on December 3, 2014
It's totally unnecessary to provide a review of this collection, as it's been done countless times by people who are much better at it than I am. I watch and enjoy these films solely for the entertainment value derived from them. I'm typically not a Stallone fan, but enjoy the Rocky character. There is some lingering monotony in the films, but the variation of opponents adds greatly to the stories.
If you want a good analysis of the films' contents, video qualities, audio qualities, supplements, and bonus contents then head over to http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/10596/rocky_heavyweight.html, which gives the following grades (provided only as a courtesy - all credit to highdefdigest.com):
The movies themselves: 4.5 stars
HD video quality: 4 stars
HD audio quality: 3.5 stars
Supplements: 5 stars
High-def extras: 1/2 star
Bottom line: Highly Recommended
Ratings for individual films -
Movie itself: 5 stars
HD video quality: 5 stars
HD audio quality: 3 stars
Movie itself: 4 stars
HD video quality: 4 stars
HD audio quality: 3 stars
Movie itself: 3.5 stars
HD video quality: 3.5 stars
HD audio quality: 3.5 stars
Movie itself: 4 stars
HD video quality: 3 stars
HD audio quality: 3.5 stars
Movie itself: 2 stars
HD video quality: 3 stars
HD audio quality: 3.5 stars
Movie itself: 4 stars
HD video quality: 4.5 stars
HD audio quality: 4.5 stars
on January 31, 2014
Does Sylvester Stallone have anything to do with these releases?
'Rocky' is such an endearing movie franchise, but the way MGM handles the home distribution is despicable. The franchise's value is reportedly into the billions - treat it as such. There only needed to be one box set Blu-ray release, 'The Undisputed Collection', and that was done wrong. This new 'Heavyweight' set is just a rip-off repeat of it, minus some of the bonus features. Why would anyone buy it?
Here's what's wrong with both of these Blu-ray sets (before we get into the actual movies themselves):
Let's start with the 'Heavyweight' set's packaging: That's not even the ROCKY font! The cover and spine of the set should be solid black with 'ROCKY' in the original font in gold-yellow, Rocky's colors. Add Stallone's signature on there somewhere and it's good to go. You'd never see 'Star Wars' or 'Jaws' repackaged with the name any other way than the original LOGO. Because that's what it is, a logo. Rocky has one too. Use it.
MGM, do you know who you're catering to? No box set of any film series is complete without sticking to the fonts and styles of the original theatrical posters and promos. Your '007' sets don't stray like this Rocky set does. It's hardcore fans like me who would shell out the money for these sets anyway. Do you really think any non-Rocky fan is going to pay $40 when you can get all of them individually in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart - some with double features? You can get the 'Rocky Balboa' DVD for $5 at Best Buy. Why are the Rocky fans getting the shaft like this?
Why is only the original 'Rocky' getting any remastering treatment? This was the main issue people had with the 'Undisputed' Blu-ray set. These movies were far from flops; the Rocky series is one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. Rocky II - V all deserve the same respect.
On the original DVD release box set from 2000, each disc contained the theatrical trailer for the movie. Nowhere to be found on the 'Undisputed' set. PUT THEM BACK! Along with any TV spots. The Rocky movies were big hits that still command a huge following both here and internationally. Let's see some of the press that surrounded their original theatrical releases.
ROCKY - I want to see the original ending that was cut. That picture of Rocky & Adrian holding hands inside the 'K' on the poster is from them walking in the back after the fight. If the footage no longer exists, I'd like to hear Talia Shire or someone explain it. Were other scenes cut? If so, what were they about? (See my reasoning, if you really need it, when we get to 'Rocky Balboa'.)
ROCKY II - Well done sequel that carried the story on in the same vain as the original and all the actors turned in great performances. There had to be more than one trailer for this. It was 1979 and the studio was pushing the sequel to their huge hit from 3 years ago. Any cut scenes? Let's hear about them. How about some insight on Stallone taking on the role of director? Was John Alvidsen approached? I always wondered who conjured up the idea of a sequel in the first place. Was it the studio or was is Stallone?
ROCKY III - Ditto. Took the story forward and on to the next level. It was junk food for us fans, sweetened with 3 fights (including the wrestling match). Plus, the addition of 'Eye Of The Tiger' to the soundtrack. I was 8 when this came out and remember the line around the theater and all the hype with the song - good times! However, clocking in shorter than its prequels at a little over 1.5 hours, there must have been cut scenes. What were they? Why were they cut? Also, there's a 'making-of' special out there on YouTube, showing behind the scenes footage including practicing with Hulk Hogan for the Thunderlips match along with Stallone and Mr. T rehearsing their bouts. Come on with it! Let Hulk Hogan talk about the conflict he had with Vince McMahon, Sr., who gave him the ultimatum: Either work for me at the WWF or go do the Rocky movie. Hogan chose the latter and we all know what happened to pro wrestling after 1982 and Hogan's exposure from the film.
