While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps the best in the series as it tells a standalone story with energy and skill. Reteaming writer-director Ryan Coogler with actor Michael B. Jordan after their underrated gem Fruitvale Station, this pulsing drama is also one of the best boxing movies in recent memory, harking back to classics in the genre while reinventing them with textured storytelling and raw performances.
Jordan plays Adonis, who never met his father, the iconic boxer Apollo Creed. He also refuses to take his surname, even after being adopted by Apollo's widow (Phylicia Rashad) and raised in a Los Angeles mansion with a great education. But he also can't resist the temptation to box, starting out in backroom Tijuana brawls. Finally he realises that something's got to give, so he heads to Philadelphia to explore his roots, meeting his father's former friend and rival Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and asking him to teach him a few tricks to help further his career. But Rocky is battling his own issues, so these two mismatched men push each other forward. Adonis finds romance with the feisty Bianca (Thompson), and Rocky decides to help Adonis train to face the tough British champ (Tony Bellew).
The essence of this story is that we have to make peace with the past to move on to the future. This is woven into the script beautifully, without ever preaching, as Coogler encourages the audience to constantly see what's happening beneath the surface. This requires the actors to deliver unusually complex performances, and Jordan is wonderfully conflicted as a man whose inner nice guy is warring against his own history. Stallone, meanwhile, delivers one of his best performances ever as the sardonic, battered champion. He's relaxed and open, reminding us why we fell in love with Rocky to begin with.
Continue reading: Creed Review
Tessa Thompson - The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles 25th Annual Simply Shakespeare Benefit at The Broad Stage - Arrivals at The Broad Stage - Santa Monica, California, United States - Tuesday 8th December 2015
Creed Star Tessa Thompson Studied The Accent Of Actress/singer Jill Scott To Accurately Portray A Native Of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania In The New Rocky Spin-off Movie.
The Los Angeles-born Selma actress plays singer/songwriter Bianca, a love interest for Michael B. Jordan's titular character Adonis Creed, and she reveals she modelled her speaking voice on that of Jill, who hails from the City of Brotherly Love.
"There were tons of artists that I looked to," she tells AllHipHop.com. "I'm playing a Philly girl, so Jill Scott was a reference point. People told me my speaking voice reminded them of Jill Scott. That was a big compliment, because that was someone I looked at to figure out the Philly accent."
The soul star wasn't the only musician Tessa drew inspiration from for the part.
The world of professional boxing is one that often doesn't end well even though Rocky Balboa was once crowned heavyweight champion of the world he's had his fair share of ups and downs. Having previously been diagnosed with brain damage, Rocky thinks his time fighting is well behind him.
Having lost his wife years earlier, Rocky lives in his hometown of Philadelphia with very little company and when Adonis Johnson (the son of one time foe and subsequent friend Apollo Creed) turns up on his door step asking to be trained, Rocky is incredibly reluctant to accept. However, after seeing Adonis fight, he sees a spark in the young man that similar to that of his father and agrees to take him on - all this whilst fighting a disease of his own.
After a short amount of time, Creed finds himself in with a chance of winning the title for himself, but the young protégé soon finds out that he must master much more than just physical strength to become the champion.
Continue: Creed Trailer
Adonis Johnson Creed is the son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed, who died fighting in the ring after a post-retirement comeback. He has little memory of his father, but shares the same intense passion for boxing. He's always been his own trainer, reluctant to be coddled by anyone, and now he's ready to really carry on his father's legacy in his first major fight. In a bid to become the best, he decides to visit Philadelphia to meet his late father's friend and previous opponent Rocky Balboa, formerly the World Heavyweight Champion, and convince him to train him up. However, Adonis Creed has a lot more to fight than just another boxer, as he struggles with issues of the law, falling in love and underlying self-worth. If he wants to be great, he needs to start believing in himself.
Continue: Creed - First Look Trailer
Thompson joins Sylvester Stallone as he reprises his iconic character, Rocky Balboa, who is now a trainer and mentor to the grandson of his boxing best friend Apollo Creed.
Michael B. Jordan is set to play Creed's grandson, with his Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler due to helm the film.
Continue reading: Tessa Thompson Joins Rocky Spin-off
Actress Tessa Thompson and Ana Lily Amirpour were early winners at the 2014 Gotham Independent Film Awards in New York on Monday night (01Dec14).
Thompson picked up the Breakthrough Actor honour for her role in Dear White People and Amirpour collected the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
Meanwhile, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo were honoured with a Special Jury Award Ensemble Performance for their new film Foxcatcher.
Continue reading: Tessa Thompson Wins First Prize At Gotham Independent Film Awards
“What happens when a man stands up and says ‘enough is enough’?” So goes the question raised by Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) when President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) declines to help him in battling the race-related violence in Alabama. In retaliation, King organises a peaceful protest; he has African Americans march into Selma, Alabama, in an attempt to gain rights to vote. What follows, is a truly horrifying attack from the police on the peaceful protest which was televised and seen by millions, forcing the President’s hand, as he is forced to watch innocent people suffer.
Continue: Selma Trailer
At the highly regarded college of Winchester University, racial tension is at an all time high. While a group of white students are planning to throw their traditional African-American themed party, many black students are firmly protesting. Meanwhile, the mixed race Samantha White is enjoying popularity as the host of her 'Dear White People' themed radio show, which aims to combat existing stereotypes at the college, but disaster strikes for her when the all-black residential hall faces eradication in order to further diversify students. However, it seems a reality show is keen to document her story - but that means her college peer Coco Conners is looking at rejection for her own pitch. Lionel Higgins joins the newspaper team to help ease some of the tension, but it seems not all black students are clued up on their own cultures.
Continue: Dear White People - Teaser Trailer
It's a line that's frightening regardless of whether you know its coming or not. The quintessential urban legend, the tale of the babysitter harassed by the maniacal killer who, yes, is calling and taunting from inside the house, strikes fear into the heart of every teenager. It's scary because it gets right at the heart, the very marrow, of our fear of the unknown. I'm sure cavemen had similar tales to frighten the unwary, the naïve. "The growling was coming from inside the cave!!!!"
Continue reading: When A Stranger Calls (2006) Review