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5.0 out of 5 stars Before Sly was stupid
They just don't make 'em like they used to. Sylvester Stallone had to learn that the hard way, after making countless, subpar action movies for twenty years. He went down a spiriling escalator to become a watered-down, Hollywood celebrity. However, that's not what people were saying back in 1976, and rightfully so. "Rocky" is Sly's crowning achievement, and...
Published on July 18 2004 by fastbr3ak_088

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5.1 Soundtrack Disappointing, April 26 2001
By 
SJ Critic (Deptford, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
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 is through the center channel. To be honest I don't now how they get away with calling it Dolby 5.1. In terms of picture quality there are several glitches throughout the movie, but it is ok for the most part.
Also not all of the movies in the DVD 5 pack are Widescreen anamorphic. It is nice to have Rocky in widescreen DVD, but don't expect the same overall quality as other DVDs. Maybe that's why this DVD is cheaper than most good DVDs.
Movie Rating: 4.5 DVD Rating: 2.0 Overall Rating: 3.0
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5.0 out of 5 stars Before Sly was stupid, July 18 2004
By 
"fastbr3ak_088" (Houston, TX, USA) - See all my reviews
They just don't make 'em like they used to. Sylvester Stallone had to learn that the hard way, after making countless, subpar action movies for twenty years. He went down a spiriling escalator to become a watered-down, Hollywood celebrity. However, that's not what people were saying back in 1976, and rightfully so. "Rocky" is Sly's crowning achievement, and ranks as one of, if not the best, sports movie ever made, and one of the greatest motion pictures of the last three decades. The story is nothing short of compelling. Based loosely on the fifteen-round fight between Chuck Wepner and Muhammad Ali (as the DVD will tell you if you don't know), "Rocky" weaves a perfect storyweb centering around the title character Rocky Balboa (Stallone). One of the most beloved characters in movie history, Rocky is a tough but good-natured man from the mean streets of Philadelphia; a loan shark goon by day, and boxer by night, under the moniker of The Italian Stallion. Despite working two jobs, he's on the brink of bumhood, and has no luck impressing his belligerent boxing trainer Mickey (played magnificently by Burgess Meredith) nor impressing the local pet shop girl Adrian (Talia Shire). However, when World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) gives him a shot at the title for the Bicentennial Match to be held in Philadelphia, it gives Rocky a glimmer of hope, to rise above the odds and go the distance.
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.
MOVIE-10/10
DVD EXTRAS-5/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Cut me, Mick. . .", July 13 2004
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.
--D. Mikels
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, July 12 2004
I sometimes wonder how many people under the age of twenty-five have never taken the time to view this film. I would hope the number is low. This is a movie that can inspire anyone, not just boxers or athletes. This movie is about taking that "one" shot, many of us sometimes get, and doing something with it - really using that chance.
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.
See ya next review
[...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Southern perspective , on a south paw, named Balboa, June 4 2004
By 
todd rich "scoop 69" (makin it happen , nc United States) - See all my reviews
I'm not going to bore you with the storyline details , because honestly....there's noone who hasn't seen a Rocky film. However , if for some unknown ,and unforgivable reason , you haven't seen the first installment, of the Rocky series , then I highly recommend that you see this one. Whether you're into great acting , interesting characters , love stories , or just a plain old a.. whupp'in film , this is your class A ticket to ride. People have said that Rocky's sequels don't measure up to the first one , and I think it depends on your prospective. I will say, that the first one ( Rocky ), wasn't written for a sequel. Sylvester Stallone , got inspired to write a story and he took his time , writing it. Therefore , the story line and charater building was one of the script's, most important aspects and it created a buildup to the eventual fight , that's unforgettable and you'll find yourself holding onto the edge of your seat and swinging your fists in the air. This particuliar dvd version is extra special because it takes you through , scene by scene , with commentary from the original cast. Even old sly did a special , opening presentation. This is not only one of the best boxing films of all time , it's one of the best films of all time. If you liked any of the Rocky films , you'll love this one. Great acting , great script , great direction , great cinematography , great action choreography , great editing , and an unforgetable musical score will make you believe that this underdog and south paw , can really "do it" !!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the Rocky films - by far, May 16 2004
Watching this DVD with my family last night I was reminded how heartfelt and even tender this movie is compared to the other Rocky movies. It seems like each one becomes a paler imitation of the first. This movie spends a great deal of time setting up the relationship between Rocky and Adrian. They learn to help each other learn to believe in themselves.
