characters still reign big in this new movie. Characters is what makes this movie so special and something that the previous sequels lacked. Where the other sequels were big on action this movie pulls like the first one did, by tagging at the heartstrings. Bigger, louder, more improbable and more expensive, the sequels forgot that everyone loved Rocky in the first movie even though he lost the fight.

"Rocky Balboa" has more character scenes and a lot more dialogue, and Stallone has given his tenderhearted, rock-fisted champ a last act that everyone including cynics will like.

Rocky as a character entertains even when he's not fighting, whom we enjoy watching going about his life outside the ring. The movie goes farther into story telling such as each year on the anniversary of Adrian's death, Rocky takes Paulie on a tour of the old haunts. These include the pet shop where Adrian worked, Rocky's old apartment and the site of the ice rink where they had their first date. He even meets up with another character from the first movie who has grown up to be an attractive 40-ish woman. Romance? Who knows?

It's how all the connections maintained throughout the yearts (or rather the movies) that make this final sequel so special.

Back in 1976, almost everyone loved Rocky Balboa. Created by struggling young actor-screenwriter Stallone, Rocky became a true underdog story just like its creator. "Rocky" was a heartwarmer. But, the overblown follow-ups, "Rocky II," "Rocky III" and "Rocky IV" were increasingly swollen monstrosities, with one improbably contrived challenge after another, climaxing with a Russian superman (Dolph Lundgren).

When it was announced Stallone was planning a sixth edition of the "Rocky" franchise, some 30 years after the original and a decade and a half after the last installment, you had to wonder whether it was going to be a big flop or not.

"Rocky Balboa" hits the spot by really going back to the basics. He is back doing the meat-locker punching bag scenes as well as racing up the steps and training in the cold. But more importantly it's about the people and their lives and how the viewers can uncannily start cheering no matter what. In the end it actually turns out to be the best "Rocky" movie since the original.

It's time to take a look at what went around the year that was, and quite tritely, what was hot and what was not. The TV scene this year has been quite satisfying, some really good new stuff and whole new seasons of the olds. So let's find out our top pics form the long line of hunks entertaining us on our favourite TV shows.

By Subehee Ahmed

1. Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in “24”
It has been a remarkable year for Kiefer Sutherland, the star of 24, which started with him winning both the Emmy and the Monte Carlo Award for Outstanding Acting, and ended with receiving a whopping paycheck of 40 million dollars, making him the highest paid TV serial actor in the world. Why wouldn't he? He is the all-charismatic Jack Bauer, special agent for CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit), the man who has the uncanny ability to neutralize any terrorist threat, solve any mystery all within the ultra short time frame of 60 minutes.

2. Isaiah Washington as Dr. Preston Burke in “Grey's Anatomy”
This good looking African American plays the cardio-thorasic surgeon, Preston Burke , charmingly arrogant and a no nonsense boss. With men like him, doctors never got any better, eh? Washington also starred in a good number of movies including, “Hollywood Homicide”, “Out of Sight”, “True Crime” and “Romeo Must Die”.


3. Matthew Fox as Dr. Jack Shepherd in “Lost”
A plane crashes on a deserted island, and what would u do if there was no Jack shepherd to save the lives? Matthew Fox plays this conscientious, caring doctor, equipped to combat the worst disasters without a second of fear. We can't deny that the doctor and leader of “Lost” has won our hearts or the least, succeeded in captivating our firm attention, can we?


4. Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott in “One Tree Hill”
He is our favourite hunk from the high school drama. He is the good friend, the caring brother who often gets himself in the disadvantage for the sake of others. But whatever he does he dwells in the hearts of countless One Tree Hill fans. Chad Michael Murray is also remembered from his roles in another teen drama, “Dawson's Creek” and in “Gilmore Girls”. Chad has also seen success in several movies such as in “The House of Wax”, “A Cinderella Story” and in Disney's remake of the critically acclaimed “Freaky Friday”.

5. Benjamin Mckenzie as Ryan Atwood in “The O.C”
Benjamin McKenzie has already become a heartthrob from his first big gig as Ryan Atwood in the popular soap, “The O.C”. Ryan is the troubled teen from the wrong side of the town, who finds himself in the home and under the guidance of Sandy Cohen, an idealistic attorney who had defended for him. As Ryan settles in his rich new home, he struggles to find his place in this new world and befriends Sandy's son Seth and their beautiful neighbour, Marissa Cooper

6. Michael Rosenburg as Lex Luthor in “Smallville”
Michael Rosenberg went from no-body to become one of the most envied men on the TV serial world. His character portrayal of Lex Luthor is nothing short of stunning, rendering unusual depth and complexity in someone who is essentially a villain. His steely determination and Greek literature quoting tendencies make him a man both real and utterly surreal. Scores of Smallville fans find themselves more engrossed in his character than in Clark Kent, himself. After all, he is a Luthor and Luthors are great no-matter what.

7. James Denton as Mike Delfino in “The Desperate Housewives”
Whoever imagined that plumbers could be this hot? But tune into desperate housewives and meet your heart's desire fixing pipes and leaks with his deft hands, or is there something more he is doing? James Denton plays the mysterious Mike Delfino, and love interest of Teri Hatcher. Denton had also starred in several popular TV series including, “The Pretender”, “Philly” and “Threat Matrix” and in films like “Face Off”, “Primary Colours” and “That Old Feeling”

With the advent of NVIDIA's SLI technology in 2004, gaming performance on the desktop was dramatically increased. Unfortunately for mobile users, the notebook platform was left behind with no immediate solution made available beyond a single flagship GPU. Fast forward two years and we find ourselves looking at a brand new mobile platform that features NVIDIA's proven nForce4 SLI chipset as well as two discrete graphics cards.

Armed with a glossy 17" UWUXGA LCD with a native resolution of 1920x1200, the Aurora m9700 is able to fully take advantage of the ability to run higher resolutions in today's latest games. Although still managing to weigh less than 10lbs in the most the Aurora m9700 is the first and only 17” dual-graphics card system, giving you up to a 100% increase in graphics performance over single graphics card systems. Want even more? How does 1GB of graphics memory sound? That's enough power to pump out games at the highest resolutions without butchering your frame rate, and mobile enough to pick up and move closer to your next victim. Even if it's just to watch him squirm.

Having only one fighting style breeds weakness, diversity is the key. The m9700 gives you two hard drives, allowing you to choose blazing loading speeds and double the space to record up to 200 hours of television programming.

Need proof you played a LAN match next to a guy in homemade full-plate armor? Frame the perfect shot and share the live feed with your friends with the built-in 1.3 megapixel tilting video camera.

It's also gamers delight with the ability to plug in two external displays with the m9700's DVI-D and VGA outputs so you can pull up your favorite cheats page on one display while strafing through enemy fire on the other.

Then again, when one considers the fact that this desktop replacement houses and effectively cools two graphics cards as well as two hard drives the weight and size seem surprisingly small.

And that just about wraps up the most awesome laptop around on the market ……..for about a month or so.


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