Friday, January 1, 2016

Creed packs a punch for fans

Movie Title:    Creed

Grade:  A-

Rating:  PG-13, 2 hours 12 minutes

In a Nutshell:    The Rocky franchise is back and better than ever!  It packs a punch for fans with humor, drama, emotional growth for the main characters, that amazing theme song, a respectful nod to the past, and lots of boxing.

My husband and sons box….so yeah, this film was preaching to the choir.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “1 step.  1 punch. 1 round at a time.” – Rocky
  •  “You can’t learn anything if you’re talking.  It’s a fact of life.” – Rocky
  • “Build your own legacy.” – Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad)
  • “The plan is just to do what I love for as long as I can.” – Bianca  (Tessa Thompson)
  • “You are your father’s son.  You’re a part of him, but that doesn’t mean you have to be him.” – Mary Anne Creed
  • We all have to fight mortality.  Sylvester Stallone said in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that it's how we choose to fight mortality that makes the journey interesting.

Things I liked:
  • Michael B. Jordan does a believable job as Adonis Johnson Creed.  I liked him soooo much more in this film than in the recent Fantastic Four.  Yes, Michael Jordan is his real name.  Once, he received a $40,000 royalty check that was supposed to be sent to the NBA star Michael Jordan!
  • How do they film some of those shots?!  Wow!
  • Well done, Sylvester Stallone.  He did a great job acting, producing and allowing Ryan Coogler to direct.  He has just received a nomination for a Golden Globe!  Stallone admits that he didn't want to make another Rocky movie, but the story was so compelling that he agreed to do it.
  • Great training sequences.  Just what we love.
  • It was cool watching Adonis shadow box to the original Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed fight on YouTube.  You can too!  Here’s the same video he watched:  
  • I loved seeing Rocky hit the speed bag next to Adonis, the original who started the whole story and the young buck who is going to carry on the legacy.
  • When the camera zoomed onto the aquarium in Rocky’s house, my husband whispered to me “Cuff and Link!”  Now, there’s a true Rocky fan who remembers even the water turtles’ names.
  • Young people will be able to relate to the struggle of following in their parents’ footsteps vs. making a name for themselves.
  • I loved the camerawork in the scene in the locker room when the shot followed Rocky and Creed out into the big arena.
  • I got a kick out of seeing Liverpool, England again.  I was just there this summer!
  • I liked the helpful stat boxes that popped up on the screen when the film introduced new boxing characters.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Adonis grew up with a silver spoon, but they tried to make him appear Street.  With some work, they were actually pretty close to making us believe it.
  • It was odd to see a tough boxer like “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Anthony Bellew) talk with an Irish accent.  Sometimes I couldn’t even understand what the heck he was saying.
  • No big surprises here.  You’ve seen the story before.

Funny lines:
  • “I otta knock you out myself.” – Mary Anne Creed
  • “I think they added a few more steps.” – Rocky, after he climbed to the top of the steps in Philadelphia again.
  • “Women weaken legs.” - Rocky

Interesting lines:

  • “We’re making champs in the Delphi ring.  We aren’t dancing.  We aren’t singing.  We’re fighting.” –  Tommy Holiday (Graham McTavish)
  • “Apollo didn’t get hurt.  He got killed.” – Mary Anne Creed
  • “It’s you against you.  He’s just in the way.  Get him out of the way.” – Rocky
  • “So, what are you afraid of?” – Bianca
“I’m afraid of taking on the name and losing.” – Adonis
  • “Prove what?” – Rocky
“That I’m not an accident.” – Adonis
  • “Time takes everybody out; time’s undefeated.” - Rocky

Tips for parents:   

  • Be forewarned: your young children are going to learn a bad word in sign language.
  • There is a steamy kissing scene on a couch.
  • Some profanity.
  • Lots of fighting: some of it in the ring and some of it not.
  • Some discussion of Cancer and death.
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