904. Rocky

Title: Rocky
Director:  John G. Avildsen
Year: 1976
Run time: 2hrs

“Rocky Balboa is a struggling Philadelphia boxer who is scorned by his gym’s owner, patronised by a loan shark and rebuffed by a shy “plain-Jane”, whose butcher brother keeps engineering a romantic match. Rocky would have remained in this rut had not heavyweight champion Apollo Creed come up with the Bicentennial gimmick to give a chance for a ‘nobody’ to become a ‘somebody’. The “Italian Stallion” trains earnestly and goes the distance… against all odds!”

Live blog

0:44 – That’s not how I remember the song going. They’re getting the Rocky theme wrong.
4:09 – I feel like I was supposed to understand the boxing bit more, like when I watch people playing poker.
13:28 – “You shoulda planned ahead.”
18:33 – The swagger in this guy’s walk is astounding.
21:36 – He wants singing and dancing turtles, and thinks the birds look like flying candy. I worry.
27:44 – “They don’t remember you, they remember the rep.” Life lessons from Rocky.
31:42 – His glasses are awful.
38:47 – I mean, he’s a bit of a thug and stuff, but also kinda adorable.
43:36 – This is legitimately my favourite date ever: fast-talking boxing facts from a guy running beside you as your try to skate, and a man shouts out a ten minute countdown.
54:42 – Micky makes some fair points.
59:14 – “Yo Adrian, it’s me, Rocky.” Hahaha, he’s on TV.
1:04:19 – Don’t walk into someone’s house and talk about making soup of their pets.
1:12:16 – Bleurgh, the eggs. I hope they only filmed that once.
1:15:58 – “She got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.”
1:26:44 – Reporters do often take cheap shots, he’s right.
1:31:33 – THE training montage!!!
1:39:26 – I’m liking a gameplan that is literally just persistence.
1:41:57 – He don’t look like no Cinderella.
1:47:05 – “There goes the big hat.”

Conclusions

Where to begin with this? I’ve known for a while that I need to start watching Rocky, partly because it’s culturally relevant but also because people have been raving about the new Creed movies and I feel like I’m missing out. The problem, of course, is that I am less than a fan of boxing and that’s the main premise of all of the above.

And I’ll admit that the punching at the beginning wasn’t great, and I really had to hide behind the sofa at the end when ribs started breaking and eyes started getting cut. That was all the boxing there was in it though, a top and tail to a movie that had a lot more going for it.

It’s an odd one though, because there’s not a huge amount of story. Rocky’s not really overcoming the odds, he’s chosen for the gig, he doesn’t have to do a lot to be ready, just train a bit. He meets the girl, they get together, their story isn’t simple but isn’t as complex as some. And yet, it’s all really good.

It’s quirky, completely crazy in places, the ice rink date, the punching of meats, the fact that Rocky never shuts up. But the characters make it. The shyness, the self-doubt, the persistence, the goals, the fact that Rocky never shuts up. It’s a complete surprise to me, but I loved it.

Also, worth pointing out that I really want to know what happens next and thus want to watch the sequel, but at the same time was completely satisfied by the ending of the movie. It’s not often that both those things are the case, so that’s another bonus.

Rating: 5/5.