ROCKY IV - *Sigh*. The biggest money maker in the series, but talk about getting way off track story wise. Not to mention adding 6 magical years to the story line (that was one long friendly match with Apollo Creed at the end of III !). Even shorter than 'Rocky III', there must have been cut scenes. The trailer has an interesting blip of the boxing board members sitting around a conference table refusing to have the match between Rocky & Ivan Drago due to Apollo Creed's death. Didn't make the final cut. Please show this. Explain. And also, how about the change up in the soundtrack? Let's talk about it.
ROCKY V - We all know the negative stigma surrounding this one. However, the swerve of Rocky & co. going from riches back to rags was a well-needed shot in the arm for the story. If you're a Rocky fan like me, you also know full well about and have seen the 'directors cut' floating around YouTube these past couple of years (with Bill Conti's original score, not MC Hammer's music). The cut dialogue in the scene with Rocky and his lawyers about his finances is so well-needed. Rocky and Adrian lay into Paulie about the financial mess he caused. This was - unrealistically - barely addressed in the final cut. This, along with the rest of the project and cut scenes (Little Marie?), needs to be discussed between director John Alvidsen and Stallone in a sit down like the one William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty have on 'The Exorcist' discs.
ROCKY BALBOA - It's been said, and I'll say it again: Stallone did so right by all us fans with this one, the final chapter. Well-written, well-preformed and with the atmosphere of the original it hit all the right points. But, how about a director's cut? The deleted scenes are so awesome and would only enhance the story - especially the Paulie/girlfriend bit and when Rocky runs into wheelchair-bound Andy in the bar. What's also a plus in this story is that when it comes to the computer fight, you hear detractors of Rocky for the first time in the series. One of the commentators calls Rocky 'overrated'. It would have been interesting to hear just a tinge of that in Rocky II and then Rocky IV after Rocky's 3 years at the top.
What's the big deal? The big deal is that Rocky is an American folk hero. These are supposed to be 'ultimate sets', 'Undisputed'. Well, the Rocky fans are disputing. Despite Chuck Wepner' s legit issues with Stallone and how he was handled, on screen Rocky the character hits home for a lot people. The whole 'going the distance' thing can be applied everywhere in life. It resonates with people, touches nerves (positively). And, the Rocky of 2006 pushing age 60 spoke just as well.
What other film has produced a character and story as inspirational like this? Nothing since 1976, that's for sure. If so, name it. No movie character gets discussed the way Rocky does. Because people can relate.
What other movies have such a stirring and motivating original score and soundtrack? Only John Williams' 'Jaws', 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones' scores come close to getting you pumped up like the music in the Rocky films. How about a segment devoted to Bill Conti and his work, along with Vince DiCola and his synthesizer score for Rocky IV? How about an interview with the band members of Survivor? Even MC Hammer & co. - how (and why?) did they get tapped for the 'Rocky V' soundtrack?
Go to Philly: What other movie character still has their statue and permanent sneaker prints anywhere outside of Hollywood? Rocky could have been from LA or New York. But, Stallone based him out of blue-collar Philadelphia. It's a large city, but it's also a town like any other town in 'flyover country', not a whole lot of glamour. Track down the owner of the building at 1818 E Tusculum St. in Philly, along with others in the area who were there for all the filming, etc. Give the city its props with a segment devoted to it. Along with the city's rich history, the whole Rocky thing is part of the charm for tourists.
The sport: Focus a segment on boxing. Include Chuck Wepner's ESPN documentary, let's be fair. Interview other boxers as well; get their insight and opinions on the Rocky movies. Stallone was inducted into the boxing hall of fame a few years ago, include it. I've trained at Freddie Roach's Wild Card gym in Los Angeles. The walls are covered with posters and pictures, all boxing-related (lots of Manny Pacquiao, of course). But on the way out, look up above the door and you'll see the only picture in the whole place that's under plexi glass protection: It's a black and white shot from the 'Rocky IV' fight with Stallone's autograph on it. You simply can't deny the films' place in the world of boxing.
Some of these things I'm calling out have been addressed on the various releases. How about getting them all into one place finally, on one set? Otherwise, it's just obvious greed on the studios' part.
