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Was Moriarty Knocked Out By ROCKY BALBOA?!

I wouldn’t say knocked out, but I would say pleasantly surprised. There is no reason to expect ROCKY BALBOA to be any good. I was managing a theater in Sherman Oaks the Christmas we got ROCKY V, and it stunk the joint up, but good. Audiences left that theater looking betrayed. I am a casual ROCKY fan, so I wasn’t particularly invested, but it was obvious that there was no reason to make that film. Nothing about it worked, from the conceptual level down. There’s no compelling fight for Rocky to face in that movie. And the way the film played out, there was nothing that reminded you of any of what made the films successful in the past. It was depressing, especially when they cut the ending that was the entire ostensible reason for making it, the death of Rocky. Well, thank god they changed that. What Stallone has managed to do with ROCKY BALBOA is perfectly bookend the first film. You could probably watch ROCKY and ROCKY BALBOA and nothing in-between and you’d get it. These two films are of a piece in terms of tone and style. ROCKY II was the perfect bridge between character-driven Rocky and blockbuster action-movie Rocky. III and IV are very good at what they do, but they are the blockbuster promise of II fulfilled, totally different types of films, hyperactive comic book superhero movies. Here, Stallone wisely strips Rocky of all of his safety nets and once again positions him as a complete underdog. The result is surprisingly simple and direct, and effective for the most part. Yes, I saw the film at BNAT. Yes, the film absolutely ripped the roof off the place. But that crowd was there to have a good time, and this is a very easy film to enjoy. It’s also a very easy film to dismantle if you want to. There’s not a lot to it. If you’ve seen the first movie, then you won’t be terribly surprised by anything you see in this one. This film, like Bill Condon’s DREAMGIRLS, is about the possibility of second acts in American lives, and it persuasively makes its case for limitless redemption. What I enjoyed about the film were the ways it used the past to drive Rocky as a character. Because he still lives in Philadephia, the city he conquered, every single street corner is haunted for him. It’s a city of ghosts, where the past is as alive for him as the present. And, of course, one particular ghost plays the largest role in the film. Talia Shire may not be in the movie, but Adrian is certainly front and center for the entire running time. I loved the little ways that Rocky honored his wife’s memory. The two turtles in their tank, full-sized now, or the late night trip to the places where they fell in love, or the name of the tiny Italian restaurant Rocky runs now... Adrian is everywhere. Rocky misses her intently, in no large part because she defined him. She was the one who would push him, cheer him on, challenge him, dare him. Without her, he’s basically fallen backwards into the same sort of affable loser who she initially met. The weakest material in the film as written and acted is between Rocky and his son, played by Milo Ventimiglia, who I would like to point out was born after the first film was released. Ventimiglia’s the most underwritten part of the film, and he never really finds a character to play. He’s embarrassed by his dad, he’s intimidated by his dad, and then he’s proud of his dad. We never see what pushes him from step to step in his feelings. It feels like Stallone set in some scenes with the intent to go back and fill in some gaps on a later draft. He just never got around to filling in those gaps. This film doesn’t just depend on your nostalgia for much of the punch that it packs, it also comments on that nostalgia. If it bothers you that this film so closely mirrors the structure of the first movie, then you’re basically Paulie (played once again by the nearly-human Burt Young), railing at Rocky for the way he dwells on what was. I like that Stallone writes Paulie to be really caustic this time out. He’s the voice of doubt, the voice of anyone who would say, “Don’t make a sixth ROCKY film. There’s no point.” Paulie’s not particularly likeable in this one, and that’s because the best part of him died with Adrian. He knows it, and it makes him bitter. He’s the person who can’t keep moving forward, the guy who gets stopped cold by life’s punches. Rocky shames him on a regular basis with his basic attitude towards life, and that’s hard to take. When Paulie finally comes around to believe in Rocky again, it feels earned in a way that his son’s storyline never does. Antonio Tarver has an easy onscreen charisma, and I think Stallone’s done a nice job of giving him something real to play. Mason “The Line” Dixon isn’t a villain the way Drago and Clubber Lang were villains. They did everything short of eat babies onscreen to establish their villain cred, but Dixon’s different. He’s a good fighter who hasn’t had a good fight in recent memory. He might even be a great fighter, but without great opponents, how is he ever going to know? And even though that sounds almost identical to Apollo Creed, they’re nothing alike in terms of presence. Apollo was a preening superstar, a perfect ‘70s celebrity, while Dixon is more of a post-Tyson perfectionist, boring because his fights are all power and knock-outs and less than a minute. I’ve heard some complaints about all the real sports channel stuff that shows up in the film, whether its the use of ESPN or HBO or the name of the casino or whatever. I think we see real sports all the time on television and we know what it looks like now, and Stallone saves himself some headache by using the real stuff instead of having to invent it all. It grounds this Rocky in the real world as much as you can with a film that features a 60 year old in the ring with the heavyweight champion, and it gives the final fight a verisimilitude that... ... a verisimilitude that, ummmm... ... what the fuck am I talking about? It’s a ROCKY movie, goddammit. It’s a real live ROCKY movie. It’s a good ROCKY movie, too. I’m overthinking it. This film makes you feel, and it does it honestly for the most part. It takes some short cuts towards the end, and I’m not totally convinced by the introduction of Marie and her son, but even what I’m not crazy about works on the level that it’s all character material for Stallone to play Rocky. He’s sparring. As an actor, he spends the whole movie on his feet, sparring, throwing out great bursts of character. It doesn’t matter if anyone else in the movie is any good or not because Sylvester Stallone is in rare form. There is a reason certain people are film icons and other people are just working actors. Stallone has always floundered as a working actor. But he is nearly peerless as a film icon, and here, he strikes just the right pose. In this moment, thirty years roll away. Every single EYE SEE YOU and STOP OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT rolls away. And what we are left with as the closing credits roll on ROCKY BALBOA and we watch regular people, one after another after another, all running those same steps where Balboa first found his legs, first went the distance, is the image of someone doing something great, and then doing it again. Just as well. To prove it was no accident. It was no accident. And even if I don’t think ROCKY BALBOA the film is one of the year’s best, I think Rocky Balboa, as personified by Stallone in the film, will be one of this year’s enduring and most endearing images. Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 21, 2006, 6:13 a.m. CST


