Your coverage of sports-related movies and books has been excellent—until now. Frank Deford's pummeling of Rocky II (MOVIES, June 25) proves once again that all good things must come to an end. Deford bases his critique too much on the fact that the film is a sequel and not enough on the quality of the movie itself. While he was busy downgrading Sly Stallone's directing and repetitiveness, he completely missed the story. I agree that most sequels are mere money-making vehicles, that little concern is given to making sure they're good entertainment. However, there is an exception to every rule—and Rocky II is such an exception. It is American fantasy at its best. All Stallone did was give the public what it wanted to see: a winner named Rocky Balboa. Alas, this is not what the critics expected.
Rocky II is pure entertainment and should be accepted as just that. I suggest that Deford see the movie again. Only this time he should forget about pen and paper and enjoy himself—even if it hurts.
A. W. SAUNDERS III
East Boston, Mass.
Imagine my disillusionment. After seeing Rocky II, I walked out of the theater with a spring in my step, humming the movie's theme and thinking about what an entertaining, uplifting film I had just seen. Now Frank Deford tells me that the movie wasn't so hot—and who am I to argue with Frank Deford? O.K., maybe I was wrong. But just to make sure I'll see the film two more times. Maybe three or four, if I need a lift.
S. L. MARTIN
Highland Heights, Ky.
Rocky II is the perfect sequel. Though it is very similar to the original, though perhaps it is melodramatic at times and, yes, though it is overdrawn to some extent, it works. Stallone didn't take any risks because he didn't have to. Besides being just plain fun, Rocky II offers the public the inspiration, enthusiasm and triumph lacking in ordinary life. Because of this deep-rooted appeal, the movie is destined for success. Judging from Frank Deford's review, it is not Rocky II that suffers from tired blood. It's Deford. We look forward to Rocky III.
THE KENNETH L. NOVAK FAMILY
Downers Grove, Ill.
When Frank Deford concludes his review by saying, "It is only a payday, and we know it," I wish he had said, "and I know it," because that "we" does not include me.
Howard City, Mich.
Frank Deford and I agree on only one point about Rocky II: it isn't as good as Rocky. Otherwise we couldn't differ more. When I saw Rocky II, the people in the audience were laughing, cheering, screaming and crying for and with Rocky Balboa.
To each his own opinion, but the final say will come from the box office, not from critics like Deford.
I didn't see anyone walk out.
Even my mother cheered for Rocky during the fight. I hope Deford forgets about doing any future movie reviewing and goes back to being a good sportswriter.
STEVEN C. SOTO
A MORE PLACID VILLAGE
I was somewhat surprised by the article in your April 9 issue (The Olympic Getaway) in which I was quoted regarding the quality of the Olympic Village for the Lake Placid Winter Games. The only time I saw the Village was more than 15 months ago, when the framework of the buildings was just going up and the facilities were virtually nonexistent.