5 Movies to Watch This Week

Rocky

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 »

Video: Baby Imitates Rocky II Training Montage

Rocky Balboa seems to be quite the inspiration today: Earlier today, we posted a video of Steve Krause, a man with a rare disability who trained for months to climb the Rocky Steps. And now, there’s this baby, delightfully nicknamed Baby Balboa, who has managed to create the cutest workout inspiration ever with a very impressive imitation of the training montage from Rocky II. Naturally, the video, originally posted on Facebook by the baby’s father, has gone viral. Check it out below.  Read more »

Muhammad Ali Loved the Running Scene in Rocky II

Rocky - Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali died over the weekend. For decades, Ali had battled Parkinson’s Disease in the public eye. It robbed him of his ability to speak.

The Ali one sees in old footage won’t stop talking. And it was this Ali that agreed to do a story with Roger Ebert in 1979, two years before his final fight. The two got together to watch Rocky II.

The story is great. Ebert even rides with Ali to the screening, and sees the former champ surprise fellow drivers by sitting in the front seat and waving at them. “Not one person who saw Ali in the car failed to recognize him, to wave at him, to shout something,” Ebert writes. “Ali says he is the most famous person in the world. He may be right.” Read more »

Joltin’ Joey DeMalavez: The Real Life Rocky

Photograph by Steve Boyle

Photograph by Steve Boyle

The Joltin’ Jabs gym on Sansom Street is just a few blocks away from Rittenhouse Square, but be forewarned, ye who enter — you won’t be pampered, coddled or comforted. You will sweat, and you will suffer.

The man responsible for your pain is sitting across from me on a folding chair, surrounded by heavy bags and speed bags hung from the ceiling — the tools of his trade. Joey DeMalavez — former pro boxer, current Philadelphia trainer du jour, future shoo-in for reality-TV stardom — wears red track pants, a white knit cap on his shaved head, and a Joltin’ Jabs long-sleeve shirt that doesn’t hide his ample biceps or the tattoos that run up his neck and down to his wrists. There’s a skull on his right hand, an open Bible with a heart on the left one, and a bold letter on each finger that together spell out JOLTIN’ JABS.

after the jump »

How Far Did Adonis Run in Creed?

Creed - Adonis creed running

Scene from Creed via the first trailer

I wrote an article in 2013 titled, “How Far Did Rocky Go in His Training Run in ‘Rocky II’?” Connecting the various scenes of Rocky Balboa’s long training run in Rocky II, the route I drew had the Italian Stallion going nearly 30.61 miles in that one montage.

A lot of people read it! It was aggregated across the Internet. Rebecca Barber turned it into a real thing with the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run, now in its third year. I even wrote a spinoff, based on the ambulance route at the start of the film, last year.

Creed — where Rocky trains Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis, for his first big fight — came out in November. It was pretty great: Director Ryan Coogler did a fantastic job inserting a new character into the Rocky franchise, Michael B. Jordan was a solid lead and Sylvester Stallone actually turned in the best acting performance of his career. There was also a little bit of running in it.

As such, I figured this article deserved a sequel: How far did Adonis run in Creed? Read more »

Rocky Is the Best Picture Winner That Says Its Title the Most

rocky-1976

Yo, Adrian! Guess which Best Picture winner says its title in the movie more than any other?

At the 49th Academy Awards, Rocky beat All the President’s Men, Bound for Glory, Network and Taxi Driver for Best Picture. That’s pretty amazing in and of itself. That win allowed it to claim another title: Rocky is the Best Picture winner that says its title in the film more than any other. “Rocky” is said in Rocky 73 times, narrowly defeating 1982’s Gandhi (which says “Gandhi” 68 times).

The list was compiled this weekend by West Philadelphia resident Ryan Godfrey, who compiled a spreadsheet of every Best Picture winner — from 1927’s Wings to 2014’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — in the order of times they say their title.

Read more »

Sylvester Stallone Nominated for Academy Award

creed-stallone

Sylvester Stallone is now a three-time Academy Award nominee.

The actor was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his seventh portrayal of Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa in Creed. It was the second time he is up for an acting award. He was previously nominated for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for Rocky in 1976. He didn’t win either award, though Rocky won Best Picture that year.

Though the Oscars have different voters, Stallone already won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Balboa. Read more »

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