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Old February 1 2014, 05:37 PM   #88
Agent Richard07
Re: Movies Seen In 2014

I resolved to finally watch a few iconic movies that I've never seen before and I've decided to start with the Rocky series.

13. Rocky (✩✩✩) - Netflix - It felt good finally watching a classic but I found it a little too talky, though it does provide a good look into the life of a down and out boxer in Philly. Not sure what's so great and iconic about the big run up the steps but at least I got to experience it. I guess it's just one of those things.

14. Rocky II (✩✩✩½) - Netflix - I thought this one was a little better because it raised the stakes with Rocky facing the health consequences of too many blows to the head.

15. Rocky III (✩✩✩) - Netflix - The first movie of the series that's more of a mainstream motion picture and less of an artsy film that the first one was, and it's very predictable. I did like that Rocky has advanced to super stardom though, and Mr. T played a formidable adversary. I was also wondering how Apollo Creed would react to having been dethroned by Rocky in the previous film. We didn't get much, if any of that reaction, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was worked in as Rocky's new trainer and friend. It was a nice development. The match with Hulk Hogan was also a hoot and I liked that it ended in a friendly manner. And nice soundtrack with "Eye of the Tiger" which was written for the film at Stallone's request. That song is in my head more than the more familiar Rocky theme is. Then there's my favorite bit of dialog…
Thunderlips arrives in the arena, towering over everyone in the crowd…
Rocky: Why are they carrying him?
Mickey: He's walking.
16. Rocky IV (✩✩✩½) - Netflix - The mainstreaming of Rocky continues and I have to be honest, I like it. Very 80s and they managed to up the stakes yet again by having him go up against the Russians. Very indicative of the Regan years both in its politics and in the way it capitalizes on the action genre of the day. I do think it was a little overdone with the speech at the end though. And hey, I never thought I'd see a Rocky movie shot in Vancouver.

17. Rocky V (✩✩✩) - Netflix - I sort of saw this movie years ago because the TV was on but it feels fresh so I'm adding it to my list as a new-ish movie. So, where can they go after defeating the Soviet Union? Back to Rocky's roots, both in terms of story and style. Yeah, they dialed back the 80s action/blockbuster thing quite a bit and went back to doing a more dramatic piece. I didn't like that the character had to go where he did or how it happened but I came to appreciate the idea somewhat. What followed was a weak and meandering story culminating in a fight that I both love and hate. I loved where it took place because it reflected his refusal to enter boxing again but at the same time, I didn't quite love it because it felt underwhelming. I also found Rocky V to be a nice cap to the series despite what critics say.

18. Rocky Balboa (✩✩✩✩) - Netflix - This movie is appropriately titled since it's more of an addendum to the series rather than a "part 6". It also doesn't work as a standalone film but as a revisit to an enduring and iconic series, it's excellent right up to the way they ended it. I was deeply moved when it ended.

All in all, a good series that had humble beginnings just like it's lead character and evolved in a similar fashion over it's 30 years, reaching great heights and going back to where it began. From what I've read though, we haven't seen the last of Rocky Balboa. I look forward to seeing him in Creed. Stallone still has it even after 40 years.

Netflix: 10
Live TV: 1
Download: 7
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