Category: Rocky III

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

LeRoy Neiman’s Rarely Seen “Rocky” Movie Art!

Mike Kunda is a super Rocky fan, the #1 Rocky impersonator in the world and the owner of the Yo Philly! Rocky Film Tour.  Recently Mike posted several seldom seen LeRoy Neiman sketches from behind the scenes filming of Rocky movies.  They were too good not to share.

LeRoy Neiman is considered the most famous sports artist in the world.  His painting of Rocky used in Rocky III is without a doubt his most famous Rocky art, but it isn’t the only Rocky art Neiman created.  In addition, to finished paintings, Neiman created preliminary sketches like the ones above of Drago slugging Rocky and Rocky in a defensive stance.

I love this sketch that Neiman labeled, Face Hit Two, Rocky II, c. 1980.  It was created using felt pen, acrylic, ink and pencil.

Neiman titled this Round XV, Rocky IV created in Vancouver, BC. May 1, 1985.

As you can see above, even the movie call sheet was material for a quick sketch of Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed!

LeRoy Neiman was always a dashing figure (and seldom seen without a cigar).  Here he is seen creating more prelim sketches for Rocky IV art.

The photo above was turned into a Neiman Rocky IV painting that is rarely seen!

I love the amount of details that appear in this loose LeRoy Neiman prelim that he labeled: Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV, May 1, 1985.  felt, pen and acrylic on paper. 20 1/4 x 26 in.  51.4 x 66 cm.

Above is a Neiman sketch he titled, Sly, Rocky II, March 13, 1990.

Thanks again to Mike Kunda for sharing these finds. If you’d like to see more of LeRoy Neiman’s amazing artwork, please check out his official site.

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

Ranking & Thoughts on All 8 “Rocky” Movies!

Evan Saathoff at /Film ranked all of the Rocky/Creed movies in his post Butkus to Punchy: Ranking All 8 ‘Rocky’ Movies from Worst to Best.  Here is a comparison of his order with my rankings and thoughts about each.



8. Rocky IV: “…is silly fun, a skeleton of a film held together through a series of montages. Candy is cool, but you shouldn’t make a meal of it.”

8. Rocky V: I totally agree that binging Rocky back to the street level was a good idea.  Fans hated Rocky has to lose everything to get him there, so it was a tough needle to thread.  I also think that Sly’s Rocky mannerisms go to over the top in spots. 

7. Rocky V: “…Bringing Rocky back to the street level is a good decision, though much of the film feels like a superfluous dry run for both Rocky Balboa and Creed (if you love those films, Rocky V is kind of a necessary beast).”

7. Rocky IV:  is very much a product of the 80s with the music and montages.  I’ve grown to appreciate Rocky IV even more because it sets up the return of Drago in Creed II and we get to see the results of Rocky’s win in IV from Drago’s perspective. 

6. Creed II:  …the film runs through a mild remake of Rocky II and leads to a good training montage.”

6. Rocky II Rocky II is a worthy follow-up to Rocky.  Sly in the director’s chair!

5. Rocky II: “…Rocky II is special for other reasons. It’s the last bit of “human” Rocky Balboa we’ll see for a while. 

5. Creed IISome fans were upset that an altercation between Rocky and Drago that was filmed didn’t make the final cut of the movie.  I may be in the minority, but I don’t think the scene was needed.

4. Rocky III: “…He’s transformed from a street-level thug to full-on Stallone megastardom. He’s still Rocky, but you have to use your imagination.
That would be fatal if not for Mr. T’s incredible Clubber Lang, the most underrated character in the series.”

4. Creed:  Saathoff’s summary of Creed is perfectly stated.  I couldn’t agree more.

3. Rocky Balboa: “…In 2006, the idea of making an old man Rocky movie was a joke. Yet here comes Stallone, visibly aged and hurting from a long string of flops, delivering the second best film to wear the Rocky title.”

3. Rocky Balboa  Never under-estimate or doubt Sly Sallone.  Despite all odds, Sly brought back Rocky and showed that there was more to his story!

2. Creed: “…the greatest thing happened: a creative handoff to a young and hungry talent capable of seeing the character through new eyes. Ryan Coogler managed the impossible with 2015’s Creed, which simultaneously started a new franchise while offering a deeply respectful seventh entry to Stallone’s. Creed is very much a sequel to Rocky Balboa and yet yields Balboa to a main character who seems his opposite: cocky, smart and brash.”

2. Rocky III   Rocky is transformed from a street-level, journeyman fighter into a world champion celebrity and I loved it!

1. Rocky: “…No number of decades or sequels can dull the feeling of triumph Rocky delivers in its final moments. It’s one of those rare films that make you cry because you’re happy rather than upset.

1. Rocky  I’m simply going to go with Saathoff’s quote:  “No number of decades or sequels can dull the feeling of triumph Rocky delivers.”

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

Clubber Lang vs Ivan Drago?

Brian Okert at El Tech O posted the drawing above with these questions:

Why do ya think Clubber Lang never stepped up to fight Drago?  And if they did fight… How do ya think that would have gone?

First question first: We don’t know that they never fought.  Perhaps they did but the result never made it into the follow-up Rocky/Creed films.

I like to think that after Lang lost to Rocky, he was devastated.  Lang had been destroying opponents and thought he was unbeatable.  After Rocky knocked him out, Clubber went into a period of isolation and self-reflection. He met a woman who worked with troubled youth.  She didn’t follow sports or know Clubber was a boxer.  They developed a relationship and Clubber began to work with the kids in an effort to help turn their lives around.  Lang had enough money from fighting to retire and he did so he could live a peaceful life with her. (Based somewhat on George Foreman’s life after boxing.)

Second question: If Lang and Drago had fought, how would it have gone?  The outcome would, of course, depend on how Sly wanted to move the story forward.  No matter who won, Clubber or Drago, then it makes sense he would have continued to fight and we would have heard more about him in the Balboa/Creed movies.   Since there was no mention of either fighting again, I think it is safe to assume they never fought.  But if they did fight, I’d give the edge to Drago… although Clubber would have always had a puncher’s chance.

Your thoughts?

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week:

MetaCritics Rankings of Every “Rocky” Movie

Mark Birrell at ScreenRant looked at Metacritic ratings for all eight Rocky movies.  I thought it would be interesting to compare Metacritics’ rankings with mine.  Your mileage may differ.



8. Rocky IV (40)

8. Rocky V (55)

7. Rocky V (55)

7. Rocky IV (40)

6. Rocky III (57)

6. Rocky II (61)

5. Rocky II (61)

5. Creed II (66)

4. Rocky Balboa (63)

4. Rocky III (57)

3. Creed II (66)

3. Rocky Balboa (63)

2. Rocky (70)

2. Creed (82)

1. Creed (82)

1. Rocky (70)

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week: