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Be a thinker, not a stinker: How Sylvester Stallone flouted his own dialogue

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  1. An overview of the movie Rocky (1976)
  2. Recreating Rocky II, III, IV, and V
  3. Evaluation of the movie, Rocky
  4. Comparison with other contemporary movies
  5. Conclusion

Rocky (1976), written by and starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen, grossed $225 million worldwide after being shot on a paltry $1.1 million budget. Although film critics and historians, like Peter Biskind, often seem to classify Rocky as a ?post-New Hollywood feel-good film, a throwback to the ?50s, and a peek at the ?80s,? a blockbuster among the likes of Star Wars and Jaws, the film is unmistakably influenced by the New Hollywood movement. Rocky captures the essence of raw artistry and emotion that emerge in Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, Taxi Driver, or any of the other poster-films for the New Hollywood movement. After Rocky, however, Stallone made Rocky II, III, IV, and V, trying to recreate?and perhaps sponge off?the success of the original.

[...] Says Lucas, same thing happened to me.' Like Coppola, his aspirations were influenced by the market When Darth Vader begs Luke to serve the Empire and join the Dark Side at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, saying, ?It's your destiny,' Luke defies him, taking a risky plunge into nowhere. But real life is different. When Lucas's self-created empire begged the producer-director to serve it, he gave Similarly, when Stallone's self-created empire begged him to serve it, he readily made Rocky II-V, and even followed a similar course with the Rambo films. [...]

[...] Rocky walks over to the mirror and the camera films the image of his reflection in the mirror, as well as the photograph of him as a little boy which is stuck into the mirror frame. The camera then pans from the mirror to the man, the real Rocky, no longer the reflection. The scene overflows with a playful self- consciousness regarding images, viewing, and loneliness. This scene embodies the surprise of Rocky, which is that it is not a film about boxing. [...]

[...] With Rocky all the charming flaws are gone, perhaps because the shooting was not rushed, because they could spend money to edit the film to be exactly as planned, because the production was on a scale most likely unimaginable to Stallone in 1975. The wonder of this decrease in originality and artistry with an increase in fame and fortune is that after all the acclaim and success of Rocky, no one could recognize that perhaps they should stick to what worked before, that perhaps part of the genius of the film was derived from its circumstance. [...]

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