|Rocky Balboa (Blu-ray Disc, 2007, Canadian; French)|
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"Rocky Balboa" is not only the best sequel since "Terminator 2" and the best movie of Writer-Director-Star Sylvester Stallone's career., it's one of the best American Films of It's Kind.
Massively entertaining and deeply heartfelt, it's a formula movie that rarely feels clichéd., thanks to Stallone's genuine love for his characters and his determination to end the series on a high note. After a decade Stallone uses "Rocky Balboa" to wipe clean the sour slate of artistic failure in the poor diminished decision called "Rocky V". (Winch As You Say It).
As "Rocky Balboa" begins, Rocky is living a comfortable dull life as a restauranteur., mourning the death of his beloved wife, Adrian. Desperate to prove "to himself" that he is still "a somebody", Rocky applies for a new boxing license and eventually ends up in the ring with the Current Heavyweight Champion of the World., as the result of a computer-simulation game that touts "Balboa In-His-Prime would beat the Current Heavyweight Champion".
The boxing story is fun, and Director/Star Stallone stages the final match with energy and style., but the movie's real heart is in the scenes leading up to the fight. After the nightmarish sequel "Rocky V", the Rocky franchise returns to its origins as a series that's more about behavior than action, and the scenes in which Balboa visits Adrain's grave is very moving.
Flashbacks and references to events from the earlier films mean a lot to fans of the series, as Stallone uses a kind of cinematic shorthand to quickly get to the heart of any given scene. He packs a surprising number of subplots and emotional high points into the film., and he's able to do this by building on what has happened in the previous films. He doesn't need to waste a lot of time on what Rocky has lost or where he has come from, because those of us who have seen the other movies can fill in the blanks.
Stallone and composer Bill Conti also skillfully appropriate musical themes from the original film to trigger an almost Pavlovian response in the viewer. (I defy any filmgoer over the age of 25 not to erupt into spontaneous applause when Conti's main theme leads into the inevitable training montage.)
Stallone explores all the things that matter to him as an aging legend: missed opportunities, lost and found loves, and the desire to give what he was born to do "One Last Big Shot"., Not for the Title., but for "Himself".
The film contains several significant relationships, from the expected sparring with brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young), to a new romance and a sweet Father-Son connection, and in each of these storylines the dialogue is perfect and drives home hard.
Stallone's own strengths as an actor plays flawlessly — but perhaps the biggest shock of "Rocky Balboa" is the rich lead performance. Stallone is an exceptionally generous actor, allowing his superb supporting cast to shine along with him in dozens of truthful moments that are right up there with the best scenes in the original Oscar-Winning film that kicked off the series.
Reminiscent of another Actor-Turned-Director's Masterpiece, "Unforgiven"., "Rocky Balboa" is its author's meditation on getting older.
Paying homage to "The Underdog" - "Rocky Balboa" is "ALL-HEART"., a "Love-Letter" to us ALL, from Stallone/Rocky.
Boxing has long been a metaphor for life., "Life Hits Harder Than Anyman"., "NEVER STOP FIGHTING BACK" !! -- and Stallone pays Homage to us ALL.
Thank You Sly !! Thanks Rocky !!
I knew there was something that was to be different about this movie, and Mr.Stallone, separated from his movie -wife Adrienne played in the movie as a ghost that would not leave Rocky's soul to rest.
Rocky had his needs, and he was NOT one to standby and watch his family and friends die and watch new ones breaking his heart by seeming to die prior to their time.
Yes, Talia Shire talked with Stallone before this movie and the cast met for putting this series to bed peacefully, she desired the movie to only reflect on the times they had together, when we first met her in 1975 as Adrienne, the Pet Shoppe keeper that had Rocky in her grasp, not meaning to entrap him or seek him out. No! She was a very covservative lady from this Italian "Schoettle" in "Phillie"...the results were the following: she said it would be te very best for the movie if she was "written out o it 99.9%...it would be altering the deepness of Sly Stallone's idea that he as well as many of us were treated to in the 1970-s and 1980's when Muhammad Ali (AKA: Cassius Clay" needing cash as he was forbidden by our nation's high court to make his living as he was trained..as a Boxer, thus we lost the three best years of a fantastic oxing career, "by decree!"
Muhammad was set up in a special contract with a well known spaghetti company to hav a computer fight against the hard hitting skills of an ex-champion of the 1950's: Rocky Marciano, who was retired for years.
Theoutcome was neither here nor there, and I always said:"You cannot knock out a person that you cannot even hit".. That was my personal opinion of that "Computer Fight" of the century, and it fostered the ploy for Sly Stallone to put his final touches and expose Rocky Balboa as he was for us since 1975, when he was talked into an exhibition against Apollo Creed, the then reining champion of the world.
So throughout the years Sylvester Stallone provided for us superior entertainment in a movie on a "kind-hearted-Thug" who collected lost monies from addicted sports betters nd he would show his heart by letting them go, but not for free, he gave them a warning, and went his way, putting small cash into his pockets.
He was fairly well known as a hard hitting boxer who fought in local clubs to entertain the locals, and it was there in a fight with a spanish man named "Spider" Rico, who he brought into this last movie to be what Rocky always needed: A spiritual advisor, even though this "Christian" quoted a Jewish Prophecy, and added:"In the name of Our Lord:Jesus Christ".
The Scripture came from theJewish Bible but because The Rock had his friend of the ags "Father...so-and -so" always give him a "blessing" before each fight, but Father so-and -so, was long dead after the years had claimed him.
What to do? Rocky brought "Spider Rico" who in the original Rocky" gave "the Rock" an illegal Head butt that got he champ a bit angry and he put "Spider Rico" down s Rocky won, but now the spot was opened for a "Spiritual learned " to help Rocky through this final foray.
This movie has many uch surprises hidden in it, such as Rocky was really defeated by the Cancerous horrid death written in to write out Tahlia Shire, and bring in little Maris" who was amazingly alike the "Little Maria" who flipped Rocky off in Number One!
Well again we have Rocky meeting the unappreciated champ in a Virtual fight, and winning.
Rocky gets, he must do what he does best. They meet in Las Vegas,
where Rock ties it up!
There have been very few movie trailers that sparked a "I gotta see that film" feeling in me. I know that when I saw the trailer for "The Incredibles", there was no question: I was going to see that film. Same with "Spider-man". I am also pleased to say that "Rocky Balboa" can also be placed into that category.
First off, I am a fan of the Rocky films and enjoy all of them to some degree or another. I am also a fan of Sly Stallone's work as well as his repore with his fans. Still, I went into seeing "Rocky Balboa" no great expectations. I wasn't looking for Oscar performances. I wasn't look for breath taking direction. I wasn't looking for incredible sound. All I wanted was one simple thing: entertain me.
And was I entertained!
The plot is simple. Rocky is now 50 and he now owns a restraunt called "Adrian's", named in memory of his late wife. He spends his nights telling patrons stories of his boxing past or posing for pictures. While he may seem to be happy, you quickly begin to understand he is still feeling a lot of pain and loss over his wife's death. Adding to this is a strained relationship with his son, who hates living in his father's shadow. One night, a sports network televises a computerized fight between Rocky in his prime and the current champ (who is protrayed as a champion who has no competition and knows he needs to prove to the world he is legitimate). The computer predicts that Rocky would win by knockout and it gets a lot of people thinking. So, Rocky is offered an exhibition match with the young champ and... you'll have to go see the film to see how it all ends.
Sly slips back into the roll of Rocky Balboa without missing a heartbeat. After his first few scenes, you are ready to believe that Sly is the 50+ year old Balboa, who is trying to hang onto his past while struggling to survive in the modern age. You can feel the pain that Rocky feels as well as his triumphs. I also have to give a big tip of the hat to Burt Young. His portrayl of Paulie is great and his characters bitterness has only grown over the years.
