Will Sly Stallone Ruin the “Creed” Sequel?

Sylvester Stallone has directed four movies in which his seminal fictional pugilist, Rocky Balboa, has appeared. (Can you name them all? Answers at the bottom.) Some gave us chills, while the forced nature of others trying so damned hard to make us feel prompted eye rolls.

Now Sly is aiming for a fifth go-round, announcing on Instagram on Monday his intent to direct and produce the Rocky spinoff sequel Creed 2. But a lone question still remains: Should he? Read more »

Stallone Teases Ivan Drago Return in “Creed 2”

Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren. Photo by AP/Jacques Brinon.

Sylvester Stallone can never get enough Rocky, which frankly is completely fine with me, as I can’t seem to either. Give me another Creed movie, sure. Why the hell not.

I would’ve been in regardless (although the first went overboard trying to be authentically Philly and came off a bit try-hard) just because I do love the Rocky Balboa character… but now Sly’s telling us that Ivan Drago is going to be in this shit too!? Take my money. Read more »

WATCH: Temple Football Trains Like Rocky

Photo by Dave Gerson/Temple University.

David Feeley is the head strength and condition coach of Temple University’s football team and he loves Rocky. Inspired by Sly Stallone’s unlikely 1976 classic, Feeley tossed on a Balboa-esque fedora and put his Owls through a special workout on Wednesday in tribute of the beloved boxing movie franchise.

“This is a tough city, and this workout replicates what a really tough movie character did,” Feeley told 6ABC. “I know it’s just the movies but Rocky is a timeless, tough movie… Why wouldn’t you want to come to the steps to work really hard?” Read more »

Sorry, Tourists: The Rocky Statue Is Temporarily Off-Limits

Starting today, the Rocky statue at the foot of the Art Museum will be closed until mid-June for “site improvements,” according to the city’s Parks & Recreation Department and VisitPhilly.

That means no more selfies with our city’s most legendary fighter for the time being, to the dismay of out-of-towners and the boxing layman. (At least we finally got that statue of Smokin’ Joe and his thunderous left hook up at XFINITY Live!) Read more »

The Pet Shop in “Rocky” Just Got Demolished

rocky pet shop

In Philly, we tend to destroy the buildings we treasure – such was the case with the historic Boyd Theater in Center City and such will likely be the case with Jewelers Row (assuming Toll goes ahead with the project).

And now, a lesser-known but just as lovable site has seen its last day: the Kensington storefront that doubled as Adrian’s pet shop in “Rocky” has been demolished. It’s a sad day for Rocky fans, who were apparently dumpster diving in their desperation to hold on to a piece of the movie setting forever.

Rocky tour guide Ben Caplan realized the store was being demolished mid-tour yesterday.

“I was getting ready to tell these people, ‘Well, hey, across the street is the –,’ and then I looked over and saw a big bulldozer,” Caplan told Philly.com.

You’ll remember the pet shop as the place where Rocky met his wife, Adrian, and bought his dog, Butkus. It’s been vacant for some time, but for many years, the store was a real Kensington pet shop called J&M Tropical Fish, owned and named after Joe Marks and his father, Morris Marks, who opened the shop in 1963.

Marks still owns the two turtles that Rocky bought in the movie – Cuff and Link – but he closed the shop in 2003, a few years after his father died, and sold the building in 2011.

“I think it’s sad to see it go and sad that it was in the state it was in,” Marks, 71, said. “I think sometimes the best aspirations in life don’t come true sometimes. I had visions and thoughts of a Rocky museum type of idea for this to work, but that’s just things in my mind. I have a lot of memories of it.”

Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo first talked to Marks last year for the magazine’s oral history of the Rocky movies. Marks spoke about how the film crew first reached out to him in 1975, and how he got to “meet Hollywood,” as he said, including Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Burt Young, Tommy Morrison and more.

“The first time they filmed, I didn’t know Sylvester Stallone from the man on the moon,” Marks said by phone today. “He was young, and kind of stoic, to a point. We didn’t talk much. The next time they came to look at the store [to film the second movie] it wasn’t in a regular car –they came in a limousine.”

Marks, who’s lived in Kensington for the majority of his life, said he wished the site would’ve been preserved.

“I feel that the effect the movie had on Philadelphia … I think that maybe there should’ve been more city interest in actually helping preserve sites,” Marks said. “I’m not talking about street-corner sites, but I know that the movie is an inspiration to a lot of generations that have come into being.

“It showed that anything is possible in America,” he added. “It was a great storyline, a fantastic storyline. It put Philadelphia on the map. Even though we’re not in the greatest part of the city, they could’ve looked at that to a point.”

Kensington is home to several other film locations, like the Lucky 7 Tavern and Mighty Micks Gym (which Marks’s uncle owned at the time of filming). All three locations are detailed in the filming location guide on TotalRocky.com (though the pet shop info has yet to be updated).

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

5 Movies to Watch This Week


Gremlins @ Ruba Club | Wednesday, December 7
Ruba Club is showing ’80s favorite Gremlins on a giant screen, along with movie-themed Quizzo, a selection of holiday shorts, popcorn, and drinks at the ballroom bar.

Local Film Night Vol. 1 @ Martha | Wednesday, December 7
Martha is starting up a movie-night series highlighting local filmmakers and they’re promising “some of the best, funniest, and downright odd shorts from Philly.” It’s free to get in and there will be drink specials.

Rock Docs: Monterey Pop @ National Museum of American Jewish History | Thursday, December 8
Tied to the “Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution” exhibit (up through January 16th, 2017), the NMAJH is screening concert documentary Monterey Pop, about the 1967 music festival featuring Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and other storied artists. Tickets include access to the exhibit. Before the film, World Café Live is throwing a Summer of Love party at the museum with live music. Read more »

We Asked Rocky Composer Bill Conti About Donald Trump Using His Music

Images via Wikimedia Commons.

Images via Wikimedia Commons.

“Gonna Fly Now,” otherwise known as the Rocky theme, is easily one of the most iconic pieces of film music ever written, right up there with the Godfather theme and Richard Strauss’ “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” made popular by 2001: A Space Odyssey. So when Donald Trump co-opted the Rocky tune for his entrance music during a rally last week, we decided to get Rocky composer Bill Conti on the phone. Read more »

Burt Young (aka Paulie) Recently Climbed the Rocky Steps

Paulie may be dead in the Rocky series, but Burt Young is still alive and kicking.

Or, rather, running? Maybe. Per a post to his Facebook page the other day,  Young was in Philadelphia recently and made it up the 72 steps at the entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Read more »

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