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Yo, '80s fans! We did it! Rocky week concludes with 'Rocky Balboa'



TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: Concluding our look at the Rocky franchise in honor of newly released Creed , here's guest blogger Jim "Dr. Dim" Fitzsimons with a review of Rocky Balboa (2006). (Don't forget to listen to our Rocky podcast.)

THE PLOT: It has been 15 years since Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) has had anything to do with the boxing world. In that time, he lost his beloved wife to cancer and his son Robert (Milo Ventimiglia), resenting living in his famous father's shadow, has become distant. A program on ESPN creates renewed interest in Rocky when it uses a computer generated fight simulation pitting Rocky at his prime against the current champion Mason "The Line" Dixon (Antonio Tarver). Rocky gets interested in fighting again and gets back in the ring. The boxing world takes notice and an exhibition fight between the 58-year-old former champ and the much younger current champ is arranged. With the help of his son, Paulie (Burt Young), and Apollo Creed's former trainer Duke (Tony Burton) Rocky puts on a hell of a fight and, whether he wins or not, goes out on top.

MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Rocky befriends a single mom who turns out to have been that teenage girl he lectured about smoking and hanging out with the wrong sort of people in the original Rocky.

SURELY YOU DIDN'T FORGET: In filming the final fight scene, the filmmakers piggybacked on a real boxing event held in Las Vegas. That way there would be a real crowd involved. During the filming of Rocky's approach to the ring, the fans, without any instruction to do so, took to their feet and began chanting, "Rocky! Rocky!"

THE TUNES: Two songs written and performed by Frank Stallone were included in the film: Take You Back and Get Up.

WHAT CRITICS SAID: "This sad-eyed, mumbling mug - by which I mean both Rocky and Stallone - can still be endearing when he's down, much as we forget that when he's puffed up. And the same-old-same-old story he's telling can be, too, when outfitted, as it is here, with a couple of new wrinkles for the aging baby boomer in all of us." Bob Mondello,  

WHY WE STILL LOVE IT: Because we still love it when the underdog makes good.


5. "It doesn't matter how this looks to other people. If this is something you gotta do, then you do it. Fighters fight."

4. "Lotta people come to Vegas to lose...I didn't."

3. Mason Dixon: "You one crazy old man."
Rocky: "You'll get there."

2. "Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and, I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently, if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"

1. "Yo, Adrian. We did it."

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 8:55am]


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