The film is a very well-written character story. By today's standard of boxing films, it would probably be considered slower. The first hour and a half are character-development. With the fight and its build-up only taking about twenty minutes of the film. Still, the character development is great and very interesting. Rocky is probably one of the most likable protagonists in film history. I also noticed a lot of subtleties in the writing that I liked a lot, such as juxtaposition of conflict with Christmas carols playing in the background. The story of the film is one of the original underdog stories, which would eventually become one of the most formulaic genres.
The cinematography of the film is great. It has the mother of all training sequences, and it is beautifully shot. The score is also great, with multiple variations of the main theme, with each portraying different emotions. The acting of Sylvester Stallone in this film is his best of all, showing the most emotion and the most passion for the role.
So overall, I think that "Rocky" is the pinnacle of sports films. I used to say that this film was slightly overrated, but I now realize that it isn't. It may not be as good as some of the other films it beat for Best Picture that year (namely "Taxi Driver"), but it's still amazing and it holds up well.
Big Tuna's Rating: A+
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: Yes.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.