Unlike the other Rocky movies, which are all inferior to the original, the fight sequences are only at the beginning and end of the movie. Most of the movie is spent establishing Rocky's character and developing his attachment to Adrian and their joint relationship with Adrian's brother, Paulie. I still love the names for Rocky's two turtles, Cuff & Link.
The acting in the movie is actually quite tender. For example, when Paulie, Adrian, and Rocky are watching the press conference with Apollo Creed announcing the fight, the promoters treat Rocky as more of a joke than a contender. Paulie points this out to Rocky, and Rocky says that "it don't bother me none". Rocky wants to focus on his saying hi to Adrian on the TV. However, as Rocky is leaving he and Adrian briefly discuss how she felt about hearing her name on TV. He then asks her if she remembers him saying that what the promoters said didn't bother him. She says she does. He looks down the street and while barely moving his mouth says, "It did" and walks away.
Not Shakespeare, but quite human.
And the movie is filled with great lines from Burgess Meredith's creation of Mickey while he his training Rocky for this impossible fight in five weeks. Mickey is another loser looking for his break - his one shot. Everyone remembers Mickey from this movie.
This movie also launched Carl Weathers who does a fine job as Apollo Creed.
That it won the Oscar for best picture is a testament to the mood of the times, but even after all these years, it is a movie with impact. It hardly meets our current expectations for an action flick, but I think that is a good thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An enduring classic, Feb. 11 2004
"Rocky" was the first film I ever remember seeing, and the one movie I saw over and over again as I grew up during the early 80's "Rocky"-craze. No other film has been able to match its dialogue and wit. I'm as old as this film and I've loved it unceasingly, unwaveringly since I was three-years-old. It's fascinating to take in the stereotypical, yet unique characters Sly Stallone managed to create as the film's screenwriter. They are all truly unforgettable as are their truly human qualities. This movie forces you to ask yourself the question, "would I have the courage to take a shot at my dream, if I got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?" Rocky shows you that he faced his fears, went the distance, and how that paid off in the end, not with a championship title, but with the satisfaction of not settling for less and intending to make something of himself and his life. It's only fitting that there be a sequel, yet it's not nearly as magical as the original film. The choreographed fight scene at the end is pure artistry. All other subsequent fight-films have had to keep up with the standard set by "Rocky." Own it to laugh, cry, and be inspired to be a better you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ROCKY: Time Enhances its Virtues, Aug. 11 2003
By 
Martin Asiner (jersey city, nj United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
One of the problems in judging the first in a series of movies is the tendency to rate the original against its sequels. This problem becomes more acute with ROCKY since each of the sequels becomes progressively derivative and thus less appealing. The result is that the audience tends to let Rocky's post Apollo Creed bouts impact negatively on the first. If one can let his reactions become focused only on what a previous generation experienced in 1976, then what becomes apparent is the superb telling of the archetypal tale of the triumph of the underdog.
Sylvester Stallone wrote the original script of a down and out club fighter who has the once in a life opportunity to fight for the heavyweight title. You would think that a nobody like Stallone would have jumped at the chance for Hollywood to even read his script, let alone decide to film it. But he insisted that he play the lead, and to nobody's surprise but his, the Powers That Be caved in. It is this real-life triumph over the entrenched screen hierarchy that permeates his film and forms a subtext that allows both Sylvester Stallone and Rocky Balboa to triumph on both levels.
The plot is uncomplicated: a Philadelphia nobody gets a chance to fight champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), a Cassius Clay clone. Stallone as Balboa trains hard, undergoes personal crises, and battles Creed in a thrilling but losing effort. For a movie about boxing, there is surprisingly little of that in it. The bout with Creed that concludes the film lasts only for five minutes. The remainder covers growing emotions and expanding expectations, and it is this fascination with the evolution of a clueless and undirected pug to a reasonably polished fighter and human being that has resonated viscerally for two generations of film goers.
Balboa is a mid-thirties club fighter from Philadelphia who fights only because his father told him that his lack of brains forced him to rely on his body to make a buck. Rocky knows how to swat; unfortunately he does not know how to avoid getting swatted. Still, he is proud of never getting his nose broken. His won-lost record tilts slightly toward the positive side. He meets shy Adrian (Talia Shire), who is the sister of his close, if erratic friend Paulie (Burt Young). Paulie's relation with his sister is totally dysfunctional. He bullies her, literally throwing her out of their house so she could date Rocky. Rocky sees all this and recognizes she might be the one. In one galling Thanksgiving dinner scene, Paulie humiliates Adrian into leaving him and living with Rocky. Enter Apollo Creed, who needs a local boy to take the place of his injured opponent. Rocky agrees and trains, punishing his body to take the pounding he knows is coming. Burgess Meredith is Rocky's manager and his sole cinematic function is to be the bootstrap by which Rocky pulls himself up to be a successful fighter and human being.
