Yesterday, ESPN made a big deal out of celebrating the 40th anniversary of “Rocky.” The four decade old original movie chronicling Rocky Balboa would lead to five sequels and a spinoff movie called “Creed.”
Although not at the same level as “Forrest Gump” for me, if I could lump the entire “Rocky” series together as one title, it would easily make my top ten favorite movies list.
My brother and I became introduced to the movies by watching bits and pieces of Rocky marathons on TV. That led us to renting the VHS cassettes and watching them over and over. The underdog plot that each movie took on combined with our intrigue for boxing and our fandom of Slyvester Stallone made us super fans of the franchise.
Try to picture this image if you can: inspired by the boxing scenes and the powerful soundtrack that accompanied the movies, my brother and I would step into the ring ourselves; the “ring” being my parents’ basement of course. Blaring “Eye of the Tiger,” we would bare knuckle box (face shots were not allowed). My mom and dad were not impressed.
Anyway, I think I might have hit my brother a little too hard during those crude “boxing” bouts because as I grew up my passion for “Rocky” decreased while Glen’s obsession increased. He still quotes the movies in everyday conversation, he binge watches the series on random weekends multiple times a year, and he even dressed up as Rocky Balboa for Halloween last year. As you can probably imagine, he still has Rocky posters up in his room.
As is the case with many other “Rocky” fans, my favorite film in the series is “Rocky IV.” What makes that film stand out so much? For me, it is the fact that Slyvester Stallone is in the best shape of his life, major worldly themes are taken into account, the training scenes are incredible, the music pumps you up, and Ivan Drago is by far the best Rocky Balboa villain/opponent of the series. The film has turned into somewhat of a cult classic. Although I won’t put the DVD in and watch it from start to finish at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night like my brother, I still will sit and watch through a few different commercial breaks if it is on TV.
With the big milestone yesterday, I felt like I needed to recognize “Rocky.” If you are yet to see any of the films, you probably should at least watch the first one. I think we can all agree that it is an American classic. Don’t Blink.