Tag Archives: boxing

Rocky Balboa Review – Yo Adrian, Sly Lands a Hit! Movie Review

[cjtoolbox name=’google2′ ] [/cjtoolbox]

Rocky Balboa manages to make a comeback, yet again.  He’s the perpetual underdog who warms your heart with his trademark sideways Philly drawl.  This feel good movie proves once and for all that Mr. Stallone is here to stay in Hollywood.

Balboa takes us back to the top of the stairs
[cjtoolbox name=’google2′ ] [/cjtoolbox]

You cannot deny the fact that Sly evokes the character of Rocky with great passion.  His acting skills seem methodically improvised with great ease.  I guess when you write and direct a movie, you do have that creative freedom.

When I first heard that there was going to be another installment in the Rocky empire, I thought it was going to be amiss.  To my surprise, this movie had substance, good acting, and heart.  “Rocky Balboa” (Rocky VI), brings back the action packed bouts that fans crave. The big fight between Rocky and Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon (Antonio Tarver) was filmed impressively with boxing fans in mind.

It was as authentic as you could get for a Hollywood flick.  The fight was filmed at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  Real boxing professionals starred as themselves, including: Lou DiBella, Mike Tyson, Woody Paige, and Charles Johnson.  Adrian’s brother, Paulie, played by Burt Young, is back and even more hilariously bitter.  Adrian, played by Talia Shire, has a few flashback scenes, as her character was killed off.  Why?  Sly needed to upgrade his acting skills from okay to creditable.  Did it work?  I think he would have been more creditable without the crying scene.

The crowd goes wild for Rocky after his big fight

Rocky owns and runs an Italian restaurant fittingly named, Adrian’s.  The most clever quote of the movie?

Rocky: Hey Paulie we are just about to serve the special.

Paulie: Italian food cooked by a bunch of Mexicans ain’t so special.

Well visiting Adrian’s is special, kind of.   Fans and guests of Rocky’s restaurant get to reminisce with the boxer about his old school victories while they eat their dinner.  It is here where he dreams of getting into the ring one more time, for the sport, not the win.

Lil Marie and Rocky form a great friendship
[cjtoolbox name=’google2′ ] [/cjtoolbox]

Throughout the movie, Rocky keeps Adrian’s spirit alive.  Rocky Jr. seems embarrassed by his has been father.  Paulie keeps on being his opinionated sidekick.  New to the Rocky saga is Lil Marie and Steps.  As it goes, Lil Marie was walked home by Rocky when she was a teeny bopper.

They conveniently ran into each other many years later and now that she’s all grown up, Balboa has befriended her.  Lil Marie, played by British actress, Geraldine Hughes, does a wonderful rendition of a Philadelphia accent.  I was happy she came into the picture because Rocky was a little over bearing on the whole missing Adrian theme.

Marie is a single mother with a son named Steps, which Rocky seems to bring along everywhere he goes.  Seems he’s trying to replace his distant son.  It’s not really clear why Rocky Jr. is so adamantly annoyed by his father, but they seem to work out the kinks by the end of the film.

Rocky lands a punch to Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon

Yes, Rocky fights again and yes he’s in his 50’s (in the movie).  How is this believable?  Oddly enough Rocky boxing, despite his brain damage from previous fights, was plausible.  Rockster was offered an exhibition fight from Dixon’s camp after a computer program by ESPN favored him over the current champ.

He went through the boxing commission which at first didn’t want to sanction the fight, but good ol’ Rocky laid them a guilt trip from the depths of all things cheesy, but it worked.  He was offered an exhibition fight and began training as if he was in his 30’s again.

Rocky reflects the good times with Adrian
[cjtoolbox name=’google2′ ] [/cjtoolbox]

The day finally comes when Rocky meets his opponent in the ring.  He’s buff…in exceptional shape for his age.  His passion to fight is boiling over.   By this time, you’re in your seat anxiously awaiting some boxing glove to face action.

Boy oh boy, do they deliver.  10 rounds, real blows, commentators, and even a cameo from the ear biter, Mike Tyson make this fight a pleasure to watch.  The fight has some blood, but just remember, it’s Hollywood.  If you’re a boxing fan, this will please you fist to fist.  If you’re not a boxing fan, there is a lot of character building to wet your drama seeking whistle.

Antonio Tarver debuts in his first motion picture.  His acting skills were competent, but his fighting skills were sensational.  I won’t say who won, but you will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this seat gripping fight.

Rocky, Rocky Jr., and Steps feel the excitement after “the fight”

For all of the die hard Rocky fans, wait for the credits to see a fanatical portion of regular folk doing the infamous Rocky air bag punching in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I know some of you are wondering.  So I’ll go ahead and answer that nagging question in the back of your mind.  It’s a negative.  Rocky doesn’t say, “Yo Adrian” in the movie.  If you need to hear it one more time you’ll have to pop in Rocky I.   Just remember, It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

I wrote this artical for LAsplash Magazine.  You can see the original here at:

[cjtoolbox name=’google2′ ] [/cjtoolbox]