Newest Review: ... in nature as well as moving and somber, this is a key part to the story.and it isn't a nice thing to see as this got to me when I was wat... more
A Bloodied Eye Of The Tiger
Rocky 3 (DVD)
Member Name: T4imbo3107
Rocky 3 (DVD)
Advantages: Different style and approach.
Disadvantages: Emotional and very sad in parts.
Released back in 1982, the film begins with Rocky Balboa being the champion of the world, the opening montages show just how his life has changed since the defeat of Apollo Creed at the end of Rocky II and interestingly uses footage of Stallone in The Muppet Show and other guest appearances. The end scenes from the previous film are shown to allow a level of continuity to be held and the montage that covers the stories and the years between the second and third films show Rocky defending his title. However when a new face appears on the scene in the form of Clubber Lang then things begin to go wrong for Balboa, in what he thought would be a fight that he would win Balboa is floored by the awesome brute strength of Lang an loses the title. Balboa it seems has become complacent and the loss of the thing that he has strived to keep has become a major wake up call.
Stallone as Balboa looks a lot fitter in the role as Balboa, a lot lighter and less heavy than before. Although he is muscly in stature, the improvement in how he looks is easily noticeable when compared to Rocky II. Obviously the style of the early eighties gets incorporated into the film, with the sharp suits and volumised hair reflecting the era that I wish time would forget. With the sheer scale of grief that Balboa has to deal with in the first hour concerning his fight with Lang, the circumstances has Stallone play Balboa in a totally different manner than before and we get Stallone acting his socks off in some scenes with a high level of emotion to the extent that he is literally screaming in the pain of the grief that he is experiencing and is something that hasn't really been seen before. The scenes in question are powerful in nature as well as moving and somber, this is a key part to the story.and it isn't a nice thing to see as this got to me when I was watching it on a train as I had tears running down my face!!! With Rocky now on his plateau he has come to a dead end and knows that doing nothing is not an option, trouble is that he just doesn't know what to do.
The opponent of Clubber Lang is played by Mr T. This is total departure from his A Team appearances and the character he plays is brutal as well as far more focussed than Balboa. Mr T plays the character full on and throughout manages to verbally spar Balboa on all accounts. Watching this film you do realise that Mr T can act, rather than project some catchphrases as BA Baracus. His appearance is well built and bulky with the trademark Mohican present as well. Its also interesting to note that Mr T gets to fight Balboa twice in this film too, the way he is introduced to the audience is quite clever as you see brief shots of him sizing up Balboa for a future fight. If anything he looks the part of a boxer completely and proves he has the mouth of a boxer as well in the rather un-polite and uncouth way that he first meets Balboa.
Backing up the cast are Talia Shire as Rocky's wife Adrian. She is the force of reality and is determined to see Rocky do the right thing. It does seem that she does the same thing in every film and yet the way her part is used is slightly different each time. Apollo Creed was the opponent that Rocky beat to win the title in Rocky II, here he has cleverly been bought in as a plot device to rejuvenate The Italian Stallion, he obviously knows what its like to be on the receiving end and knows that his chance has passed so he steps in to effectively re-program Rocky in a different way of fighting.
Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed is good investment in this film. By the end he is the one person that Rocky knows he can turn too. The media write Balboa off at the first instance and this is used by Creed who says the Balboa "still owes him a favour". Weathers falls into the mentoring role in the film and teaches Rocky some new tricks.
Lastly Burgess Meredith, playing Mickey he has seen Rocky win and in this film sees Rocky lose the title. From the early part of the film you know Mickey isn't a well man and the problem grow with alarming consequences when Rocky is about to fight Lang. Burgess was the lynchpin in the film for Rocky and the relationship here is played to the full, allowing both himself and Stallone to give it everything. Oh and I have to mention Hulk Hogan as well!! He plays a complete over the top wrestler called Thunderlips, a character that Rocky takes on as part of a charity event in the early part of the film....Wrestler vs Boxer. It is a departure and a breather to see something like this; however it turns into a calamity by the end and is the much needed comic relief part of the film. Although there are sprinkles of humour spread out in the dialogue, which has been kept short and sharp in parts and manages to enhance the pace of the script in parts.
It's always a case that the films can be remembered for the training sequences, well here there are two and the first is the lacklustre one that Rocky is giving open sessions to the press and this completely backfires, you realise that he was never going to retain the title. However about 35 minutes later and you see a different one again, this time Balboa being rejuvenated and running in complete slo-mo against Creed on the beach. After the obligatory showdown with Adrian we have Balboa and Creed working together. This is full eighties slo-mo with an additional hint unintentional homo-erotic friendship added in as well. I do think its necessary to have this to show Rocky pushing himself to the limits completely and break out of the comfort zone on all accounts. It does work in the film, but watched as a stand alone scene on You Tube the training sequence does look a little strange without the back story to it.
I enjoyed this film as it's a rollercoaster of emotions, from joy to immense grief in one ride over the course of the film. You do get a lot of boxing for your money, including the flashback to Rocky II there are four fights in total shown, the issues here is that the stuff in-between these have to slow the story down as such to allow the audience to keep pace with what is happening on-screen. That's not a problem really considering what has taken place affects everyone involved anyway, however it's the depth that the scenes go to that makes the difference to the story entirely. In retrospect something along the lines of what happens in Rocky III had to take place as this is the film that brings the characters back down to Earth in quite a major way and makes the lead character realise that he is only human in what he does and doesn'y necessarily like what he has become, however if this happens to a boxer in real life I suspect the last thing on his mind would be attempting to get the title back as I would be looking elsewhere for work straight away. Bottom line is that Balboa has to get that drive back or as Creed tells him The Eye of the Tiger! The film itself ticks all the boxes in terms of entertainment and its only when you realise that the film is 100 minutes in length that the time has passed very quickly and seems a lot shorter than what it actually is, I think this is credit to the writer of the film, who just happens to be the lead star as well!
Extras wise, this is a total disqualification! None. Okay this is where I could say that the opening sequences depicted by the legendary song Eye of the Tiger by Survivor could have been backed up by the shots shown being included as extras in their own right, for example The Muppet Show or Stallone receiving his Oscar. Nope, absolutely nothing at all, but hen again this is UMD and so the picture quality will be superb and totally watchable on your PSP. Unfortunately the extras department will be sparse. Also the sound is good as well and the impact of the punches have that definite thump to them.
For those who haven't seen it and I am sure there are a few, I am not going to spoil the ending, but I am sure you can guess the outcome anyway as it quite predictable in nature as to what will happen and applies to the formula. One thing that I thought was a little wrong was watching the fights take place was that in some places you can see various boxing gloves not making impact and yet the sound of the impact is heard. Okay this doesn't happen much, but is easily noticeable. The film was a pivot point in the series as this was followed by Rocky going to Moscow to fight Ivan Drago, watching how the film ended may have been a good time to stop as from here on the story of Rocky Balboa doesn't improve with the gloom of Rocky V and the twee rounding off of the story in Rocky Balboa, the sixth film.
What I liked about Rocky III is a man who is essentially lost finds out who exactly his friends are and come round him at his time of need and get him back to where he believes he should be.
Summary: Rocky's reached the high life!