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Rocky Balboa (2006)

Action & Adventure and Drama movie directed by Sylvester Stallone

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No Adrian

  • Sep 6, 2008
  • by
Maybe it's because I was a little kid when the first Rocky came out but they do it for me for some reason. Most of them. Rocky 5 was awful. As I sit here I can't remember if I ever saw the entire movie. I think I always bailed out of it before it was over. I never thought that one was worthy of being the last Rocky movie so it was nice that this one came out. Whether it's because I feel like I know the core characters from all those times seeing the movies as a kid or not, they still have a way of getting to me.

I didn't read about the movie, didn't talk with anyone about it, didn't look into it at all until I first saw it on HBO or Showtime or whoever aired it a couple months ago. Since #5 was so bad I didn't rush into this one. I have been happily surprised. The first (and one of the hardest) punch of the movie is seeing the name on the headstone. I had no idea Adrian was dead in this one before that moment, and no
intention of mentioning her death in my review but after 20 seconds on this page I saw it has been mentioned tons of times already so I don't think I'm letting a secret out.

Adrian was always such a cutie pie sweety, and she was also sort of the Edith Bunker of the Rocky films. In many ways she was the strength and conscience. All the things that some reviewers have considered to be the slow, depressing stuff before the movie (aka the boxing) begins is the stuff I love. There's genuine feeling there. It's a drag that Talia Shire didn't get to be in this one but much of the movie is a fitting tribute to the strength of the character she brought to life. I like that.

Also, this Rocky most imitates real life. There's no villain to conquer and there's no ascension to, nor fall from greatness. It's a story about the people, places and memories that make a life.

My gripe about the movie is the training montage. Donning the same grey sweatshirt/sweatpants from the first movie, punching the meat, etc... was too obvious for me. I don't like things to be so blatant. Also, my favorite passage of the famous Rocky musics is only touched on for one small part as the credits are rolling. That was a bummer.

Still, what really matters in this one is that Rocky has always been a good guy and he even delivers a street-corner speech that the USA could and should really take to heart. "It's not how hard you hit." We'd be a better nation because of it. Rocky Balboa is a really touching way to wrap up the mythology of this pop-culture icon.

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More Rocky Balboa (2006) reviews
review by . April 30, 2008
Sylvester Stallone has always been underrated by many, but his characterizations of Rocky Balboa and John Rambo will outlive him and the rest of us. Sure, there were failures in the series, but the originals were classic.     With "Rocky Balboa", Stallone acknowledges saying goodbye to the character he created thirty years earlier. And it is a fine, heart-tugging send off. I doubt, though, that it will work for anyone who hasn't seen the original "Rocky", because the main movie …
review by . May 21, 2007
When I first heard about a new Rocky movie, like everyone else, I thought it was a bad idea. Make that a terrible idea. Forget his age, didn't anyone remember "Rocky V"? It wasn't popular. The "Rocky" franchise was dead after that film. Even though it wasn't an awful film, it wasn't good either. So, when Stallone made his big announcement of the new one, I greeted it with the same enthusiasm as any Stallone film. I just wasn't interested. After a lot of positive reviews for the new one, "Rocky Balboa," …
review by . April 30, 2007
I was very reluctant to see this movie having suffered through the last two sequels. I must say that I was surprised by this film which was actually quite good. The film managed to recapture the feel of the original film with a now "old" Rocky, mourning his wife constantly while trying to mend fences with his son. He is the owner of a restaurant and lets his old sparring partner Spider Rico eat there for free until Spider decides he needs to earn his keep and voluntarily begins working in the restaurant.   …
review by . April 29, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
While it's completely unrealistic that a 60-something ex-champ could fight competitively with a 20-something current champ, Rocky Balboa turns out to be quite a good movie. Rocky is back in his old hard scrabble neighborhood dealing with the facts of aging, the death of his beloved wife, and his estrangement from his son. When a computer generated match between Rocky and current champ Mason Dixon touts that Rocky was the better boxer, Dixon's management stages an exhibition match between the two …
review by . March 24, 2007
Who would have expected Sylvester Stallone to be able to squeeze yet another movie out of his internationally successful Rocky series? Well, friends, the guy may have aged with the rest of us but Stallone's ability to go to the heart of the character he has made an icon still is strong. As a result ROCKY BALBOA, though overly sentimental at times (which is in keeping with the Rocky we have all grown to know) plays as a show of strength not only in the boxing ring, but also in the viability of the …
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About this movie


The sixth installment of the Rocky series picks up the story of the Italian Stallion 16 years after the morose Rocky V. And sure, at his advanced age, Sylvester Stallone now looks like one of those sides of beef his character used to pound on. No matter. Somehow you buy the premise after all these years, even if it takes forever for Rocky Balboa to stop wallowing in self-pity (Adrian is dead, his old haunts are demolished) and get down to the business of drinking raw eggs and running up staircases. The business at hand is an unlikely exhibition fight with champion Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver), which the near-sexagenarian Mr. Balboa has no business accepting. Of course, just as sure as the horns of Bill Conti's theme music are even now trumpeting through your head, the ol' Rock might have a punch or two left in him. Stallone wrote and directed, and there isn't much to say except that the movie steps in its pre-determined paces with a canny sense of what has come before (it's practically an homage to all the previous Rocky pictures, complete with fleeting flashbacks). Burt Young is around again, and Geraldine Hughes makes an appealing, rather chaste female companion for Rocky. Stallone's Rocky has gotten suspiciously articulate over the years, but he still knows how to slouch. If Stallone never forgets that, he can probably keep the franchise rolling. --Robert Horton

Stills from Rocky Balboa (click for larger image)


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Director: Sylvester Stallone
Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure
Screen Writer: Sylvester Stallone
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
Runtime: 102 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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