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Ranking Every Training Montage in the ‘Rocky’ Franchise

In any self-respecting sports flick, you can expect to find a training montage or two. In the case of the Rocky franchise, we’ve been treated to an abundance of them, putting our heroes through rigorous exercises and methods to prepare them for their big final act bout, often set to the beat of a catchy tune.


With Creed II and the promise of a new training montage with us, let’s count down what it has to match up to when it comes to that all important sequence. Warning: this feature may make you eat lightning and crap thunder.

‘Tommy The Machine Gunn Rises’ – Rocky V

It seems fitting that the worst montage comes from the worst Rocky movie. I stand by the opinion that Rocky V has some merits (I’ve always quite liked Stallone’s performance in it), but this montage isn’t one of them.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Revisiting ‘Rocky II’ Ahead Of The Creed Sequel

To mark the release of Creed II, we take a look back at the original Rocky sequel and just what it means for the franchise as a whole.


When a franchise hits as many as eight installments, it is inevitable that some of them get a little lost in the discussion. In the case of Rocky, it could be argued that Rocky II is the one that has fallen victim to a slight degree of neglect. Rocky III has Mr. T and the ‘Eye of the Tiger’, Rocky IV has its heavy-handed, deliriously entertaining, Cold War parables, Rocky V has the notoriety of being considered the worst of the franchise, while Rocky Balboa will always be the final hurrah for the Balboa character. And then, of course, there’s Creed, the spin-off which has injected dynamism into the 40-year-old franchise.

Rocky II is by no means a bad film,
See full article at The Hollywood News »


“Come on, come on, I’d love it — don’t hang back!” dares Gloria Swenson, brandishing a gun at three mobsters that know she means business. Gena Rowlands is electric as a tough New York ex- gangland moll who finds that her maternal instincts make her deadlier than the male. John Cassavetes’ commercial crowd-pleaser is also a smart, sassy gangland mini-classic.



Twilight Time

1980 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 123 min. / Street Date August 21, 2018 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store / 29.95

Starring: Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, John Adames, Julie Carmen, Lupe Garnica, Jessica Castillo, Basilio Franchina, Val Avery, Tom Noonan.

Cinematography: Fred Schuler

Film Editor: George C. Villaseñor

Original Music: Bill Conti

Produced by Sam Shaw

Written and Directed by John Cassavetes

Do you have a list of movies that you’ll watch again, just to enjoy a particular actor’s performance? Gena Rowlands is one of those people that pull you in.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Silva Screen’S Summer Sci-fi Bonanza: A Box Of Sci-fi / The Invasion And The Five Doctors

  • CinemaRetro
By Darren Allison

100 Greatest Science Fiction Themes

Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic and London Music Works, this comprehensive 6 CD collection features music from the latest Sci-Fi blockbusters; from Ready Player One, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Blade Runner 2049, all the way back to 1950s classics The Day The Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet.

This release brings together the best selection of science fiction music spanning almost a century, through a thorough overview of musical styles, themes and techniques. It spotlights music from Hollywood heavyweights and classically trained legends, electronic experimenters (Bebe & Louis Barron, Vangelis) and jazz-influenced composers to the new generation, who combine orchestral sounds with electronics

100 Greatest Science Fiction Themes is released in both physical and digital format on 31st August 2018.

The Invasion

Don Harper’s soundtrack to the 8-part Doctor Who story The Invasion was made and transmitted in 1968 starring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Next Stop, Greenwich Village

Paul Mazursky’s affectionate memoir of the New York bohemian life circa 1953 has a feel for the milieu and an honest appraisal of the kooky culture therein: artists, actors, users, takers, sweethearts, neurotics and phonies. Lenny Baker’s main character may have an amorous relationship with his girlfriend Ellen Greene, but his strongest connection is with his overbearing mother, played to perfection by Shelley Winters. She was a Best Supporting Actress nominee for The Poseidon Adventure but not for this? Honestly.

