Rocky III is where the Rocky franchise hits the canvas. Now available on Blu-ray as part of the Rocky The Undisputed Collection set. This is a very good box set if you are a Rocky fan. Keep your DVD version as the Blu-ray discs in The Undisputed Collection have no special features whatsoever. All the special features are on a separate, “bonus” disc. The movies do look good in high definition and 1:85:1 widescreen but the prints are not restored so there is some occasional wear visible.
Rocky III is basically the first two Rocky movies turned on their head. Rocky is now the heavyweight champion living the good life, Clubber Lang (Mr. T) is the contender. Stuff happens and Rocky schedules a bout with Crusher Lang. One takes training lightheartedly, like Apollo Creed did in the first movie, the second trains like his life depended on it.
Stuff happens to get to the first fight but this time the movie fails to really connect with the viewer. Secondary characters like Adrian, Paulie, and Mick were fleshed out in Rocky but by now they are insert character here with usual dialogue cardboard cut-outs. This is especially true of Paulie who has not evolved at all, and Mick.
Stuff happens and Apollo ends up training Rocky. This time the former champ takes things more seriously, as Creed did in Rocky II. There is a rematch with Clubber Lang.
The second fight between Rocky and Clubber Lang is pretty decent but does require willing suspension of disbelief. This was not required in the first or second movies in this franchise.
Rocky III is entertaining but far from being the great boxing movie the original or even the second were.
The Rocky The Undisputed Collecton Blu-ray bonus disc includes: 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; Rocky Anthology Trailers: Rocky Theatrical Trailer, Rocky Teaser Trailer, Rocky II Theatrical Trailer, Rocky III Theatrical Trailer, Rocky IV Theatrical Trailer, Rocky V Theatrical Trailer, Rocky Balboa Theatrical Trailer; Rocky TV Spots: Introducing Sylvester Stallone Critical Acclaim #1 Critical Acclaim #2