The Rocky franchise, now available in its entirety on Blu-ray in The Undisputed Collection, was a downhill slog towards who give a sh!t. Most people who heard Sylvester Stallone had taken Rocky out of the mothballs for a final appearance thought the actor was as punch drunk as Rocky at the end of his fist fight. Surprisingly, Stallone makes Rocky Balboa an interesting movie, different in tone from all the others.
Much like Rocky Balboa himself this movie is a bit slow and a little heavy. It takes a while for it to get to what everybody in the audience is waiting for, the fight. Meanwhile, Rocky is finding life on his own hard after Adrian died of woman cancer. Every year, he and Paulie do a tour of the old haunts and revisit memory row. Rocky and his son are not connecting very well. He does reconnect with Little Marie, a minor character in the first movie. He also spends most evenings at Adrian’s where he meets and greets.
The current heavyweight champion is being dismissed for fighting nobodies. A computer game has Rocky winning by TKO. This gets people talking yada yada yada and an exhibition is scheduled between the champion and the 60-year-old boxing legend.
The training scene is what everybody is looking forward to. Stallone knows this and he makes it original but does give a few nods to past movies.
The cinematography in Rocky Balboa is much superior to past movies, especially in Blu-ray. I could not help but wonder if CGI was not used in some of the fight footage, especially early on where Rocky leaves his corner.
Rocky Balboa Blu-ray is good fun.
Special features on this disc are commentary track with Sylvester Stallone, Deleted and alternate scenes, making of, filming the final fight, and creating the computer fight.
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