Posts Tagged ‘ROCKY BALBOA’


Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 2.31.17 PMRichard’s CP24 reviews forhe “Rocky” reboot “Creed” and Pixar’s latest child-in-peril movie “The Good Dinosaur.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 2.33.53 PMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for the “Rocky” reboot “Creed,” Pixar’s latest child-in-peril movie “The Good Dinosaur,” Daniel Radcliffe as Igor minus-the-hump in “Victor Frankenstein” and Bryan Cranston as black-listed writer Dalton Trumbo in “Trumbo.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CREED: 3 ½ STARS. “blend of boxing and underdogs is still a potent mix.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 1.29.24 PMHow do you breathe new life into a forty-year-old film series? If you’re Albert R. Broccoli you hire Daniel Craig, but if you’re Sylvester Stallone gracefully you pass the torch. “Creed” is the “Rocky 1.0,” the evolution of a story that began in 1976.

Stallone (who is now the same age as Burgess Meredith was in the first “Rocky”) plays Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion for the seventh time. He’s now retired from the ring and running a restaurant called Adrian’s. One day after closing a young man Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) shows up looking for a trainer. Rocky turns him down but the young man, a recent transplant to Philadelphia from Los Angeles, won’t take no for an answer. The young man is the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s old friend who died in the ring at the hands of Ivan Drago. Born after his father’s death, Adonis, or Donnie as he is known, never knew his dad but seems to have inherited the old man’s love of boxing and much of his skill as well but can Rocky whip him into shape for a title match?

“Creed” satisfies on two levels. One as a new, inspiring overcoming-the-odds story while simultaneously providing a nostalgic blast. It’s not a remake—although in a way it almost feels like a remake of the entire “Rocky” series—but attempts to bring the same kind fist-in-the-air triumphant feel as Stallone’s other boxing flicks.

Is it a knock-out?

With a story ripe with underdog theatrics, the signature “Rocky” swelling trumpet score and familiar characters and situations, “Creed” clicks in the part of your brain that grew up watching the “Rocky” movies on VHS. Like Otis Redding’s’s cover of “Satisfaction”, the movie feels vaguely familiar but it also has good beat and you can dance to it, so it gets a pass.

Jordan is a welcome addition to the family. He brings not only a physical presence to the role of the troubled but vulnerability too, even when he’s beating the snot out of someone in the ring. He punches above his weight in a performance that is the engine of the film.

“Creed” maybe named after Jordan’s character and ostensibly center on the young boxer, but let’s get real, this is a “Rocky” movie and Stallone is the star. He plays Balboa as a lion in winter, an old man who has trouble climbing (let alone sprinting) the 72 stone steps leading up to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art made iconic in the first movie. It’s a poignant, engaging and moving performance that ranks as one of Stallone’s best.

For decades on “Creed” proves the blend of boxing and underdogs is still a potent mix, made better by rich performances and Stallone’s quietly affecting work.


rocky-balboaRocky Balboa is a career underdog. In one classic film and 4 not so classic sequels the Italian Stallion has battled the odds and some heavy hitters to emerge bloodied but unbowed. He never gives up and that temerity shaped him into one of the screen’s greatest characters. Whether battling a vicious six and a half foot Russian boxer in the ring or his own personal demons outside the squared circle, audiences always rooted for him.

The question remains will they still root for him 30 years after the original film won 3 Academy Awards and 16 years after he last stepped out of the ring? As unbelievable as it might sound Sylvestor Stallone is back once again as the title character in Rocky Balboa, the final chapter (so he says) in the Rocky saga. Just as the man himself might say, “Yo! It ain’t over till it’s over.”

The new film is to long by half an hour, takes too long to get going and has way too many speeches about “having heart” and believing in yourself, but despite those minuses it has one big plus.

One big 60-year-old lumbering, beefy plus—Stallone as Rocky.

There is something in his dimwitted, but well-intentioned presence that goes beyond nostalgic appeal. Stallone isn’t a versatile actor, but when he’s in the Rocky Zone it’s hard to deny his appeal.

Stallone, working both in front of, and behind the camera, pays homage to the past, working much of the original Rocky lore to the new film, but more importantly using the anthemic Bill Conti Gonna Fly Now music from the first Rocky. I defy you not to pump your fist in the air when Rocky runs up those library steps to the famous Dunna nah, dunna nah, dunna nah soundtrack.