'Grudge Match': A Running Diary

“Grudge Match” stars 70-year-old Robert De Niro and 67-year-old Sylvester Stallone as two former boxing rivals who eventually fight against each other one last time. OK, sure, why not? For my last movie of 2013, I decided to keep a running diary to memorialize forever the experience of watching “Grudge Match." Here is what happened.

7:00 p.m. “Grudge Match” begins with old footage of Stallone and De Niro boxing that appears to be a mix of “Rocky”/”Raging Bull” era video and CGI. Either way, it’s a bit unsettling for a number of reasons.

7:02 p.m. Stallone plays a man named Razor. He works at a Pittsburgh factory of some sort.

7:03 p.m. See, this totally isn’t "Rocky VII" -– Rocky was from Philadelphia and Razor is from Pittsburgh.

7:06 p.m. Robert De Niro plays a man named Kid who is doing some sort of terrible standup act, which is probably a reference to “Raging Bull” and this whole thing is making me sad.

7:06 p.m. While watching “Meet the Parents,” I wonder if anyone thought, 13 years from now Robert De Niro really should do another boxing movie.

7:07p.m. Alan Arkin is playing against type as a crank.

7:08 p.m. Alan Arkin is playing a man named Lightning, who used to be Razor’s trainer. Lightning made a reference to hookers, Razor laughs knowingly.

7:10 p.m. Apparently Razor and Kid have not been in the same room in 30 years, but they’ve been brought back together to provide performance capture work for a new boxing video game.

7:14 p.m. Kid just hit Razor over the head with a large piece of electronic equipment. Sigh.

7:16 p.m. What is this movie?

7:20 p.m. There are a lot of jokes about being old in this movie.

7:04 p.m. Razor is trying to convince Lightning to be his trainer again. I’ve seen the trailer, I know this works, just get on with the Grudge Match, already.

7:28 p.m. Robert De Niro has just won the award for “The most annoying scene Robert De Niro has ever done,” in which he repeats the same thing at least seven times. The guy next to me screamed, “Come on!”

7:32 p.m. The friction between Razor and Kid involves a woman, which is the only reason Kim Basinger is in this movie. You know, a love triangle is exactly what this movie needed.

7:34 p.m. Everyone in this movie talks on a landline phone. A caller ID joke was just made.

7:36 p.m. The woman behind me keeps kicking my seat, but I am afraid to say anything because I hate confrontation. I would never agree to a Grudge Match with anybody.

7:40 p.m. I’m convinced the final sign that a movie is bad is when John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” shows up over a training montage. I’m convinced that this is now the least expensive song for a movie production to acquire the rights for, right next to “All Star” by Smash Mouth.

7:47 p.m. It took 47 minutes for our first fart joke. I’m actually a little bit impressed.

7:48 p.m. Stallone just threw De Niro out of an airplane. I should note that “Grudge Match” is not an animated movie.

7:48 p.m. The biggest laugh from this audience just happened and it involved a Ben-Gay joke.

8:00 p.m. There are a lot of jokes about “BJs” that involve a young child. He thinks they are talking about something else and he wants one. Comedy.

8:04 p.m. Stallone is acting.

8:06 p.m. I’m fairly sure Kevin Hart thinks he’s in a different movie and that’s probably for the best.

8:10 p.m. I wish Kim Basinger would reveal to Kid and Razor that she once dated Batman.

8:15 p.m. Stallone has backed out of the Grudge Match. Honestly, that would be funny if the credits rolled right now, “The End.”

8:19 p.m. This whole movie is about a bunch of people who don’t want to do anything and have to be convinced to do something. “I don’t want to fight,” “I don’t want to train you,” “I don’t want to talk to you, you broke my heart.”

8:20 p.m. This movie should be called “Convinced: The Movie.”

8:25 p.m. I just laughed for the first time. Stallone is sitting alone in an empty bar. The neon sign next to him in the window says “Budweiser: Open,” which is facing indoors. I know this is for product placement, but no wonder that bar is empty.


8:32 p.m. In “Rocky IV,” as the fight began, Drago threatened Rocky by saying “I will break you.” In “Grudge Match,” there’s a line about not wearing a bra and a line about accidentally defecating in bed.

8:35 p.m. I’m watching a 70-year-old man box.

8:40 p.m. The woman behind me has finally stopped kicking my seat. If she can change, we all can change.

8:43 p.m. What an odd ending. All of the characters are crying while telling me it’s so sad. It’s like the movie is pleading with me, “C’mon, this is really touching. We are telling you this is touching, what is wrong with you?” It’s not touching.

8:46 p.m. After three false endings, “Grudge Match” is mercifully over.

8:47 p.m. Eh, it’s still better than “Rocky V.”

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.



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