Friday, May 13, 2011

Movie of the Week

This week,

ROCKY III (1982)

Starring- Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Talia Shire, Mr. T

Other than the original Oscar winning film, this is the best film in the Rocky film series. Before Sly jumped the shark by battling Russians and his own craggy catcher's mitt of a face, he gave us this fun, emotional and star studded battle royale. After beating his rival Apollo Creed (Weathers) in the thrilling climax of Rocky II, Rocky Balboa is now a rich, well groomed and popular champion, having won ten more title defenses. He lives with his wife Adrian (Shire) and son, as well as his trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) and brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young). Everything is going well for Rocky, until a new challenger rears his mohawked head.

That challenger is Clubber Lang (Mr. T) a brutal bruiser who has one goal, to take Rocky down. Rocky is more than willing to accept the challenge, but finds out that his last few fights had been against lesser opponents that Mickey had handpicked. Mickey cautions Rocky about taking on Lang because of his ability and hunger, but they agree to the fight anyway. Things go awry and Rocky loses on multiple fronts. Deep in despair, he turns to Apollo to help him get back his 'eye of the tiger' in order to defeat Lang in a rematch.

In a way, this film should have been the last in the series because it brings the story full circle. The two former rivals teaming up and working together to defeat a bigger, badder opponent would have made a great ending. The cast all bring their A-games, and Mr. T proves to be a powerful villain and has some of the greatest lines in sports movie history. Try to forget the silly, and sometimes awful chapters in the Rocky saga that follow, and pretend, just for a moment that it all ended with Rocky and Apollo, as friends, in the ring for one last bout.

Things to watch for-

Hulk Hogan as Thunderlips
Sly's brother Frank as the groovy training singer
The great song 'Eye of the Tiger' by Survivor
Many a training montage
Rocky's many endorsements

" I'm gonna torture him. I'm gonna crucify him. Real bad."

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