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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 1, 2012
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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 12, 2007
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
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 11, 2007
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!
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on October 6, 2007
Rocky is by now considered a classic movie,and well it should be.if you
like underdog stories,you will love this movie.i won't go to much into
the plot,except to say this is a story of an unknown boxer who hits the
big time when he gets the chance the fight the current world
champion.Sylvester Stallone wrote the script and starred as rocky.the
underdog theme in the movie mirrors Stallone's life somewhat,as he was
down and out prior to the film.Stallone shot to stardom after
Rocky,becoming a household name.anyway,as for the movie itself,the
story is well developed and the characters are well written.the
dramatic moments are well done as are the action scenes.the movie is
very inspiring,but stops short of being maudlin.you really care about
Rocky and want him to succeed.more than a movie,Rocky has become a part
of pop culture and will likely remain so for a long time to come.a
strong 4.5/5
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XXXXX

“Would you be interested in fighting Apollo Creed for the World Heavyweight Championship?”

The above is the turning point in this tremendously uplifting sports drama film written by and starring Sylvester Stallone.

This is a rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa (Stallone), an uneducated but kind working-class Italian-American boxer working as a debt collector for a loan shark in the slums of Philadelphia.

Rocky, known as the “Italian Stallone,” starts out as a small-time club boxer and as the above question indicates, gets a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship against Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).

We also get to follow Rocky’s love relationship with the very shy Adrian (Talia Shire) who has a brother (Burt Young). As well, we get to see the relationship between Rocky and the cantankerous Mickey (Burgess Meredith) who has been in the boxing biz for a long time and eventually becomes Rocky’s manager and trainer.

Is this movie predictable? You bet it is. However, because of the strong performances by all the leads, this movie was a sleeper hit, becoming the highest grossing film in the year of its release. (In fact, it won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and made Stallone a major star.)

The theme music entitled “Gonna Fly Now” is in a word: fantastic. It contributes significantly to the uplifting spirit of this movie.

And the final match is unparalleled and…unforgettable!!

This movie is considered to be one of the greatest sports films ever made. In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

It spawned six sequels. Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), Rocky Balboa (2006), and Creed (2015).

Not surprisingly, this movie has earned to-date 11,000 percent of its shoe-string budget!!!

Finally, the DVD itself (the one released in 2001) has five extras. All of them are quite interesting.

In conclusion, this is the movie to get if you want to see a story that’s tremendously uplifting!!!!

