Isaacs Picture Conclusions

ROCKY (1976) ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES

ROCKY1All right, you Probies… Ever since I started this place out here I’ve wanted to do something about ROCKY but I always feel daunted (and kind of scared) (and kind of inspirationally crying) about writing about something that I absolutely LOVE. It’s easy for me to watch something miserable like MAD COWGIRL and come out here and throw rotten cabbage at it but, what about the shit I LOVE? Depending on the day, if you ask me what my favorite movie is, the answer will be this or THE PROFESSIONAL. It took me forever to try and tackle THE PROFESSIONAL and even I recruited help for it (the ipc has a wee boabby) but I think that went over OK. So now… here I am… having a couple of solo cocktails , writing an intro for this post. Will I be publicly ridiculed?? Will I do my favorite movie justice? Will I flop around and fail like I did on GALAXY QUEST? Will I start crying like I do EVERY FUCKING TIME during the last round of this boxing match????? Maybe!!!

ROCKY2I remember going to see this in the theater with my mom. I remember her bawling her eyes out after the thing. I remember we listened to the soundtrack on 8 TRACK every day to and from school. Oh hell – what did I just write?? For you JBs out there:

Stereo 8, commonly known as the eight-track cartridge, eight-track tape, or simply eight-track, is a magnetic tape sound recording technology. It was popular in the United States from the mid-1960s through the late-1970s, when the Compact Cassette format took over, but aside from a brief early period of moderate popularity in the UK was relatively unknown in many European countries.

8 TRACKS!!! I have a working 8 Track console upstairs that I like to play some Allman Brothers on every now and then. And some Floyd. And some Dr. Hook. But – back to this. When I started watching this I put something out on Twitter that I was going to watch it and someone replied with “Never seen it all the way” (or something) and I was like “WHAT THE FUCK???? WHY????” (or something) and the reply I got was “I don’t have a penis.” (That’s verbatim). I’m guessing the assumption is that this is a movie about boxing that only swinging dicks will like.  That’s not really the case here, folks. There’s a little boxing in it at the beginning and the end but that’s not what this is about. It’s about getting a fucking chance and despite having all of the odds against you – you take that chance and you try. You try and go the distance. That’s the story of my fucking life right there. I try.

ROCKY3Rocky’s a normal, poor, regular guy who happens to be a boxer. He can’t box well but he’s big (and dumb) and can take a pounding in the ring. BUT – if he lands one of those lefts on your body, you’re going down. One day, he’s busy minding his own business when the undefeated Champion of the World (of boxing) Apollo Creed rolls into town for a big fight on Independence Day. His opponent backs out for some health reasons and Creed is left with no one to fight. He goes to the local Boxing Registrar and picks someone out of the book: The Italian Stallion. That’s Balboa (Rocky) and he accepts even though he knows he’s going to get beaten to shit and NO ONE will ever pick him to win. He knows he can take a hit but this is Apollo Fucking Creed ferchrist’ssake but – he doesn’t have any money and he’s in love with the local nerdy pet store employee, Adrian. If he wants her to be his girlfriend, he’ll need some dough to take her out on dates.ROCKY4Which leads me into this next section. At the heart of this, this is really a love story. A simple man trying to find love. Trying to find a partner. Sure, he’s a boxer and that’s his job but, aside from waytoogoddamnmuchtalking, this is really a story about Rocky and Adrian with some boxing thrown in. I mean, how is it NOT heartbreaking when, after going fifteen rounds with Creed, after getting beat to a bleeding pulp, he’s surrounded by a zillion people and Adrian sneaks into the ring. What does he say? “Adrian, where’s your hat?” (she lost it in the crowd). That’s fucking love right there, baby. He could have said: “I just fought the fight of my life and I lost but, I did it. I went the distance.” But no – he asks her where her hat went because that’s what he fucking cares about. HER.ROCKY5 If you’ve seen this and you read my shit – you’ll know that I don’t like a lot of talking. Well – Rocky talks and talks and talks and talks talks and talks and talks and talks talks and talks and talks and talks talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and it’s kind of irritating but the true measure of this movie is the story and the inspiration that comes from it. All he ever wanted to do was contend. To try and go the distance. And he did it. HOW FUCKING GREAT IS THIS MOVIE??? You don’t have to be a male to be moved by this movie. It’s a wonderful piece of work.

