Rocky: It’s Way Better Than You Think

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…

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Rocky.

Rocky I, specifically.

This is a franchise that has gotten a weird rap. It’s become synonymous with bad 80’s acting-

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And still stands as the poster child for the Homoerotic Training Montage.

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But the first Rocky (1976) is a film of surprising depth and nuance. It’s two parts indie drama, one part underdog story.

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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.

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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.

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If there’s one thing you should take away from this movie, it’s that Rocky loves Adrian.

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Love.

But in between the shouting and the showdowns, we’re given the most unintentionally comedic training montage in the history of cinema.

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use this one

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.

-Whitney Weldon

 

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Fangirly Crush of the Week: Michael B. Jordan

If your dad is anything like my dad (I’m taking the liberty of assuming that he is), then he’s got a weird thing about Rocky. You know, he bought the collector’s edition Blu-ray box set of the first three movies. He has “Gonna Fly Now” on his iPhone to be played before a big meeting or when he’s alone in the car (as if you didn’t know). His idea of hijinks was to shout “Adrian!” at the top of his lungs outside your bedroom door. It’s a 936full-michael-b-jordan.jpgburden shared by Millennials the world over.

That being said, when my dad insisted our family go see Creed,the Rocky reboot for a younger, pop-culture inundated generation, I went along, totally of my own volition. Aside from being a shockingly wonderful movie (more on that later), it gave me the chance to objectively evaluate the acting talents of one Michael B. Jordan. By which, of course, I mean I spent two hours doing an involuntary Kristen Wiig impression.

 

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My squees were heard ’round the world.

Michael B. Jordan has been a source of ongoing angst for us here at Fangirly since Chronicle and Fruitvale Station. Thanks to Creed, the situation has devolved further into a condition I like to call Fan-Madness. But seriously, who’s gonna blame us?

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In addition to being one of the dreamiest boats in Hollywood, Michael B. Jordan has delivered some amazing performances in the last few years, with only a few notable exceptions (cough, Fantastic Four, cough). And though his place in the Fangirly Hall of Fame is secure, we encourage him not to rest on his shapely laurels. If that means that he keeps making movies that include scenes like this…

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then so be it. That seems to be testing very well over here.

Whitney Weldon