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Need to catch up on your ‘Rocky’ movies?: Minister of Culture

November 30, 2018

Need to catch up on your ‘Rocky’ movies?: Minister of Culture

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ever since the eighth installment of the Rocky series, “Creed ll,” earned $55 million on its first weekend, there has been a renewed interest in all of the “Rocky” films. Some people are discovering the oeuvre of Sylvester Stallone for the first time.

In case you are new to the “Rocky” party, let me bring you up to speed.

The first “Rocky” movie came out in 1976. In it, Rocky fights heavyweight champ Apollo Creed. Stallone wrote the script in three days. He was inspired by the Muhammad Ali/Chuck Wepner fight that he attended at the Richfield Coliseum. Wepner was called on a TKO in the 15th round. Nobody thought it would go past three.

“Rocky” won best picture at the Oscars that year and two other Academy Awards as well.

The movie about the ultimate athletic underdog was a cinematic underdog itself. Now if you’ve been living under a toadstool for the past 40 years, let me acquaint you with this classic film series. Beware of spoilers.

After “Rocky,” we had “Rocky II,” where Rocky Balboa, looking for rest and relaxation following his big fight, takes his girlfriend Adrian for some sun and fun on the beaches of Long Island, New York. It is there he discovers that a Great White shark is terrorizing a small resort town. Rocky begins to train himself as a swimmer and scuba diver. He then challenges the shark to go 15 rounds of open-water Aqua Boxing. I won’t reveal who wins the battle of the Atlantic Ocean.

In “Rocky III,” our hero joins the NASA space program and gets picked for a mission to the moon. When he arrives on the moon, he finds that the Russian boxer, Ivan Drago, is already there, and the two square off for the Battle of the Universe. Fifteen rounds.

In “Rocky IV: Lord of the Boxing Rings,” Rocky travels to Middle-earth to steal a magical ring that will give him power to control the universe. But first he must go 15 rounds with Gandalf the Wizard, who keeps telling him, “You shall not pass.”

In “Rocky V,” Rocky moves from Philadelphia to New York City, where he is adopted by the Corleone crime family. They are looking for someone to be the family’s “Godfather.” The Tataglias have just adopted Apollo Creed as their “Godfather.” Eventually, he and Rocky engage in a meatball-eating contest. No spoiler. But there are Tums involved.

“Rocky VI” involves Balboa getting swept up in a tornado and taken to the land of Oz. Once again, Apollo Creed has beaten him there. But the Wicked Witch of the West has turned him into a munchkin and locked him in her castle. Rocky feels pity for his old foe, pitted against the witch and her flying monkeys, and tries to free him.

In “Creed,” Rocky joins forces with Apollo’s son Adonis to fight the witch and free his dad.

In “Creed II,” Rocky is visited by an angel named Clarence and is shown what the world would be like if no “Rocky” movies were ever made.

You know what? The world would be exactly the same.

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