72 comments

  1. it truly is an amazing movie and was talking about this one with my girlfriend on saturday. She HASN’T seen it either and kinda came up with same thing that she doesn’t like boxing. So pretty much explained as your review what it’s really about, the underdog and l’amour… still not holding my breath that she will watch it. Her eyes glazed over amd a frustrated sigh… ohhh girls girls girls… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theipc

      Thank you so much, sir!! I guess – having seen this my whole life I never thought of it that way. Hopefully she comes around – it’s a wonderful, moving story.

      I mean, how can you NOT be exhilarated when he finally makes up those god damn steps????

      Like

  2. Dear Spock Chop,

    LOVE this post. I haven’t seen this in years. Maybe one of these days I should be checking it out again! I think you did it justice, really fantastic!

    Love,

    JB

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chris brandt

    Amazing film. Definitely in my top 5. So many memorable scenes and burgess Meredith was awesome. My dad had the soundtrack on vinyl. I used to play it all the time. One of the best soundtracks ever

    Liked by 1 person

    • theipc

      This was an oddly nice comment from you – especially since you called me names online all weekend. Thanks Boyd!

      Mark taught me that one 🙂

      Like

  4. theipc

    I’ve never had to do this before but I got an email comment!!

    love this. a lovely personal comment on a truly great film. always brings a tear to my eye too. and who couldn’t end up grinning like a loon when he finally sprints to the top of the steps. anyone put off by it being (nominally) about boxing (there’s hardly any boxing in the damn thing) or by having seen one of its wretched stupid sequels, is missing a treat. one of my top ten all time films, and a heartening hangover cure when you get too drunk on the cynicism of the world.

    Source: http://bifferspice.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I could listen to you talk and talk and talk and talk all day when it comes to this film. It’s a fucking classic, man. I love the shit out of this flick.

    …Oh, and aye ye dae have a wee tiny boabby!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. scared to comment… lol….

    Don’t worry – I think you did it justice. : ) I wasn’t sure I wanted to ever write about Shawshank Redemption or WALL-E but finally forced myself to. I agree it’s a million times harder to write about the movies you really love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theipc

      Scared to comment? Because I’m so intimidating?? I’m actually a really nice guy 🙂

      It sure was. I’m glad I got this out of the way!!

      Like

  7. garylee828

    I cannot believe you had the audacity to take on this article! 🙂 Good write-up simply b/c you were able to convey WHY the movie means so much to you. No one can tell you you’re wrong. It’s what resonates with you. This is also one of my all-time favorites. I’d put it in my top 25-30 somewhere. You are 100% right that this is not just about boxing, but getting a shot and going with it.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, some of the reasons you liked this so much are the same reasons I think you would like “8 Mile”. Like you mentioned some who are not into boxing would not like “Rocky”, but it’s about so much more than boxing – and it’s the same thing with “8 Mile”; one may assume if they’re not into rap they wouldn’t like it, but it’s about a lot more than rap; it’s about taking your shot and making the most out of it…

    I place “Rocky”, “Karate Kid” and “8 Mile” in the same bunch. They’re about standing up to adversity, whether it be to a bully, poverty or a tough environment. “8 Mile” has a solid cast. Michael Shannon and Kim Basinger wouldn’t do some dumb hip-hop movie. lol. Your boy Anthony Mackie is the lead villain who terrorizes Eminem; Brittany Murphy and Mekhi Phifer co-star, as well. It’s well directed, written and has a lot of heart. I think you should reconsider adding it to the queue. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a really awesome movie and you did a fucking great job of expressing how you feel about it. But I have to ask you… does it bother you that Stallone just kept making these fucking movies? 1-5 fine. But then he had to dig up the franchise again so many decades later and do another one. Sort of sullies the magic of the first one for me.

    Like

    • theipc

      THANK YOU for that Smash!!! That really does mean a lot to me!!!

      I just watched all six of these things and intend to put one out every Monday (except for that week when I drinking margaritas for you). So – if you’re interested – you can get my thoughts as this franchise digresses.

      (I actually did like the last one though)

      Like

  9. Absolutely brilliant Eric! One of my favorite movies from the ’70s. I think it’s tied with Star Wars and Jaws. This was another one I went to see with my dad. There’s so many defining moments from it that I’ll always remember. The sprinting up the steps. “Adriiaann!” I have to admit I hid my face in my dad’s shoulder during the big fight scene because I couldn’t stand seeing Rocky get beaten to a pulp. Hey! I was only 11! I think you hit it exactly when you said that at its heart, it’s simply a love story. All right. I just got “Take My Breath Away” out of my head. Now I have Rocky’s theme stuck there!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Resolutions 2016: Rocky | Silver Screen Serenade

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