The Rocky movies hold different memories for different people. For many, the early films were a family event, and by “Rocky IV”, with the killer soundtrack and Drago, you shared them with friends and cheered loudly at the multiplex.
Before Sylvester Stallone was Rambo, he was the one and only Rocky, the underdog we all rooted for. Stallone, who wrote every screenplay and directed four out of the six films, holds a unique spot in franchise history, since often other directors take a stab at the next film to make it grander than the last. His “Rocky” films stand the test of time and still evoke excitement and passion so many years later.
With Rocky Heavyweight Collection on Blu-ray, fans now have a chance to watch these films in widescreen format with superior sound, in English, Spanish, or French, subtitles in the three languages, and closed captioned.
The downer is that only the original “Rocky”, 1977’s Best Picture winner, was re-mastered, and looks much better than the later films. (Think, the Star Wars prequels being superior in technology than the first three.) It’s still a gritty 1970s film, so you see the grain, but it’s sharper. Since Rocky II through Rocky Balboa (VI) have been released on DVD and are available on previous collection, it’s unfortunate that they used old transfers, making viewers unsure about shelling out the money on this one. But still, if you want to replace your old VHS tapes, or simply want superior sound and loads of special features, this collection is a knockout.
Special Features include: recently recovered 8mm behind-the scenes-footage from 1975, narrated by director John G. Avildsen and Production Manager Lloyd Kaufman; Video Commentary with Stallone; In the Ring: Three-Part Making-of Documentary; Behind-the-Scenes Featurerettes: Makeup, Music, Directing and Camera Work; Boxing Featurerettes, including one with trainer Lou Duva; Tributes: Burgess Meredith and James Crabe; Interview with the late Bert Sugar, boxing writer and sports historian; Trailers and more. All films are rated PG-13, and the running time is 368 minutes.
Originally appeared on http://www.edgemedianetwork.com on Feb 28, 2014