Tag Archives: Rocky

CREED II. FILM REVIEW

Technically the 8th film in the Rocky franchise, a sequel to the 2015 ‘Creed’ and a follow-up to the fantastic ‘Rocky IV’! This sequel needed to do so much to entertain both old and new fans as well as create a story which felt like a natural progression of everything that we had seen before. Luckily, the movie is crammed with unforgettable performances and so much drama!

As Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) continues his reign as Heavyweight Champion, he is eventually challenged by boxer Viktor Drago. Why is this opponent so significant? He is the son of Ivan Drago, the man who killed Apollo Creed in the ring over 30 years ago. While Adonis is certain he can take on Viktor, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) says he will have no part in this match and refuses to see his protégé possibly suffer the same fate as his father.

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Just like ‘Creed’ and the other Rocky films, the fights inside the ring can sometimes be as hard-hitting as those outside of it. This time, we see the relationship of Adonis and Bianca (Tessa Thompson) continue to grow as they begin to consider the life they will have together. The two go through some upsetting times, but will they be there for each other in the end?

Also, we get a lot of focus on Drago (Dolph Lundgren) and his son Viktor as we see the former fighter has since been disgraced and even pushed away from his home country of Russia. Ivan and his son have kept up a rigorous training regime in the hopes that they can return to their home and earn back their pride. Did I honestly feel some emotion towards the man who killed Apollo Creed? I did. Damn it!

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The fight choreography in this film is as good as it has ever been. Every punch hits the audience almost as hard as it does to each fighter, the boxing is indeed as epic as ever and the stakes are possibly at the highest in this franchise since the 1980’s. Steven Caple Jr. is the man in charge behind the camera this time and he makes sure that Ryan Coogler’s hard work continues to pay off. Also, with a script co-written by Stallone, the man who created this world, you know you will get the best from both Rocky Balboa and Lundgren’s Drago.

The shadow of what has come before always looms throughout this film. We know that Adonis is always trying to break out of the shadow of his father, and I say that this is the film where we reach that turning point where the torch has truly been passed on to the next generation. Saying that, the past and the future perfectly collide within this sequel and propels the franchise to heights that many would never have had expected it to touch ever again.

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With a number of cameos which will be a treat to lifelong fans, an emotional dent that is delivered by Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson that will bring a tear to your eye and the breathless boxing match which ultimately sees the second generation of Creed and Drago fight both for themselves and for their fathers.

Truly one of the best films to come out in 2018 and personally for me the best Rocky film since 1985!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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THE SIXTEEN FILMS TO SEE IN 2016

Deadpool

Do you enjoy your comic book films as family friendly, easy viewing and generally safe? Well, that is thrown out the window in this adaptation. Starring Ryan Reynolds as the guy in the red suit (no, not Santa), Deadpool follows the lead character as he gets revenge on those who nearly destroyed his life. Possibly the darkest and most brutal Marvel film to date, you will surely be questioning your movie tastes when you find yourself laughing out loud at this film. Be sure to look out for cameos from the X-Men and how many times the fourth wall is broken.

Captain America: Civil War

The oldest bromance in the MCU is about to be revived as Captain America finds his former friend Bucky, and looks to save him. Things don’t look too good as Bucky is wanted for the crimes he committed when he was brainwashed as The Winter Soldier. With tensions mounting, The Avengers split into two factions. One lead by Cap, the other by Iron Man. Look out for new heroes on the screen such as Black Panther, Spider-Man and the return of General “Thunderbolt” Ross. Who will survive the Civil War? Plus, this is coming from the guys who made Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so I think we are in very good hands.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Did you enjoy The Force Awakens? Honestly, it restored the faith in the franchise for millions of people and looks set to become the biggest film of 2015 and maybe even of all time. Since Disney want to expand the franchise, we get this spin-off set between Episode III and IV which shows a group of rebel fighters looking to steal the plans for the Death Star. A heist movie in Star Wars sounds a bit mad, right? Well, it worked well in Ant-Man, so it could be fun and exciting. Be sure to see many callbacks and maybe a cameo from James Earl Jones and Ian McDiarmid as the Sith Lords?

Doctor Strange

Comic book movies are definitely going to be taking over the world again in 2016, but this one looks to be a very much different idea compared to the others. Using a more mystical setting, bringing magic into the Marvel Cinematic Universe will certain add a new dimension to the well-established world that we have come to know. Benedict Cumberbatch will become the sorcerer supreme while the supporting cast includes Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. A great cast should easily bring this film to life and take it to a world of its own!

