When he loses a highly publicized virtual boxing match to ex-champ Rocky Balboa, reigning heavyweight titleholder Mason Dixon retaliates by challenging the Itallian Stallion to a nationally televised, 10-round exhibition bout. To the surprise of his son and friends, Rocky agrees to come out of retirement and face an opponent who's faster, stronger and thirty years his junior.
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Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rocky Balboa:Ã¢â‚¬Â Inspirational yet Uninventive
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rocky BalboaÃ¢â‚¬Â is a crowd-pleasing and inspirational film about following your dreams, achieving your best, and not letting anybody push you around. Rocky (Sylvestor Stallone) for the last time puts on the gloves and enters the ring, proving to himself and to his brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young) that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still got something left in the 50+ year old tank. RockyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wife Adrian is dead for a few years and Rocky struggles emotionally throughout the film while coping her loss. Her memory helps drive him through the grueling bout.
Stallone wrote, directed, and stars in this film, and after seeing many of his movies, I can really tell this film was personal and is a good representation of the person that Stallone is. He is a positive and inspirational force. He warns his son that the world is cruel, and he has to stand up for himself to be somebody. He scolds the boxing commission to do the right thing by granting him a boxing license. He persuades his mentor/love interest Marie (Geraldine Hughes) to leave behind an old trashy bar and work in his restaurant. The movie is powerful in these regards. In a world of insecurity, corruption, and despair, Rocky is a shining light. He encourages everybody heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s around, he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let anybody push him around, and he proves to himself he can still fight another round.
Stallone uses a lot of handheld camera shots in the movie, and I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help but think of NBCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Office.Ã¢â‚¬Â This modernized style made the film feel a little to unsteady, and as a result did not capture the authenticity of the original. Though it was wintertime in Philadelphia, the modernized filming techniques, overplayed soundtrack, and heavy editing took away the cold crispness of the season. The original Ã¢â‚¬Å“RockyÃ¢â‚¬Â was so good because the viewer could vicariously experience the coldness of RockyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s world, and his witty commentary was refreshing. In this film, Rocky has plenty of witty lines, but they are not as effective as they are in the original because of these reasons.
Paulie is as disgruntled and mean as ever after thirty years since the original. He is still working at the meat factory, and is the main motivation for Rocky to get back into the ring. He overacted a little bit, but at the same time expressed himself as a deep and emotional character. For instance, he confessed concerning how poorly he treated his sister by telling Rocky, Ã¢â‚¬Å“you treated her good, and I treated her bad.Ã¢â‚¬Â This line says a lot about the two characters. Rocky treated her good, and is therefore rewarded with success and fame. Paulie treated her bad, and is cursed with a job as a meat packer.
Antonio Tarver plays the opposing boxer named Mason Ã¢â‚¬Å“the lineÃ¢â‚¬Â Dixon. He is portrayed as a stereotypical African American (hip hop music follows his every step), and he was relatively underdeveloped as a character. He lacks the charisma of Apollo Creed (Ã¢â‚¬Å“RockyÃ¢â‚¬Â) and the commanding presence of the Russian from the fourth film. He is seen very little in the film up until the fight, but was convincing enough when the fighting commenced.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rocky BalboaÃ¢â‚¬Â is a truly inspirational film. It lacks the freshness of the first film, but what more can be expected from a sixth installment? Stallone is as buff as ever, and the ending fight is entertaining. The story is pretty simple but the message is good: Ã¢â‚¬Å“donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let anybody stop you from attaining your dream.Ã¢â‚¬Â A rant from Stallone is always good. The audience is expecting him to stay something really stupid because he looks and sounds like a bonehead, but he says profound things. Rocky is the ultimate underdog. Even though he is a success, he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get respect. What he lacks in stature, brains, and charm, he makes up for in genuineness of heart. The Ã¢â‚¬Å“rags to richesÃ¢â‚¬Â idea is as old as story itself, but it is still very effective. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rocky BalboaÃ¢â‚¬Â is not the most well-crafted film youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see, but is definitely one of the most inspiring.
Three stars. PG for some language and boxing violence
Rocky: "Ah come on, Adrian, it's true. I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."
When it comes to Rocky movies, you won't find many bigger fans than me. My favorite Christmas gift this year was the "Rocky Collection". Unfortunately it includes "Rocky V", oh well! When I first heard that Slyvester Stallone was going to do another Rocky movie, I was skeptical to say the least. How could he try and do another Rocky movie? Even a big fan like myself, doesn't want to see another subpar Rocky film. As previews started to play on tv and I heard more about it, I started thinking "it might not be that bad!" To get myself pumped for the release, I watched the previous five all over again on OnDemand. I even dug out my Rocky soundtrack on vinyl and blasted that to get excited about seeing the new one.
Wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and sporting a black winter hat- just like "The Italian Stallion" I went to see it. Man, I really liked this movie!!! I liked it so much, I changed my 2006 best movie list to include it (sorry Marky Mark, you got bumped, only room for one movie about an underdog from Philly!). "Rocky Balboa" feels like the first two, kinda low budget and very grainy. What made Rocky such an icon is the fact that it felt so real, so relatable. That's what makes this new and last installment so good.