    by 24200124

    I think I'm going to see this movie today when I play hooky from work. Stallone was nice enough to answer questions for us, I think it would be only fair to see his flick...

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 6:21 a.m. CST


    by Penetron

    I've got such a magnificent boner for this movie! I can't wait!!

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 6:22 a.m. CST

    yo adrian IM FIRST

    by zathras34


  • Dec. 21, 2006, 6:25 a.m. CST

    well there was no one

    by zathras34

    so im still wait tto see it...

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 6:36 a.m. CST

    How can you take any review seriously when...

    by Judge Dredds Dirty Undies

    its signed Drew McWeeny. Though I guess I'm a bit of a hypocrite....

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 6:54 a.m. CST


    by tonagan

    Were you eating something when you wrote this review?

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night...

    by Warm Soft Lie

    ...and it was good! Better than I expected,anyway. This movie had the potential to be a laughfest but Stallone managed to make a decent, quaint little film that lets us say goodbye to Balboa with class. It's not a perfect film by any means (I would have liked to have seen some of the supporting characters fleshed out a little bit more), but it manages to hit all the right buttons and successfully brings the character full circle. Thanks, Sly

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 7:03 a.m. CST

    A Different Experience

    by dancinggopher01

    I've seen a lot of movies in my time, and can say that when I went to see this last night, I was stoked. When I got to the theater, I realized that I wasn't the only one. There was the longest line I have EVER seen for a movie. (Thank you Fandango). There was a little kid in front of me chanting Rocky, was really nice to feel so great about a movie. The crowd I saw it with was cheering and yelling during the was a great, great experience. It made the movie that much better. It really was the best experience I have had at a movie. Thanks Sly.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 7:09 a.m. CST

    I can say it now Stallone has left the room...

    by Boba Fat

    I don't like Rocky films!

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 7:14 a.m. CST

    the problem

    by Bloo

    that I have with seeing a movie on opening day/weekend/when it hits my theatre for the first time espically a high profile, expected film like this is that it seems so much better in the theatre with a crod etc (like Mori's BNAT expirence and the expirence many of us had the SW:I) not saying that Rocky falls into that catagory in fact it sounds like it works very well in a small theatre which is alwys my judgement to weather or not a film works if you see it in a small quiet theatre...of course that has it's drawback too-when I was writing reviews (something Mr. Stallone's Q&A has inspired me to start looking into thank you Sly) I wrote a glowing review for LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL because the theatre was almost like an art house veyr small and intimate when I saw it. Later when saw it on cable I was liek ohh I wrote a good review for this?

