Getting ‘Creed,’ a ‘Rocky’ spinoff, made was a real underdog story for Ryan …

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

As Rocky IV turns 30, here are 4 things you never knew about the film.

That’s what the 29-year-old director of Fruitvale Station talked about to persuade Sylvester Stallone to allow him to make Creed, the seventh film in the franchise, now playing. “I was just always honest with (Stallone) and let him know what the movies meant to me,” said Coogler during a recent interview in Toronto — fittingly held in a Yonge St. boxing gym — along with Creed’s stars Michael B. Jordan), a pair of prehistoric pals (“The Good Dinosaur,” featuring voice performances by Raymond Ochoa and Jeffrey Wright), and a dogged detective (“Victor Frankenstein,” starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe).

The movie is an overwrought Reagan-era allegory for the capitalist-communist conflict that dominated world politics for the better part of four decades. Jordan gets quite a workout in “Creed,” the movie, in theaters now, that continues the “Rocky” series by telling the story of the late, great Apollo Creed’s son. Jordan, who plays young Creed, races street bikes on foot, jumps rope moving so fast the rope seems like a blade, chases chickens at one point (for real! it’s hilarious) and of course gets pummeled in the ring.

We got a moment with Jordan recently when he, his co-star Tessa Thompson and writer-director Ryan Coogler visited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. Critics say he’s a contender once again: “Creed” is one of the best entries in the venerable franchise, with fantastic performances from Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. And a gallon and a half of water a day.” “It was definitely an honor to step into that world that everyone loves,” he said. “There was a certain pressure and expectation to do a good job.” Jordan’s formidable charisma, ‘Creed’ is only sporadically compelling, resulting in a movie that never quite shakes the impression that it’s a novel but not particularly necessary addition to the ‘Rocky’ series.” — Tim Grierson, Screen International Pixar has ruled the computer animation genre since it debuted “Toy Story” in 1995, but it’s never attempted to release two films in one year before.

That changes this week with the release of “The Good Dinosaur” — which follows on the heels of this summer’s widely acclaimed “Inside Out” — and critics say it’s a worthy entry in the Pixar canon, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to the studio’s best. As noted by Philly.com, before the making of Rocky IV, International Robotics founder Robert Doornick had appeared on a talk show to discuss his work with children and Sico. It was an intensely personal project for Coogler, who said the Rocky movies helped his father deal with his own mother’s breast cancer when he was young. Set on an alternate version of Earth where dinosaurs have survived extinction, the story centers on Arlo, a timid Apatosaurus who finds himself lost after chasing a caveboy into the wilderness.

He later used the dramas to motivate Coogler in high school and college. “Whenever I’d have a big football game or a big test at school, he’d say, ‘Hey man take 10 minutes, we’ll watch this scene from Rocky.’” Coogler recalled. “He’d get fired up … this’ll give you the juice! Critics say “Victor Frankenstein” resembles its title character’s creation: it’s a bunch of disparate elements fastened together, lacking the spark needed to come to life.

First, after killing Apollo Creed: “If he dies, he dies.” Second, before going 15 rounds with Rocky: “I must break you.” Thus comprises nearly 20 percent of every word Dolph Lundgren utters in his starring, non-Bond debut. James McAvoy stars as the doctor and Daniel Radcliffe plays Igor; together, they team up to create artificial life, but (spoiler alert!) their macabre experiments eventually spiral out of control. “Victor Frankenstein” is currently at 18 percent on the Tomatometer; here’s what some of the critics are saying: Rotten: “As Radcliffe says from the beginning, we know this story. Since we already do, the longer this particular version of it continues, the more we wonder why we’re bothering to sit through it.” — Jen Chaney, Washington Post Rotten: “Despite half-hearted moves towards providing a new take on a classic story, ‘Victor Frankenstein’ is less “aliiiiiive!” than trapped in a coma of its own making.” — Rebecca Pahle, Film Journal International

She describes Stallone as “an awesomely eccentric, fantastic dude.” Thompson observes Rocky audiences remain loyal because “they give us a sort of perspective of what’s possible with self determination, perseverance. He helped the actor avoid the kind of slip-ups that make moviegoers cringe, learning not to “oversell a punch, not taking the punch too soon, taking a long time, especially when you do slo-mo shots.

Coogler said his most difficult day on set was shooting an emotional scene involving Jordan and Stallone and the famous “Rocky steps” leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Not only that, Rocky IV remained the highest-grossing sports movie, outlasting Field of Dreams, Major League, and White Men Can’t Jump — for nearly 15 years.

Despite not ending the Cold War, The Waterboy with Adam Sandler finally took the box-office belt from Rocky IV, though the fourquel remains the No. 3 biggest sports movie of the last 40 years when adjusted for inflation.

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