Mr. Stallone, you hit the nail on the head in 1976 with Rocky. One of a kind, the likes of which we haven't seen since. Unlike Rambo, Rocky Balboa is your baby. You created him. I understand people have a hard time separating you from him. But, the series' treatment deserves so much better and we would think you'd prefer to see it better handled as well. Do us a favor: Pick up the phone, call someone over at MGM and straighten this crap out.
Instead of churning out repetitive sets (in poor packaging), ROCKY and its fans deserve a better Blu-ray box set.
on August 10, 2012
I can't imagine anyone is looking to buy these movies that didn't see them years ago. And, if you've seen them, you know that it would be impossible to review all five of them in one single review and do them justice. And I'm going to assume that if you are looking to buy this set, you either love the movies, or they were part of your childhood memories and you don't need me to tell you about the movies themselves... Instead, I'm just reviewing the quality of the transfers, the sound, and the extras, and I'm going to keep it short and sweet:
The movies have never looked better. I remember seeing them in the movie theater as a kid. Grainy, dust and scratches on the film. You know, the way movies were before the digital projectors we are all used to now. No, these aren't as crisp and bright as movies today, but they preserve the graininess of the original film.
The sound is great.
The extras are interesting.
Definitely worth the price to have the entire Rocky saga on your shelf in such pristine condition.
on September 5, 2014
I've always preferred pretending that only the first and last Rocky existed, but couldn't pass up this collection. The sequels in-between aren't great, but I gotta say there is always something to take away from them; a lesson in life that can appeal to almost anybody in the world, no matter where they come from. All of them inspirational. That is why I give this collection 5 stars!
on August 18, 2013
Rocky is about an average guy with a big dream. He has to out-box Apollo Creed for the heavyweight championship. The chemistry and performances in this franchise are excellent. Rocky fans will be happy to find all 6 Rocky movies from the original to Rocky Balboa are included here in this 7-disc Blu-ray collection (2009). The series never got much love in the way of extras (many previous DVD sets had no extras). This set includes a 7th Bonus Disc (Rocky Anthology) with recycled extras from the Rocky 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD, Rocky Balboa BD and one new HD game (Feeling Strong Now!) which is fun for a time. Overall the product isn't as comprehensive as fans would prefer. It seems somewhat slapdash as if Rocky I-V barely exist (the sequels are mostly ignored). Only Rocky Balboa gets special treatment with extras on its disc, the only audio commentary and deleted scenes. Forget about the frequently mentioned Rocky IV and V trimmed scenes and director's cut of Rocky V. We are missing a truly comprehensive documentary on the franchise (76 minutes describing 6 films doesn't cut it anymore when Blade Runner got a 3-hour deluxe documentary for a single film). There is a total of roughly 4.5 hours of total bonus supplements (3.5 hours from Rocky 2-disc DVD & 1 hour from Rocky Balboa BD) which is good but not great. 6 films deserve at least 6 hours in extras, new documentaries and/or a remastering for such a great franchise. So this collection is the light version of the box set and certainly not deluxe. This set delivers mostly "single film treatment" which is so common to box sets. The first five films in The Planet of the Apes franchise got better treatment.
Disc 7: Rocky Anthology Bonus Disc: Feeling Strong Now! Game, Rocky Featurettes: Three Rounds with Legendary Trainer Lou Duva, Interview with a Legend - Bert Sugar: Author/Commentator and Historian, The Opponents, In the Ring: Three-Part Making-Of Documentary, Steadicam: Then and Now with Garrett Brown, Make Up! The Art and Form with Michael Westmore, Staccato: A Composer's Notebook with Bill Conti, The Ring of Truth, Behind the Scenes with John Avildsen, Tribute to Burgess Meredith, Tribute to James Crabe, Video Commentary with Sylvester Stallone, Sylvester Stallone on Dinah! (1976), Stallone Meets Rocky, Trailers.
Hang onto your Rocky (Two-Disc Collector's Edition DVD) for the audio commentaries. Consider purchasing this collection as the value pack ($6/film) if you don't own them all. Rocky II-V don't have many extras in their stand-alone releases and nothing much is added here. If you enjoy two or more of the films it is worth it. I would rate the films 5 stars and this collection 2 stars because it could have been so much better and isn't a major upgrade from the DVD collection. Many franchises get poor treatment but prior Rocky releases felt like the movie was slapped onto disc and shipped out. Rocky was loved by millions, inspired thousands and deserves heartfelt remastering. IGN ranked this release at #18 in Top 25 Worst Blu-Ray releases (notably Robocop Trilogy, The Terminator and Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition also make the list). The video and audio quality aren't up to snuff. If you already own the Rocky film collection then this doesn't add much. Although you do get a few extras on Disc 7 it seems cynical to include so little bonus content (not all of the DVD extras were ported over either). The problem is that not all of the films seem to be in true HD (the transfers are the best Rocky has looked but still don't look great when compared to other Blu-Rays). Rocky fans deserve better treatment.
on January 8, 2013
Can you hear the sound of the trumpets? I can! It's that time of year when everyone starts that new goal, gives up that bad habit and hopes that there lives will change for the better.
