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  • Creed

    Creed 2015

    ★★★★½ Added

    Realistic and low-key film. Very nice tribute to (and continuation of) the "Rocky" franchise. Adonis may not want to stand in the shadow of Apollo, but “Creed” certainly wants to follow in the footsteps of “Rocky."

    Yet, it’s not a retread. It finds its own way, much like the main character. You can tell when a writer and director truly feels for the material. Ryan Coogler obviously has genuine affection for the “Rocky” series, and it shows. "Creed" is deeply…

  • Rocky Balboa

    Rocky Balboa 2006

    ★★★★★ Added

    The “Rocky” series looked out of gas during “Rocky IV” and was TKO’d after “Rocky V.” But none of the character’s comebacks could match what the series itself did. I believe "Rocky Balboa" is a genuinely great movie. My favorite of the “Rocky” series. Somehow this is the one that has the most personal resonance. The “It’s not how hard you hit…” scene is one of my all time favorite movie moments. It’s inspiring and powerful. I was moved by…

  • Rocky V

    Rocky V 1990


    Let us pretend this never happened.

  • Rocky IV

    Rocky IV 1985

    ★★½ Added 2

    Slick but soulless. At the time it came out I remembered it as a decently watchable blockbuster, but it has aged badly. It feels slow and artificial now.

    The whole film starts off badly with the introduction of Paulie's robot. Ugh. So unfunny and childish. All the pop songs are painful, with the exception of James Brown's "Living In America." The music video style flashback sequence was cringeworthy. Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) is a formidable opponent for Rocky, but he's completely cartoonish and two-dimensional.

    The training sequence in Russia and the final fight are mildly entertaining. The rest is a washout.

  • Rocky III

    Rocky III 1982

    ★★★★½ Added

    I was 12 when "Rocky II" came out, and in my eyes at the time, it was pretty much perfect entertainment. The movie is a little corny now (those cut off tank tops Rocky and Apollo wear during training have aged badly), but it's still a very entertaining movie overall and a big step up from "Rocky II."

    First of all, Burt Young's character of Paulie is back. He still has a smaller role than in the first film, but…

  • Rocky II

    Rocky II 1979

    ★★½ Added

    "Rocky II" has always felt like a retread to me. It's a pale imitation of the first film, with only minor tweaks to the story. The deliberate pace of the original "Rocky" now seems slow. Simple scenes that still carried great power and meaning have been replaced by unaffecting moments that don't expand on the characters.

    Now that Rocky has won Adrian's love, the romance aspect of the film is a dud. There are none of the adorable first moments…

  • Rocky

    Rocky 1976

    ★★★★★ Added

    Definitely a classic that holds up well. "Rocky" is not really a sports movie. There's too little action and the focus isn't on sports. I'd say it's really a romance between two lonely people that both feel like outsiders. It just happens that one is a boxer. The boxer gets a lucky break, and the film chronicles the effect this random opportunity has on his life and his relationships.

    "Rocky" is really a great example of a high concept done in a very grounded and realistic manner. I don't think you can really understand 1970's cinema without paying close attention to this particular film.

  • Circle

    Circle 2015

    ★★½ Added

    I admire the high concept / low budget / science fiction / ensemble aspects, but I thought "Circle" was also quite pretentious and unbelievable. It seemed like a conceptual homage to the 1997 sci-fi flick "Cube", right down to the title. A group of diverse strangers are trapped in a mysterious killing machine and must figure things out as their numbers grow ever smaller.

    I never 100% understood the rules of whatever was going on, so disliking the movie may…

  • Spectre

    Spectre 2015

    ★★★½ Added

    Early reviews seemed to be negative, but I thought "Spectre" was just fine. Nothing exceptional, and it certainly has its flaws, but it's not nearly as bad (or as evocative of the Roger Moore era) as some critics have made it out to be. I might even like it better on a rewatch.

    Admittedly, it is slow to build, as the main villain is barely a presence in the first hour. So, it's hard to understand exactly what is at…

  • The Gift

    The Gift 2015

    ★★★ Added

    "The Gift" was enjoyable enough while watching it. Unfortunately, upon reflection it seemed to add up to less than the sum of its parts.

    It's a suspense movie for grownups, and it generated a considerable amount of suspense. So, mission accomplished there. But, when looking back on it, most of the suspenseful scenes turned out to have very little substance to them. It actually felt a lot like a torture porn horror movie with all of the torture scenes cut…

  • The Final Girls

    The Final Girls 2015

    ★★★½ Added

    Decent film with heart and enough clever ideas to warrant a watch by fans of '80's slasher films. It's an affectionate send-up but also has an emotional core that makes it a little more than your average horror comedy.

    It's a bit overlit, but some shots look really nice. It's a tad overacted, but the cast is appealing and the acting is pretty good too, even when it's intentionally "bad."

    "The Final Girls" is not the greatest thing ever, but…

  • Kung Fury

    Kung Fury 2015

    ★★★★½ Added

    It's tempting to dismiss "Kung Fury" because it isn't really a satire of 1980's action, even though it starts as one and clearly tries to be at times. Other times it gets so surreal that it seems to have strayed far from the '80's parody. Some viewers might look on that as a flaw or see it as the film losing focus.

    But satire is not really the point of the film, I think. I believe it's more about unbridled,…