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Has there been a void in your heart since the Harry Potter films finished? Well fear not, as 2016 will see us return to the wizarding world for this story set around 70 years before Harry Potter was born. Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a British wizard from the Ministry of Magic in 1920’s New York as he holds a briefcase filled with many creatures and they escape. This sounds like a fun movie, and it will be great to see what happens when the magic world gets hugely involved with the muggle world.

Suicide Squad

The villains are coming, and they are ready to save the world. With many of the DC rogues, including many which originated from Batman, are set up by Amanda Waller for a mission which many others would consider a death sentence. From Harley Quinn to Killer Croc, there is a huge mix of villains from which to take in and discover. Will the film do a good job of expanding the DC universe of films? And what will happen with Jared Leto becoming the new version of The Joker? See when the insanity begins in August!

Star Trek Beyond

2016 will see the 50th anniversary of the long-running Sci-Fi franchise be marked with the new film. Star Trek Beyond is set after the 2013 film and shows the crew of the Starship Enterprise as they embark on their mission to explore space. After an incident which sees the starship destroyed, the crew are all separated and in danger. Though we won’t have Leonard Nimoy making an appearance as Spock, we may still get that William Shatner cameo which has been mentioned for many many years.

Ghostbusters

In 1984, the catchiest theme tune was released to go with one of the most fun movies of the decade. Even though this is a reboot of the original film, here is hoping there will still be links to the original movies. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy lead the cast as the new female Ghostbusters come together for an updated adventure. Though to see Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Annie Potts, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver maybe back in some of their original roles will be worth cost of the ticket.

The BFG

Steven Spielberg returns to making family movies with the release of The BFG. Based on the famous novel from Roald Dahl, The BFG will see Mark Rylance take the title role as the Big Friendly Giant as teams up with a young girl to capture the man-eating giants who have been invading the human world. The work of Roald Dahl always is fun to see on the big screen, and an update on this classic tale will surely get plenty of people to see what happens. Now, we just need that adaptation of The Twits to finally get the go ahead.

X-Men: Apocalypse

If you think of how Spider-Man and Fantastic Four went, you will know why people have begged for them to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Luckily, even after 16 years, the X-Men films have managed to be very impressive and recently see their critical acclaim hit an all-time high. With the mutant Apocalypse about to rise, he enlists four mutants to be his horseman to help him take over the world. This will conclude the trilogy which begun with First Class and looks to be the biggest film to date.

The Angry Birds Movie

Have you ever played this game on your phone/tablet/video game console? Chances are you have heard about this movie being produced. There are so many big names coming to lend their voice in this movie (including Peter Dinklage, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader and more). With the story seeming to be similar to the nature of the game, it looks like a good film to take the kids and just wittle away 90 minutes to something fun. The trailer makes the film look rather intriguing, but we will find out more when it comes out this summer!

The Jungle Book

Jon Favreau brought Iron Man to the big screen and helped kickstart the MCU, and now he looks to take the Rudyard Kipling classic to the cinema once again for this modern update. Disney looks to take one of its more popular set of characters and give them to a whole new audience. Bill Murray gets to play his dream role as Baloo and Christopher Walken will be shaking his thing as King Louie. With the film coming out this spring, it will be a great way to introduce the characters you know to your kids or younger siblings.

 

Grimsby

Sacha Baron Cohen returns for yet another quirky character and looking to make another massive impact on the world. This time, he becomes Nobby Grimsby, a football hooligan whose brother is a spy for MI6. They reunite after a long time to help save the world and the humour looks to be very strong in this one. Playing his brother is Mark Strong, a man who may not be too familiar with comedy, but already seems to have it down to a tee. Let’s see if Cohen can make it yet another success story with Grimsby.

Creed

Rocky Balboa will forever go down as one of the most famous characters in movie history. Sylvester Stallone returns to the role that made him famous and this time takes a supporting role to Michael B. Jordan who debuts as Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky’s former friend and rival Apollo. Adonis seeks out Rocky for his help in getting him into boxing, and the story goes from there. The praise for this film already is ridiculously high and there is even Oscar talk for Stallone. Definitely one to see for fans of boxing, Rocky, Stallone or just to see what is probably his best performance according to many reviewers.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

If you can take a famous novel from Jane Austen and make it into a well-received parody, you clearly are on to a winner. Burr Steers has written and directed this adaptation and has managed to squeeze in a huge amount of talent for this movie. A mostly British cast lead this film which tells the original Pride and Prejudice story, but with the subtle change of being in a world infested with zombies. Could there be a more bonkers movie for 2016, yes and it is called Deadpool! But I think this will probably get people going just for the title alone!

