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#rocky iv

Using my knowledge of 1980s popular movies, I predict that for Stranger Things season 4, in order to rescue Jim Hopper from the Soviets, Steve Harrington becomes a boxer and challenges the Soviet’s top boxer to an exhibition match. Winner gets Jim Hopper. Then during the match, the Soviet audiences become pro-American because of Steve’s determination to win.  

I am 100% positive this will totally, really, truly happen. 

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So just a random post about movies, I went through the Rocky saga again recently and after going through each movie, I have a newfound respect for Rocky III. It’s still a silly movie and it’s definitely not as good as Rocky I, II, and VI, but I like how it advanced Rocky Balboa’s storyline. To put this into perspective, let’s talk about the first two Rocky movies.

Rocky Balboa is a mediocre boxer who isn’t the most technical fighter you’ll ever meet. However, he does have tremendous heart and an iron chin. That’s how he was able to go the distance with world champion Apollo Creed, he could weather the storm no matter how bad he got hurt. The first two Rocky movies tell essentially the same story; Rocky has to prove himself and he does so by showing he’s the fighter with the most heart. So going into the third movie, they couldn’t just repeat the formula.

That’s why I’ve come to really respect Rocky III. They took the same character but gave him different problems to deal with, problems that he couldn’t overcome through pure heart and determination. Instead of him having to prove he has the most heart, he now has to prove he can be the smarter fighter in the ring. Rocky III also got rid of his underdog status by starting him off as the dominating champ, which also deviates from the formula of the first two movies. What this does is create a very different movie but in a way that advances Rocky’s character development.

1) It placed Rocky in the Apollo Creed role. Instead of being the underdog trying to prove he could beat the best, he’s now the king of the division trying to keep his throne. You can actually read Rocky III as an inverse of the first two movies; instead of a humble underdog challenger and an arrogant champion, it’s an arrogant underdog challenger and a humble champion.

2) It forced Rocky to fight smart and actually develop a strategy to beat Clubber Lang. I have to say, it’s incredibly satisfying watching Rocky, whose original fighting style was to just slug it out with his opponents, actually try to outsmart his opponents. Instead of trying to go the distance with Clubber, he rope-n-doped him and knocked him out after making Clubber tire himself out. This might be a bold statement but this is the smartest that Rocky’s ever been in the ring. 

It’s a shame Rocky IV and V couldn’t keep the momentum going. Without even going into V because I hate that movie so much, IV was disappointing because it seemed to regress the character. Instead of expanding on his development from the 3rd movie, Rocky was back to proving he was the fighter with the most heart. Also, even though the fight with Ivan Drago was immensely fun, it’s just way too cheesy and gets too ridiculous. I mean…the Soviets turn on their home champion because of Rocky’s determination? Come on. 

That said, I also do have a newfound respect for Rocky IV as well, but only because it gave birth to the Creed series. I love how those movies turned Rocky IV from a mediocre title in the series to the first entry in one of the most tragic fucking boxing stories I’ve ever watched. If you consider Rocky IV, Creed I, and Creed II as the “Drago-Creed Trilogy”, it actually works as a complete story. 

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Rocky Balboa, Rocky IV (1985)
During this fight, I’ve seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that’s better than twenty million. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!
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