The story can be a bit slow at time and the scenes with Rocky and his son seem a little out of place. Still, these are relatively minor flaws and the film as a whole really shows that Stallone has put ten years of his blood and sweat into it.
On the whole, I'd recommend this film to anyone who is looking for a good character drama. It is not a fast moving film, but to those who are patient, you will be rewarded with some great emotionally driven scenes.
This was a great final chapter to end the Rocky franchise. After Rocky 5 I think everyone including myself was not looking forward to anything with Rocky in the title. So when I heard that Rocky Balboa was green lit I thought here comes the train wreck of Sylvester Stallone's career that would put him on the sideline with Steven Seagal, Wesley Snipes, and Jean Claude on the straight to DVD shelf's at the local video store. But overall he proved even his harshest critics wrong, this movie was fantastic and not too far from the classic that the original Rocky was but pretty damn close to what everyone wanted with the last movie of the franchise. The production values, acting, directing, and cinematography are above and beyond anything that Stallone has done previously. Where other sports movies try to ohhh and ahhh audiences with bone crunching hits showering it in loud music, visually stunning editing, and over the top action, this movie focuses more on the story of where Rocky has been since we last saw him and why he wants to fight this last fight. We all know that in the end there will be a battle between Rocky and his nemesis but the way that Stallone got to that point was refreshing and unique. Using past characters in the Rocky universe, most of them are of coarse older but not wiser. Rocky interacts and makes these people part of the story that we are watching on screen. We feel for these characters and he makes this easy for the audience to do. I honestly think that women will love this movie, it might be a man's movie on paper but I honestly think it caters to the female audience as well. It's very touching and inspiring and the elements in this movie will have men and women cheering at the end. We get to see Rocky in all his glory, even the training montages of both fighters and in the end we get a Pay Per View type of directorial style as you would watch on TV of the final fight. Some people didn't like this particular style of directing but I think it worked well for the movie and it brought it up to speed of what boxing has turned into. It's not just boxing anymore it pure unadulterated entertainment and Stallone shows this in the final fight with this type of directing style. I loved this movie and would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Rocky, inspirational movies, or great storytelling. By the way it's rated PG and even the youngest of children can watch it without having to worry about foul language, gratuitous violence, nudity, or adult situations. Highly recommended!
Rocky Balboa (2006) has been heralded by a number of film critiques as “the best (Rocky) since the original.” It is certainly high praise as its predecessor (Rocky (1976)) is now enshrined in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress “as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Rocky (1976) also garnered three Oscars including Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Director.
As for Rocky Balboa (2006), it gave the viewing public one last chance to say goodbye to an icon as the film devotes a considerable amount of time to several of the franchises characters and landmarks as “Rocko” revisits a few sentimental sites (e.g., the old Balboa apartment, Adrian’s pet store, ice skating ring, etc.) as well as catches up with past characters (who have reprise their roles) such as his brother-in-law Paulie Pennino (Burt Young), ex-boxer Spider Rico (Pedro Lovell), Duke the trainer (Tony Burton), and “little Marie” (Geraldine Hughes).
In many respects, Rocky Balboa can be likened to an aging Michael Jordan who came out of his second retirement to play for the Washington Wizards in 2001. Both men’s legacies—regardless of the outcome—were still apparent and secure. The crowd adored them—and like Jordan (who said upon his return to the game of basketball, “…what I’m trying to do is get that last scratch in,) Balboa had his own quotable quote when he said, “there is some still stuff in the basement…right here (pointing to his gut).”
Thirty years since his first fight against Apollo Creed and twenty years since he turned back the might of Russian’s Ivan Drago—the 60 year old Robert “Rocky” Balboa, Sr. (57 wins, 23 losses, 1 draw, 54 by way of knockout) still needed to prove something to himself by getting the tar kicked out of him.
Needless to say, the unlikely endeavor exorcise the beasts from within and helped "Rocko" find what he was looking for…