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(Warning: This episode contains a lot of spoilers including the films ending. Proceed with caution)   Happy Holidays, Mandaters. I hope your Halloween was awesome and that you’ve seen a few cool films since the last time we met. With spooky season behind us, we’ve fully entered the season in which we hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” 600 million times. Thankfully, The Mandate’s return is not a Christmas movie, but rather the latest installment in the Philadelphia love story that is the Rocky Balboa series: CREED II. Fittingly, for this episode my returning guest is Mr. Philadelphia himself, Joe Benzon. When I realized there was going to be a Creed II episode, I felt like Joe had to be the one to be on the podcast for it. Luckily for me, the stars aligned not only in being able to snag him for the show but also because he continues to be all Philadelphia all the time, and the Rocky series is his favorite movie series. Before the screening, Joe explains why he loves the Rocky story as it is the embodiment of Philadelphia sports and the underdog. We dive into what we loved about the first CREED film and why we thought it was a perfect reboot or continuation of the foundation that series created when Rocky was the focal character. We discussed our expectations and I made the bold prediction that this would be the last film of the entire series, especially since they were revisiting the Drago storyline. Joe didn’t agree but let it be known that, while his expectations were high, he had some reservations and didn’t think the first film was going to be topped. During the our post-screening conversation, we get right to it and Joe offers a surprising reaction and all but states that he hated the film and proceeds to explain why and where he felt the movie missed its mark. Joe and I spend the better part of 20 minutes discussing why we felt the film missed its mark and what it could have done differently to be better. We discuss whether or not this is a TKO to the series and should the series see the next round, where could they possibly go that would make some sense. All was not lost; we did cover the few things that allowed this film to be entertaining enough to hold our attentions for the 2 hour and 15 minute run time, but concluded that it was ultimately just not good. You know the rules. Press play and find out why CREED II failed to defend the title of its predecessor. Thank you for listening to another episode of The Mandate and continuing to support not only my podcast, but the entire Cinepunx collective. Without you guys, we’re just talking to ourselves. As always, please like, comment, and share with your friends and I’ll see you when I see you.

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