Rocky is back in the old neighborhood and owns a restaurant named after his recently passed wife Adrian. It was weird watching a Rocky movie without Adrian. He's retired, doesn't have a close relationship with his son and only has Paulie to keep him company. His conversation with his son about "Sunshines and Rainbows" speaks to why everyone loves Rocky. He's one of the more endearing charcters ever on screen. Of all of the Rocky movies, the boxing "villain" in this movie is the weakest. Mason "The Line" Dixon is champion and has alienated boxing fans by not beating talented boxers. I don't need to tell you what happens next.
Without saying to much about the movie, Rocky regains his pride and gets back in the ring and proves he is still a "fighter". It's really a fitting end to a great movie saga. Sly, who wrote and directed "Rocky Balboa", went back to the roots with this final Rocky movie. To bad George Lucas didn't use this formula for his "Star Wars" prequels.
If you like Rocky, you should really enjoy this one. This movie made me want to go and run up some stairs afterwards. There is nothing like that theme song. Once you hear that "Rocky Song", you know it's time for Rocky to get in shape and whoop some ass! It's just awesome to see him on the big screen again! Big up Sly for bringing back Rocky and giving him some dignity on the way out. Rocky, you're not "just another bum from the neighborhood"!
Rocky Balboa? Seriously? The world of boxing needed a warrior with great heart and determination, and this is all they could come up with? Or maybe someone in Hollywood needed a story for a film and they just couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t conjure up anything original. Either way, the Italian Stallion is back for one more round in Rocky Balboa, the sixth film in a series that started with glory and has since been knocked around a bit.
There is a strong likelihood that critics, and some fans, wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give Balboa a fighting chance this Christmas, seeing as there will be plenty of other films out there to see. Plus, if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen the trailer to this flick, then you can pretty much guess how it goes down. Rocky mopes around Philadelphia, mourning the death of Adrian while the current heavyweight champion of the world, Mason Dixon, is loathed by fans due to a lack of competition. Leave it to ESPN to stir the pot a bit by showing a virtual fight between has-been Balboa and current champ Dixon in which Rocky wins. Throw in some sports agents keen on making that almighty dollar and all of the sudden a bout is born, and Rocky must once again find a way to get back up after being hit so hard for so long.
Now there are plenty of reasons not to see this film; the hokey story about a fight coming out of a video game simulation, the fact that Rocky would be well into his fifties by now and even the fact that Sylvester Stallone has chosen to write and direct. The last time Stallone wrote and directed a Rocky flick Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Rocky IV. He won a Razzie for worst director that year. Needless to say, this film is instantly going to take jabs from every angle.
But if you do happen to take a chance on Rocky this holiday season, and you can bear the first two thirds of the film, you will be aptly rewarded. The film starts out extremely slow, showing the bum that used to be Rocky Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a man that sits at his dead wifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s grave daily, takes a depressing tour each year of all of the historical places of his life and never gets to see the son that is trying to get out from underneath his shadow. It is just plain depressing to watch at first, but it is ultimately palatable. The reason why is because, in classic form, Sly Stallone still has that Rocky charm. He goes from being a slouch one moment to an uplifting monologue about being a champion the next. He is still a bit slow, still very socially awkward and yet he is still very lovable.
That lovable old Rocky is what carries the first two thirds of this film, keeping the audience interested until the moment weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve all been waiting for Ã¢â‚¬â€œ until it is time to rumble! All at once, the music blares and the training montage, a classic element of Rocky glory, begins and leads us all the way up to the big finale Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the big fight between the champion of the past and the champion of the present.
The fight scene is uplifting, showing that the Rocky movies still have the ability to give me butterflies in my stomach and make me cheer. It is a finish that makes up for what the rest of the film lacks. So if you need help deciding whether or not to take a chance on this version of Rocky, allow me to help Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I say take the chance. Stallone still has what it takes to make Rocky the peoples champ, and while the film is by no means a knockout, it will certainly be right there Ã¢â‚¬Ëœtil the final round.
By: Neil Miller
If you're thinking this is just another ROCKY movie....you're wrong. Rocky Balboa is a really great follow up and finish to the ROCKY series. It's nothing like the previous films, except for maybe the original ROCKY.
The movie catches up with where Rocky is today...which finds him living in Philadelphia and owning a small Italian restaurant. Rocky seems to be living in the past as he has to deal with the recent loss of his wife Adrian and the almost non-existent relationship he has with his son. Rocky has the opportunity to get into the ring one more time with the reigning world champ and this helps Rocky deal with his past and current relationships.
Some of the great ROCKY characters have returned, such as Paulie (Rocky's brother-in-law) and a few others. We also get to see some quick flashbacks to previous Rocky films. Fortunately, no mention of ROCKY V appears!
The visual style is also quite different from previous ROCKY films. Stallone has done a great job going back to the character's roots and brings a worthy close to the ROCKY franchise. I won't spoil the ending for you, but it's probably not as you might guess.
I would recommend seeing this film if you're a ROCKY fan.