Rocky Week – Rocky Balboa (2006)

balboaDirector: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Geraldine Hughes, Milo Ventimiglia, Tony Burton, A.J. Benza


Plot: Thirty years after the ring of the first bell, Rocky Balboa comes out of retirement and dons his gloves for his final fight; against the reigning heavyweight champ Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Nice Chapter in Saga


Story: Rocky Balboa starts with Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon (Tarver) with yet another title defence but the fans are bored of him fighting easy opponents and are calling for a real challenger. We meet an older Rocky (Stallone) still in the neighbourhood with Paulie (Young) but now Adrian has died. Rocky still struggles to build his relationship with his son Robert (Ventimiglia) who is all grown up working in business.

When a sports channel runs a simulator to see who would win in a fight between Rocky and Dixon it gets the world talking about a potential showdown between the two. When the talk turns into a reality Rocky comes out of retirement to face Dixon in an exhibition match for one time only.

Rocky Balboa is a touching tribute to the original Rocky, we get to see Rocky back to where he is vulnerable without Adrian. We do get the old story of underdog versus the champion which works for this film, I do think a lot of people didn’t enjoy this movie because it is slow moving but I do think this really works well for where the story needs to go. It is nice seeing how an aging sports star is struggling with fulfilment in his life in his older years. Sure it isn’t the most original but it is all well worth the watch after the originals.


Actor Review


Sylvester Stallone: Rocky is now retired; he owns a restaurant with Paulie but misses Adrian every day after her death. He continues to look after the neighbourhood with Marie being the latest person to helps. Rocky still has desire to compete in the ring even if it is only at low level but he gets put into an exhibition match against the champion. Sylvester does a good job in this role which reflexes his acting career to his iconic character.rocky

Antonio Tarver: Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon is the champion the fans all hate as they don’t believe he has ever beaten anyone of any merit. He ends up having to face Rocky in a no win fight to prove he can beat a true competitor. Antonio is good as the rival fighter but isn’t to the levels of the previous ones.

Geraldine Hughes: Marie is a local lady that Rocky once helped when she was young, Rocky looks to her to support her. She pushes Rocky to believe in his dreams of returning to the ring. Geraldine is a good addition to the cast which helps bring out the human side of Rocky.

Milo Ventimiglia: Robert Balboa Jr is Rocky’s son who has moved into business world he seems very distant from Rocky always avoiding him but when his father returns to the ring he ends up standing next to him in the fight. Milo is good but doesn’t get enough character building.

Support Cast: Rocky Balboa has the basic supporting cast we have all got to know from a Rocky film.

Director Review: Sylvester StalloneSylvester does well directing this, his story of his character on his journey at the next level.


Sports: Rocky Balboa is a film showing how difficult it is to get on with life after sports fame along with being the champ when the fans are against you.

Settings: Rocky Balboa uses the same setting from previous outings.

Suggestion: Rocky Balboa is one for the fans to watch to complete the series. (Franchise Fans Watch)


Best Part: Aging sports star struggling is a good story to watch.

Worst Part: Slow moving.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one in Creed

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $70 Million

Budget: $24 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: 30 years ago, “Rocky” became the Academy-award winning movie of 1976. Now, Rocky’s back in the 21st Century.


Overall: Solid conclusion to the in ring outing for Rocky


Rocky Week – Rocky V (1990)

rockyDirector: John G Avildsen

Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Sage Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Tommy Morrison, Richard Gant, Tony Burton


Plot: Reluctantly retired from boxing and back from riches to rags, Rocky takes on a new protege who betrays him; As the champ’s son must adjust to his family’s new life after bankruptcy


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Incomplete Sequel


Story: Rocky V starts with Rocky (Stallone) struggling after his latest fight with Ivan Drago but he returns home a national hero. Returning home Rocky finds that not everything is going well, he finds out Paulie (Young) has lost all his money leaving him bankrupt and to make matters worse he finds himself suffering from health problems.

With his last property the gym he learnt to be the champion in he meets hunger fighter Tommy Gunn (Morrison) that talks Rocky into managing him. After Tommy turns him back on Rocky, Rocky wants to step up for revenge where Rocky also has to deal with his growing son living in his shadow.

Rocky V tries to offer something new and I will say it does offer a new idea of trying to turn Rocky into a trainer that gets betrayed. My issue with this is that we don’t get a full revenge on this because a street fight wasn’t what we were looking for. This isn’t going to be a special compared to previous instalments and does feel very flat by the end.


