Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Friday, 10 September 2010
Rocky launched Sylvester Stallone's struggling career into stardom. The film made $225 million at the box office - a 22500% profit, and started a franchise that consists of five sequels (1979, 1982, 1985, 1990 and 2006), and landed a one-two punch of jock stereotypes as rich with caricature today as they were riveting performances in 1976.
The story centres on boxer past his prime Rocky Balboa (Stallone). He falls in love with Adrian (Talia Shire), sister of his friend Paulie (Burt Young), and then starts working to earn the respect of trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith). After taking down opponent after opponent, and being nicknamed the 'Italian Stallion' by the press, he eventually gets a chance to unseat world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).
Combined with Bill Conti's memorable trumpet blasts and percussive rumble, Rocky is a powerful and entertaining drama about struggling for satisfaction in an indifferent world. Writing the screenplay Stallone connected its sale to his taking the leading role, despite being virtually unknown at the time. Desperate or inspired, he hit the big time, becoming one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and proving himself versatile and tenacious.
Rocky also lovingly details the white working-class - Rocky, Paulie, Adrian and Mickey respectively work as a debt collector, meat packer, pet store worker and gym proprietor, yet they each have wishes and dreams - and their lifestyles show just how hard it can be living in the slums of rural Philadelphia. The film, however, never fails to return to a world of folklore where underdogs get their well-deserved chance after lots of hard work.
A lot of people boycott the film, mostly because of Stallone's way below-par subsequent career - in 1999 he won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor of the Century for '99.5% of everything he's ever done' - and if that is stopping you from watching Rocky then for goodness sakes put those feelings aside and watch it because - A) Stallone gives what is probably the only good quality performance of his career, indeed he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for it, and B) trust me, if you watch it you will never regret it.
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Tony Burton, Joe Spinnell, Thayer David.
Oscars: Best Picture (Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff), Best Director (John G. Avildsen), Best Editing (Richard Halsey, Scott Conrad).
Oscar nominations: Best Screenplay (Sylvester Stallone), Best Actor (Sylvester Stallone), Best Actress (Talia Shire), Best Supporting Actor (Burt Young), Best Supporting Actor (Burgess Meredith), Best Original Song (Gonna Fly Now - Bill Conti, Carol Connors, Ayn Robbins), Best Sound Mixing (Harry W. Tetrick, William L. McCaughey, Lyle J. Burbridge, Bud Alper).