Jim H, could you give us your thought on ROCKY BALBOA. I'm thinking of catching this over the holiday.
I'm still a bit muddled about it, actually. I think I'd get a better opinion if I see it again, which probably won't happen til it hits DVD.
But some general thoughts...
The writing is mostly good. There are a few clunkers and cheese bits here and there though. Stallone and everyone else is excellent.. With the exception of the guy who plays his son. He ranges from pretty good to (in a single scene) awful. The 'villain' is given a bit of humanity early on, but then this is apparently totally forgotten, which bugged me a bit. I'd have liked more time with him.
Stallone has a couple of longer speeches, which are pretty good. The overall storyline is good, and more believable than you'd guess. It seems like there is going to be a romantic subplot, but there isn't, which is great. The cinematography is usually pretty, but I thought the hand held bits were too common. Film is slow building, but does get where its going. It feels slower than the original Rocky, actually, which is kind of amazing.
The fight sequence at the end is very well done, though the MTV style in the middle gets to be a bit hectic. Still, extremely well choreographed and shot.
Overall, as a serious movie, I'd say it is better than all of the other sequels, but it is not as good as the original film. I don't think Stallone will ever top the original, it's pretty much his Citizen Kane.
So yeah, Rocky Balboa gets my vote to see in theatres. It would be especially worth it if you get with a crowd who really gets into it... I suspect the early showings with huge Rocky fans were awesome.