Rocky (1976)

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When world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers choose palooka Rocky Balboa, an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Rocky teams up with trainer Mickey Goldmill to make the most of this once in a lifetime break. (Letterboxd)
A great character study: Rocky is a quiet, soft soul (his refusal to let Adrian leave is cringey though) prone to passionate, long-winded rants (his one to Marie misses the mark, but see his rambling rejection of Mickey before the quiet jog out afterwards); he punches cow carcasses to train for boxing bouts before heading to the pet store to buy food for his turtles. He doesn’t care about fame or money or victory, he just wants to “go the distance” and find his love (see the excellent ending).
7.5/10 (Really Good)

Predator (1987)

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A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior. (IMDb)
The visual effects haven’t aged well, but the music and the claustrophobic jungle setting create an effective mood right from the beginning. Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger and Weathers’ eye-rolling banter throughout does more harm than good in its attempt to add some character depth to the trigger-happy action, and when Arnold goes Tarzan and takes on The Predator mano-a-mano in the great final act you realize that the rest of the crew were just unnecessary extras from the start as well.
6.5/10 (Alright)