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Great review, McWeener

    by performingmonkey

    Mori again proves his worth. Stallone as Rocky is an iconic performance of an iconic character. No-one can deny that. Jesus Christ, every single 'underdog' story takes from Rocky. 8 Mile reminded me of it somewhat. And it seems that Balboa is the TRUE end of the underdog's story. It's a much truer end than a big 'happily ever after' ending with loads of wealth, cars etc. Rocky doesn't need all that.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 7:32 a.m. CST



    I'm really looking forward to this... ahhh memories..

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Go See it

    by artie langes nut

    The man got it right people, put your money down and put him in the winner's circle one more time. It was sold out when I saw it and it was sold out after as well, keep it up and bring him home #1

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Why is this guy the only person on the site...

    by Seph_J

    ...who feels he needs to add his address at the bottom of his film 'review'? Hi, I'm Drew Los Angeles. And this is Harry McTexas. I'm really not going to find your reviews more credible because you wrote them within the city boundaries of LA.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 8:31 a.m. CST

    it's good that milo v. was born after rocky aired..

    by mthrndr

    because rocky didn't have a son in the first movie, right? so the actor is age appropriate. too bad the characterization sucks.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    The Original Rocky

    by BobParr

    The script for the original movie was brilliant. The dialogue was amazing. Burt Young told Stallone during the filming that the script read like poetry. "I got gaps, she got gaps, together we fill gaps." I'll be interested in seeing this film if it is a return to that character. The sequels were a real betrayal of the original. The point of the original was that Rocky didn't have to win the fight.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Moriarty was trying to hard to find fault with this.

    by Cotton McKnight

    I'm not saying the movie was perfect or even the year's best movie, but I do think he was fishing for things to dislike. The father/son relationship in the film was just fine, I thought. And I am very thankful it was there because it led to one of the most powerful speeches in the entire film series. I know I took to heart what Rocky said.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 8:53 a.m. CST

    I noticed that too, seph_j.

    by Cotton McKnight

    That Drew McWeeny puts Los Angeles in all of his columns. Whats the point? I just find it amusing, to throw his own words back in his face.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 9:15 a.m. CST

    After whoring for a month

    by ZO

    did u really think anyone here was going to give a negative review of this? I mean they had 65 stallone interviews and ads. no way harry bites the hand that feeds him.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night...Fantastic!

    by vagaholic

    The audience was cheering at the end! -Not Drew McWeeny, Chicago

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 9:47 a.m. CST


    by Leafy McPlantsalot

    I completely agree with you. The original Rocky script was fantastic. I do find it funny that you chose one of the worst pieces of dialogue as an example of said great script though. "fills gaps" always felt like Rocky stating the obvious for people who didn't pick it up anyway.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Paulie’s not particularly likeable?

    by CherryValance

    I don't even know what to say about that. That's who he is and if you don't love him by now I guess that's why you're not a Rocky fan.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Last's Nights Audience

    by TheWacoKid

    I agree with Drew in the sense, the movie wasn't perfect, but it was a great Rocky film. Yes, the son's emotions jumped, yes there were some cheesy moments, but it was nostalgic, moving, and full of great moments with the dog, Paulie, and at the restaurant. I loved every moment of this film, and Rocky comes off as such a good person that you can't help but route for him. I love that, it is very inspiring to me. It also was the first time in a long time that I have seen most of the audience stay until the entire credits were over. So my hats off to Stallone, for making this movie, and making it great. I can't wait to see it again.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 10:39 a.m. CST

    We ever gettin a sequel to Party At Kitty And Studs?

    by oceansized

    I can't bring myself to read the 74 pages of Q&A. Did anyone ask him about that one?