Actor Review


Sylvester Stallone: Rocky returns home a hero only to find himself with nothing, when he meets Tommy Gunn he sees his shot to get back to the big time even if it is only as a trainer. He starts to forget about his family even though they continue to stand next to him but when he finally sees what is going on he needs to step up to be the father he never had. Sylvester does a basic good job in this role without really excelling.rocky himself

Talia Shire: Adrian is the wife of Rocky trying to make him hang his gloves up for health reasons, she is always going to supporting him even if they are back where they started, she is Rocky’s rock. Talia does all she needs to do in this role.

Tommy Morrison: Tommy ‘Machine’ Gunn is the young fighter that Rocky takes under his wing to take to the top, he turns his back on Rocky for money as an ambitious promoter uses him as bait. All Tommy wants to get respect but has no idea how to really earn it. Tommy is good in this role as the upstart fighter.

Sage Stallone: Rocky Balboa Jr is the son of the great fighter, he wants to be like his father but living in the downtown area is a real eye opener for him, but like his father he learns to adapt to any fight. Sage gives us a good performance in this role.

Support Cast: Rocky V has the supporting cast we expect in Rocky movies now with Paulie still being around.

Director Review: John G AvildsenJohn gives us a basic chapter in the Rocky saga that won’t go down as anyone favourite.


Sports: Rocky V is good basic sports movie without being anything special.

Settings: Rocky V brings the story back to the beginning settings we once saw.
: Rocky V is one for the fans to continue watching. (Franchise Fans Watch)


Best Part: Rocky Jr standing up for himself.

Worst Part: Final fight.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $41 Million

Budget: $42 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: Go for it!


Overall: Good basic chapter of the franchise.



Rocky Week – Rocky IV (1985)

rocky 4Director: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Brigitte Nielsen, Tony Burton, Dolph Lundgren


Plot: After iron man Drago, a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Toughest Test


Story: Rock IV starts as Rocky (Stallone) is still champion but a new challenge comes to the shores of USA, the Russian’s bring their biggest name Drago (Lundgren) an amateur boxer who has been bred to destroy, he doesn’t say much living his wife Ludmilla (Nielsen) doing all the talking. Apollo (Weathers) decides he wants to face Drago in an exhibition match to see just how good Drago is.

When Drago kills Apollo in the ring the world sees how good Drago really is and now he has set his sights on Rocky. Rocky gives up his title so he can go to Russia for this fight against everyone’s wishes but he wants to prove to the world Drago is beatable.

Rocky IV really has a much small but similar storyline to what we have seen before, it is Rocky going into a fight against someone who is bigger, stronger and a favourite in a fight. We do have the highest level of personal story on this with the death of Apollo in the ring but once you see past this we just see the same training montage, the same fight, the same discussion about whether to fight or not. A standalone film this is ok but in the end we have seen it all before.


Actor Review


Sylvester Stallone: Rocky is the champion of the world when the big Russian turns up wanting to fight him, Apollo jumps in to take on the Russian only to get killed in the ring. Rocky gives up his title to avenge Apollo’s death in Drago’s backyard of Russia. Sylvester gives the performance we have all come to know in this franchise.rocky

Talia Shire: Adrian doesn’t think either men should fight Drago and after Apollo’s death she is completely against Rocky even considering fighting the giant super athlete. Talia again really doesn’t get used as much as she should.

Burt Young: Paulie is the manager of Rocky now following him into every battle even the one in Russia. Burt starts to get a bigger role but gets forgotten in the final third.

Carl Weathers: Apollo sees the Russian Drago comes to America and wants to be the first person to face him in the ring. Against all advice from Rocky he steps in the ring with his cocky nature only for it to be his final fight. Carl gives us a good performance giving his character a final farewell.

Dolph Lundgren: Drago is the Russia super athlete who has come to America to prove himself in the ring, he has been trained with science to be stronger than any fighter we have seen yet. He kills Apollo in the first match leading to him having a fight against Rocky. He is an emotionless fighting machine that does his talking in the ring. Dolph makes for a great opponent for Rocky being bigger and stronger than anyone he has faced before.drago


Support Cast: Rocky IV continues to have the trademark boxing characters being used in the film.

Director Review: Sylvester StalloneSylvester gives us what we want to see in this film and increased emotional level and an underdog beating a strongest enemy.


Sports: Rocky IV has the deadliest boxing match we have seen Rocky in to date and the first one that doesn’t include him.