What better time to revisit the Rocky saga? I purchased the new Blu Ray edition of the Rocky series to replace my sub par Rocky DVD box set and I can say with certainty, that it is well worth the upgrade especially at the low price of $19.99 for all 6 films and an exclusive bonus disc with over 3 hours of excellent material.
The films are a mixed bag, but all our entertaining and can inspire the underdog in you to get up off the couch and do something new to improve yourself and help those around you.
The original Rocky is the best of the bunch and is still a film that is poignant and inspirational. Great casting helps this film tremendously with character perfect performances by Stallone as the fighting underdog, Meredith's colorful crotchety manger, Shire the shy object of Rocky's affection, Young as the lovable but hurtful loser, Weathers as the smooth talkin' fighting champ and Spinell as the likable gangster.
The film hits all the right notes with a memorable score and does so much with its' meager budget, none of the other films have ever quite got it like the original. The Blu Ray transfer is very nice retaining grain but looking pretty sharp. It is the best this film has ever sounded or looked.
Rocky II is a solid film showing the aftermath of the first fight and Creed wanting redemption for Rocky going the distance in the first fight. It shows Rocky squandering the money he made for the first fight and also shows him if he wants to make something of himself, he must fight, because it is after all, what he does best! The Blu Ray transfer once again is a big upgrade with a sharp picture, grain is present, but I don't want to look at wax figures and the sound is a big upgrade as well.
Rocky III is my personal favorite of the sequels as it is filled with so many colorful characters. Rocky fights Hulk Hogan (Thunder Lips) in a charity match and meets his arch nemesis in Clubber Lang (played to perfection by Mr. T) Clubber is a brute much like Rocky in the original film, but without Rocky's heart. It is most unfortunate that they Kill off Mickey in this film, but it's a necessary plot point to allow Rocky to lose his first fight with Lang. Of course, it all comes out good in the end. The Blu Ray transfer is on point like the first two films with a much improved picture and sound.
Rocky IV is my least favorite of the sequels, it's not a bad film, but the soundtrack is dated, the Russians are presented like cardboard evil robots and the film is very short with a long training montage and of course the recap in the beginning of the film like each sequel before it. Being short is not a bad thing and the fight with Drago who makes an interesting opponent is one of the best in the series. It also opens the door for Rocky V as the Russian robot and other brutal beatings by Creed and Lang leave the Rock with brain damage. Once again the Blu Ray transfer is a big improvement in picture and sound.
Rocky V....I know a lot of people didn't care for this one, but I know I always joked that they ought to make a Rocky film wear he is diagnosed with brain damage. I mean really this guy used his head as a punching bag in all of the fights in these films and no one could actually take that kind of abuse.
Rocky V introduces Tommy Gunn a young kid with a lot of power and determination, but once again none of Rocky's heart.
After Rocky loses his fortune after a blunder by Paulie giving the Balboa's lawyer power of attorney, the Rock ends up right back where he started. On the street of Philly with the Gym that Mickey left him. Adrian gets her old job back at the pet shop. Rocky is informed after a medical examination that he can no longer box because of the severe beating he has taken over the years.
Enter Tommy Gunn, who wants Rocky to train him if he see any potential. Rocky is reluctant at first, but can't resist a chance of being part of the sport again. The usual stuff happens with Rocky bringing the inexperienced boxer to his own, but the public thinks it's all Rocky's doing and they give the youngster no respect or credit.
The Duke who is basically Don King is trying to lure Rocky back into the ring for personal gain and Adrian is dead set against it. So The Duke lures Gunn to the seedy side of the sport with a title shot, something Rocky doesn't want to give him until he feels he is ready.
The film ends in another battle for Rocky this time in the streets of Philadelphia master against student and well we all know "The Rock" is gonna win. The Blu Ray transfer is the biggest upgrade so far with a huge improvement in picture and sound over the DVD of this film.
Now we come to the finale, Rocky Balboa which I find to be the best of the sequels even though I enjoy Rocky III a little more, this film is a fitting end to the saga and captures much of the heart of the original. The Blu Ray Transfer is excellent both in picture and sound and the grand finale fight is well done. This disc has some interesting extras and is the only film to have extras on the film disc.
