5.0 out of 5 stars Stallone's best film, and the best in the Rocky Series, October 25, 2007
When Stallone wrote ROCKY and released the film in 1976, he could have little idea how this character would catch on with popular imagination, and effectively launching Stallone's career as a movie star.
Why ROCKY really succeeds is it takes an Everyman, the Italian Stallion Rocky Balboa, and gives him the chance of a lifetime - to fight the current heavyweight...
Published 9 months ago by Mike London
3.0 out of 5 stars 5.1 Soundtrack Disappointing
This review refers to the DVD version. Although I love Rocky and consider it one of my all tiem favorites, I was disappointed with the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. There is almost no sound in the rear channels. Now I realize Rocky is not a special effects movie, but there were times those channels should have been used such as the fight sequence. Almost the entire soundtrack...
Published on April 26 2001 by SJ Critic
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stallone's best film, and the best in the Rocky Series, October 25, 2007,
This review is from: Rocky (DVD)When Stallone wrote ROCKY and released the film in 1976, he could have little idea how this character would catch on with popular imagination, and effectively launching Stallone's career as a movie star.
Why ROCKY really succeeds is it takes an Everyman, the Italian Stallion Rocky Balboa, and gives him the chance of a lifetime - to fight the current heavyweight champion of the world Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers.
Rocky is simply a fighting nobody, living in Philadelphia, trying to scrape his way through life. He has some low level mob involvement as an enforcer, but he's not happy with this role in life and opts for mercy when dealing with the debtors his boss sends him to collect payment. He's obviously looking to get out and fights on the side, but fighting is his real passion.
Apollo Creed is looking to promote a fight, but the angle he is pursuing is he will fight an unknown, in the spirit of America as the land of opportunity. . America was celebrating its bicentennial in 1976, and this fight would be part of those bicentennial celebrations.
Ultimately Apollo's promoters come up with Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion, as much for the name as anything else. We all know what happens. Rocky trains, fights Creed, and becomes successful.
If that's all there was to ROCKY, it'd be a pretty fun film, but not really Oscar worthy. Fortunately there is much more to ROCKY than just that rather cliché sports film storyline.
What sets ROCKY apart is the great writing, acting, and production. Actually, they had to go low budge with this film, and this low budget actually paid off wonderfully. Stallone manages to capture the life of Rocky so perfectly the film serves as a vital snapshot of what real life is actually like for the vast majority of lower and middle class Americans. Rocky struggles to get by, has dreams but these are frustrated by his economic situation. He's looking for the big fighting break. Unfortunately for a lot of us that big break never comes.
While the film is certainly focused on boxing, the actual fight with Apollo is only a small portion of the movie experience. We follow Rocky on the streets, we get an idea of his everyday life, his trying to romance Adrian (Talia Shire, Francis Ford Coppola's sister and Nicholas Cage's aunt), his oft trying relationship with his future brother-in-law Paulie. Of course, the movie delves into the relationship between Rocky and his personal trainer, Mickey (played by Burgess Meredith). Mickey even calls him out, saying he has the potential to be a great fighter but he's not living up to that potential. It is these subplots that really make ROCKY the rich film that is really is.
Another major proponent of ROCKY is how inextricably linked it has become to the city of Philadelphia. The entire film was shot in Philly, and there are so many different locations and areas that you can't help but smile when watching the movie if you know Philly. The art museum especially has become very famous for its association with ROCKY, as Rocky runs up and down the steps in training, and when he gets to the top he throws his hands up in the air, with that look of victory in his face. And who can forget him training in the meat lockers, punching those big hunks of meat? Unconventional training, but it works. Great stuff.
Then, of course, we have the famous ROCKY theme, that's been used in all the films and is one of the most famous fanfares in movie history. Whenever I hear that theme I always think of the art museum training sequence.
What really makes ROCKY click is you totally identify with Rocky. He has dreams and aspirations. He wants to escape his circumstances. He wants to win the girl and ride off into the sunset, victorious. Rocky is the perfect embodiment of that great myth called the American Dream. He starts out as a nobody, works hard with what he has been given, and makes a success out of himself.
And Rocky ultimately gets to live that dream. He makes his life a success, he falls in love with Adrian and eventually marry. Rocky manages to escape that fate of being "just another bum in the neighborhood", and becomes a major icon in film history. He would go on to star in five sequels to this film, each with varying degrees of success, but none of them quite matched the lightening bolt success of the original.
While ROCKY is an Oscar-winning film, Stallone would never again regain the critical acclaim he had with this movie. His career, while far from being unsuccessful, has never matched the success he had with this movie. People compared him with Marlon Brando because of this movie. While he has seen been involved in mostly dull action flicks and critically ridiculed projects, he will always have ROCKY.
And I don't care who you are. ROCKY is a tremendous legacy to leave behind.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Time has changed it (or me),
This review is from: Rocky (DVD)Seeing this again for the first time since it was in theaters 35 years ago, I realized this is a very odd film. A strange blend of low budget 1970s street grittiness and realism, and low-brow Hollywood fantasy and cliché.
I appreciate the bittersweet ending, much of the writing, and some of the acting (Burgess Meredith), as well as the very well done fight choreography.
But other moments come off as amateurish improvisation, over the top performances, and old-fashioned hokum (e.g. Talia Shire's absurd physical transformation from over-the-top uber-nerdette, to sexy young love interest).
