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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2011

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"Rocky" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by John Johnson

movie-june-2011-rocky

Synopsis

The Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World, Apollo Creed (Weathers), decides to create a little publicity by having someone local in Philadelphia join him in an exhibition boxing match. They see Rocky Balboa on TV working as a meat packer, and ask him to participate. Of course, Rocky accepts, but he takes the whole thing very seriously, when it is supposed to be just some fun for everyone.

Rocky's girlfriend Adrian Pennino (Shire), her brother Paulie (Young), and even the Priest at Rocky's church are supportive. Rocky gets the manager of the gym, Mickey Goldmill (Meredith), to train him.

Although everyone who attends and watches the fight (except for Rocky et al.) think they are going to be entertained by a friendly evening, Rocky goes at Creed with the intent of taking the World Championship away from him. Creed scoffs at first, but then Rocky knocks him down, and the champion finds himself on his back in the boxing ring for the first time in his career. So, from that point on, all hell breaks loose, and the exhibition match turns into the fight of the century.

Specifications

  • MGM
  • 1976, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 59 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: MPEG-2 @ 18 Mbps
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith
  • Directed by John G. Avildsen
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Mild
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for the movie by locking himself in his bedroom for three days straight, with all the windows painted black. He had been in a few B movies, and wanted more. He persisted with the studio to have him star as Rocky Balboa in the movie, and they finally said yes. The results were Best Picture®, Best Direction®, and Best Film Editing® at the Academy Awards® for 1976. Stallone had been nominated as Best Actor®, and I remember the look of disappointment on his face when he didn't win. Nevertheless, Rocky is one of the best - some might say the best - fight film ever made.

Technical

The image quality is very disappointing, with grain and mosquito noise all over the place. The reason is that it was encoded only at 18 Mbps, when the maximum could have been nearly twice that number. Why encode a Best Picture at that low rate? The sound has some stereo to it, but no real surround effects.

Extras

None on the disc, but it does come with a book that describes how Stallone created the story.