“ Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 2006 / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Sylvester Stallone / Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Larry Merchant, Jim Lampley, Burt Young, Milo Ventimiglia ... / Blu-ray released 2007-05-21 at MGM Entertainment / Features of the Blu-ray: PAL „
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Rocky Balboa is a 2006 sports Drama and is the sixth and apparently final installment of the hugely successful "Rocky" series of movies starring Sylvester Stallone as the title role. ---------------------------------------- The Plot: Rocky Balboa ( Sylvester Stallone) has been retired from Boxing for around 20 years, content with life and now running a seemingly successful restaurant named "Adrian's" he spends his time running it and chatting with the clientele who come to hear his stories, however Rocky's wife Adrian ( Talia Shire ) died from Cancer several years prior and he misses her terribly, unable to really move on. Meanwhile there is a new Heavyweight Boxing champion of the world, Mason "The Line" Dixon ( Antonio Tarver ) rules the ring, however he is disliked by the fans, as they believe he has no heart and has only fought "Bum" opponents and has never been tested. ESPN broadcasts a computer simlation one night which depicts a fictional fight between Dixon and Rocky Balboa ( During his prime ) the simulation soundly places Rocky as the winner, something that doesn't sit well with Dixon, it also inspires Rocky to take up boxing again, something that is made public when he applies and receives his Boxing license ( after appealing to the board ), once the public become aware of this, there is a push for Balboa to fight Dixon in an exhibition, which could prove lucrative for Rocky and also maybe battle some demons that are still with him. And so Rocky begins training again, building new relationships with some old faces and also reparing his relationship with his son Robert ( Milo Ventimiglia ), Dixon also begins to learn what its like to face a fighter with true heart and a legendary bout takes place. ---------------------------------------------- I'm so glad stallone made Rocky Balboa, finally we can have some decent closure to the Rocky series of movies, something we were robbed of with the terrible Rocky V. I was surprised with this movie and enjoyed it almost as much as the first two Rocky movies, I like that the original director of the first Rocky returned to the movie and some of the old characters from the first movie ( little marie and spider rico ) return in small roles, something I think that links this movie to the first. The script is entirely believable and this has a gritty realism that hasn't been seen before in the Rocky movies, in particular the end fight itself was shot with more of a realistic "Pay Per View" feel, also losing the fake punch sounds and replacing them with more realistic glove on flesh sounds akin to a real boxing match. Bill Conti returns to the Rocky series and provides a score worthy of the movie, interspersing updates of old themes from the previous movies into the storyline of the movie. The actors themselves do a tremendous job, in particular once again Stallone outdoes himself portraying the role he was born for, and you truly buy his desire to return to former glory ( Seemingly a metaphor for Stallone's own career ) Overall Rocky Balboa is a tremendous movie, yes its a little cliched, but then aren't all the Rocky movies ? thats not really the point, Rocky is about inspiration and making you feel good, getting behind the underdog, while telling a great story at the same time, fans of the previous movies who haven't seen this yet need to go and buy it immediately, casual movie fans will also enjoy this inspirational story.
Sometimes Film sequels can amaze and excite, Empire Strikes Back and Nutty Professor 2 being prime examples and sometimes they can stink the house out like a smoked mackerel stitched into the back of an enemies chair. Well it might surprise you that after 6 films this isn´t quite the turkey it could so easily have been. We have had the Rocky Series from its origins in 1975 when Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed the film about the loveable Italian American stereotype given a shot at the World Heavyweight Boxing title through to Rocky 5 when the washed out Rocky trains an up and coming bum similar to himself with horrible results. Rocky Bilboa follows Rocky after the death of his beloved Adrienne, he is now a popular figure in his local community who has lost all of his money but still retains the dopey charm we all love or despise depending on our viewpoints. A popular American Sports programme devises a show concept where they pit computerised Heavyweight champions against each other to see who was the best, the result of Rocky´s bout with the current champion Mason 'The Line' Dixon (Proper boxer Antonio Tarver) upsets the champ so much that he decides to challenge the washed out punch drunk italian stallion to an exhibition bout, will Rocky accept, what will his family think, will he survive against this aggressive punching machine? Cast Sylvester Stallone ... Rocky Balboa Burt Young ... Paulie Antonio Tarver ... Mason 'The Line' Dixon Geraldine Hughes ... Marie Milo Ventimiglia ... Robert Balboa Jr. Tony Burton ... Duke A.J. Benza ... L.C. James Francis Kelly III ... Steps Talia Shire ... Adrian (archive footage) Lou DiBella ... Himself Mike Tyson ... Himself Henry G. Sanders ... Martin Pedro Lovell ... Spider Rico Ana Gerena ... Isabel Angela Boyd ... Angie My View: If you are a boxing afficionado you´l like the fact there is a mainstream boxing film starring some real boxers but you will also cringe at the frankly ridiculous action sequences, Rocky continues his lifelong ambition to use his face as a punching bag and the sound effects are hilarious in their ridiculousness, the story itself is decent enough and it does make some sense, but the back story of Rocky fighting for his son´s respect and for a new relationship are a bit forced. Stallone is as one dimensional as ever whilst Antonio Tarver proves to be a reasonable foil as the champ who you want to dislike but can´t. Burt Young is good as Paulie the irrascible foil to Rocky and the rest of the cast are a bit forgettable. This is a diverting and enjoyable enough romp through cinematic cliches, it hits the right buttons in places but you do actually not care who wins the fight at the end because really this is closure for Stallone more than a film which makes you want to go out and run up some stairs like the original did. At just under 7 pounds on Amazon, this is a film worth renting rather than buying, the extras include the standard making of and trailers and tell you nothing new really, overall its a renter rather than a keeper.