Still, enjoyable and fun, if not quite the great film I remember it as.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Its all about pride,reputation,and not being another bum in the neighborhood",
This review is from: Rocky [Import] (DVD)INTRO:A Struggling boxer from Philadelphia who doesn`t seem to be going anywhere,Rocky Balboa gets a once in a lifetime shot at the World Heavyweight Championship,when champ Apollo Creed offer him a shot a the title.For Rocky its a chance for a nobody to become someone and he`s going to make the most out of his chance."Rocky" was nominated for ten awards and won the Best Movie Oscar in 1976,its easy to see why,the first Rocky is a true dedicated underdog story.
At the time an unknown actor Sylvester Stallone wrote "Rocky" and wanted to play the lead role at all costs.With "Rocky" in 1976,as the main character of the movie Stallone was catapulted trought succes and nearly everything he did afterwards reached certain succes.It was his "Make-It or Break-It" movie.
STORYLINE:After Rocky gets offered a chance at Appolo Creed`s title he realizes he has to make the most of it as he never did anything in his carreer and his is his big shot at it.and trains real hard with a retired boxer and trainer Mickey that he will meet along the way.Other additions includes Adrian for whom Rocky has feelings and a strong relationship willl grow out of these two and her brother Paulie.Rocky will need all the support and help he can have against Creed in this charming underdog story.
Yet Rocky is not just "some boxing movie" its more than that,its really a story with romance,love and feelings and passion,that after all those years is still enjoyable and great to watch.There aren`t much movies out there who could be compared to this,and those who make movies could take a lesson from "Rocky".
What`s so great about the Rocky series is Rocky`s character.He`s just this classy,old-school guy who does his things and makes a few jokes and knows everybody,really a lovable character who really has a heart and a soul,not like some of those uninspired actors in movies and on television.He`s just a good guy trying to make a living.
CONCLUSION:"Rocky" is a classic,after more than 30 years it still is remembered by many and 5 sequels came after this one but none of them could truly have the sincerity of the original or be as good.Highly recommended to anyone!
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocky Collectors Edition,
This review is from: Rocky (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [Import] (DVD)Even if you own the original this new one just for the extras alone is worth having. Mine did not come with a 24 page collectors book which was odd even though it was stated on the item description when you purchase it. Still a great buy!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Before Sly was stupid,
The story alone is incredibly gripping, but so is the acting. Stallone is in top form as The Italian Stallion. Immensely likable, melancholy, and incredibly human, the Rocky of this movie sadly disappears as the sequels go on. Burt Young also does a great job as disgruntled butcher Paulie, who is jealous of Rocky's offer at redemption. And who can forget the training montage? No one. "Gonna Fly Now" is a classic, through and through.
Overall, owe it to yourself to at least RENT "Rocky". If you haven't seen any of them, start with this one, because its sequels cannot hold a candle to it. It's a gritty, rousing, realistic, touching collage of romance, comedy, drama, allegory, action, and sports. Watch it ASAP.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Cut me, Mick. . .",
This review is from: Rocky 25th (VHS Tape)All of us love to pull for the underdog, especially if the dog's odds are seemingly insurmountable. Of all the thrilling, inspiring, "feel good" underdog movies out there, ROCKY rates as one of the best. The movie that put Sylvester Stallone on the celebrity map (unfortunately), ROCKY still entertains some three decades after its initial, Academy Award-winning run.
We all know the story: Rocky Balboa, an undisciplined club brawler and strong-arm collection man from the slums of Philadelphia, gets a once-in-a-lifetime shot at boxing's heavyweight title. Yet the upcoming fight is merely the trimming surrounding the story; ROCKY is about a humble man with a heart of gold--a man who confronts his shortcomings and insecurities to evolve into a remarkable human being. To assist him on his journey, Rocky develops a timid relationship with an equally insecure girl, a pet shop worker named Adrian (played wonderfully by Talia Shire). To see the two of them together on their first date is one of the film's most entertaining, bittersweet moments; Rocky's small talk is hilarious yet mundane--Adrian looks terrified, yet finally begins to relax, to come out of her shell. Once two lost souls, Rocky and Adrian become indispensable to one another; their growing love transcends the pending fight--the exciting showdown.
The fight itself is cinematic brilliance: a thrilling, totally believable match that will have the viewer cheering from his chair. Carl Weathers looks, moves, talks, and fights like an egotistical heavyweight champ, while Burgess Meredith captures one of film's most memorable roles as Mickey, Rocky's gnarled, battle-tested trainer. Few movies universally touch a collective nerve that has the viewer spontaneously smiling while wiping a tear from the eye. ROCKY is one of them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring,
Rocky is a film about overcoming what seems to be impossible odds with sheer character; a simple mind does not equal a simple soul, and as Rocky Balboa clearly demonstrates - when you get the shot you've always dreamed of, make it worth every second. Sylvester Stallone did just that - he wrote a novel about getting that one big shot, and it became his one big shot. The actor, director, and producer takes a lot of ridicule from the artsy-fartsy crowd but most of that is just plain jealousy; a forceps delivery left Stallone with a speech impediment, but his brain is just fine.
As another reviewer stated recently, if by some chance a person has not seen this film, they need to - it is in a class by itself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY,
5.0 out of 5 stars All Time Classic!,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Southern perspective , on a south paw, named Balboa,
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Rocky [Blu-ray] by John G. Avildsen (Blu-ray - 2006)
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