Much of ROCKY is devoted to a Rocky who has learned that he cannot function as an unconnected man. He needs the love of a woman to comfort his nights and the wisdom of a manager to shape his body and fight style. Further, he learns that even a crud of a brother like Paulie can have a soft spot if only one has the patience to slog through a lifetime of Paulie's jealousies and insecurities. When Rocky gets his head screwed on right, then his manager can focus on the physical aspect of training. The various scenes of training have since been copied almost to the point of self-caricature in future sequels. But here, if one can forget those other scenes, then one can appreciate how grueling a regimen an inspired fighter can put his body through if only he has a reason to. It is not surprising, that we see little of Creed's training sessions since his inspiration comes straight from The Bottom Line.
The fight, of course, is the payoff. It is short, well-filmed, and clearly shows the divergent essences of Creed and Balboa. Creed is the polished pro, one who relies on his considerable skills and innate assurance. Balboa is the undisciplined club fighter, one who depends on his swatting power to win. The conclusion is really one between two polar opposites of living. Creed lives to fight. For him, the real payoff is an odd mixture of money plus the joy of flattening an opponent. Balboa fights to live. For him, boxing is only a means to ensure the continuity of his new life with Adrian.
What stamps ROCKY as unique from its descendants is its insistence that the hero must look inside himself more often then outside himself to continually punish a body to meet increasingly tough opponents. Merely to morph Creed into Mr. T or Dolph Lundren or Tommy Morrison is not enough to connect an audience to a club fighter that America fell in love with in 1976.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hey, like maybe a classic... yuh know?, July 29 2003
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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In 1976, this film was selected to receive an Academy Award for best picture. (The other nominees were All the President's Men, Bound for Glory, Network, and Taxi Driver.) Then and now, I think that at least two and perhaps three of the other nominees were more deserving. In any event, as we all know, there has since been a series of regressively ineffective sequels to the original. As we await Rocky XX, we can at least appreciate the first. Directed by John Avildsen and starring Sylvester Stallone, it adds to a rather long list of "Underdog Films," a list which now includes Seabiscuit. My rating reflects an opinion of the film as entertainment. It is important to keep in mind that 27 years have passed since its initial release. How difficult it is (at least for me) to judge it on its own terms rather than consider all of the dreadful films (including several Rocky sequels) in which Stallone has since appeared; also to contrast Rocky's non-title fight with those portrayed in Raging Bull.
After almost 30 years, I still enjoy seeing Rocky but for different reasons than I once did. One is the use of humor. The first time around, I missed so many comic moments. Another is Rocky's relationship with Mickey (Burgess Meredith). The bond they eventually forge is credible, indeed poignant. And still another is Talia Shire's performance as Adrian. Only an actress of her talent could invest that role with the texture and nuances she does. (I think her talents were essentially wasted in the three Godfather films, especially in Godfather III.) The exteriors in Philadelphia are still effective as is the build-up to the fight during which Rocky and Mickey have few resources to work with except their imagination and determination. This may not be a great film but it was certainly great fun in 1976 and it still is. Yo!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stallone scores a knockout with ROCKY, June 29 2003
Rocky is one of those few inspirational dramas that actually inspires. Rocky is an american legend. Very few people have not seen it, and the few who have not, they have heard of it. It has been a classic for 25 years. It has spawned 4 sequals, but none come close to the success and greatness of the first film. Sylvester Stallone shocked the world as his playing of the underdog fighter. Stallone has never done better work.
Rocky(Stallone) is a poor bum living in a broken down apartment in the city of Philadelphia. He makes his money boxing in local clubs and working in the local boxing gym. He is unknown to everyone except the people in the city.
But when the heavyweight champion of the world Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers) learns of the backing down of his opponent for the title fight, he devises a plan to give an unknown a shot at the title to give the people a chance to see a good show. That unknown happens to be Rocky.
So now Rocky must prepare for the fight of his life. Under new management from an old retired boxer, Mickey(Burgess Meredith), he will learn how to use his heart and find the strength to fight like a champ.
The ending will leave you cheering and leave you totally inspired. You will want to watch it over and over again and it will instantly become a favorite and a must for any DVD collection. If you haven't seen ROCKY, I strongly encourage you to do so. I garuntee that you will never regret it.
"ROCKY" runs for about 2 hours. It is rated PG for violence and language.
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Rocky [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
Rocky [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) by John G. Avildsen (Blu-ray - 2006)
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