Monday, March 8, 2010

Canon Movie Review: Rocky

Hey, the Oscars were on three hours ago. I didn't watch them, but I'm sure they were great. The Hurt Locker won best picture, I haven't seen it, but I'm sure it was at least a good movie. Since the Oscars were today, I decided to pick at random a previous Oscar winner for Best Picture. To my surprise, the choice was Rocky, which won the Oscar in 1976. Even though I've seen it twice already, I had no problem seeing it a third time. A few thoughts about this movie:

- To me, it's quite an upset that this movie won the Best Picture Oscar. Just look at the other nominations, there's Network, Taxi Driver, All the President's Men, and Bound For Glory. That's a tough crowd there. I've never seen Bound for Glory, but the rest are very, very good movies. Not only that, but Rocky was a less polished film than any of these movies, and didn't have a big name actor like Robert Redford or a big time director like Sidney Lumet and Martin Scorsese. That the Oscar went to a movie written by and starring a struggling actor (Stallone was not regarded as leading man material at all, and the studio wanted a bigger name actor in the movie instead of some bit actor), is kind of a shock.

- Stallone did such a great acting job in this film. In a review for the film when it was released, Roger Ebert compared him to a young Marlon Brando, that's how good Stallone was in Rocky. Today, he's kind of considered a joke, or at the very least a bad actor. But he really nailed this role, and he wrote the screenplay to boot, although the final product is a bit different from his original script.

- Paulie was a real jerk in this film. He kept bugging Rocky to ask his loan shark boss Gallo for a job, he treats his sister like crap, constantly berating her for no good reason. When Rocky has the nerve to question his motives to Adrian (Paulie's sister). Paulie goes all berserk, smashing his house up with a bat until finally Adrian tells him off for all of his crap. There was more than one occasion where I hoped Rocky would have knocked him on his ass.

- Come to think of it, Mickey (Rocky's eventual manager) was a jerk too, kicking Rocky out of his locker and generally ragging on Rocky. It's only when Rocky lands the fight with Apollo Creed that Mickey offers any sort of help to him at all. But I guess that's just human nature.

- Carl Weathers was perfect in his role as Apollo Creed, the overconfident champion who decides to give Rocky a title shot after his original opponent breaks his hand five weeks before the fight. He even managed to pull off that ridiculous ring entrance (where Creed dresses like George Washington in a boat tossing coins into the crowd) without making it seem too unbelievable.

- In my opinion, the song in the workout montage "Gonna Fly Now" is one of the greatest background songs in the history of cinema. If there was ever a song that fit the movie, that was it. Much better than "Eye of the Tiger" (from Rocky 3), which is kind of cheesy. If I ever have to fight and come out to entrance music (which will never happen) "Gonna Fly Now" will be the song I come out to. If that song doesn't get you pumped up, than nothing will.

- Overall, this movie is great, just great. This movie is a classic. Even though it had some fierce competition, it was a worthy choice for Best Picture (personally, I think Network is just a little better, but I digress). This was Stallone's best work, as he was able to convincingly portray Rocky Balboa and make the audience care and root for him in the movie. The direction was great, the supporting actors played their parts well, and the movie never drags. I would give this a 9.13596460 out of 10.

Well, thanks for reading, if you have any ideas for future reviews, or any feedback, or if you want to review something yourself for The Canon Review, then e-mail me at Well, I'm gonna fly now.

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