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

What more do I need to say? This is two of the biggest comic book characters in history coming face to face on the big screen for the first time. Henry Cavill returns as the Man Of Steel while Ben Affleck gets his chance to be the hero again as he becomes The Dark Knight. Though many feel the latest trailer has maybe given away a lot of the story, the one released in the summer saw just how well the two go on the screen and the tension is shown to be really high as both characters come eye to eye. This may be the biggest film of the year, will you see it?

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

 

P.S. There is also Finding Dory…

CREED, THE FIRST TRAILER FOR THE ROCKY SPIN-OFF!

So, how could you continue a much loved franchise after giving a great ending to its main character? You expand its world and find a new focus. With Rocky Balboa officially retired from boxing, it is then for Adonis Johnson Creed to take in the footsteps of his father Apollo to become a boxing champ. With Sylvester Stallone becoming Rocky for the seventh time, he goes from being student-to-teacher as he helps the son of his dearly departed friend (Michael B. Jordan) rise through the ranks. This will be the first film featuring Rocky since 2006’s Rocky Balboa, with Stallone having played the character since 1976.

When did Apollo Creed have a son? Why does he want help from Rocky? and is Rocky doing OK these days? Find out all the answers later this year as the film is due for release 25th November 2015 in the US with a release date for the UK still to be confirmed?

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

MY TOP TWENTY FILMS OF ALL TIME. #17: ROCKY IV

Sylvester Stallone had made the Rocky franchise popular worldwide by the time this 1985 movie came out, but this was the first time the series truly went international. Starring the original cast, held by a truly astounding soundtrack and featuring some of the best boxing scenes in cinema history, Rocky IV was indeed a massive hit. In the movie, Rocky Balboa is a retired boxer after becoming world champion for the second time. Soviet boxer Ivan Drago (portrayed by the near 6 and a half foot tall Dolph Lungdren) comes to the United States to prove himself as a fighter and has his eye on challenging Rocky. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) takes the challenge and enters with probably one of the greatest entrances for a fighter as Apollo Creed arrives dancing on a stage which is lowered into the ring with James Brown backing him performing ‘Living In America’ and sporting the flag of the United States over his boxing gear. Given one of the biggest entrances, Apollo is dealt the greatest blow of his life and is overpowered by Ivan Drago with Drago delivering the chilling line “If he dies…he dies”. Later, Rocky swears revenge and agrees to fight Ivan Drago. This time though, it won’t be in the US. It will be in Russia.

Rocky, for the first time in the series, is left to feel guilt for the death of a friend. A fight which should have never happened, Rocky feels he has to take the fight with Ivan Drago to help both himself and the USA. While in Russia, Ivan Drago is being given every advantage possible in his training to help him prepare for his fight with the Italian Stallion. Rocky, however, is actually training in a more isolated area and uses his snowy and mountainous surroundings to help him prepare. With the help of Paulie and Duke (Apollo Creed’s trainer), Rocky begins to get ready and is soon joined by his wife Adrian (Talia Shire) as another shot of inspiration. The soundtrack for the training montage is brilliant and is still part of pop culture today and a track by Survivor is a very inspirational and rather catchy track which will get you singing after a listen or two (or make you think of that advert for Fosters Radler’s). In an almost mirrored entrance to that of the fight in the US, Ivan Drago is given a big spectacular entrance in his native country while Rocky is left with nothing but boos from the crowd. The fight starts out like the match with Drago and Creed, Rocky takes a pounding and looks to be suffering in the early rounds. Eventually, Rocky manages a few punches into the mighty Drago and begins to weaken him and see him take an unlikely advantage after landing a hit which cuts Drago below the eye and giving him a spot to attack (and helps them to realise Drago is just a man). Drago, while taking a short break, says that Rocky is “…like a piece of iron” and is astounded by his resilience.

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In the end, the hero takes on Drago till the fifteenth and final round where Rocky Balboa finally defeats the Russian with a knockout. This may be a usual “good vs. evil” story in many books, but I find it different. It is a movie which shows courage, revenge, guilt, mental suffering and what a man will go through for his friend and his country. It is a film which ultimately shows that a piece between two rather different nations can happen (but, I don’t wanna start being political). Sylvester Stallone shines in what is probably his best character he has ever portrayed, the last appearance of Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed is great as he goes out with a bang and given a spectacular scene to go out on. Talia Shire’s Adrian is sadly not given a lot to do in this film but she is still the person who keeps Rocky’s heart in the right place. Though he isn’t given many lines, Dolph Lungdren impresses as the giant Russian who is seen as not human for his actions and his lack of emotions. The inclusion of probably the greatest 80’s movie soundtrack makes this film an incredible experience and one that will get you cheering for Rocky Balboa for the whole of its run time. Get some popcorn, a few fizzy drinks and the soundtrack of the film to hear again afterwards and tuck in to this incredible movie!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove.

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