Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Rocky Lives, Adrian Dies

Ok. I love the Rocky films. (Although, even I was disappointed by Rocky V.) So, tonight, the upcoming Rocky Balboa is on my mind. I will admit, the announcement of this sixth film in the series excited me (although I wondered, and still wonder, if it can work). The film is all but completed, although it's not scheduled to be released until February 2007 (thus, not taking advantage of the fact that 2006 is the 30th anniversary of the Oscar-winning original). Still, if the reaction to the photos posted on the official Rocky blog is any indication, this series may finally be retro enough to be a huge hit again. (Keep in mind, it's been 15 years since Rocky V!) Internet chatter is reporting that Rocky finally dies in Rocky Balboa, but in recent interviews, Sylvester Stallone insists that Rocky lives to see another day at the close of the series. The love of his life, Adrian, however, does not even make it to the new film. She has passed away (from cancer) before the film begins (although, this may not be news to those of you who read the excerpts from the new Rocky script in Stallone's health and fitness magazine, Sly). When we first meet the character of Rocky in the original film, he is boxing at a local club, and has no one in his corner. Mickey has long ago stopped believing in him. Adrian has not yet fully entered the picture. He hasn't met Apollo Creed (or Creed's trainer Duke). Yes, he has a friendship with (Adrian's brother) Paulie, but Paulie is an alcoholic, and the friendship is rather uneven, at best. So, Rocky is basically alone. It's been 30 years since Rocky, but Stallone has managed to finally bring his star-making character full circle. Slowly, he has killed off those who have meant the most in his life. In Rocky III, Mickey dies. In Rocky IV, Apollo dies. In Rocky V, his fortunes (and part of his brain) die. And now, in Rocky Balboa, Adrian is dead. And so, Rocky, once more, is alone. And with this chapter, Stallone claims the series itself will die (although we've heard that one before). Three endings have reportedly been shot (but one has yet to be chosen). The first ends over Adrian's grave. Another, in the boxing ring. And still, a third, on the now-famed steps leading to the Philadelphia Art Museum. (One more interesting note: The plot of the new film, employs the use of a computer-generated fight between Rocky and the current heavyweight champ, a gimmick used in the now legendary film The Superfight, which showed a choreographed match between Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali -- also decided by a computer. But keep in mind, Rocky Marciano was 47 when he stepped in the ring with Ali, and Rocky Balboa would be 61 at this point.)

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Don't be surprised if the release date gets moved up to coinside with the 30 anniversary.
Part II of the comment, Rocky was released Nov 21 1976 can you say on or about?
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