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 10:54 a.m. CST

    What is the fuckin' deal over at box office guru?

    by SK909

    Don't you love when there is a movie people are so obviously behind and the last one to know is the media? Over at box office guru, he's predicting something like THIRTY FOUR MILLION for A Night at the Museum and A TWENTY ONE MILLION six day cume for Rocky Balboa. Are you fucking kidding me? So he's saying that this piece of shit movie that nobody that I know has any interest in seeing will make nearly 1 and a half times what RB will make in half the time? Which brings up something I wanted to mention - have any of you ever gone to see a film in absolutely packed houses and then when they numbers come out they seem impossibly low? And vice versa for other films where it doesn't seem like people are that interested? The first time I noticed that was the rerelease of Star Wars where, everyone was making a big deal that it did a 36 million dollar opening and I thought to myself, that's it? I mean I've hardly ever seen crowds like that except maybe for spiderman. Everyone I know, including friends who dont even give a shit about star wars AND their families were at a movie theater that weekend, so what gives? I have a feeling the same thing is going to happen with Rocky Balboa. The movie could play to sold out houses from yesterday until Sunday night but you won't hear about it. Instead you'll hear about Night at the Museum.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by PwnedByStallone

    Does no one have any brains o nthis site?

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by PwnedByStallone

    Does no one have any brains on this site?

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST

    don't forget Driven...

    by I87D

    as much as we would like to.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Awww what a sweet review

    by godzillasushi

    It should be fantastic, I think its cool they put ESPN and stuff in it. Thats how it really is now.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Clubber Lang

    by canopus

    I never thought of Clubber Lang as a villain, he was hungry for the title, and it turns out Mickey really was jerking him around and not giving him a shot, to try and spare Rocky the beating. His bad attitude was understandable under the circumstances. One of my favorite parts of any Rocky movie is when Clubber is being interviewed, and he's asked if he accepts Rocky's challenge for a rematch, Clubber says that he wouldn't call Balboa a challenge, but he would be happy to beat up on him some more, lol. As for Night At The Museum, I like just about all the actors in that movie, but it looks awful, I will be giving that one a pass.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by Kal El Vis

    Yes, it's EVERYONE ELSE that has the problem, right?

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST


    by MC Vamp

    "I reject the challenge, because Balboa is no challenge." God I love that line. So anyway, I saw BALBOA at a failry packed late night showing yesterday. It was good clean fun. It won't win Oscars, and in two years when TNT is showing it nonstop I'll be sick of it as anyone else, but it's a nice cap to the 5-picture series. 6 Rocky films, you say? No. The mythically horrific "Rocky 5" was never actually filmed, it was instead vomited out by Straculeous, the Roman God of feces, after a particularly large meal of cow dung. So I don't count it. Two things, though: 1. I wish Stallone had installed a born-again, grill-shilling Clubber Lang as an HBO color commentator. 2. The long winded spiels by Rocky and co. really brought the picture to a screeching halt at times. My God, in combining just the boxing commission speech and verbally spanking his whiny bitch of a son, I think Rocky says more words than in the first two Rocky films combined!

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST


    by TELF

    ZING! Great comeback! Oh wait you typoed AND double-posted. Still reeling from getting power owned by Rocky himself. Fuck off and sell negative somewhere else, we're enjoying a rare bit of warm consensus here. Nice review Mo. This movie does exactly what you want it to. While not perfect it is way better than anyone, this time last year, would have dared predicted.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    This movie was fucking superb

    by zillabeast

    Thank you Sly for putting everything you had into this one. The crowd I saw it with at 10 last night was totally into this one, and not just in the nostalgic kind of way. This is one hell of a fine piece of American filmaking. My personal favorite of the year.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 1:41 p.m. CST

    More like AK-Phoney 7

    by Kal El Vis

    This guys is REALLY reeling from being called-out for his BS, by the MAN himself. I guess if I was posting baseless inanities online without provocation, then was shit on REPEATEDLY by both TBer's and "Sly", I'd be a snivelling, whiney bitch too.

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    I laughed at the 30-year old turtles

    by Staldo

    I guess nobody else got it when we saw the shot of the aquarium with the two gigantic turtles in Rocky's bedroom. I thought it was an awesome throwback to the first film. remember when Michelangelo did Rocky impressions in the first TMNT movie? was that a reference to Rocky's love for his turtles?

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Hey Bibbi Gun

    by super Cucaracha

    Fuck you!

