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DVD Review: "Rocky Balboa" (2006)
Rocky Balboa movie poster.
Like many other people, watching DVD's are a part of a weekly routine for me. The latest DVD I watched that I felt was worthy of a review was the 2006 movie, "Rocky Balboa". I first watched this movie back in the year 2007. I rented it back then through my Netflix account. The history of the "Rocky" movies have spanned over 40 years total with the original movie, "Rocky" coming out in 1976. Many believed that "Rocky V", which was released in 1990 was the final chapter to the Rocky saga. Sylvester Stallone, who has played the character of Rocky Balboa in all of the films came back to play the character again after 16 years. The film also stars: Burt Young, boxer Antonio Tarver, Milo Ventimiglia, Geraldine Hughes, Tony Burton, James Francis Kelly III, and real life boxing promoter, Lou DiBella. In this hub I'm going to give my thoughts on the movie. I'll try to limit the spoilers as much as possible for those who may have not seen it already. Please read on...
Plot of the movie.
This film finds Rocky Balboa(Stallone) as a retired boxer, who is now running a small Italian restaurant named "Adrian's". Adrian's is the name given to the restaurant in memory of Rocky's wife, Adrian Pennino who is now deceased after losing a battle to cancer. Rocky is obviously struggling with the death of his wife, but also has rocky relationship with his son, Robert(Ventimiglia), who is struggling to find his place in the corporate world. Rocky finds most of his support from his brother-in-law and longtime friend, Paulie(Young). While visiting a local tavern that Balboa frequented during the 70's, he reunites with "Little" Marie(Hughes). Marie was the troubled young neighborhood girl in the first Rocky movie that Rocky met while she was a child. After reuniting with Marie, Rocky also develops a friendship with her son, Stephenson(Kelly III). The current heavyweight champion, Mason "The Line" Dixon(Tarver) is an undefeated fighter, but he is constantly taunted by the public for never facing any real tough competition. After an ESPN computer simulation of a fight between Dixon and an in his prime Balboa is broadcast, Rocky decides to take up boxing again. Dixon's promoters then pitch the idea of an exhibition match between Balboa and Dixon. After initially not being interested in the fight, both men decide to fight each other. Balboa then enlists the help of Tony "Duke" Evers(Burton), who was Balboa's former nemesis and later friend Apollo Creed's trainer in the previous Rocky movies. Evers also trained Rocky after the death of Apollo Creed. All of this sets up towards a showdown between the former champion who still has "stuff in the basement", against a current champion looking to change the public's perception of him.
Thoughts on the movie.
If you are a fan of the previous Rocky films, you are going to love this movie. Then again, if you're a real fan, you have most likely seen this movie already. Although I've never really looked at Sylvester Stallone as anything besides a great action star, I felt like he was excellent at portraying Rocky as a man who is struggling internally to cope with his tragic loss, but also maintains an heroic larger than life personality to the general public. Stallone, Tony Burton, and Burt Young are the only three actors in this movie to have been in all of the previous Rocky movies. All of the other actors in this film done well in my opinion. There is an excellent father son moment between Stallone and Milo Ventimiglia about halfway through the movie that really touches me. I sometimes go on Youtube just to watch this particular scene and from reading the comments, it inspires others as well. I'm sure that many people weren't expecting too much from this movie, but I feel like it was a fitting way to close the chapter on the Rocky story.
I would suggest this movie to anyone who enjoys inspirational stories. We all know that the Rocky movies in general portrayed Rocky as a man with a big punch and an even bigger heart, but there are also life lessons to be learned from these movies as well. If you are looking for an all out boxing brawl, then this movie might bore you most of the way. However, if you enjoy an inspiring story of a man who is looking to defeat the odds not only in the ring, but outside of it as well, then this is a movie I highly recommend if you've yet to seen it. I hope you enjoyed my review of "Rocky Balboa". Thanks for reading.