Rocky (1976)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Reissue)
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Overall Rating 79%
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Ranked #237
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Connections: Rocky

Rocky Balboa is a struggling boxer trying to make the big time, working as a debt collector for a pittance. When heavyweight champion Apollo Creed visits Philadelphia, his managers want to set up an exhibition match between Creed and a struggling boxer, touting the fight as a chance for a "nobody" to become a "somebody". The match is supposed to be easily won by Creed, but someone forgot to tell Rocky, who sees this as his only shot at the big time. --IMDb
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Review by Nirrad
Added: January 21, 2008
Back when boxing movies were still fresh, we were given a gem that was written by, and starred a virtually unknown. In 1975, Sylvester Stallone began working on a script that was inspired by a fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, but he had no idea of what was to become of this script. To his surprise, Rocky was a huge success that would eventually put Sylvester on the map in Hollywood. The movie was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and won best picture of 1976. But you guys should already know that, unless you were living under a rock.

The movie is about a nobody boxer named Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), who makes a living boxing in clubs, and is a debt collector for his friend Gazzo (Joe Spinell). He makes his daily routine by visiting a pet store to pick up the essentials for his pet turtles and fish, as well as try to get to know Adrian (Talia Shire) who works at the store, as he seems to have a crush on her. He finishes his day by attending a boxing gym run by his old trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith). Unfortunately for Rocky, Mickey doesn't respect him anymore as he doesn't believe Rocky is willing to work hard to make it to the top. Meanwhile, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) decides to make a publicity stunt, by giving a local unknown a chance to be somebody by fighting him for the Heavyweight Championship. That nobody, is Rocky.

Rocky agrees to the fight, where he then begins to train for 5 weeks. Everybody, including Apollo, believes that Rocky doesn't have a chance, and will lose by the third round. But Rocky doesn't think so, as he believes there are no second chances in life, he is determined to give Apollo a challenging fight. Rocky agrees to have Mickey as his manager, and lets his friend Paulie (Burt Young) be involved in advertising to help gain money. Rocky is then ready for the fight of his life. A million to one shot.

First and foremost, this movie is simply amazing. Sylvester proved with this movie that he has the talent to write a great movie script, as well as the talent to be in serious starring role. His performance in this movie is simply breathtaking. We laugh, cry, and cheer for his character throughout the movie. His character is totally believable, as we begin to think that we are actually watching a documentary, instead of a Hollywood movie. His romance with Adrian was perfectly done as it doesn't take too much screen time, but isn't scarce either. You really begin to feel a love for these two as they live through their new relationship.

What Sylvester did with this movie was focus more on the character Rocky, rather than boxing itself. When I first heard it was based more on a character rather than boxing, I was a little disappointed. But after watching the movie, I was actually glad the movie was like that. In fact, other than two short boxing sequences at the beginning and the end, it's all character development, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. My hat is off to director John G. Avildsen, his directing is phenomenal, and he couldn't have made the movie any better. He really seemed to get all that he could out of the actors and actresses with their performances.

Again, this movie is just phenomenal. The movie catches you within the first 5 minutes, and never lets go until the credits roll. Even then you might even sit and read the credits to give your respect to everyone involved. If I were to have one problem with this movie, it would be the final fight. While it had me on the edge of my seat, I felt it was a little short. But then again, watching two people punch each other for 20 minutes may get stale after a while. This movie will have you standing up cheering, and may even bring a tear to your eye. Rocky is a complete knockout, and deserves a score no lower than 10/10.
Edd #1: Edd - added January 21, 2008 at 8:44pm
I would love Rocky movies if they were a smidgen more realistic. I mean if you get into the ring and NEVER block and just keep knocking the shit out of each other, the match would last 40 seconds. That always bothered me. Still though, good film. 8/10
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added January 22, 2008 at 5:07pm
10/10. Is there really any sort of elaboration needed?
Ginose #3: Ginose - added January 28, 2008 at 11:36pm
Wait, Billy Ray... doesn't your logic dictate that an apperance by Lloyd Kaufman determines poor quality in a film? OH SHI-! Logic chain is snapped.

...yeah, I didn't know he was in it until recently... found it funny.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added January 29, 2008 at 1:16am
The logic train is in tact. Lloyd Kaufman's appearance in a film is only bad when he's playing himself, or the film is produced by Troma.
Ginose #5: Ginose - added January 29, 2008 at 8:57am
Sure, sure... getting specific now... seen "Prison A Go-Go" yet?
Ginose #6: Ginose - added January 29, 2008 at 8:59am
You know, that's not even a good enough example, "The Tunnel" seems far more appropriate.
bluemeanie #7: bluemeanie - added January 29, 2008 at 10:38am
I cannot believe a review for "Rocky" has turned into a discussion on Lloyd fucking Kaufman.
Ginose #8: Ginose - added January 29, 2008 at 5:55pm
As am I. But I was actually really suprised by the fact that he was the drunk in this.
Rest Easy Soul #9: Rest Easy Soul - added July 25, 2010 at 11:12am
The greatest rags to riches story ever told.
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