Starring: Naomi Watts, Frank Grillo, Bobby Cannavale, and Method Man.
Directed By James DeMonaco
Where i Watched it: Netflix
English Audio Description Available?: No.
The Plot: It’s 1982, we’re on Staten Island, and Rocky 3 has just hit theatres. You’d be surprised what you can do with just that longline.
What Works: This movie was admittedly hard to follow, but the heart of the story are these boys living in Staten Island when Rocky 3 is first released, and their west to view this film in a way that treats Rocky 3 like some massive cinematic event. It’s amazing. And I love movies featuring characters who love movies. For example, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is inherently made better in my eyes just for the appreciation of the art form.
But there’s something additionally interesting about the worship of Rocky 3, and these Staten Island kids that worship Rocky Balboa. There are intense debates about what might happen in the film, who might die, will they get an opening night ticket as shows are selling out fast, and even a conversation about making sure to relieve yourself in the bathroom before the movie starts. I loved this part of the film, and even the continuation of those boys after they’ve watched the film.
Also, the films score is very reminiscent of Birdman, with lots of drums, and that was cool to hear under everything.
What Didn’t Work: Well, for me, as a person who needed audio description, I couldn’t follow anything happening with the adults in this film. I had no idea Naomi Watts was in this until I saw her credited on IMDB. There are other plots happening other than the kids, but due to my inability to follow their stories, I never cared. I hated every time the film wasn’t about these boys and their absurd journey to view Rocky 3.
The Blind Perspective: As I stated, no audio description. This film is definitely hard to follow without it. Too much silence in certain parts. I think a character came out to his mother, but I had such a hard time following the stories outside of the young boys, that I can’t really be sure.
Final thoughts: I needed audio description, so that is going to factor into my grade. I’m sorry, it just is. I can’t predict how I would have enjoyed the film otherwise, and I’m not going to grade on a curve because they failed to make their film accessible to me. But, there are things I did like here. And I can’t ignore that.
Final Grade: C+