  • Dec. 21, 2006, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Cotton McKnight is on the money about Robert Jr.

    by darthbinks1220

    The Milo Ventimiglia character was pivotal in driving the Italian Stallion at the end of the film. Besides, it brought another link to Adrian Pennino into Rocky's life. The father's speech near the end epitomizes what Rocky is all about. It is the main message of this wonderful film, and pretty much the whole point of the franchise's intent.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 2:51 a.m. CST

    My own take

    by stomm

    I know i might get ribbed for saying this! I live in the UK and I work with a guy who's mad on rocky, ask him virtually any question and he's there (on boxing too) - because he's not so good with using the internet i've been giving him the info on the new rocky movie (onwards from when they said they were making it a couple of years ago). I admitted to him though that i hadn't seen any of them, it was like telling a priest i'd never heard of religion. The day after he brought the dvd's in. Now on top of this i've been reading the sly stallone questions since round 01, at first i thought it was going to be a bit of a stunt; my own impression of stallone was that he was not terribly interesting or eloquent. I was really surprised, he comes across as a very well read and genuine person (i apologise for my original opinion of you sir should you read this), i even printed out on the work's printer the whole 20 odd rounds worth of questions for my workmate who treated them like the lost gospels when i handed them over. After working through those every day and seeing how everybody bigs up Rocky movies (apart from 5 i've noticed!) I've started watching one per night, working my way up to being ready for Balboa. I'm on for Rocky 3 tonight, i watched Rocky 1 two nights ago, Rocky 2 last night and i was really surprised because i loved them both. I was genuinely surprised with how funny and human the characters were, especially how likeable Rocky is, and the interaction between stallone and burgess (weird seeing the penguin training him though)! I watched them with my girlfriend (another person who was shocked i'd never seen them) and i admit that i had to fight back tears a bit at the end of the fight in rocky 2. I knew in my mind that he had to win, but i still found myself boxing the air (a bit!) and my heart was manic. I know this sounds stupid but i'm 23 and not many films can do that to me, and i'm far from a boxing fan. So my point is if you've not watched them yet (at least the first two) get them watched, i have and they're top, especially with a beer after a bad day, nothing better to cheer you up.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 3:15 a.m. CST


    by Lewster3000

    audiance seemed to really love his character this time around. ive never seen an entire audiance acually laugh at his great and funny dialoge. it was great to see him like that, good for paulie.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    A sequel to Party At Kitty And Studs?

    by godoffireinhell

    Yes, Sly briefly talked about that film. He said he hopes the highest paid actor in Hollywood stars in a remake of it!

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Instead of MORIARTY, why not just use McWEENY?

    by Bob Cryptonight

    And be done with it.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Somebody kill that fucking piece of shit called AK47

    by Judge Dredds Dirty Undies

    I'll rape his corpse and deliver it to his mother.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Hey Dredd

    by Kal El Vis

    As far as THIS site goes, I'm pretty sure he IS dead. No one will take ANYTHING he has to say seriously from now on. Chalk up ANOTHER knockout for Rocky.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 1:04 p.m. CST


    by Datascream

    I think you meant "Does ANYBODY have any brains on the site"...well obviously you sure as hell don't, you typo and double-post AND your grammar sucks. Lifes looking pretty dim for you kid. Anyway, I'm gonna see this Sunday I think. Can't wait.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 1:34 p.m. CST

    If Rocky were a real heavyweight today

    by Blair_jedi

    He would destroy all of the clowns and pretenders masquerading as "world-class" fighters now. Even Rocky at age 60. As far as the movie goes, does Rocky beat Tarver? If so, then the next Rocky cash cow flick could be about Rocky fighting Mike Tyson woo hoo... or not.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST

    I think AK just likes seeing everyone address him

    by Lando Griffin

    so that makes him as much of an attention whore as a nega-whore. Concensus amongst the geeks is rare - you should be ashamed of yourself AK.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Rocky Balboa-A fitting end to a great series

    by audiodramaman

    I was a kid when ROCKY came out and a teen when he became a super hero and now, as I press closer to 40, it is a pleasure to see him as human once again. We all grow and learn and change and often mourn the little (and sometimes big)pieces of ourselves we leave behind. It's nice to have a hero (albiet a fictional entertainment hero)take that life journey with us and remind us no matter what stage of living we're at to take that next step forward, take the hits, and keep moving forward. I'm new to the talkbacks and I'm sure many of you in here with your vaste cinema knowledge can dance circles around anything I might be able to say, but for my hard earned money I felt Rocky Balboa gave me every cent worth and a little more besides. Way to go, Stallone. Thanks for the journey.

