Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Definitive Rocky Balboa Review Kicks off Ultra Entertainment's Blog!

We're kicking off the premier of the Ultra Entertainment Blog with a review of what in my mind was THE movie of 2006, Rocky Balboa. Others may disagree for various reason, but for the die hard Rocky fans such as myself, this truly was an experience. It was almost like having a great memory from 20 years back, then actually being able to go back and add on to that memory and make it even better. It was surreal to actually be sitting in a theatre in 2006 and be there to see a Rocky movie. So no better way then to kick it off with one of the Icons that this blog was inspired by, Rocky Balboa!

When the details first started coming on about this movie a couple of years back, I read all kinds of different scenarios, from Rocky coming out of retirement for a rematch with Ivan Drago, to Rocky running Mick's gym and being called out by a current world champion. As things got closer and teasers popped up online, more and more details of the real movie started surfacing. One thing that stood out was reading that Adrian was not in the movie, and Rocky had a new girlfriend in Rocky Balboa. This alone started things off on the wrong foot for me with this movie, Rocky with a new woman instead of Adrian? OH no, that's just wrong. I actually went all the way to the theatre thinking that this was the case, and I knew if this aspect wasn't handled right, this movie would be rank right "Up there" with Rocky 5. The first trailers I saw grabbed me as sort of a low budget offering that would get another Rocky movie out there, but wouldn't necessarily deliver what the Rocky die hards wanted. As time went on, and some more in depth trailers started showing, i got a little more pumped about this, especially the one with the familiar "Eye of the Tiger" playing some of the background. I'll keep the review pretty spoiler free as I realize a lot of our readers might be checking this out before they see the movie, to see if it's worth seeing.

As the movie kicks off, we're hit hard with the face that Adrian is gone, Rocky is alone, and wow it sucks. For we who sit through every Rocky Marathon and have seen each each one at least 20 times, its a hit to see that Rocky no longer has Adrian. After the initial shock, you feel like "Ok, emotional stuff is over, lets get this movie goin!".......but no such luck, the entire movie is an emotional roller coaster that touches on the greatness of the past movies, and all the emotional attachments from the past. I think the movie comes across as both a great movie in itself, and a tribute to Rocky 1-4 (5 just didn't have anything that made much of an impact, so nothing to reference in this movie). Mason "The Line" Dixon is a great new age opponent for Rocky. He's not the flashy and glitzy character of Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, or even Ivan Drago, but he's a great character who isn't necessarily an 80's bad guy type, but a realistic 2006 bad guy that fits right in. I was glad to see Adrian featured so prominently in this movie and glad to see that Rocky's "new girlfriend" wasn't a girlfriend at all, but rather a nice little nod to Rocky 1 that didn't take away from the Rocky/Adrian relationship at ALL. It was also great to see the old faces like Paulie (Who might have had his best Rocky performance to date in this one with his classic 1 liners and overall feeling he gave this movie), Duke (who's speech to Rocky gave the "big fight" feel that the fight needed, and Spider Rico (wow, what a surprise to see him return). As I said, I wont spoil the ending, but the emotion this movie provided was unexpected, on the level of seeing the hardships of an old friend, which Rocky just about is to many of us.

Overall, as a HUMONGOUS Rocky fan, i love this movie, it was a trip down memory lane with an old friend we haven't seen in 16 years. This definitely has a "Rocky Movie" feel to it, not as colorful as the 80's Rocky 3 or 4, but by the end of this movie, I found myself wanting Rocky to win more than I EVER have in ANY of the past Rocky's. The emotion will grab you and have you on the edge of your seat guaranteed! After seeing this, I want to collect more and more Rocky merchandise, like the new line of Rocky Figures, and I'll be waiting for the Rocky Anthology DVD Collection with Rocky Balboa as the 6th DVD to truly have that final great ending chapter that Rocky 5 didn't provide.

Rocky Balboa -- A+ 10/10 rating!

No comments:

Post a Comment