The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—has played a vital role in cultivating emerging talents and launching some of the biggest names in music history. "Legends: OWN at the Apollo" transports viewers to Harlem, New York, for four nights of soulful performances by some of the biggest artists in music history. Music legends Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire perform the hits we've all come to love while sharing their personal memories of how this historic theater nurtured and developed their careers and friendships.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Legends: OWN at the Apollo - Rocky Balboa - Netflix
Robert “Rocky” Balboa is the title character of the Rocky series. The character was created by Sylvester Stallone, who also portrayed him in all seven Rocky films. He is depicted as an everyman who started out by going the distance and overcoming obstacles that had occurred in his life and career as a professional boxer. While he is loosely based on Chuck Wepner, a one-time boxer who fought Muhammad Ali and lost on a TKO in the 15th round, the inspiration for the name, iconography and fighting style came from boxing legend Rocky Marciano. The character is widely considered to be Stallone's most iconic role and is often considered the role that started his film career. He received critical acclaim for his performance in the first movie, earning Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations. When Stallone reprised his role once again in 2015 for Creed, his performance received wide acclaim and he received his first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, along with his third Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor and several other accolades.
Legends: OWN at the Apollo - Rocky Balboa (setting 2006) - Netflix
In 2006, 20 years after the events of Rocky V, Rocky, now in his late fifties, lives a quiet life as a widower. He runs a small but rather successful restaurant called 'Adrian's', named after his wife who, on January 11, 2002, died of ovarian cancer. Rocky is no longer depressed and broke, and is doing far better than he was in the years prior. Rocky visits Adrian's graveside regularly and each year, on the anniversary of her death, takes a tour of the old places, where their relationship began and blossomed: the now-closed J&M Tropical Fish pet shop where Adrian worked, the former site of the ice skating rink where they had their first date, and Rocky's old apartment, where they fell in love. Rocky's son, Robert Jr., is now working as a struggling mid-level corporate employee, and grows farther apart from his family over the years, but reluctantly joins Rocky to commemorate the anniversaries of his mother's death. An episode of ESPN’s program, Then and Now, airs featuring a computer-simulated fight between Rocky (in his prime), and the current champion, Mason “The Line” Dixon. The simulation result sees Rocky winning by knockout in the thirteenth round, which stirs up discussion about the result if such a fight ever occurred. Inspired by the simulation and feeling he still has some issues to deal with (“stuff in the basement”), Rocky decides to return to the ring, and applies to renew his boxing license. Though Rocky passes the required physical with flying colors, the licensing committee denies his application, citing his advanced age and their moral duty to protect him from himself. Rocky responds to this with an impassioned speech of his own, however, and they change their minds to renew his license. The brain damage Balboa is diagnosed with in Rocky V is not addressed in this film, but in interviews, Stallone has said that the storyline explanation would have been that Rocky's brain damage was within the normal range for boxers. When tested for brain damage in Rocky V, Rocky was suffering the effects of a severe concussion as a result of the Drago fight, but he never sought a second or more informed opinion because he intended to retire anyway. Rocky's intentions were originally just to compete in small, local fights for fun and charity, but with the publicity of Rocky's return right on the heels of the embarrassing computer simulation, Mason Dixon's promoters convince Rocky to challenge the champ in an exhibition match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Originally, also against fighting an aged Balboa, Dixon recognizes the opportunity to fight a legend, and hopes to end all prognosticating about who would win as well as contentions that he has never had a truly great opponent or memorable match. In the press, commentators dismiss Rocky's chances and the merits of the fight, assuming that it will be one-sided due to Rocky's age, despite their original excitement with Rocky's return to the ring, and their doubts regarding Dixon's ability. As news of the bout spreads, Robert begins to feel more pressure from being Rocky's son, and makes an effort to discourage Rocky from fighting, blaming his own personal failings on his father's celebrity shadow, but Rocky rebukes him with some profound advice: to succeed in life, “it ain't about how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward,” and that blaming others won't help him. The day after this debate, father and son meet over Adrian's grave and reconcile, which is when Robert announces that he has resigned from his job to be at Rocky's ringside. Rocky also reunites with his old trainer, Duke, and both men quickly realize that age and arthritis have sapped Rocky of any speed he once possessed. They decide to focus on his one major remaining weapon: power. When the match finally begins, it appears to go as lopsided as everyone predicted, with Dixon's speed allowing him to dominate Rocky at will, knocking him down twice early on. However, the champion soon realizes that Rocky will not back down, and that the elderly Rocky “has bricks in his gloves”. The tide turns when Dixon injures his hand while punching Rocky. This evens the playing field and allows Rocky to mount an offense, knocking Dixon down for the first time in the latter's career. During the subsequent rounds, Dixon's injury numbs up, which enables him to throw much harder punches and thereby pose a threat to Rocky. In the final round, it starts out slow for both combatants. After a brief exchange of punches, Dixon catches Rocky with a strong blow, knocking down Rocky for the third time. As Rocky takes the knee, he looks to Robert in the corner and has flashbacks of his time with Adrian, remembering what she said to him about never giving up. As he slowly gets up, the crowd, along with Marie, starts to chant his name, and he rises to Dixon's surprise. As the final thirty seconds unfold, Dixon manages to catch Rocky with quick punches; however, an emotional Rocky retaliates with devastating punches of his own. The two exchange punches, but Rocky gets the final blow before the bell rings. In the end, the two fighters go the distance, and show their appreciation for each other. Before the winner is announced, Rocky and his entourage make their way out of the ring in celebration. As Dixon is announced the winner by split decision (Dixon wins in the theatrical release, Balboa wins in an alternate ending ), Rocky thanks each and every one of his group, and with Robert and Paulie by his side, they turn Rocky around and raise his arms as the audience gives him a heartfelt standing ovation. Dixon is finally recognized as being a warrior for fighting through every round and Rocky proves to the world that he is no joke, mirroring the ending of the first film. After the fight, Rocky visits Adrian's grave and puts flowers on top, telling her, “Yo, Adrian, we did it”, which is a play on the second film's line, “Yo, Adrian, I did it!”. Rocky is last seen walking away from the grave and waving goodbye one last time.
Legends: OWN at the Apollo - References - Netflix