  • Dec. 22, 2006, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Keep your expectations reasonable...

    by Mr. Waturi

    While it is certainly a likeable film, it was maybe the fourth best of the series. Moriarty's review is right on. Every supporting character is simply there to let Stallone be Rocky. A nice ending, but nothing more.

  • Dec. 23, 2006, 12:24 a.m. CST


    by thot

    Just saw Rocky Balboa at the local Regal Cinema. It surpassed my expectations! I was gripped by the story and totally bought the premise. I agree that the film more closely resembles the first and bookends the series nicely. Stallone is very affecting and believable. It was fantastic to see the Italian Stallion back in action, and in a reasonably realistic fashion. Very solid, touching performances all around, especially by Stallone. Thank you Sly for one more time in the ring. A big thumbs-up!!

  • Dec. 23, 2006, 12:49 a.m. CST

    met my expectation...

    by Hail

    ...but didnt' surpass it. And that's okay. I agree about Rocky's son (do they even say what his name is?). Marie, I thought, would have been a nice presence for "Rocky's son" to connect with. Great fight at the end! Good human drama. Paulie was great and had a lot of meat to play with dispite little screen time. Mason was good, but a felt cut down at parts. Overall, a good farewell to one of Hollywood's great screen icons...

  • Dec. 23, 2006, 6:53 a.m. CST

    "You Heard Me, Mooley....

    by buster00


  • Dec. 23, 2006, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by BranMakMorn

    The movie ended about as perfectly as it could end. It didn't shy away from what made ROCKY popular but also touched on what made the first film unique from the sequels. Stallone, ya done good. Do what ya gotta do with Rambo now...

  • Dec. 23, 2006, 4:21 p.m. CST


    by Countess27

    Henry Sheehan gave away the ending to ROCKY BALBOA yesterday on KPCC 89.3 fm Film Week. This does not hurt Stallone. It hurts all the average people who work so hard on films, from the script supervisors to the technicians, costumers, etc. If you give away the ending (or critical story elements) of a film, fewer people go see it, it makes less money, and the studios have less money to hire people. It's not the rich studio heads or stars you hurt most by giving away the ending. It's average working people who lose jobs.

  • Dec. 24, 2006, 2:14 a.m. CST


    by theisson

    regardless of what a lot of people's a well written movie above all, paying homage to the past while not dwelling in it and doesn't manipulate us in loving a character we all knew we loved all over again...bravo sly, bravo.

  • Dec. 24, 2006, 3:07 p.m. CST

    I wasn't knocked out by it either

    by God Shamgodd

    I saw it last night, and really wanted to like it. I was rooting for Stallone, and for the character. Maybe my expectations were too high, given all of the good reviews and positive buzz. I ended up feeling a little disappointed. The movie has a paint-by-numbers feel: Rocky is lost without Adrian; he gets a shot at the champ; obligatory training montage; obligatory brutal fight in which Rocky shows heart; roll credits. Now, you can do all of that really well, you can do it poorly, or you can do it somewhere in between. "Rocky Balboa" is somewhere in between. The good stuff: the unintentionally funny words uttered by Rocky ("Hold your fist like this; it makes you look more hazardous"); the training montage; the posse/entourage that surrounds Mason Dixon. The okay stuff: Rocky's sense of loss/emptiness without Adrian; his budding relationship with Little Marie. But the former would have been soooooo much better if Rocky had simply said at one point, "There were only three things that gave my life meaning: Adrian, our kid, and fighting. Now Adrian's gone, and I've got no relationship with the kid. All I've got left that means anything is fighting." And THAT'S why he's gotta get back in the ring at age 60. The bad stuff: lots of corny, meant-to-inspire dialogue and speeches; and much of the fight with Mason Dixon. Tarver looks like he's holding back on offense when Rocky is clearly a threat to knock him out. He also, however, curls up like a potato bug any time Rocky throws a weak jab. Plus, the movie gives two reasons that Mason Dixon is not at full strength, which takes away from what Rocky is able to do in the ring. And is it a title defense or just an exhibition? The movie says it's the latter, but then goes on to treat it as a title defense, complete with judges keeping scorecards and the title on the line. I would have liked to have seen the fight play out much more like the Creed-Drago fight, with Dixon being Creed and Rocky being Drago. Creed completely outclassed Drago as a boxer, but Drago had vicious, unprecedented punching power. For too much of the final fight, Rocky stands toe-to-toe with Dixon and tries to box with him, rather than picking his spots and trying to land the big punch, the way Drago did against Creed. So, all in all, a disappointing experience...but if you've seen the first five, you gotta go anyway.

