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The Underdog gets to live the American Dream
Member Name: welshwickedone
Advantages: Great story, excellent entertainment.
Street wise, down on his luck boxer Rocky Balboa is given the chance of a lifetime when his name is the one chosen by Apollo Creed. Creed is currently the world heavy weight champion at the time and when his planned opponent pulls out of a planned fight Creed pulls out this idea as a publicity stunt, but thatís not what Balboa thinks.
Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is an Italian-American who works for a loan shark as a collector in the downtown streets of Philadelphia. He also enjoys his boxing and hopes that one day he will make it to the big time and get the credit he deserves in a Boxing career. He has a good friendship with many in the local community and has a close friendship with his long time friend Paulie Pennino (Burt Young). Paulie has a bad temper and gets drunk regularly and whilst drunk he regularly bullies his sister 'Adrian' Adrianna Pennino (Talia Shire). Rocky has feeling growing for Adrian as she works in his local pet shop and Rocky regularly visits the shop in the hope to win her affections.
Balboa is down on his luck, hates his job, and wants to work harder on his boxing in the hope of things changing, but things deteriorate when he visits his old Gym to start training again. Mickey Goldmill the owner of Mickey's Gym and Rocky's former trainer has given away Balboa's usually locker, as he believes Rocky will never succeed in boxing and tells him he should retire before he gets hurt. Rocky goes to his local pub to have a drink with Paulie and try to make himself feel better when he watches Apollo Creed on the TV.
Balboa admires Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) and wishes he could be in his shoes, but Creed has problems of his own. He has spent thousands promoting the next fight he has planned in which he hopes to keep his World Heavy Weight Champion status when he learns that his opponent has pulled out of the fight. Creed is desperate and with only five weeks, until the fight was planned Creed has the idea to give an underdog American the chance of the American dream of a chance at the boxing title.
Rocky's luck soon takes a change for the better when he is selected by Creed to have the chance of having a chance to try to win the title from Creed. Balboa is in shock but takes this opportunity very serious and begins training with the help f his old trainer Mickey. Creed however is just laughing it all off as the publicity stunt he believes it to be. Things are also on the up between Rocky and Adrian as they start a relationship and she moves in with Rocky when Paulie takes his violent outbursts too far.
The Arena is set and the contenders in the battle of Champion against Nobody enter the ring. Creed is continuing to laugh it up but his trainer 'Duke' (Tony Burton) has is concerns. The bell rings and the fight begins but who will win this battle that you will have to watch to find out.
I have to confess this is one of my favourite films and I really enjoy all five films in the series of six. Sylvester Stallone gives an outstanding performance as the underdog with a fighting spirit and a kind heart It is interesting to see how rough and ready his appearance is in this film and to also have the pleasure of noticing throughout the five films I have seen, to see just how much his appearance changes. Ok we all know it is down to surgery and speak therapy but it is great to have an opportunity to see why he has developed so well into such an outstand actor. The fact that he came up with the idea for these films and that he actually wrote the storyline gives the film even more appeal and shows his true talent as a real underdog in the acting industry striving to succeed.
Talia Shire like Stallone is perfect for her role and again we have the pleasure of seeing how she has developed and grown through the five film series and she really does make a truly believable character of Adrian. We find ourselves actually feeling for her and enjoying her development of her character. Her performance in these films earned her the credits to star in hundreds of movies the most famous role other than that of Adrian being Connie Corleone-Rizzi in the Godfather Part III. Although it is understandable she would be perfect for that role as she played The Corleone Daughter Connie in the Godfather Saga (the TV mini series).
Burt Young takes the role of Paulie truly under his wing giving an amazing and very believable performance. He allows you the chance to both loves, hate and pity his character and has had many acting roles both before and after the Rocky Films. His success was not at luck as Talia and Stallone for obvious reasons but he swayed more into making a success in TV performance rather than films. He did make one or two more films along side Talia Shire other than the Rocky series but that must be as the actors performance were not only brilliant but totally complimented the others.