(1976; 1 hr, 57 min excluding end credits; 24 scenes; wide screen)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX
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on September 21, 2001
Wow!!
Society encourages you to relegate this movie to mere Hollywood cliche. Yet upon every viewing it is as fresh and alive as the first: I still get the goosebumps!!
MAN, DO I GET THE GOOSEBUMPS!!
I love the audio commentary!! It is the most tight of any DVD I have seen with so many cast and crew taking part. Each jamming their own p.o.v. into the mix. It never lags for a second.
And Stallone - in only a simple face to camera video commentary - takes you thru all the twists and turns, lows and highs that made his debut forever THE DEBUT!!
I feel as if I have seen the movie all over again for the very first time - as a one man show in a mere 1/2 hour!?!
Along with Fred Astaire; Sylvestor Stallone is still my favouite actor!! I'd watch him in anything - barring 'The Specialist'.
Subsequent to this movie Sly could have been so much more; if only he had allowed himself - to once again - to become so much less.
A very talented man who puffed himself up so much he became peceived as less than he truly was.
Yet an actor - who's films in the 1980's reeked of Ameican Plastic - can still inspire and send gooey shivers down another man's spine with just the warmth of his voice, the sensitivity of his arguement and the childlike wonder in his eyes.
If actions speak louder than words then this is a very perceptive, warm, sensitive, mentally articulate human being!!
He is the only actor/person I enjoy despite the obvious false humility and controlled pretention. He is truly likeable and still overwhelmingly inspiring. A most under appreciated star, actor, writer, director, editor and all around personality!!!
America do not forget Sylvestor Stallone....
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on September 21, 2001
Wow!!!
Society encourages you to relegate this movie to mere Hollywood cliche. Yet upon every viewing it is as fresh and alive as the first: I still get the goosebumps!!!
MAN, DO I GET THE GOOSEBUMPS!!!
I love the audio commentary!!! It is the most tight of any DVD I have seen with so many cast and crew taking part. Each jamming their own p.o.v. into the mix. It never lags for a second.
And Stallone - in only a simple face to camera video commentary - takes you thru all the twists and turns, lows and highs that made his debut forever THE DEBUT!!!
I feel as if I have seen the movie all over again for the very first time - as a one man show in a mere 1/2 hour!?!
Along with Fred Astaire; Sylvestor Stallone is still my favouite actor!!! I'd watch him in anything - barring 'The Specialist'.
Subsequent to this movie Sly could have been so much more; if only he had allowed himself - to once again - to become so much less.
A very talented man who puffed himself up so much he became peceived as less than he truly was.
Yet an actor - who's films in the 1980's reeked of Ameican Plastic - can still inspire and send gooey shivers down another man's spine with just the warmth of his voice, the sensitivity of his arguement and the childlike wonder in his eyes.
If actions speak louder than words then this is a very perceptive, warm, sensitive, mentally articulate human being!!!
He is the only actor/person I enjoy despite the obvious false humility and controlled pretention. He is truly likeable and still overwhelmingly inspiring. A most under appreciated star, actor, writer, director, editor and all around personality!!!
America do not forget Sylvestor Stallone. [....]
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on June 22, 2001
"Rocky" is one of the great classic films that stands the test of time. This is an original, entertaining and captivating movie. Instead of using large, complex brushstrokes, it makes a great story out of ordinary people. Sylvester Stallone gives a great performance as Rocky, he's not some brute tough-guy, he's just a nice guy who is suddenly given a big chance at his sport. The screenplay by Stallone is an authentic and intriguing journey into the world of boxing, and the side storylines do not interrupt the film's structure but flow along with it. There is also sweet, uplifting romance with the story of Rocky and Adrian (played by Talia Shire, sister of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola). The boxing scenes are exhilarating and exciting, especially the final boxing climax at the end. Overall, "Rocky" is an inspiring movie because it gives hope that people can get a chance at big things, that we can strive for more, and if we work hard and use our minds, we can excell. "Rocky" seems simple, but has strong things to say at its core. It is one of the great sports films, but also a great drama and romance. It is classic filmmaking done with style, focus and energy.
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on April 26, 2001
Buying DVD's, when you already own the VHS version, can sometimes feel like a waste of money. However, added footage can always be the selling point. That's exactly the case with Rocky. When you have seen this movie as often as I have - it's gotta be in the hundreds - it's refreshing to finally get some insight into the making of this classic. The commentary by Stallone is very funny and gives you a fresh look at how this film came to light. Sadly, Stallone has never kept his edge -or eye of the tiger- with many of his later films.
My favorite feature of this DVD is the commentary track that goes of the entire film! Comments from the directors, producers, and actors (Shire, Young, and Weathers - but no Stallone!) are continuous as you watch the film. That is perfect for the big fan who has seen the movie many times but wants to know more about the fight sequence, for example.
Special features sell DVD's. Stallone figured this out and released Rocky again. Sadly, I don't think 2 -5 have special features. Otherwise, I would already own the boxed set.
Rocky, by itself, is a must-own DVD.
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on April 25, 2001
Seeing the movie again on this new "SPECIAL EDITION "DVD brought back some fond memories for me. I can still remember my folks taking my brothers and sisters and me to see ROCKY at the the old WOOD theater back in '76. I can still hear the thunderous cheers from the crowd during the climactic fight scene. It holds up very well and I do think that this is Sly's best film. I think that as is the case with many of his films, all of his characters just seem like cardboard cut-outs of Rocky Balboa. Of course as a young boy back then all I wanted to see was more fight sequences, now, 25 years and one film degree later, I have leaned to love the movie for more than its boxing footage. The fact that I live just outside of Philadelphia, where the movie was shot, only enhances my appreciation of the film. The on-screen chemistry between Stallone and Talia Shire is so much more "real" than most relationships seen at the movies today. As for the bonus material featured on the disc, the standout commentary by the director, John G. Avildsen, and others is well done The 8 minute tribute to actor Burgess Meredith and the 3 minute tribute to Cinematographer James Crabe are both needed and welcome. Lastly, hearing the finale in DOLBY DIGITAL is awesome! WOW!
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