It surprises many people when Sylvester Stallone says "it was more difficult to make the last Rocky, than the first", and considering in 1975 Sylvester Stallone was a nobody who hadn't had any substantial writing or acting credits, it's quite unbelievable. Like most Rocky films, the Italian Stallion's life has a parallel feel to it with Slys. Like Stallone, Rocky's prime is long gone and now he has to live the rest of his life knowing he'll never 'peak' again, and tries to do something about it. The film starts off in a cemetery with Rocky looking over the headstone of his beloved wife Adrian. He's a broken man who yearns for the past and didn't realise life 'was supposed to be this hard'. He bumps into Marie (Geraldine Hughes), a girl he knew around 30 years previously, and like Rocky is another lost soul. He befriends her, which gives him the comfort of a proper friendship, rather than his love/hate relationship he has with Paulie (Burt Young). After a computer simulated fight suggests Rocky was better than the current champion Mason 'The Line' Dixon (Played by real life boxing champ Antonio Tarver), he decides to start fighting again in local fights. This is Rocky's way of grieving, other people might write, paint who do poetry, but this is Rocky's way of venting his frustration and desperation. After the manipulating managers of Dixon hear about this they propose an exhibition between Rocky and the champ, to which the Italian Stallion can't turn down, even though he's scared. Many people, including the media, think he's a joke and he's a fool for accepting, one of those people is his Son. Since the loss of his Mother, Robert (Milo Ventimiglia) has never been the same and has been stuck in 'safe' jobs that he hates. He has a more cynical outlook on life than his Father, and feels like he's always been kept in Rocky's shadow. In one of the best scenes in the movie, Rocky tells his Son that 'life ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward...how much you can keep moving forward'. Robert realises that his father would prefer to do something that he loves badly, than feel bad for not doing something that he loves. Rocky Balboa is a return to form in the Rocky series, and shows the same heart as the first film 30 years previously. Many people think Talia Shire who plays Mrs. Balboa turned down the role, but instead Sly decided to kill her off to 'leave Rocky with nothing'. This really makes the film more than just 'another Rocky', as its much more character driven. It also hits on the point that not many films have, is if you lose your loved one in your forties, fifties, sixties...what do you do? Do you move on? How do you live your life? Stallone revealed in a David Letterman interview way back in 2003 that early drafts of the film showed Rocky going back to fight, to raise money to keep Mickey's gym in business, but i feel this storyline sounds formulaic and tiresome. Critics of the film have said it's not as good as the other Rocky's and it's 'boring' etc. I couldn't disagree with them more. I think these 'fans' appreciated the fast paced exaggerated action from Rocky III and Rocky IV, where Rocky can climb mountains and punches sound like gunshots. Although Rocky Balboa has a fifty-something fighter going back into the ring, it's arguably the most realistic film in the series. This is mainly down to the fight at the end of the film, which deserves to be applauded. Stallone set out to make it look as realistic as possible, and to do that every 'hit' is a 'hit'. They didn't put a sound effect behind any near misses neither did they have lots of cutaways and camera trickeries. The fight is the most realistic in cinema history, and with Stallone being 59 whilst making this, it shows the dedication and love he has for the series. This film is one of the best Rocky films in my opinion and stays true to the original; in fact I felt this film was under-appreciated by the media, especially considering the recent success of The Wrester, which has a near identical storyline. The Blu-ray itself, however is poorly designed with the film constantly playing and a menu over the film. This is a little fiddly and frustrating which makes you think, 'why didn't they just keep the menu the same as the DVD version'? However, i feel it's unfair to downgrade this release because of a blu-ray company. Other than that, the packaging is nice and there's lots of great special features including 3 featurettes, deleted scenes, some outtakes and a very interesting director's commentary by the man himself, Sylvester Stallone.
