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ROCKY BALBOA, 2006
Movie Reviews!

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ROCKY MOVIE POSTERROCKY BALBOA, 2006
Movie Reviews

Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Geraldine Hughes, Milo Ventimiglia
Review by Andrew Kosarko


SYNOPSIS:

When he loses a highly publicized virtual boxing match to ex-champ Rocky Balboa, reigning heavyweight titleholder Mason Dixon retaliates by challenging the Itallian Stallion to a nationally televised, 10-round exhibition bout. To the surprise of his son and friends, Rocky agrees to come out of retirement and face an opponent who's faster, stronger and thirty years his junior. With the odds stacked firmly against him, Rocky takes on Dixon in what will become the greatest fight in boxing history, a hard-hitting, action-packed battle of the ages.

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REVIEW:

Here we go baby. This is what Rocky V ďshouldĒ have been. But this adds a separate layer to it. Rocky has aged and now can look back on his life with us with him. Thankfully, there are no retrospective moments to Rocky V, only adding more to the theory that it doesnít count towards the franchise.

The Story: Nostalgic and inspiring. Rocky has earned his respect by this point by everyone except the one person who means anything to him Ė his son. The entire story is based around Rocky setting the example for the next generation. Showing his son what he is made of and what a man can be when he tries. Itís only through fortune that ESPN has a Nintendo Wii wannabe fight between him and Antonio Tarver that spurs a fight for this film. But it works. Itís Rockyís last opportunity to earn the respect that matters to him the most and he risks his life for it. And God knows we all went into the theater expecting him to die at the end of this film.

Acting: Stallone brings all new blood into the franchise and each of them deliver well rounded characters from no basis. Pure professionalism and talent. Itís a pleasure to see the heart of this franchise return.

Directing: Stallone is paying his own final respects to the franchise by putting it to the rest and he does a damn good job. The film works just as strongly as the first few installments and really gives the audience the closure they deserve with one of cinemas all time favorite characters.

Cinematography: Very gritty and bright. Why? Because weíre aged with Rocky in this one. Our vision is going. Itís twilight years for our character and us. Itís time to get one last good view of everything happening. And thatís what the camera captures.

Production Design: Itís fresh, itís tech. Itís modern. But to us, itís realistic. One day itíll look over stylized and somewhat cheesy. The only reason I feel like it wonít be dated is because of the balance of the cinematography.

Editing: Well done. It does break the conventional Rocky style, but still maintains it. Itís hard to explain. It has a modern edge on the older style. There are still montages and now flashbacks, but the emotional resonance is still there Ė which is what matters most. And it works wonderfully.

Score: It has moments of hip hop to signal the different times, separating Rocky from his antagonist. This signals the same contrast that we got in the first film. Itís a great throwback to the storytelling aspects of yesterday.

Special Effects: uh, thereís an obvious ďcgiĒ fight I guess. But thatís it.

In closing: This is the movie you need to see to wrap up the franchise. Granted, if youíve seen the first film, you really only need to see the 2nd film and then can jump to this. Everything (sans 5) is recapped in some way, shape or form to recap the life of Rocky Balboa. It gives the audience the closure you need for the character without throwing you into clichť expected endings. Granted, we should all have seen this ending coming, but we donít and thatís what makes it great. And so caps off the ending of the most inspiring sports franchise in cinema history.

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