Next Stop, Greenwich Village


Twilight Time

1976 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / Street Date May 22, 2018 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store / 29.95

Starring: Lenny Baker, Shelley Winters, Ellen Greene, Lois Smith, Christopher Walken, Dori Brenner, Antonio Fargas, Lou Jacobi.

Cinematography: Arthur Ornitz

Film Editor: Richard Halsey

Original music: Bill Conti

Production Designer: Phil Rosenberg

Produced by Paul Mazursky and Tony Ray

Written and Directed by Paul Mazursky

Fans of Paul
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

10 Facts About The Karate Kid Part II You Never Knew

10 Facts About The Karate Kid Part II You Never Knew
This is how you make a sequel! The Karate Kid Part II took the hero and the relationship we loved from the first movie in a new environment, deepening the mythology, with heavy helpings of romance, mystery, and even higher stakes. Today, we're takig a look at 10 things you never knew about The Karate Kid Part II.

The end is the beginning.

The Karate Kid Part II picks up right where the first movie left off, in the aftermath of Daniel Larusso's improbable victory at the All Valley Karate Championship. Mister Miyagi saves Johnny Lawrence and the Cobra Kai students from their sensei, the world's sorest loser. If this intro feels like it was sliced right out of the first movie, that's because it basically was, at least from the script. Kreese getting his comeuppance was originally intended to be the final scene of the first movie.

'Though the shower
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Exclusive Interview – Composers Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson on Cobra Kai

Tai Freligh interviews the composers behind Cobra Kai on YouTube Red…

Composers Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson utilized a 70-piece orchestra, as well as choruses of electric guitars and retro-synthesizers, to create a score for the Karate Kid follow up show on YouTube Red, Cobra Kai, that combines the motifs of the original with their own modern sensibilities.

Cobra Kai stars William Zabka and Ralph Macchio, who are reprising their roles from the films. The series takes place thirty-four years after the original film and follows the reopening of the Cobra Kai karate dojo by Johnny Lawrence and the rekindling of his old rivalry with Daniel Larusso.

Flickering Myth’s Tai Freligh caught up with Leo and Zach to chat about the music of Cobra Kai.

What was your approach to updating the music for the show?

We created three unique score worlds that each support the different storylines on the show.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘Cobra Kai’ Bosses on Johnny’s Innocence, Missing Mr. Miyagi, and Season 2 Ideas

‘Cobra Kai’ Bosses on Johnny’s Innocence, Missing Mr. Miyagi, and Season 2 Ideas
[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from the first season of “Cobra Kai.”]

Have mercy! Fans of the “Karate Kid” franchise can thank the Netflix comedy “Fuller House” for the presence of “Cobra Kai,” the YouTube Red series that continues the personal growth and martial arts adventures of Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio), Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and the community around them. Showrunners and co-creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg had been fans of “The Karate Kid” films since childhood and as screenwriters who had moved out to Los Angeles, they idly discussed revisiting that world through Johnny’s character.

But it wasn’t until decades later when the streaming space made room for such revivals that the idea really gelled as to what form this could take. The co-creators spoke to IndieWire about the origins of the series and where it could go next.

“We started to see the way things were progressing in the streaming narrative space and
See full article at Indiewire »

Revisiting ‘The Karate Kid’ (1984)

On May 2nd, Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) will come face-to-face once again in the YouTube Red series Cobra Kai, a continuation of The Karate Kid series that started 34 years ago. For any fan of the crane-kicking original franchise, this new series is a cause for giddy excitement of any fan of the franchise. Between 1984 and 1994, The Karate Kid franchise followed Daniel-san and his sensei Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) through numerous karate tournaments, with the fourth part in ’94 following Miyagi with a new student. With Cobra Kai on the horizon, now seems as good a time as any to re-visit the narrative of Daniel and Miyagi, leaving aside the kung-fu centric remake with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. So, let’s kick off with there it all started: sunny California, 1984.

