Rocky Balboa

In the bicentennial year, a movie caused the world to cheer for a boxer and his fight to show that he could make right the mess that had become his life by finding courage and a wife. The writer of this movie plot found the fame that he had sought and his film was widely thought to be a great work of art. As time went on, young Sly Stallone (the film’s writer, and the one who played the leading boxer role) gave up on films with heart and soul instead producing, in succession, sequels, action, and suspense films that showed the critics that perhaps in their judgment there was a lapse when they praised Rocky the first, while its sequels each grew worse. Indeed, Stallone’s highest attainment was not art, but entertainment. Now at 60, Sly Stallone couldn’t leave his film alone and came back for one more fight, hoping, with his dying light, to stake a final artist’s claim to the films that made his name. In this last of Rocky movies, schmaltz and feelings, as they should be, are the center of the story of a boxer, old and hoary, who seeks to live out one more time, his glory days (told here in rhyme) and with nostalgia, pain and pride, attain again a fame worldwide.

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