This Blu-ray collector’s edition of Rocky comes packed in a 24 page hardcover collectible book with photos and essays about the film. The book is the size of a Blu-ray case and the disc is set in a pocket inside the back cover.
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1 (1080p high definition)
RUNNING TIME: 119 minutes
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Mono, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono
SUBTITLES: English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, Spanish
SPECIAL FEATURES: Original theatrical trailer
A down-on-his-luck boxer (Sylvester Stallone) gets a chance to fight the heavyweight champion of the world.
Written by: Sylvester Stallone
Producers: Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff
Director: John G. Avildsen
The original Rocky is either loved or loathed. The perception of the first film has been skewed over the years by the sequels and the caricature Stallone became in later films.
This re-release of the Blu-ray, however, gives us the chance to look at the film with fresh eyes. It should be appreciated for what it is: a character-driven underdog story, not a boxing film. Stallone manages to carry this film, and there is no denying his ability to be a leading man, despite his cotton-mouthed speech as Rocky. Burt Young, Talia Shire Carl Weathers, and Burgess Meredith all deliver outstanding performances. Avildsen’s directing prowess is apparent, and you have to give Stallone his due for writing a great script.
I consider myself a Rocky fan and enjoy the sequels (except for #5), so seeing the film in high definition with a nice soundtrack is a treat. The hardcover book that comes with the Blu-ray is a great companion, providing some nice background to the film.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The video quality is fantastic compared to previous releases I have seen. Outside of the usual print grain, the image has been cleaned up and shows very little debris. Some of the darker, smoky scenes suffer in quality, but the daylight scenes look great. I never thought Rocky could look this good. The audio is 5.1 DTS-HD, and sounds great, with some nice directional use of voices, especially during the final fight scene. The soundtrack is given a full, symphony like presentation. I was extremely impressed.
Besides an original theatrical trailer, there are no other extras on the disc. That is disappointing, as the special edition DVD included a number of extras, including an audio commentary by Stallone. Why a little extra effort was not taken to include them is puzzling, unless they plan to issue one later and have fans buy another Blu-ray all over again.
BUY IT OR NETFLIX IT?
OVERALL GRADE: B+
If you haven’t yet picked Rocky up on Blu-ray, this new edition gives you a great reason to buy. With an outstanding video and audio transfer, the film presentation is as good as it gets. The book is a great companion piece, but I wish the effort to include some extras, which were readily available, had been made. Even so, on the strength of the film and technical presentation alone, this is a must buy.
Rocky (Limited Edition Book and Blu-ray) is now available from MGM/Fox Home Entertainment.
Click here to order Rocky (Limited Edition Book and Blu-ray) from Amazon!