Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Rocky" fans, unite

I'd like to hear what people think about "Rocky Balboa," the fifth and hopefully final installment of Stallone's boxing saga.

Andy Wineke's review will run on the Wednesday Pop page. It's pretty fun, I think.

Most of the critics are giving positive, but unenthusiastic reviews of the new "Rocky."

An exception is Steve Persall at the St. Pete Times. He loved it! Here are some excerpts of his review ....

"Rocky Balboa is a triumphant conclusion to what should have been
a trilogy, if Sylvester Stallone hadn’t stretched one movie’s worth
of ideas across four sequels.
The sixth installment of Stallone’s underdog saga is better in
some ways than the first, an Oscar winner for best picture of 1976.

"Rocky Balboa is one of the best sequels ever made for any
franchise . Yet it could almost stand alone. Cynics must stash away
those Stallone jokes for another day. After all the million-dollar
babies and Cinderella men on screen since 1976, Rocky reclaims his
title as American cinema’s heavyweight champion."

Wow, "One of the best sequels ever"?


What do you think. Please leave you comments.


At 8:00 PM, Blogger LadyBronco said...

I am not even going to bother with this movie.

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It goes to show you what film critics know...

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Warren Epstein said...


The Return Of Rocky
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Contributed by: Scott Perry on 12/15/2006

Last night I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the new Rocky movie, Rocky Balboa, and in spite of some predictable plot lines, I can tell you that Rocky is back.

It's been many years since Rocky stepped into the ring, and now an aging restaurant owner, he is coming to terms with the loss of his wife, Adrian (yo, Adrian). There is a lot of time spent with this, and it slows the beginning of the movie down a bit, but for Rocky enthusiasts, it is a fun walk down memory lane. He feels that despite his age, he still has something left and begins to entertain getting back into the ring. Coincidenatlly, the current reigning champion Mason "The Line" Dixon is looking for a way to revitalize his own career. A fight is set up, and well, you'll have to see for yourself.

Pauly, Rocky's brother-in-law, is back as is Rocky's son, now grown up trying to escape his father's shadow. Fans of the first Rocky movie will enjoy this one. Make no mistake, there are no deep messages, no strirring subplots or witty dialogue, but I was entertained. If you are looking for a guilty pleasure this Christmas, put down the fruit cake, drink some raw eggs and get into the ring with Rocky.


Rocky Balboa, Garrison, me and the blizzard
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Our home Wednesday morning before the blizzard hit.
Our home Wednesday morning before the blizzard hit.
Provided by: Danny Summers

Contributed by: Danny Summers on 12/21/2006

I awoke Wednesday morning at 6 a.m., let the dog outside, grabbed The Gazette newspaper off my driveway, and began preparing for what was to be one of the most interesting, exciting and strangest days of my life.

The blizzard that was supposed to blast the area on Tuesday failed to deliver even a speck of snow at my home in the northwest part of the city. I looked out my window Wednesday morning and saw sunshine. I listened a radio report that the blizzard was set to strike at any moment, but I disregarded what the announcer had to say and went about my business.

I woke up my 12-year-old son, Garrison, and told him we were heading to the 10:35 a.m. showing of "Rocky Balboa" at the Cinemark 16 movie theater on Powers Boulevard.

The blizzard was just starting to hit when we left the house at 9:30 a.m. The wind and snow was blowing at a frantic pace as we headed east across town on Austin Bluffs Parkway toward Barnes Road.

By the time we reached the theater at 10 a.m. conditions were so bad that we had a difficult time walking from our parking spot to the front doors. But we were not going to be denied a date with Rocky.

Rocky Balboa was all that I hoped it would be -- and then some. Sylvester Stallone's portrayal of the retired, over-the-hill, has-been, two-time ex-heavyweight champion worked to near perfection as he took movie-goers back to 1976 when he first began his quest for the top of the boxing world.

Stallone, who wrote the script for the movie, as well as the previous five "Rocky" films, cast Rocky in a still likeable role of a grieving widower who lost his beloved wife Adrian to cancer in 2002. The movie opens with Rocky visiting her gravesite at a Philadelphia cemetery on the three-year anniversary of her death.

Later that day, Rocky and Paulie (Adrian's brother and Rocky's life-long friend) visit many of the spots that Rocky and Adrian spent time together when they first dated. I felt Rocky's pain. It was difficult to keep a dry eye.

Rocky owns an Italian restaurant and spends much of his work time retelling stories of his glory days. He poses for pictures with fans and, as always, treats everybody with kindness.

One of the restaurant regulars is Spider Rico, the boxer Rocky fought in Rocky I at a Catholic Church. Spider becomes a pivotal figure in the movie, washing dishes in the restaurant and reading a verse from the bible before Rocky's big fight with Mason "The Line" Dixon.

Also, Rocky runs across a woman he once tried to counsel when she was a young girl in Rocky I. Marie works as a bartender in a rundown joint in a decrepit part of Philadelphia. Rocky befriends her and her teenage son and she takes over the role of Adrian as female support for Rocky.

Rocky's son, now in his 20s working as a professional in an office building in Philadelphia, eventually quits his job to help his father train.

The fight-training scene is nothing short of awesome. Rocky punches a side of beef, does one-handed push-ups and runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with his dog "Punchy." I yelled out with happiness as he reached the top of the steps.

In 2003, my son and I ran up those same steps and danced around like Rocky. I also ran up those steps in 1985, 1988 and 1992.

Rocky's fight with Dixon is very similar to Rocky's first fight with Apollo Creed in 1976. I won't give away the ending, but let's just say Rocky doesn't lose the fight.

The movie ends with Rocky back at Adrian's gravesite.

On the Summers scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being best, I give Stallone's performance a 10 and the movie a strong 8 1/2. Rocky Balboa (or Rocky VI) is similar to Rocky I and is by far the best of all of the sequels. I highly recommend seeing it. Just make sure you bring a box of tissues.

After 2 1/2 hours in the theater, we headed out to our Ford Explorer to find that weather and road conditions had worsened. Powers was closed between North Carefree and Stetson Hill so we had to wiggle our way back across town.

As we traveled down Academy Boulevard dozens of cars were either stuck in the snow or involved in accidents. Emergency vehicles were everywhere. The snow blew so hard at times I could not see a foot in front of me. It was amazing.

We arrived back home about 1:15 p.m. and set up shop as the blizzard intensified. By 6 p.m., three-foot drifts were already accumulating around my house.

I woke up this morning to piles of snow the likes I have not seen in my previous six winters in Colorado Springs. But like the trooper I am, I shoveled the snow off my driveway and sidewalk and headed to work.

Until the next blizzard, or Rocky VII, keep safe and warm.

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At 9:49 PM, Blogger Tammy O. said...

Um, I'm a bit late on this, but I have to speak my mind:

if he doesn't die, I'm not gonna like it.

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous DC said...

Good thing Summers drives an orange Ford Explorer!


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