The Rocky movies are a guilty pleasure of mine.
There’s no guilt for the first one, of course. That’s just a really good script and a really good story and some really, really good acting from everybody. It even ended with an oh-so-very 70’s ending of “he didn’t win the fight, he didn’t win the title… but he proved to himself that he could go the distance.”
The 2nd one was the cash grab that said, “Okay, you wanted to see him win? Now you can see him win.”
Rocky III had the scariest bad guy in any movie I had seen up until that point: Clubber Lang.
We were all making jokes about “I pity the fool!” for years following that movie (and Mister T himself turned it into a nice little tagline), but, in context, it’s not a particularly funny/jokey line. It’s a magnificent bad guy line.
Rocky IV went through the looking glass. In the same way that James Brown laid it down and said “You cannot parody me – I cannot be parodied,” Rocky IV said the same thing.
A movie that cannot be parodied. A movie that mocks itself even as it is awesome.
Rocky V wasn’t very good. It wasn’t as downright *BAD* as you’ve probably heard… but it wasn’t good. I had (mistakenly!) thought that it would be a capstone on the series and, well, it ended like the first movie. You’re left feeling like he won… kinda… on his terms… kinda… but, man. It was kind of a drag. You didn’t want the story to end there. But there it was.
So when Rocky Balboa came out, I was actually kind of surprised. Then I saw it and, dang, it was an *APOLOGY* for V. It came out and said, “You know what? Yeah, we screwed up. Here’s the story you wanted to see.” Then it told it and, you know, it was downright awesome. An appropriate bookend for how awesome the first movie was.
So when I heard that they were making *ANOTHER* Rocky movie, I laughed and thought “What a dumb cash grab!” and then immediately started googling the heck out of the movie.
It’s called “Creed“. The basic story as far as I can tell is this: Adonis Creed (son of Apollo) is an up and coming boxer and Rocky Balboa becomes his trainer.
DO YOU NEED MORE THAN THAT?!?!?
The only (and I mean the *ONLY*) thing that has me somewhat apprehensive is that Stallone didn’t write the script for this one. I find myself hoping that Ryan Coogler (director of Fruitvale Station) and Stallone had many, many dinners together as part of pre-production. Not that Coogler needs to have listened to everything that Stallone had to say… but a lot of it.
As such, I’m going to be watching the movie as a metaphor for directing at the same time that I watch it as a boxing movie.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?
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