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Rocky V

"It ain’t all muscle, it’s all heart. Heart and fire."

Sylvester Stallone returned to his beloved Rocky series in 1990, fully intending to close it out with a story as powerful as the first one. He even got John G. Avildsen back to direct it. Unfortunately, the film was a weaker film, one that didn’t find much love from critics or audiences.

It made its money back and was a financial success at the box office, but nowhere near the four films that preceded it. But how does it hold up nearly 30 years later? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Rocky series with Avildsen’s 1990 film Rocky V.

We talk about the script and why most of the problems come from here (even if Andy finds them much more egregious than Pete). We look at what happens to the characters we’ve been following through this franchise so far – Rocky, Adrian, Paulie – and what this script and film is doing with them. We look at the antagonists of the film – Duke and Tommy – and chat about their strengths and weaknesses. We look at the relationship Rocky has with his son, played by Stallone’s real son Sage, and why that’s such a strong element of the story. And we look at what Avildsen is bringing to the film and wonder why it still feels largely like a Stallone film.

It’s a rough entry in the franchise, but it’s one that half of us still enjoy. And we certainly have a great time talking about it. So check it out then tune in to this week’s show. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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