This blog is already WAY more telling than I would like. So in keeping with the spirit of confession, I’ll admit that, while I can take or leave sports movies as a whole, I have an unnatural and consuming passion for boxing movies. Cinderella Man, Million Dollar Baby, Southpaw, Creed (most recently). But none of these, with the possible exception of Creed (thanks to the many talents of one Michael B. Jordan), are even in the same weight class as the most iconic boxing movie of all time…
Rocky I, specifically.
This is a franchise that has gotten a weird rap. It’s become synonymous with bad 80’s acting-
And still stands as the poster child for the Homoerotic Training Montage.
But the first Rocky (1976) is a film of surprising depth and nuance. It’s two parts indie drama, one part underdog story.
Rocky Balboa is just a young mook from Philly who thinks that opportunity has passed him by. Until world champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers, before he got a stew going) gives him a shot at a the big time.
But the real heart of Rocky isn’t the big fight, or boxing, really. It’s the shockingly tender and grounded love story between Rocky and his main lady, Adrian.
If there’s one thing you should take away from this movie, it’s that Rocky loves Adrian.
But in between the shouting and the showdowns, we’re given the most unintentionally comedic training montage in the history of cinema.
This movie hasn’t resonated much with millennials. Probably because it wan’t directed by Joss Whedon. But if you’re looking for a movie that is unexpectedly sweet, and smart, and subtle, take a chance on the Italian Stallion. I guarantee you’ll eat lightening, and crap thunder.