Sunday, August 22, 2010


We are going to combine two themes for this week. The connection with Oscar is Sylvester Stallone and we are going to coverall six Rocky movies. The best of the bunch naturally comes first. Rocky was shot on a shoe string budget in 28 days, but became a sleeper hit, both with audiences and critics. Rocky went on to win three Oscars, including Best Picture. As far as I am concerned, it is the greatest sports movie of all time.

Rocky tells the story of Rocky Balboa (Stallone), a good natured collector for a loan shark. Rocy I a local fighter who gets the chance to fight the world champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) when the umber one contender is in injured. Rocky is chosen solely because Apollo likes hi Italian Stallion nickname.

Rocky enlists the aid of a former boxer, now elderly manager named Mick (Burgess Meredith) and his friend Pauly (Burt Young), who allows him to practice punching slbs o meet at the meat packing plant he works. Such has become a cultural icon.

The real story of rocky is not the upcoming boxing match, but the developing love story between Rocky and Adrian, (Talia Shire) a pet store clerk and Pauly’s sister. Adrian, like Rocky, is not glamorous or even removed from the streets. Rocky’s wooing of her is so real, it makes the movie. Hollywood has not been able to pull off a romance quite like that since, in my humble opinion.

Rocky does not think he can defeat Apollo. He just wants to go the distance--15 rounds--to prove that he can. Apollo does not take him seriously, either, but the match becomes itense when Rocky takes advantage of his overconfidence and knocks him down in the first round. Rocy goes the distance, but loses a split decision. It does not matter, though, because he has won Adrian’s heart.

There is so much about this movie that has ingrained itself in the public conscious--punching carcasses, ’Yo, Adrian!” and running up the steps of Independence Hall--you know all of them even if you have never seen Rocky. If you have not, shame on you. It is a great film. You do not have to care a thing about boxing to love it.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

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