Daniel Larusso has moved to California from Newark, New Jersey so that his mother can explore a new career opportunity.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Bradley Cooper Channels His Silver Linings Character At Super Bowl

Bradley Cooper had a great time at Super Bowl Lii, seemingly channeling his Silver Linings Playbook role in the process. When it comes to Philadelphia, sports and the connection between them, one movie stands above all others: Rocky. That movie, filmed in Philadelphia and released in 1976, is referenced constantly in the city’s sports discourse. Rocky Balboa, after all, was a blue collar hero, an underdog, who overcame adversity to win athletic glory. Snippets of Bill Conti’s score from the Rocky movies are frequently played at the games of local teams, as are clips from the original movie and its many sequels.
See full article at Screen Rant »

This Video Breaks Down How The Iconic Rocky Theme Came To Be

When it comes to iconic movie themes, Rocky's "Flying High Now" definitely ranks up there with some of the best. If it weren't for the work of Carol Connors and Bill Conti, however, it may have never existed! Originally, Rocky's training sequence had some cheesy ass song about punching someone on a essentially sounded like some type of folktale song. You'll hear Connors sing part of it in the video below, and you'll also learn the interesting story of how one of cinema's most iconic themes came to be:
See full article at GeekTyrant »

The Top Five Bill Conti Movie Scores of His Career

William ‘Bill’ Conti is a composer and conductor who is well-known for writing movie scores. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on April 13, 1942. He studied at Louisiana State University and the Juilliard School of Music before launching his career in 1969. He first rose to fame when he composed the score for ‘Rocky’ in 1976. He has been the musical director for the Academy Awards nineteen times, which is more than anybody else. He has also won many awards for his work. Here are five of the top music scores of Bill Conti’s Career. 1. Rocky It

The Top Five Bill Conti Movie Scores of His Career
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Film Feature: Remembers the Films of Director John G. Avildsen

Chicago – His films were more popular than his name, but director John G. Avildsen did put his mark on the last 30 years of 20th Century movies. Avildsen died last week at the age of 81. He is known best for the Oscar Best Picture-winning “Rocky” (1976), but also did the controversial “Joe” (1970), “Save the Tiger” (1973, Best Actor Oscar for Jack Lemmon), John Belushi’s last film “Neighbors” (1981), “The Karate Kid” (1984), “Lean on Me” (1989) and “8 Seconds” (1994). Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of offer three essays on their Avildsen favorites.

Director John G. Avildsen on the Set of ‘Rocky’ with Sylvester Stallone

Photo credit: United Artists

John G. Avildsen was born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, and graduated from New York University. He started as an assistant director for Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger, before breaking out on his own in the low budget “Joe,” featuring Peter Boyle, in 1970. He scored his biggest success with “Rocky” in 1976 – winning the Oscar for Best Director – and revisited the franchise later with “Rocky V” (1990). He also directed both sequels to “Karate Kid” with “Part II” (1986) and “Part III” (1989). At his peak, he was the original director for “Serpico” (1973) and “Saturday Night Fever” (1977), but was let go from both films. His final film as director was “Inferno” (1999), featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Avildsen passed away in Los Angeles on June 16th, 2017, of complications due to pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old.

Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino of pay tribute to the director who was nicknamed “King of the Underdogs,” with the following film essays.

Rocky (1976) by Patrick McDonald


Photo credit: MGM Home Entertainment

Rocky” is a miracle of a film, considering both its eventual prize (Oscar Best Picture) and the way it made it to the screen the first place. A broke actor named Sylvester Stallones writes a desired boxing movie script that has one caveat… he must portray the title character. As a gambit, he proposes a budget of only one million dollars, and the film gets the green light. For all of the notion of Stallone as Rocky’s prime creator, it is actually director John Avildsen who delivered the on-screen goods – the famous running scene, the freeze frame on the top of Philadelphia’s “Rocky Steps,” boxing sequences that had never been seen before and the third use of the (just invented) Steadicam by a major motion picture.

