For most of us, watching a movie or reading a book is always better the first time around - in my opinion, there’s nothing better than the initial excitement that a great film or enjoyable read can give to its audience.
But it seems that in this day and age, authors and filmmakers want to go the extra mile.
You know what I’m talking about - the mile that ultimately conceives sequels or a series of books that aim to bring its characters and their stories full circle.
Personally, I’ve always shied away from these projects.
I usually find them to be second rate, not as good as the original and conclude that most of the story lines struggle to capture my attention.
But there is one DVD that I recently rented that has me thinking twice about these types of films.
In 1976, the first Rocky movie probably left its viewers thinking that nothing could beat the blockbuster hit.
And after five installments in the Rocky series, who would’ve though that in 2006 - 16 years since the last film - the “Italian Stallion” would enter the ring for one final match-up.
When the movie, Rocky Balboa, starts, you find Sylvester Stallone’s character and the film’s namesake in his 50s and the owner of an Italian restaurant fittingly called Adrian’s - named after the love of his life and deceased wife.
The film slowly builds momentum with sporadic scenes of Rocky purposely bumping into his estranged son and the lonely time he spends in his lifeless home.
The only joy he seems to have left in his life are the visits to his wife’s grave and when guests at his restaurant humor him by asking to hear a story from the good old days as a heavyweight champion boxer.
Eventually, the fire within and his desire to fight take Rocky in front of the sporting commission requesting a license to box again.
And this is where the adrenaline starts to pump and the movie is brought to life.
After much debate, the board approves the application and Rocky is set to fight a boxer three times his junior, Mason “The Line” Dixon, in an exhibition match.
In the first round of the fight, I found my self yelling at the screen - rooting on the veteran boxer like I was ring side at an arena in Las Vegas.
The sweat drenched scene was great - filled with plenty of left hooks and jabs.
Rocky’s opponent definitly gave him a run for his money and if you want to know the outcome of the fight, you’re going to have to watch it yourself.
I’m no movie critic and don’t claim to be one, but I must say that the good feeling audiences will walk away with after seeing this film is well worth the hour and a half it takes to watch it.
Rocky Balboa triumphs again and aims to please viewers - perfectly crafting the personal connection between its audience and the characters.
If you want to see a great movie and are a Rocky fan - you’ve got to rent this film.
Questions? Comments? Story Ideas? Email Lifestyles Editor Heather R. Breaux at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at 985-758-2795.