VIDEO: Rocky Balboa (2006)

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Cheapus steps into the ring for Rocky Balboa, the Sylvester Stallone-directed final entry in the Rocky series, where the now 60 year old boxer makes a surprising comeback (as does the actor playing him) over the objections of his son (Milo Ventimiglia). Rocky fans get everything they expect: Burt Young, a training montage set to “Gonna Fly Now”, and both Rocky and Sly overcoming the odds. Now, when is Stallone going to get around to making Marion Cobretti and Lincoln Hawk?

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  • I started out not wanting to like this presentation but it really is done well and it is fun. It definitely has some Rocky Spirit in it!

    P.S. The first Rocky / Apollo fight was a split decision loss not a draw.

    • Liam Barrett

      Thank you very much, guys.

  • MephLord

    Like you I enjoy combat sports (particularly MMA I can spend hours talking about the damn subject) but never saw this movie after the bitter taste of Rocky V.  It looks to be a pretty good movie though.  Onto another subject, have you seen the Smashing Machine, Like Water or the Striking Truth?  All three movies are very interesting takes on the sport of MMA and its development.  I hope some day there is a documentary on Michael Bisping or Martin Kampmann, they have had interesting careers so far.

    I also like other sports movies too; soccer, baseball (A League of Their Own is such a good movie that is totally underrated), American Football, tennis…the list is endless.  Sadly most sports movies really aren’t that popular so they aren’t reviewed simply because no one would watch such a review.  Oh and my favorite boxing movie?  Raging Bull.

    • Liam Barrett

      Bisping had a documentary made about him over here for TV. It was very interesting, he’s a very different man from how he promotes himself.

      And of course Raging Bull is The Daddy as far as boxing movies go.

  • Pretty funny that even Stallone himself gave Rocky V a zero rating. Rocky V to Sly is Leonard Part 6 to Bill Cosby. I guess Cosby went that extra step beyond…Sorry.

    The contrasting of the realistically shot final fight compared to the over-romanticism of boxing of the Rocky series in general seemed an interesting touch and that was the one thing I knew about the film without even seeing the whole thing.

    I’d love to see you review a footie movie someday, being a footie fanatic myself. I know a lot of them have cliched sports movie storylines like When Saturday Comes and the Goal movies but Escape To Victory is an odd case just from the casting alone. Pele, Bobby Moore and Ossie Ardiles with Max von Sydow, Michael Caine and Stallone. Those real life football legends with those three poles-apart Hollywood actors is really weird to me.

    • MephLord

       I wonder if Bend it like Beckham is in the cheap movie bin now?

    • Liam Barrett

      I’m sure I’ll do a Football movie eventually. Cheers.

  • Joelkazoo

    I loved this movie. It was a perfect bookend to end the Rocky series on, in that it brought back the heart a lot of the subsequent sequels sorely lacked, in that it was about the characters, not the boxing. I must contend, however, that the reason for Rocky taking the fight was not, as you stated, him trying to prove to himself that he could still do it, but rather his way of “killing the beast” that had been raging inside of him ever since Adrian’s death. So many great character moments in this film, especially Rocky’s “I didn’t know it would be this hard!” soliloquy and Paulie’s guilt over having treated Adrian so poorly her entire life. Even those tiny clips of it you played made me misty-eyed. But most of all, I love how on-the-head you were in saying how the Rocky series out-and-out refuses to be in any way cynical. It’s all about how one person with a dream can achieve those dreams through hard work, perseverance, and a few lucky breaks, no matter the odds or what the naysayers may try to do to break one’s spirit. You’re quickly becoming one of my favorite reviewers on the site, keep up the great work!    

    • Liam Barrett

      Thank you very much.

  • Cristiona

    This movie had so much going against it and turned out to be absolutely amazing.  That training montage is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and not just because Gonna Fly Now makes you feel like you could punch God in the kidneys and get away with it.

    A very good review and you really hit on some of the most important themes of the Rocky series in your bit about realism.  Rocky movies are all about heart, and this one has it in spades.  The Rocky/Paulie scenes were actually heart wrenching, and somehow made Rocky’s mush-mouthed speech even more effective.

    Since you have the DVD, I’m assuming you saw the alternate “Rocky wins” ending.  Any thoughts on that?  I think they were wise to leave it off, since the movie was more about doing than succeeding.  Also, while you pretty much skipped over it, the theatrical ending makes a lot more sense with Dixon’s story arc.

    • Liam Barrett

      They were VERY wise leaving that ending off, because like I said, this was NEVER a film about Rocky winning a boxing match. Infact, I’d go so far as to say that ending would have ruined the movie.

  • Jeff Bradford

    Big?! Wait! What do you mean big?

  • Kyle Oxenham

    You forgot to mention that both the first Rocky and Karate kid movies both had the same director, John G Avidson.

  • Albert Giesbrecht

    I was a background actor in Rocky IV–the Russian fight scene. It was filmed in Vancouver, the first major film to be shot in Vancouver. The whole fight scene took a week to film. At the end, when Rocky makes his speech, about ending the Cold War, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, everybody was crying, no acting.