Avildsen loved to tell the stories of having Stallone write additional dialogue because the budget was so tight they couldn’t afford to match Rocky’s boxing shorts with the on-set posters or send back his too-big ring entrance robe. And remember the classic song “Gonna Fly Now”? It was Avildsen who brought in composer Bill Conti from his previous directorial effort of the Burt Reynolds film, “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings.” The underdog of underdog films was delivered to a Bicentennial audience, and the little-movie-that-could took home Oscars for Best Picture, Director and Editing, in addition to being the highest grossing film of 1976. No wonder Avildsen became the “Ka-Ching of the Underdogs.”

Gonna Fly Now: The portrayal of the character of Rocky by Stallone was never better in this film, with Six sequels now in the culture. Director Ryan Coogler of the latest Rocky adventure, the excellent “Creed,” seemed to use the John Avildsen template in approaching the sequencing of that story.

The Karate Kid (1984) by Spike Walters

The Karate Kid

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

John G Avildson was a bit of a journeyman… his Oscar notwithstanding. He wasn’t one of those visionaries who develop a signature style, but his subtle gift was making a formula work. And they don’t come much more formulaic than 1984’s underdog/odd couple buddy movie “The Karate Kid.” Yet Avildson knew how to inject heart into this story of the undersized “Kid” and his quiet but powerful teacher. As the listless remake and some of its later sequels show, this is not nearly as easy as Avildson makes it look here – this is the 1980’s classic that scored Pat Morita an Oscar nomination and holds up relatively well today. It’s not exactly groundbreaking but director Avildson knew how to make the most of it.

Gonna Fly Now: You’d expect the man who directed the original “Rocky” to find the right beats in the inevitable training montage, but Kid Daniel’s “crane kick” training – which predictably but winningly leads to a triumph at the end – still delivers the goods.

Lean On Me (1989) by Jon Lennon Espino

Lean on Me

Photo credit: Warner Home Video

High school sometimes get a bad rap as a physical hell on Earth. John G. Avildsen’s “Lean On Me” does nothing to make anyone think otherwise. Avildsen, like many of his films, has fun with this one. He shows us an exaggerated look at a public school system after minorities have taken over the neighborhood. The director has long had a fascination with creating hero stories, and in this one, he gives us a breakout performance by Morgan Freeman… his performance and approach to the character is everything! This movie lives on the over-the-top action of Freeman, breathing a fun air into the entire film as he does things that may be extremely illegal in real life, but are completely entertaining within the scope of the film. Avildsen knows exactly how to set a scene, which you know right away after the opening montage that is essentially a music video. His films often have an after school special feel, but “Lean On Me” shows just how well it works even when school is still in session.

Gonna Fly Now: The opening credits where we are taken on a tour of the school while Guns-n-Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” is playing. He hilariously frames and choreographs the fighting to simulate feral animals in the jungle.

John G. Avildsen, 1935-2017

By Patrick McDONALDWriter, Editorial

© 2017 Patrick McDonald,
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Exclusive Interview: Director Sanjeev Sirpal and composer Bryce Jacobs discuss their collaboration on Random Tropical Paradise

As La La Land reminded us this year, every movie needs to have a good score or theme. Without it, a movie just doesn’t feel complete. Prime examples being Rocky without Bill Conti’s motivating ‘Gonna Fly Now’ theme or Hans Zimmer’s whole Inception score for that matter. They would just be completely different films. Continuing the conversation of importance a score has on a film in today’s market, we decided to speak with writer/director Sanjeev Sirpal and composer Bryce Jacobs and discuss their collaboration on the upcoming film, Random Tropical Paradise which is being released in theaters & VOD June 9th and stars Bryan Greenberg (The Mindy Project), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Spencer Grammer, Jessica Lowe and Joe Pantoliano. Read the full interview below…


You wrote and directed Random Tropical Paradise, How did you initially come up with the idea for the film? Was
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Hans Zimmer Performs from the Movie “Inception” Live at Coachella

When you think of movie scores names don’t get bigger than Hans Zimmer. About the only guy who is as big as Zimmer would be John Williams but I would say these two guys completely rule the movie scoring world. My personal favorite is Thomas Newman but there’s no taking away from a guy like Zimmer who is a total legend. Other names that pop up would be Jerry Goldsmith, Bill Conti, James Horner, the list goes on. Anyway, when you think of festivals like Coachella I think the last thing you think of are guys that are famous

Hans Zimmer Performs from the Movie “Inception” Live at Coachella
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Stanley & Iris

Stanley & Iris


Twilight Time

1990 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 104 min. / Street Date January 17, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Swoosie Kurtz, Martha Plimpton, Harley Cross, Jamey Sheridan, Feodor Chaliapin.