  • Dec. 25, 2006, 7:01 a.m. CST

    An 8/10 Bookend

    by nexxus7

    I'm glad Sly got to make this movie.

  • Dec. 25, 2006, 10:15 p.m. CST

    What a bunch of kissass here for Stallone

    by Reno

    Pathetic. Like, he's your guy's pal or something. Think you're going over for dinner?

  • Dec. 26, 2006, 5:08 a.m. CST


    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    or maybe we all just enjoyed the film...maybe if you didnt think you're too cool for it you might see that...just like some fuckwits who sat in the upper corner of the thatre laughing and snickering till i finally had to stand up and tell em to shut the fuck up. all in all, i thought the film was great and stallone really shined for the first time in a long god when he breaks down in front of Paulie brought tears to my was like he had been holding them back since she died and finally let em out. gonna see it again tomorrow

  • Dec. 26, 2006, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Was it great?

    by frodo0118

    ... no, it wasn't great, but it was damned good. This movie did exactly what a movie should do ... entertain the audience. My hat's off to Sly for taking the chance to make this movie. Now, on to Rambo IV.

  • Dec. 26, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Thanks Sly

    by JeffDaMan

    Thanks for washing away the nasty taste of Rocky 5. Now THIS was the proper way to end Rocky. LOVED IT!

  • Dec. 27, 2006, 12:17 a.m. CST

    i don't care what all you naysayers say...

    by jarodvhale

    the movie was a great piece of filmmaking that shows how much movies suck today...I saw the original Rocky on TV on Sat and just went with a buddy of mine tonight who is also a Rocky fan to see it....the movie was great from start to end....this was a bookend...end of discussion..I kept saying wow throughout the whole movie and clapped probably a dozen times....I was worried about Adrian dying...then realized, as Sly was necessary...that scene when they are in the meat locker and Sly shows his true pain about Adrian's parts that I thought were slow were necessary...why was he getting a dog...oh yeah..for the training he did before...why did he do that huge ass speech to his son..cause he practices what he preaches ands that's what got him through the mickey in Rocky III....why was little marie in the movie...cause we seemed to have forgotten how simple and kind Rocky the end of the day ...these movies weren't fight movies..they are love movies around fighting...rocky and adrian..rocky and mickey...rocky and Paulie, rocky and clubber, rocky and philly...and finally rocky and his son...if sly is truly reading these talkbacks..then thank you and truly shaped our culture...and as Moriarty are an icon.

  • Dec. 28, 2006, 3:56 a.m. CST


    by williamD

    Stallone knows how to do this kind of thing, and it was great!

  • Dec. 28, 2006, 7:09 a.m. CST

    It was a great movie

    by Desk of Steel

    I saw it the other night and went in thinking I was going to like it based upon nostalgia alone. When the movie ended I was thinking it couldv'e easily been a stand alone film and I loved it. I also think the fact that some people think the series became a joke hurts the films real potential to be nominated for awards. I think the acting from Stallone and Burt Young was great.

  • Dec. 28, 2006, 5:44 p.m. CST

    meh ++

    by thebearovingian

    My grade for RB.

  • Dec. 28, 2006, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Just got back

    by XoanonTORN

    from a dead screening in Montreal with my dad. I found the film fairly well written but wanting in many many places. Both Rock Jr. and 'Steps' characters are given nothing to do, and the film seemed very short.<p>However Stallone shows his talent behind the camera, shame he doesn't try to make more films. Just my .2$ <p> Michael Regina Editor in Chief/Segment Producer

  • Aug. 28, 2007, 2:13 a.m. CST

    We want the banana rocker movie

    by BrandLoyalist

    See him drop dead on his organ as he finally succumbs to his serotonin deficiency. <br><br> See talkbacker finally test behavior of break tags in forgotten thread.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 12:01 p.m. CST

    good movie<p>better than I expected

    by just pillow talk

    Stallone was really good in it, but Mori was right, his kid was a cardboard cutout with no dimension to him. But it's a story about Rocky, so who cares? Glad I saw it.