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Featured Blu-ray review - Rocky - The Heavyweight Collection

February 8th, 2014

Rocky - The Heavyweight Collection - Buy from Amazon

Rocky: The Undisputed Collection came out nearly five years ago and I loved it. Now a new box set is coming out. However, is it any different than before? Or is it a simple cash grab?

The Movie

I previously reviewed the movies, so I have little that I need to add here. I will say, I think my opinion of four and five may have gotten a little worse since then. So is there anything different in this box set?

The Extras

Yes! Rocky has been remastered in 4K, and it is a real improvement over the previous Blu-ray release. Granted, the original Blu-ray was rather weak in terms of video quality, while the age and the relatively low budget of this film is still a bit of an issue. It doesn't look as good as a first run film made today was, but that's hardly a fair comparison. The level of details is better than I was expecting, including in darker scenes. The colors were strong, although it is a gritty movie without a lot of flashy colors. I think this is likely as good as the film will look, until 4K TVs become standard. On the down side, it's the only movie that was remastered, so the that's a bit of a bummer, as some of the other movies didn't look great on Blu-ray.

If you look at the page for this release, there are a lot of freaking out because the bonus disc is no longer included in the package. This is correct. However, they moved the vast majority of the extras onto the first disc instead. This includes three audio commentary tracks (one with Sylvester Stallone, cast and crew, one with a boxing training and a boxing commentator). There are 8 mm home movies from the filming of the movie narrated by the director, John G. Avildsen, and one of the producers, Lloyd Kaufman. This is the only new extra to the Blu-ray. Three Rounds with Legendary Trainer Lou Duva, Interview with a Legend, The Opponents, In the Ring, etc. are all back. I think the only thing from the bonus disc that isn't here is the trivia game.

On the other hand, the other discs are identical to what you got before.

The Verdict

If you love the Rocky franchise and don't have the previous Blu-ray Box Set, then The Heavyweight Collection is absolutely worth picking up. The first Rocky looks amazing and the disc is loaded with extras. If you have The Undisputed Colection, then you will have to pay $40 for an upgraded master for one movie and a couple new extras. It's not worth the price for the upgrade.

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Filed under: Video Review, Rocky IV, Rocky III, Rocky, Rocky 2, Rocky Balboa, Rocky V, John G. Avildsen, Sylvester Stallone, Lloyd Kaufman