The bonus disc however is over 3 hours long with plenty to get excited about making of documentary and pretty cool game and much more.
Final thought, if you love the Rocky films, then this is the way to go, it has all you should ever need to revisit these films and being on sale for $19.99 it is a no brainer. I have read others reviews about the bad transfers, but I watched this on my 150 inch HD screen and I didn't notice any of the distractions that others claimed to have seen. Maybe they fixed the issues(?) as some of the reviews with complaints are old.
Happy New Year everyone get the Rock on Blu Ray and get motivated!
on September 23, 2010
Received this box set around 9/15/2010.
This review is broken into 5 categories: Packaging, Plot, Disc Quality, Movie Quality, Extra Features
Box art looks like it's from Rocky Balboa, no frills, WYSIWYG.
I won't go into it because I'm assuming you've seen any number of these titles if you are interested in the box set. But overall it's a story of overcoming obstacles and believing in yourself. All family friendly except Rocky 5 has some slight language, but nothing to extreme.
Disc Quality: 3/5
Rocky and Rocky Balboa have professional looking menus and the disc themselves look different than the other four movies. 2,3,4,5 all look like standard blu ray discs with just the name of the movie on them and a still frame for a menu. Don't expect any commentary.
Movie Quality: 4/5
If you've seen older movies put on blu ray with minimal restore then you get the idea with these. Rocky 1 looks the worse, some clipping and sometimes grainy, didn't notice too much blur on 120Hz. Rocky 2 is a little better, not as grainy. Rocky 3 looks like most 80s blu ray movies I've seen (Rambo, Commando, etc.) with some blur. Rocky 4 is exceptional, looks clear, great color and great sound and no blur. Rocky 5 is also clear and the sound is clear as well but you don't know much of a difference, if any, between this movie and 4. Rocky Balboa has some weird lighting but overall obviously it's the best looking one in the bunch.
Extra Features: 2/5
Some nice Sly training videos for Balboa and some making of's but nothing like a reunion episode or documentary looking back with Sly or anything. Pretty much just thrown into the box set.
Overall, I give this a 4/5 simply because it's Rocky and it's the top of the line right now. If you have it on DVD and is it worth it to rebuy it? My opinion would be no because nothing on these discs looks better than up converting a DVD. That being said, it is the latest and greatest format to have Rocky on and if you see Amazon selling it for a good deal pick it up, especially if you don't own any Rocky collection.
on December 5, 2008
Being a big fan of the "Rocky" movies, I would highly recommend this set to anyone considering it. I would like to clairify a few things I was wondering about the set before I purchased it, and have since found out after I bought the set and watched all the movies.
-First off, all of the movies are anamorphic for 16X9 T.V. sets, in case anyone was concerned of the picture format like I was.
-Second, the extras on the dvds for the first 5 films are an original movie trailer for each, and some additional bonus material on "Rocky Balboa".
All-in-all, the set is a great buy and I feel a must have for any fan.
on May 13, 2016
MGM are releasing ROCKY again to celebrate the films 40th Anniversary
but there are no new special features at all, just different artwork that's all
MGM are just recycling previous content that was released on previous blu-ray releases
6 films on 6 Discs on Disc trays in a thick clamshell case covered with big slip cover box that says 40th Anniversary on it
Disc 1 is of course Rocky with all the
retrospective featurettes, behind the scenes footage, Audio commentaries, Trailers, TV spots etc on 1 Disc
which is the same version as the 2014 blu-ray anyway which i have already
Disc 2 is Rocky II, Disc 3 is Rocky 3, Disc 4 is Rocky 4, Disc 5 is R5 & Disc 6 is Rocky Balboa
which has all the making of featurettes from the 2007-2008 blu-ray
the extras for the 5 sequels are the usual Theatrical trailers for each film
no new Audio commentaries or new interview with Sylvester stallone
MGM are just recycling content, just changing the artwork that's all
so if you have all 6 films on blu-ray anyway, don't waste your money buying this new 40th reissue
cause there's nothing new & exciting
all 6 films are available to buy in individual cases anyway, so you'll only be buying the new artwork if you buy this new reissue
1 star for this new 2016 reissue, 5 stars for all the Rocky films
on March 2, 2016
The re-master of Rocky is great. looks awesome on blu ray on my 4K tv. Rocky 2-5 are not remastered at quite as high a standard, but still look good. Rocky Balboa is full HD since it is a more contemporary film in terms of production value. If you are a Rocky fan this is must have.