Cinematography: Donald McAlpine

Original Music: John Williams

Written by: Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank, Jr. based on a novel Union Street by Pat Barker

Produced by: Arlene Sellers, Alex Winitsky

Directed by Martin Ritt

There ought to be a place on a screen for every kind of film story. True, old movies fronted a mostly false consensus picture of the world, claiming that there was a ‘normal’ baseline for our lives. The reality of most social issues was ignored in favor of pleasant fairy tales where all conflicts could be solved on a personal level. After all, movies were considered entertainment first, and carriers of vital social truths maybe about 97th. But then and now, there
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Blu-ray Review – Cohen & Tate (1988)

Cohen & Tate, 1988.

Directed by Eric Red.

Starring Roy Scheider, Adam Baldwin, Harley Cross, Suzanne Savoy, Cooper Huckabee and Kenneth McCabe.


Two hitmen kidnap a young boy to take back to their mob bosses for questioning about a murder but the boy plays the mismatched pair off against each other.

Coming from the golden era of the buddy road movie, 1988s Cohen & Tate does the mismatched couple thing but in a slightly different way, playing with the conventions of the style and proving itself to be a rather unique and underrated gem. Upon its original release the film only made around $65,000 at the Us box office but thanks to Arrow Video it will hopefully perform a little better now we are far enough away from the context of the more traditional buddy movies like Lethal Weapon, Red Heat and Tango & Cash that were more successful at the time.

In the movie,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Exclusive Interview: Bill Conti on Rocky 40th Anniversary – Part 2

  • HeyUGuys
In part two of our chat with legendary composer, Bill Conti, we discuss working on the Rocky sequels, challenges on big productions and Creed. You can read part one of this exclusive interview here. You worked on all but one of the sequels – how did your approach to the score change as the film […]

The post Exclusive Interview: Bill Conti on Rocky 40th Anniversary – Part 2 appeared first on HeyUGuys.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Exclusive Interview: Bill Conti on Rocky 40th Anniversary – Part 1

  • HeyUGuys
In November of 1976 a small film written by little known actor, Sylvester Stallone, was released and cinema has not quite been the same since. The story of a down and out boxer who gets a shot at the world heavyweight title struck a chord and earned Rocky critical acclaim as well as 10 Academy Awards nominations. […]

The post Exclusive Interview: Bill Conti on Rocky 40th Anniversary – Part 1 appeared first on HeyUGuys.
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Costa-Gavras sets his focus on right-wing political terror in the American heartland, where FBI agent Debra Winger finds farmer Tom Berenger at the head of a clan of murderous white supremacists. Our friends and neighbors! Betrayed Blu-ray Olive Films 1988 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 127 min. / Street Date April 19, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98 Starring Debra Winger, Tom Berenger, John Heard, Betsy Blair, John Mahoney, Ted Levine, Jeffrey DeMunn, Albert Hall, David Clennon, Robert Swan, Richard Libertini. Cinematography Patrick Blossier Film Editor Joële Van Effenterre Original Music Bill Conti Written by Joe Eszterhas Produced by Irwin Winkler Directed by Costa-Gavras

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Filmmaker Cost-Gavras occupies a high roost where political activism is concerned. His most popular films 'Z', Stage of Siege, The Confession and Missing put strong values before wide audiences in the Nixon and Reagan years, when few major filmmakers would go near such touchy subjects. 1988's Betrayed is
See full article at Trailers from Hell »
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