Wednesday, February 17, 2021

What's Next On My List? Rocky Balboa

Welcome to the seventh installment of #StalloneMonth, which I have to say, is my favorite time of the year! In February we look over the filmography of this wonderful actor, 4-5 movies at a time. This has been a fun project, and I will keep on going until I run out of movies to review! As we are still at home in various kind of lockdown, it is the perfect time to go and look at the awesome movies that - despite any ratings on movie sites - have the awesome, the one and only, the inimitable: Sly Stallone

Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) goes through his day, visiting his wife Adrian at the cemetary, trying to have a relationship with his son Robert (Milo Ventimiglia) and trying to make something of the legacy he built up. Feeling without purpose, he decides to get into the fighting game again, purely for the enjoyment of it. His family helps him train, and he does go the distance, the way only Rocky can. 

I saw this movie after seeing Creed (read my review here), and first of all, I really like how this older Rocky was lifted and put into those movies, from the restaurant to his ways as a father. I love that his spirit never dies, but I also love that he knows when to teach and when to let others continue on their path. A perfect example of this was a speech he gave to his son, who seemed to be embarassed about his father and the unlucky cards that life dealt him.

"You ain't gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. I'd hold you up and say to your mother: 'This kid's gonna be the best kid in the world.' 'This kid's gonna be somebody better than anybody ever knew.' And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching. Every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped bein' you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good, and when things got hard, you started lookin' for somethin' to blame. Like a big shadow. I'll 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 you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep movin' forward. How much you can take and keep movin' forward. That's how winnin' is done! If you know what you're worth, get what you're worth, but you gotta be willin' to take the hits and not pointin' fingers, sayin' you ain't where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody! Cowards do that, and that ain't you! You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you no matter what, no matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believin' in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life."

I do not believe in being passive, I like to yell someone's head off, just to make them see reason. These big monologues have a very similar effect in movies. His son gets it together and he realizes that his dad is someone to be proud of and that his name is not a curse. They story pics up they relationship at the end of Creed II (read my review here) and I hope that it will give us more. His pain over losing Adrian just gets my crying everytime. And when this movie was over, I felt sad... this is most definitely one of my favorite franchises. These were not all good movies, some were silly, some forgot that Rocky has a certain kind of persona - which this brough back -, some went to great depths. And this movie was truly a perfect ending to that chapter.

Watch it? Honestly it is a perfect ending to this powerhouse of a franchise. It marked the 70s, the 80s, the beginning of the 90s, and even the 2000s. If we do not take into account that Rocky has given life to a new franchise as well with Creed, it is amazing to see the evolution of this character, as it accompanied Sylvester Stallone's career as well. Boy, amd I gonna miss it...

Until the next item on my list!

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