Music: Rocky IV is filled with classic 80’s montage music.

Settings: Rocky IV takes the action to Russia to show Rocky against a hostile crowd.
: Rocky IV is one for all the fans of the franchise to enjoy but it isn’t the strongest entry in the franchise. (Franchise Fans)


Best Part: Drago is the best opponent for Rocky

Worst Part: Seen it all before now.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $128 Million

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: He Could Have Stopped The Fight. He Could Have Saved His Best Friend’s Life. But Now, The Only Thing He Can’t Do Is Walk Away.

Trivia: When shooting the film, Sylvester Stallone decided that for the shooting of the fight, he and Dolph Lundgren should hit one another for real, so as to increase the intensity of the scene. After doing three takes of Rocky taking shots to ribs, Stallone felt a burning in his chest, but ignored it. Later that night, he had difficulty breathing and was taken to a nearby emergency room. It was discovered that his blood pressure was over 200, and he had to be flown on a low-altitude flight from Canada to St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, where he remained in intensive care for eight days. What had happened was that Lungren had punched him so hard in the chest, Stallone’s heart had slammed up against his breastbone and began to swell, cutting off the blood supply and restricting the oxygen flow throughout the body.


Overall: Weakest entry to the series to date


Rocky Week – Rocky III (1982)

rockDirector: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Tony Burton, Mr T, Hulk Hogan


Plot: After winning the ultimate title and being the world champion, Rocky falls into a hole and finds himself picked up by a former enemy.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Career Continues


Story: Rocky III starts with Rocky (Stallone) going on title defence after title defence becoming the biggest name in boxing. Rocky is living the high life with his wife Adrian (Shire), trainer Micky (Burgess) and friend Paulie (Young) but the challenger in the wings Clubber Lang (Mr T) keeps get over looked for event like charity match against wrestler Thunderlips (Hogan).

When Rocky learns the truth that he has been handpicked opponents he is determined to face Clubber Lang to prove he can beat anybody. When Clubber defeats Rocky it is the loss of a personally friend that is what hurts Rocky the most but it also motivates him to want to come back stronger and defeat the arrogant new champion with an old enemy Apollo Creed (Weathers) supporting him.

Rocky III brings us full circle as we now see the underdog Rocky having to be the guy everyone wanting a shot at. This works we get to see the rise to fame and all the benefits and problems along with how determined people are to take their shots. Sure we do see how easily a champion can be defeated and need to change his game to win again. This will always go down as the beginning of the downfall of the Rocky films but still does hold its own compared to later issue.


Actor Review


Sylvester Stallone: Rocky is now the world heavyweight champion of the world, he beats a string off opponents before wanting to announce his retirement. Rocky gets pushed into a fight against hot shot Clubber Lang who defeats him and a close friend dies Rocky must put his difference with Apollo to come back and retain his title. Sylvester gives us a performance you would expect to see in the role of Rocky now.rocky

Talia Shire: Adrian is Rocky’s wife but really doesn’t get much to do in this whole film, she is there to support him but that is about it. Talia hardly even used which is disappoint because of how important her character is meant to be.

Burt Young: Paulie wants to be part of the Rocky team and is delighted to get a chance in the position that Rocky gives him. Burt also falls into supporting role without really doing to much.

Carl Weathers: Apollo is the former enemy who steps in to teach Rocky how to defeat Clubber Lang, he pushes Rocky in a way that Mickey never could. Carl does a good job in this role where he ends up being training.

Mr T: Clubber Lang is the arrogant boxer who wants a chance at the title, he was the number one contender and defeats Rocky but his attitude has made himself enemies in the industry as he must face Rocky in a rematch. Mr T does actually give u a good performance showing this is how a lot of boxer act now.

Support Cast: Rocky III continues to have the standard supporting cast for all boxing films.

Director Review: Sylvester StalloneSylvester is one actor that knows how he wants to make a film and he is does what you would expect from him.


Sports: Rocky III is your typical sports films where we do end up having extra boxing than previous day.

Music: Rocky III continues to use the iconic music which gets used more than we heard in the previous films.

Settings: Rocky III keeps the settings similar but doesn’t make a point of them like previous films.

Suggestion: Rocky III is one for all the franchise fans to watch but don’t start here. (Franchise Fans)


Best Part: Training.

Worst Part: You know where it is going.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $122.8 Million

Budget: $17 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: The Excitement… The Power… The Man..


Overall: Solid addition to the series.