Rocky Balboa may have hung up his boxing gloves, but Sylvester Stallone hasn’t left the Rocky franchise behind just yet. Stallone revealed that he is working on a director’s cut of the 1985 classic Rocky IV, which he says will be “amazing.” The news comes in the wake of the success of Creed 2, which continues the Rocky franchise through the story of Michael B. Jordan‘s Adonis Creed, and following the release of an extended cut of Stallone’s Rambo: Last Blood.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this special edition, Creed II stars Dolph Lundgren and Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu get together and break a bunch of things. Plus, Rocky IV inspires a short episode of ESPN’s documentary series 30 for 30, and Creed II star Michael B. Jordan and director Steven Caple Jr. review boxing scenes from the past. Read More »
As a franchise, Rocky has almost always been defined by the hubris of its star and creator, Sylvester Stallone. The original film is not actually so much about boxing as it is about the boxer, a working class guy who has only one skill in the ring and desperately wants to achieve more for himself, and what Stallone gradually lost sight of in writing and directing the sequels is that it was that character struggle that made his film resonate with people. As reflected in the franchise’s gradual decent into farce, Stallone felt the key to keeping Rocky Balboa a relevant pop culture icon was to make the fights bigger and the characters in perpetual awe of Rocky’s greatness, and the films suffered for it, finally attempting to pull out of the dive with the attempted drama of Rocky V and only finally approaching the heights of the original after a sixteen year hiatus with Rocky Balboa, though even that retained some sillier elements that harken back to Stallone’s worst impulses.
This is why Creed felt like such a revelation upon its 2015 release. The decision to make Rocky the supporting character for the son of his greatest rival, Apollo Creed, was an inspired bit of torch-passing, allowing Stallone to remain in the spotlight as a new name took on the legacy of the Rocky series. And that’s what Creed is largely about, as Adonis Creed struggles with the legacy and identity left behind by a father he never knew, and while the boxing matches are among the best of the whole series, Creed feels most like a rebirth of the parts of Rocky that struck people so strongly that a franchise was able to form in the first place.
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(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Creed II.)
Step back into the ring with Creed II, a sequel to Ryan Coogler’s 2015 Rocky spin-off Creed. The main cast is back, but Coogler is not. The result? An exciting, entertaining sequel that never manages to match the strength of the first film. Much like Adonis Creed himself, the Creed franchise will need to forge its own legacy if it wants to continue.
Major spoilers follow.
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With Creed II heading to theaters this week, the folks over at Honest Trailers have reached deep into their vault to pull out one of their classic episodes from all the way back in 1985 when Rocky IV was all the rage. It was a different time, when America wasn’t going to put up with Russia bossing us around, and it was up to Rocky to teach the Soviet Union a lesson so that Russia would never mess with us again. That certainly worked out for us, right? Read More »
Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018 by Fred Topel
Most sequels still exist as standalone entries in the continuing adventures of their heroes. Sure, some Marvel movies and Star Wars build on the history of the franchise, and may reference events of recent sequels, but it’s very rare for a spin-off series to make a direct sequel to a decades-old entry from its base series. That’s just strange.
That’s what Creed II is, though. Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is the son of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), and the first Creed was the story of Adonis carving his own path with the help of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). But Creed II is a direct sequel to the events of Rocky IV, with Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) returning with his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) to challenge Adonis.
Some fans of Creed may not have even been born when Rocky IV came out, and even die-hard Rocky fans might not remember every detail of the 1985 entry. And maybe you just don’t have time to give it a watch! So here is everything you need to remember from Rocky IV before you see Creed II.
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Ivan Drago is back in Creed II, but he’s not the Russian superman we saw in Rocky IV. In fact, according to actor Dolph Lundgren, the former boxer is emotionally damaged. This is a far-cry from the Drago audiences are used to, and it’ll be interesting to see Lundgren’s new take on the character. Read more of Lundgren’s thoughts about returning to the role of Drago below.
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Update: This past weekend, Sylvester Stallone posted a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #drago, which is yet another piece of confirmation that a member of the Drago family will be a character in Creed 2. Read our original article from July 5 below for speculation about how this might play out in the sequel.
Ever since Creed hit theaters in the fall of 2015, surprising us all with just how outstanding a spin-off of Rocky could be, fans have been wondering when/if a sequel would come together. Though MGM CEO Gary Barber once mentioned that he would like to get a Creed sequel together for release in November of this year, that’s certainly not happening. But that doesn’t mean the prospect of a sequel is dead altogether.
Sylvester Stallone has been taking to Instagram over the past couple of weeks with some interesting nostalgic posts that seem to hint at what’s in store for Creed 2. In fact, one of them seems to flat-out confirm what kind of territory the story could be heading, and it includes a face from the past who could really make things interesting. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
You may not have realized it yet, but this year marks the 40th anniversary of Rocky. The film release in November of 1976 went on to win Best Picture, and it’s easily Sylvester Stallone‘s greatest contribution to cinema. Recently the franchise has taken a new form with the successful spin-off Creed, and we’re still hoping for a sequel to come together sooner than later. In the meantime, we have a cool little stroll down memory lane from one of the older installments of the Rocky franchise.
It appears Sylvester Stallone has been taking a stroll down memory lane recently, and he decided to share some photos from behind the scenes of Rocky IV that even he hadn’t previously seen. Check out the rarely seen Rocky IV set photos after the jump. Read More »
Sports and movies are incredibly similar. Each are complex with intricate characters, comprised of long, detailed storylines. They can make you laugh, cry, and scream. On occasion either can build to a transcendent moment that you’ll never forget.
Those similarities are why the sports movie is such an enduring sub-genre in cinema. A sports movie can be anything: a dirty comedy, an inspirational drama, a documentary, a kick-ass action movie, a kids movie, it can even be a sci-fi or horror movie. Sports are such a universal language, they can be translated at will and never lose their power.
This week, another film enters the sports movie conversation: McFarland, USA, the true story of a cross country running team from a very poor town in central California. It’s a solid, entertaining sports movie that gets by because it adheres to the beats of the genre while adding a little something extra and different.
Because there’s a new sports movie out this week, I decided to take the occasion to rank my favorite sports movies of all time. Now, these are not the best sports movies of all time. Just my favorites. And there are major omissions, because we all have those. But to me, these are the 15 sports movies I can watch again and again. Read More »