Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Burt Young, Mr. T
Directors: Sylvester Stallone, John G. Avildsen
Number of discs: 6
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars
The “Rocky” franchise is really just great. Whenever you flip through the TV and come across any of the “Rocky” movies you know that it is quite impossible to turn it off or you hear Drago threatening “I must break you”. Rocky is a character that ever loves even as it has aged. This collection includes all six Rocky films, from the original “Rocky” (1976) to the latest “Rocky Balboa” (2006). So I am sure you are wondering how does this release differ from the 2009 release “Rocky: The Undisputed Collection”? Well this release an all-new 4K transfer of the original “Rocky” and then the previously released versions of “Rocky II-V” and “Rocky Balboa”. The original “Rocky” is now the spotlight of this release (as it should be) and makes this release a must own for all fans.
Official Premise: Go the distance with this Rocky Heavyweight collection, featuring all six knockout Rocky films including the first film with a stunning new master. Sylvester Stallone stars in the greatest boxing saga of all time and triumphs as one of the most inspirational characters in cinematic history. Witness every epic, action-packed fight and unforgettable moment as Rocky strives for greatness through sheer determination against impossible odds. This collection contains over three hours of bonus features including a new featurette “8mm Home Movies of Rocky” narrated by Director John Avildsen.
So the main reason to upgrade to this new collection would be for the 4K transfer of “Rocky” (1976). I personally think that this new restoration looks amazing. The 2006 previously released Blu-ray was quite the disappointment. In terms of “Rocky II-V”, the transfers are good but could have used a bit of a face-lift like the first film to make them perfect. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for I-V are impressive though and really no major complaints either. “Rocky Balboa” easily delivers the second best transfer since it is the latest film and packs an even better uncompressed PCM 5.1 audio track. They really went all out here and it shows in the film. The music in the film is so well presented and makes you literally get out of your chair and those fights punching along with Rocky.
Now if you are wondering what happened to the jam-packed seventh disc of extras from the “The Undisputed Collection”, which is missing from this release…well don’t worry. It has been added to the the original “Rocky” disc along with three commentaries restored from the “Rocky” DVD. There is only one new special feature included on this release. which is “8mm Home Movies of Rocky”. It is a bad-ass special features I might add and it is narrated by Director John G. Avildsen and Production Manager Lloyd Kaufman. So being a big fan of this franchise, this new purpose just makes you wonder how much the updated transfer of “Rocky” is worth to you. I wish MGM would have thrown in some HD Digital Ultraviolet copies of these films and that would have made this a no brainer!
The fest of the special features included are just as great. “In the Ring: Three-Part Making-of Documentary” is a great in-depth behind-the-scenes looks. There are a few Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes included focusing on the Makeup, Music, Directing and Camera Work. There are also two Boxing Featurettes including Three Rounds with Legendary Trainer Lou Duva and The Opponents and The Ring of Truth. There are two tributes for Burgess Meredith and James Crabe. There is an interview with a Legend: Bert Sugar along with a Video Commentary with Sylvester Stallone. Lastly there is Sylvester Stallone appearance on “Dinah!” (1976) and Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots and More!