Burgess Meredith, what can I say? He has come along way since playing The Penguin in the Batman series of the 1960's with Adam West as Batman. His list of films and roles would be impossible for me to list in anyway but this is due to the fact of his amazing talent for acting and his continuous outstanding performance and ability to blend to any role he is given perfectly. I love his character as Mickey in the Rocky films and have to say I had to shed a tear myself when his character is eventually killed off in Rocky Three.
Carl Weathers plays out a great performance of Apollo Creed making him the sort of person and you find yourself wanting Rocky to give him a good beating for you in the end. He must have given a fantastic performance to be able to have carried his character on to become very lovable in the end and having a high profile role in the first four Rocky films. His character is perfectly matched with the role of his trainer Duke played by Tony Burton and Burton gives a great performance as Apollo's Trainer. It is understandable why he was able to give such a convincing performance when you think that in real life Tony Burton was actually a professional Heavy Weight Boxer prior to his performances in all the Rocky films including the sixth in the series released this.
That's right for anyone who was unaware the sixth Rocky film has finally been released in 2006 and unlike the others numbered Rocky I,II,III,IV and V this film is titled Rocky Balboa and sees Rocky hit the ring again.
I have yet to see the sixth film I must confess and although they are probably really pushing there lucky in making another Rocky film I find myself saying I will have to watch it out of the principle of the matter. I have seen the first five and love them all in there own unique way and this will no doubt be the same for the sixth film. Rocky I is brilliant in my opinion giving a very factual and entertaining story of a kind-hearted man with a special talent and his fight to be at the top. It is understand by the quality of this film and the performances of all these actors why this film achieved and Academy Award for Best Picture in 1976.
Stallone choose John G. Avildsen as the Director of this movie and I feel he made a perfect choice. Working along side Stallone as the director Avildsen gives this film life and great entertainment value at all times. He has given us other entertaining films to watch since directing Rocky I such as The Karate Kid Trilogy and The formula, but he chooses not to take up the role of co director in any further Rocky Films.
Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa
Burgess Meredith Mickey Goldmill
Burt Young Paulie Pennino
Carl Weathers Apollo Creed
Talia Shire Adrain Pennino
Bill Baldwin Bill Baldwin (Fight Announcer)
Tony Burton Duke (Creed's Trainer)
Frank Stallone Street Singer
Butkus Stallone Butkus the Dog
Director John G. Avildsen
Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Languages English - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Subtitles Danish ; Dutch ; English ; English For The Hearing Impaired ; Finnish ; Greek ; Hebrew ; Hungarian ; Norwegian ; Polish ; Portuguese ; Swedish ; Turkish
Duration 1 hour and 59 minutes (approx)
Interesting Facts for all you Stallone Fans.
I know there are a few of you out there who, like me are Sylvester Stallone fans, so I thought I would do something a little different on this review and add a small Facts on the main actor in addition to my film review.
Although the following facts were posted on my review of the Stallone film Rambo-First Blood but the second paragraph are new additions.
Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone was born on July 6th 1946 and is of Italian - American origin. He has been married three times and has five children, two sons and three daughters. His son Sage Stallone starred as his son in Rocky V and appeared in another Stallone movie with his father called 'Daylight'. Sylvester Stallone's other son Seargeoh who was born to his first wife Sasha Czach and Sage's younger brother is autistic. Although married to Bridgette Nielsen, there marriage lasted only two years, they had no children together, Stallone is now married to Jennifer Flavin and has been since 1997, and they have three daughters Sophia Rose Stallone, Sistine Rose Stallone and Scarlett Rose Stallone. Sylvester Stallone is not the only member of the Stallone family to have reached fame and success, as his brother Frank Stallone is a previous chart topper and starred in as well as provided music for the Rocky Films.
Sylvester Stallone is very famous for his trademark sneer, Lazy eyes and slurred speech, but it should be known that these are actually paralysis of the left side of his face caused by Birth Complications. Sylvester Stallone was the writer of all the Rocky moves and was all his own original work, which he wrote whilst trying to succeed as an actor. The idea for the rocky movie came to Stallone whilst he was watching a boxing match between 'Muhammad Ali' and underdog 'Chuck Wepner'. The Dog in Rocky I and Rocky II named Butkus was actually named Budkus Stallone and was owned by Sylvester at the time although now it has sadly passed away.
Summary: I love this film and give it 9.9/10