avildsen also directed karate kid, which really isn’t that different from this film. both are about sympathetic characters tapping their true potential and overcoming fear while falling in love. with rocky it seems he is almost afraid to succeed, which is why mickey finally kicks him out of the gym. of course, in the end rocky is inspired to put together a highly unlikely 5 week blitz of training and loses to apollo creed in a split decision. it’s an inspiring film, but not as great as i remembered it being. i think i conflated rocky and rocky II and had an image of one really great movie instead of two pretty good ones. such is the nature of memory.
bill conti’s music is a highlight. stallone’s performance has a few weaknesses, but is generally pretty good. pauly is probably the best character in the film because of his volatility and realism. mickey (meredith) is also a good one.