FILM FANADDICT STORE!
Box Office Totals.
Help Support our Site and buy some stuff!!!
SmartSection is developed by The SmartFactory (http://www.smartfactory.ca), a division of INBOX Solutions (http://inboxinternational.com)
ROCKY: THE UNDISPUTED COLLECTION (BLU RAY) (Various)
Published by David Carter on 2009/12/30 (664 reads)
Directed by Various
Review by David Carter
Released by MGM
Running Time: 634 minutes
Rating: Rated PG (ROCKY V Rated PG-13)
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 5.1 DTS-HD English, French or Spanish (all)/English, French and Spanish Subtitles (all)
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: Interactive game, three part making of documentary, behind the scenes featurettes, tributes to Burgess Meredith & James Crabe, Interview with Bert Sugar, video commentary with Stallone, Stallone on Dinah! (1976), TV Spots
Trailer Online: Yes
Short Version: The complete Rocky saga in beautiful Blu Ray
To put it succinctly, ROCKY is one of the greatest American films of all time. The story of the film is simple: an unknown boxer accepts the challenge of the heavyweight champion only to lose the big fight. ROCKY isn’t about winning or losing, however; it is about believing in yourself, fighting against impossible odds and appreciating the important things in life over fleeting fame or glory. Though a masterfully crafted work, no one would remember the film if Rocky had beaten Apollo Creed. There’s no reality, no lessons to be learned in a Hollywood schmaltzy fantasy. We filmgoers need Rocky to lose the big fight to remind us that he’s just like us; that a loan shark’s muscle and his pet store clerk girlfriend are just as important as the flashy heavyweight champ and, therefore, we are too.
Sylvester Stallone probably wrote ROCKY not knowing that it would become the archetypal underdog story and turn him into one of the world’s biggest stars. He had caught lightning in a bottle and he attempted to recapture it in 1979 with ROCKY II, the first of five sequels to the film. ROCKY II sees Rocky adjusting to life after the big fight and his subsequent retirement due to an eye injury. Apollo Creed needs to prove he can beat Rocky, however, eventually pressuring him into a rematch which ends with Balboa as the victor this time. ROCKY II was a direct cathartic payoff to ROCKY, with its “happy ending” not undercutting the original’s message but instead reiterating its importance. ROCKY II wisely builds upon the Rocky mythos rather than regurgitating it, making it one of the rare sequels that can be considered on par with the original film.
ROCKY III begins with Rocky as the champion and a pop culture icon. Rather than let the character rest on his laurels and continue to dole out vicarious victories for the audience as he was doing in his RAMBO series, Stallone instead uses the film to make Rocky humble again. Early in the film, Rocky is defeated by the younger, stronger Clubber Lang; Mr. T in a role that made him a star and eerily resembles Mike Tyson years before his professional debut. Rocky is once again the underdog and has to turn to former rival Creed to regain his championship. At this point in the franchise, ROCKY is more icon than man both on the screen and in the viewers’ minds. ROCKY III is the beginning of the “Rocky franchise” – the point at which the character became larger than life.
Rocky’s iconic status peaks in ROCKY IV, a Cold War allegory that again turned Rocky’s foe – this time Dolph Lundgren – into a star. Lundgren is the imposing Russian boxer Ivan Drago, who kills Apollo Creed during an exhibition match causing Rocky to seek a revenge bout in Russia. Made at the height of the Cold War, ROCKY IV cast both the character and Stallone as the ultimate American heroes. Stallone, who was also battling the communists in his RAMBO franchise, depicts the Russians as evil and, worse, cheaters but still human enough that if Rocky (re: the USA) beat them, they’d come around to our way of thinking. Kitschy and even moronic at times, ROCKY IV is nonetheless a very effective film and a testament to Stallone’s abilities as a filmmaker. Rocky’s after-fight speech is one of the most important moments in the eighties, filmic or otherwise.
How do you follow up Rocky single-handedly defeating Communism? Stallone was at loss for the answer to this question for five years before returning to the character with ROCKY V in 1990. Beaten and on the verge of brain damage, Rocky forfeits the championship despite being challenged by a brash young fighter. Rocky has also been swindled out of his money by a crooked accountant, so he and Adrian are forced to return to Philadelphia and resume the lives they had prior to the events of the first film. ROCKY V is both a swan’s song and a tribute to the character of Rocky, returning the icon to his lowly roots but ending on a note that tells the viewer that everything will be alright after all.
Stallone resurrected Rocky once more for 2006’s ROCKY BALBOA to give the series a more fitting end after the lackluster quality of ROCKY V. An aged, retired Rocky manages a restaurant but once again is goaded back into the ring by a young champion. Like ROCKY, ROCKY BALBOA isn’t about boxing, it’s about being a human. Though most viewers were done with character after ROCKY IV, Stallone proves that Rocky could still be an affecting persona, renewing the character’s cultural relevance after years of parody and “sequel-itis.”
MGM’s Blu Ray collection of ROCKY is outstanding and each film is presented in dramatically better quality than ever before. Literally dozens of bonus features are included to help sweeten the deal, but this is truly one time where the films themselves are the biggest draw. Whether longing for a nostalgic trip through the years or viewing these films for the first time, ROCKY: THE UNDISPUTED COLLECTION is a necessary addition to your Blu Ray library.
Please Visit Our Other Sites!
New DVD Releases!
Recent and upcoming DVD releases
January 29, 2013
February 5, 2013
February 12, 2013
February 19, 2013
February 26, 2013
March 5, 2013
March 12, 2013March 19, 2013
March 26, 2013