I always thought Rocky V would be the worst in the series but somehow they managed to produce an even bigger disaster. This is easily the worst and most disappointing of all the Rocky movies. I can see why they didn't call it Rocky VI... it doesn't have that Rocky feel to it anymore. If you compare Rocky from the first movie to Rocky in this movie, they are like two completely different people. He's lost his charm and he owns his own restaurant! I mean, come on... Sylvester Stallone should have left it at the fourth. The fifth was a mistake but fans let that go... so why repeat history? I'm lucky I only rented this on Blu Ray as I was going to buy it. Rocky's opponent, Mason Dixon, is basically non-existent in terms of character devleopment, unlike the days of Creed and Lang. A positive I will say is that Stallone did a nice job of tying in the previous movies. My recommendation: Don't waste your money on either the Blu Ray or standard DVD. I would rent it at most and will warn you, that it is a disappointment from start to finish.
Just to complete my review of the whole Rocky series, although that should have stopped at the magnificent Rocky IV, I will now take a look at Rocky VI, better known as Rocky Balboa. Put quite simply, why make this film? The DVD itself is packed full of features and the feature length movie itself is in glorious high definition in this Blu-ray version, but the actual movie, you know the whole reason for buying the DVD, is just not Rocky as we have come to know and love it. The was the same with the equally disappointing Rocky V years ago. They will never be able to create the raw emotion and action of the first 4 Rocky films and should leave it at that now. This movie is wholly unbelievable and seems as if it is just a movie made to feed the ego of Sylvester Stallone. That is very disappointing. The storyline is predictable and bland and the actual match, yes at the end as usual, is boring compared to the previous incarnations. I won't go into details of the plot as that could ruin your enjoyment should you wish to see it. I love Rocky with a passion, but this should be the end of it now. Lets remember Rocky I to IV.
Rocky Balboa, the man is a legend. In Rocky he took on "the Count of Monte Fisto" Apollo Creed and lost. In Rocky II he won the rematch against Creed in one of the best fights ever on film. In Rocky III he was defeated by the mighty fists of Clubber Lang but came back to regain his title. Rocky IV had Balboa defeat communism(!) by taking down Ivan Drago and finally in Rocky V he goes back to the streets and teaches a lesson to Tommy Gunn in easily the worst film in the series. Almost 20 years later he's back however he's a husk of a man. Destroyed by the loss of Adrian, his wife, he's lives his life running a small restaurant, telling stories of days gone by. Deep down thought he still has a tiny bit of fighting spirit left in him ... eventually leading to a spectacular final fight for Balboa. For me this film is right up there with the first 2 Rocky films as a high quality slice of entertainment. Like those films it's all about characterisation, getting to know how he ticks and ultimately making you root for his success. Rocky Balboa is Stallones masterstroke, this film starts off depressingly sad and nostalgic and builds up a sense of hope as we follow him through the actions of man who wants to follow his dream - I was welling up at the end. The script for Balboa is brilliant, chock full of great lines and aforementioned characterisation, you can tell Stallone has spent years on this, he cares for his Balboa and this rubs off on the audience. Another great moment in the this film is the return of the montage, what happened to the montage? It seemed to vanish along with mullets and shoulderpads. To dismiss Rocky Balboa is a mistake, this is an incredibly deep and fulfilling movie and I'd highly recommend it to anyone.
Rocky balboa or Rocky 6! and it is surprisingly quite good, after the dreadful Rocky 5. This is well worth a couple of hours of your life and good entertainment for all. In this film we find Rocky running a modest eatery in his old neighbourhood , widowed and having left the boxing life behind him, he spends his evenings telling old boxing stories to his restaurant's guests. There is a real feel of the original 1976 'Rocky' in this film, the locations are the same, the same grittyness and pace, Rocky and pauly even re-visit the site of the old ice rink and remininise. Rocky is living on past memories. Then one day a tv station's computer simulation create's a greatest of all time boxing match up between rocky and the current reigning champion 'mason-dixon', this stirs up massive interest all over the country. Perhaps it's fate but it seems to be what rocky needed , a chance to step back into the ring 'one last time' lol....after much soul searching he does slip the gloves back on and gets back into training. There is a subplot involving a romantic interest in a local single mother rocky used to know from the old neigbourhood but its never really explored in any depth. This hits(excuse the pun) all the right rocky film notes, it has the cocky champion who goades our hero, it also has the legendary training sequences that the franchise it famous for, that reall get the hairs standing up and the back of your neck. Fans will love it and the casual film watcher will also enjoy watching this film, as it really gets back to the originals success and is more character driven than the glitzy shallower 'rocky 3' 'rocky 4'. Worth a look.