Directed by Sylvester Stallone.
Written by Sylvester Stallone.
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver and
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 12/21/06
I just had to know, I had to...would "Rocky
Balboa" at least let me forget about how bad "Rocky V" was?
(And, to think--I didn't even see "Rocky V"!!!)
The straight answer--sorta. Rocky
Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is managing his own restaurant in
Philadelphia, living out his life as an ex-champ, mourning the loss
of his crazy wife Adrian however-many-years-ago, and still hangin'
out with Adrian's brother Paulie (Burt Young, looking just north of
a hundred years old). One day, ESPN stages a
computer-generated showdown between a legend of
yesteryear--Rocky--and a legend of today, current heavyweight champ
Mason "The Line" Dixon (Antonio Tarver). When Rocky wins this
made-up fight, it gets Dixon's promoters--struggling because all of
The Line's opponents have been pushovers so far--thinking: what if
we asked that old bastard Balboa to REALLY fight Dixon? You
know, a 10-round exhibition, just to capitalize on this computer
Using flashbacks to the first five "Rocky"
films throughout, Stallone--writer/director on this puppy--does let
us taste the magic that made the first four films so good.
And, you just kind of feel bad for the guy, because just like Rocky,
Stallone's real-life persona is a has-been, no doubt.
Unfortunately, Stallone spends literally the first hour of the film
giving us this bullshit, complete with some of the worst dialogue of
the modern era, characters in support of Rocky that no one cares
about, and no fighting. Then, as if he forgot that he was
doing a boxing movie then suddenly remembered why everyone was in
attendance, "Rocky Balboa" hits the proverbial Rocky button and gets
us into the training sequence, the showdown, the buildup, the fight,
the aftermath. All of the last thirty minutes was cool to me,
even if my compadres on this one (including Stokes, Longer,
Jellybean, Mike Vo, Ross and Anne) were not so down with that
Which is too bad, because the first hour
features so much suffering, so much slow development, so much
boring, tedious storytelling that Chuck fell asleep literally three
different times during that hour. Wow, does "Rocky Balboa"
start slowly; in fact, that might be the understatement of the year.
One assumes that you are only going to see "Rocky Balboa" if you
have seen at least a couple of the earlier movies, so why does this
take so long? I'll be damned if I know!
This is tough for me to do, but as good as
that last training-to-fight sequence was for me, the rest of the
movie is so bad that I have to level a rating that makes sense.
And, even when I watch this again on TV eventually (I love pain),
I'll suffer again just to hear the Rocky theme over and over again.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard