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  1. #1
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    A Dvd Box Set Review: The Rocky Anthology (mgm)

    I did an official, full-length review of this box collection released by MGM this past Christmas season for home theater magazines as well as numerous online sites; however, I am doing this re-review from scratch for you guys in here due to many factors, one of which has much to do with the fact that when I first reviewed the set, which replaced MGM's original box set collection of these DVDs with these newly-prepared "high definition transfers", I was watching them on a 27" 4:3 set which didnt give me a good idea of the video quality MGM was delivering on these discs.....the audio, I am finding, seems to be the same as I remember when I FIRST reviewed the set last Christmas, but I'll get into that in a bit.

    Let me make this clear up front.....because this is going to be a from-scratch re-review for me of these five DVDs in this set, it is going to take some time to go through them again; after taking the first Rocky out of the box set to watch this afternoon, I am going to do a review on THAT title first, and work my way down and edit this review as I go along to finally complete it after watching all five discs. So, in a nutshell, this is going to be a disc-by-disc review, going one at a time through the titles and adding to the review as I go.

    In a rare move by MGM, they have RE-RELEASED an ENTIRE box set collection of the Rocky films on DVD (you never really see a studio ever do this; once a box set is put out, there's usually not another one that replaces that and even so soon as MGM did here with The Rocky Anthology); I never had a chance to purchase or review the discs in that first box set release as I had knowledge that this set was coming and just waited for it --- as I am doing for the upcoming Batman franchise box set. This set was actually bought for me by a friend for Christmas/Hannukah last year; I exchanged gifts with him and got him some Bon Jovi concert DVD set he ended up that I spent much more money on his gift than this box set collection was selling for, but what are you gonna do......

    THIS re-release of the Rocky box set offers some pretty neat packaging, with a big box displaying Stallone on the front wrapped in the American flag (the art theme from Rocky IV) and all five films on individual discs inside the box; much better than Paramount's release of From Crystal Lake to Manhattan Friday the 13th franchise DVD box set, which had TWO films on one disc with some pretty flimsy thin keepcases. After sitting through taped-from-cable VHS copies of these films, it is nice to finally have all of them in one box collection that looks great on a collector/enthusiast's shelf; as would be logical, I began my foray into the Rocky Anthology with the original Rocky, so let me begin there and we'll work our way down....

    MGM is a studio I just dont care for. Well, in terms of their home video division anyway. Its rare that I find a soundtrack on any DVD they put out that I like; however, I do applaud them for the efforts on the recent Amityville Horror Collection which served up the original Amityville Horror in a beautiful high definition transfer which never looked better. But when it came to this Rocky Anthology, it seems like the studio had some misleading advertising and labeling here; all five films have been said to have been "digitally remastered in high definition prints," as well as, as the back of the box proclaims, been given "THE BEST EVER AUDIO!" but I think some of the titles in the set fall a bit short of labeling them "the best" they will ever look or sound. Still, at the end of the day, this is PROBABLY the best these films will look or sound until high definition reaches us, and IF these titles are considered for such treatment.

    As winner of BEST PICTURE in 1976, the original Rocky sets up the stage for the four remaining sequels as well as first introduces us to the series' familiar characters --- Rocky, Mickey, Paulie, Adrian, and Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). I used to be very hard on this now-classic film, and growing up, I always enjoyed the commerically-driven, villian vs. Rocky-like sequels better than this original --- but as you get older, your perception of cinema changes drastically as well as your tastes, and today I can appreciate this film for exactly what it is: a character study more than an action-sequence-based fight spectacle. Of course, this was to set up the sequels, but we get a sense of Stallone's character, where he came from, where the bad blood between him and Apollo stemmed from, Rocky's relationship beginnings with his manager/trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) and more through the original Rocky.

    As the series progresses, Stallone's Rocky Balboa character begins to meet more vicious, brutal, and seemingly impossible-to-beat opponents in the boxing ring, and THAT was the APPEAL of the sequels themselves; we all waited to see which brute Stallone was going to go up against next -- it was much like playing Mike Tyson's Punch Out, as you progress through the ranks of players to get to a new, more viscious opponent with some secret weapon up his sleeve. Of course, in the end, Stallone's character always finds a way to win, but we cant help but cheer in his corner for the underdog that always comes from behind to find an edge to beat his competitor --- and THAT was the draw of the Rocky films in general; this come-from-behind character that Stallone portrays and the way it finds itself into all of us and how we can possibly relate to it in some measure of our lives; at least thats how I always looked at these pictures.

    But before there was Ivan Drago or Clubber Lang or even Tommy "The Machine" Gunn, there was 1976's Rocky which starred Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, a down-on-his-luck Philadelphia "club fighter" who seems to have no brains, but quite a left hook as a "southpaw" fighter. This film sets up the progression we see through the series, as he first begins to date his "friend" Paulie's (Burt Young) sister Adrian (Talia Shire) who he marries in the sequel, first gets his manager and trainer in his corner, Mickey (Burgess Meredith) and gets his first interaction with soon-to-become-best-friend fighter and champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers); this original film lays the groundwork for the more action-oriented sequels and we get to know each character here as best we could in the film's two hour running time.

    As his life apparently has no luck in it all, Rocky's luck begins to change a bit as he starts dating a neighborhood girl who works in a pet shop (Shire) thanks to his friend Paulie (Young) who happens to be Adrian's brother; if that wasnt enough to turn his life around just a bit, in a very strange twist of fate, it seems that the Heavyweight Champion of the World, Apollo Creed (Weathers) does not have an opponent to fight for a Thanksgiving-time championship match due to unforseen circumstances. With no conetenders to fight, Creed and his team decide to give a no-name underdog from the Philadelphia neighborhood a shot at the title against him as a novelty match of sorts. He decides on "The Italian Stallion" --- a name Stallone's Rocky character goes by from his early clubroom boxing days. The very beginning of the film opens with Balboa boxing for horrendously low salaries against other neighborhood fighters in a local church, and then suddenly, in the middle of the picture, he is offered a chance to go up against the champion of the world, Apollo Creed. Of course, you all know the story.....Creed doesnt take Rocky as seriously as he should have, and goes into the fight not expecting the beating Rocky gives him, which leads to a draw at the end final match scene, which of course sets up the sequel with an enraged Apollo Creed seeking to prove he is the better fighter in Rocky II, but we'll get to that.

    In this first film, Stallone's character starts off as a clubroom boxer as well as working as a money collector for a local loanshark, which turns off his original trainer at his gym, Mickey (Burgess Meredith) to wanting to work with him. But when Meredith learns of Rocky's chance to fight Creed, he immediately wants to become Rocky's official trainer and manager --- and his attitude towards Rocky becomes different. Rocky is hesitant, as anyone would be, but eventually falls into Mickey's expert training fold --- and train him he does, going the distance with Creed, the best fighter in the world.

    It is also in this first film we see the relationship between Rocky and Adrian develop, as Stallone's character brings her out of her "shy shell" and their love for each other is explored and eventually culminated in their marriage in the sequel; from there on in, Adrian is completely out of her "shell" and Talia Shire's character takes on a totally different edge. As I mentioned, this film is more of a character study and development than a sports-oriented-action-fest as the sequels had become. It's interesting that Rocky Balboa's life comes full circle in this series, beginning in the lower-class neighborhoods of Philadelphia in this series, and ending in the same neighborhood in Rocky V but Im sure this was SOMEWHAT intentional as the series went on, regardless of the different directors. (There are unconfirmed rumors that Stallone is preparing a sixth installment to this series, believe that or not, but there is some kind of legal fallout situation between his camp and the suits at MGM/United Artists.) The ending of Rocky, as the entire series seems to follow, sets up the very beginning of the sequel, with the match between Apollo and Rocky ending the film pretty abruptly --- but just as quickly recapped in the very beginning of the sequel and then continued. It was a pretty brilliant film-into-sequel transition thats missing from many Hollywood products.


    This is PROBABLY the best Rocky will ever look, ESPECIALLY given its age, and although there are some rough spots (some SLIGHT hints of dirt and grain in beginning sequences as well as other very rare spots), it seems like MGM did their homework in attempting to restore and remaster this title as most of the print is clear and clean. Colors appear lively --- most notably the red of the boxing ring ropes which look SHOCKINGLY red on the DVD. But the audio wont make your wife's panties get wet, nor will the quality of the sequels in this set, audio and video wise, and thats where the problem lies for me when MGM proclaims on the rear of this massive box "THE BEST AUDIO EVER!" (which to me does not work as a marketing slogan, but yet suggests that these audio mixes have been reworked for 5.1 use, but which doesnt always sound the case).


    Here is another head scratcher for a DVD reviewer like me.....Universal did the exact same thing with their Airport Terminal Pack: The Franchise Collection box set, which collected all the airline disaster "Airport" films together, where they offered the original Airport in 5.1 DTS audio, yet it did NOTHING for the track.....there was NO surround information and it appeared that EVERYTHING remained in the center channel as a "glorified mono" presentation, with perhaps SOME stereo separation in the fronts. And so the same holds for Rocky in DTS......why? Thats all I kept asking as I watched and listened to this classic first film.....the DTS moniker seems to do nothing for this mix, as it remains totally in the front, confined mostly to the center channel with some occasional nice, rich spread to the main fronts, especially whe the infamous "Gonna Fly Now" theme comes blaring on during Stallone's training sequences. But I detected NO surround usage on this track whatsoever; not even to support crowd noise ambience during the end fight sequence. The track remains up front during the whole run, and, as expected, sounds a tad bit "dated" given its age. There is even some nasty, shrill distortion that chokes out of the center channel if your system is up too high and characters are beginning to yell and scream during the end fight sequence; it required me to "tap off" my volume, bringing it back a notch to edge off this distortion. But it doesnt really help, as the "shrillness" of the speech and audio toward the end seems baked into the mix. The crowd roars during the end fight scene seemed, to my ears, to get, as I said, "shrill" sounding at times and the treble got a bit ear-piercing but not in a pleasant way. I detected no LFE on the track. The mix doesnt really heat up until the end fight scene anyway, as the film up to that point is pretty much all dialogue (and some missed opportunities for surround usage with outdoor environmental scenes).

    So, again, I ask.....why DTS for a title like this, which didnt seem to do anything for this film's soundtrack? As the set goes on, we get exposed to more surround usage in the Rocky films, but they're not of the best quality in terms of dynamic range. But I'll get to that.

    And so two years passed since Rocky Balboa went the distance with Apollo Creed.....and it was time for a sequel from UA/MGM and a rematch. Stallone took the director's chair for Rocky II, as well as the writing duties, and brilliantly picked up the film exactly where the first one left off --- in fact, the first twenty (or less) minutes of the sequel is devoted to re-capping the last round or two of Baloboa's first fight with Creed from the original film. From there, it spirals into Rocky and Apollo (Stallone and Weathers once again) being transported to a hospital, where Creed taunts Balboa in their wheelchairs they are admitted in and challenges him with a rematch fight because he felt he won the match but it was delcared a draw. Balboa wants nothing to do with the rematch, after nearly going blind from the beating he endured from Apollo, and instead concentrates (even though at the very end of the first film as the two fighters collapse against each other as the match is declared a draw Apollo says to Balboa that there wasnt going to be a rematch --- and Rocky says he doesnt want one) on healing and going on to marry Adrian (Talia Shire) and from there on to doing TV commercials. When that doesnt work out because Balboa has trouble reading, he tries to seek employment outside of the boxing ring because he is advised he could go blind if he continues to fight; after buying a house, a car and other luxuries, Adrian and Rocky find themselves tight on money, and now with Adrian pregnant, the situation becomes critical. Rocky finds work through Adrian's brother Paulie (Burt Young) at a local meat packing plant, but after he is fired for "union reasons," Adrian gets her old job back at the pet store in town. But the work is taking its toll on her, and eventually complicates her childbirth; meanwhile, Rocky simply cant be away from the fighting so he asks Mickey (Burgess Meredith) for a job around the old gym. There, he is taunted by other fighters and Mickey himself for laying down to Apollo's continued harassment to try and get him into the ring for a rematch to prove he is a better fighter and that Rocky just went the distance in the first film by absolute pure luck.

    Mickey eventually convinces Balboa to train for the rematch after watching Creed make some horrendous claims to beating Balboa much worse this time around on TV, but when Adrian slips into a coma after her complicated childbirth, Balboa is put in a tailspin and cannot concetrate on training to rematch with Creed. It is not until Adrian comes out of her coma and tells Rocky she wants him to "win" against Creed does Balboa get his stamina back to train.

    What awaits is a bloody hand to hand combat between Rocky and Apollo for a rematch dubbed "Superfight II" and is probably one of the best fictitional boxing matches ever caught on celluloid (sure, there are the Rocky sequels and Raging Bull but something about the final fight sequence in this film when Stallone is absolutely ballooned with bruises and cuts around his face, and the same with Weathers, makes this a harrowing fight to sit through). Balboa's determination just cannot be stopped, as follows in the sequels, and no matter how much Creed delivers, he cannot get Balboa to give up and go down at the end; it comes down to each of them simply going punch for punch on complete blind instinct, as both of their sets of eyes are completely closed and swollen. Of course, this is the part of the series where Balboa takes the championship belt from Creed, and goes on to defend it from here with Creed becoming his trainer and manager in part III. That's a review for another night......


    After owning an original store-bought VHS copy of this title for awhile, I can say this DVD transfer is an improvement over THAT version, yet this is not reference grade video no matter what MGM stamps on this box set regarding their claims of high definition remastering. Colors are soft, the overall look of the video is soft, and there is just the slightest bit of thin grain running throughout most of the presentation. But nothing distracting and leaps beyond VHS incarnations of this title. Again, PROBABLY the best this sequel will look until HD DVD arrives.


    There is more surround activity here than on the first film's DTS mix, but its still a front-heavy affair here. The audio is no doubt slightly more "alive" on the sequel, with sounds of trains, as one example, rushing into the surrounds in a subtle, but noticeable way; the end fight sequence, again, comes alive the most on this Dolby 5.1 track, with the sounds of crowd roars making their route, again in a subtle way, into the surrounds. But as nice of a touch as this was from MGM, it seems like in reworking this film's soundtrack from the VHS version's Dolby Surround track, they used some disliked "gimmicky" surround applications --- such as looped-in crowd noise that seemed a bit out of place compared to the front soundstage of the audio --- like a "gimmicky afterthought". But, having this film in 5.1 surround was nice. There is that same hint of distortion and roughness in the center channel as in the first film when voices get strained or audio gets a bit heated, such as during the fight sequence, with that shrill treble brightness again showing its ugly head, but overall, the mix had a pretty nice power and volume heft to it, which is more than I could say about some MODERN DAY Dolby 5.1 releases --- if more than just a tad bit "treble heavy" with a "shrillness" to the overall sound. Again, no LFE was detected, but the fact that more of the audio made it into the surrounds on this Dolby mix over the first film's DTS track was a pleasant surprise.

    Stay tuned, friends, as I get set to review Rocky III tomorrow.....long live Mr. T!
    Last edited by Lexmark3200; 07-31-2005 at 11:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    Rocky ***1/2 / *****
    Rocky II *** / *****
    Rocky III **1/2 / *****
    Rocky IV *1/2 / *****
    Rocky V * / *****

    Other Boxing Films off the top of my head:

    Cinderella Man **** / *****
    Million Dollar Baby **** / *****
    Raging Bull **** / *****

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    The latest release of Rocky is an example of how studios are now alternately doing the special releases, and then decontenting and/or adding back different content to subsequent rereleases to the point of absurdity. I understand that the video has been cleaned up for all five Rocky movies, but all of the extras from the 2001 Rocky: Special Edition DVD have been eliminated. This includes the two commentary tracks, the three documentary features, and the original monophonic soundtrack. Adding the DTS track to the new release and cleaning up the video make for a pretty crappy trade-off considering everything from the Special Edition that got eliminated in the process.

    IMO, older movies should have the original soundtrack included always -- whether it's mono or two-channel matrixed Dolby Stereo or some other variant multichannel format -- so that purists can experience the movie the way that it was originally presented in theaters. In a lot of ways, the mono soundtrack on Rocky is truer to the original because you don't have pristine sound elements trying to blend in with sounds recorded under more primitive conditions. The 5.1 mix on Rocky cannot and should not sound too overblown and dynamic precisely because it would make the mismatches with the original sound elements even more apparent. You can't insert too much surround activity into the soundtrack because it was originally done with no surround sound whatsoever.

  4. #4
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    Hey Wooch,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the review.....

    "The latest release of Rocky is an example of how studios are now alternately doing the special releases, and then decontenting and/or adding back different content to subsequent rereleases to the point of absurdity. I understand that the video has been cleaned up for all five Rocky movies, but all of the extras from the 2001 Rocky: Special Edition DVD have been eliminated. This includes the two commentary tracks, the three documentary features, and the original monophonic soundtrack. Adding the DTS track to the new release and cleaning up the video make for a pretty crappy trade-off considering everything from the Special Edition that got eliminated in the process. "

    Well, yes, I can agree with that and I see your point; however, I think MGM's ATTEMPT at cleaning these prints and audio stems up should have been delivered on in a more successful result being that the slapped all these announcements of HIGH DEFINITION TRANSFERS! and THE BEST EVER AUDIO! all over the box. But the exclusion of the extras from the Special Edition was dissapointing for diehard fans of the film, yes; I guess MGM figured they needed to cut corners somewhere in order to repackage this remastered set; but why was this necessary in the first place? Was this set THAT publically demanding to the studio? I highly doubt that.

    "IMO, older movies should have the original soundtrack included always -- whether it's mono or two-channel matrixed Dolby Stereo or some other variant multichannel format -- so that purists can experience the movie the way that it was originally presented in theaters."

    I can agree with this, and many studios such as Universal are jumping on this bandwagon such as with the latest JAWS ANNIVERSARY rerelease, which includes the DTS, DOLBY AND ORIGINAL MONO mixes for purists and surround enthusiasts alike.

    "In a lot of ways, the mono soundtrack on Rocky is truer to the original because you don't have pristine sound elements trying to blend in with sounds recorded under more primitive conditions."

    This is true; however, as I noted in the review, this DTS mix on ROCKY simply wasnt active outside of the front soundstage anyway, so it did, in fact, sound like an effective "glorified mono" mix.

    "The 5.1 mix on Rocky cannot and should not sound too overblown and dynamic precisely because it would make the mismatches with the original sound elements even more apparent. You can't insert too much surround activity into the soundtrack because it was originally done with no surround sound whatsoever."

    True and usually agreed by me as a professional reviewer.....BUT, my question is, WHY APPLY DTS DECODING TECHNOLOGY to such a title then when the result is not aurally leaning that way at all? What was the point of REMIXING THIS in 5.1 DTS algorithms if NOTHING is being detected outside of the center or rarely, the front soundstage?

  5. #5
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    I think Rocky 3 is the best one, if only for the last minute when Apollo and Rocky are in the ring and then "Eye of the Tiger" comes on and they start to punch eachother, and it fades to a painting of them punching each other. Also brilliantly done was a parody of this scene in The Family Guy, with Cleveland and Quagmire.(if you dont watch this show, i cannot recommend it enough)
    "Flouridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face."
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  6. #6
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    I'll add the review of ROCKY III to the thread after I view it tonight......

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    Stallone returned to the director's chair for installments III and IV in the series, with each opponent he faced meaner, bigger and stronger than Apollo Creed could ever be; 1982's Rocky III has Stallone's Balboa character living it up since taking the belt away from Apollo Creed (Weathers) and also marked the beginning of the franchise heading in the direction of Rocky facing the bigger, meaner brute of a fighter in the ring --- seemingly impossible enemies to defeat, but with pure stamina and sense of will, he of course overcomes the handicap he has against these fighters and comes out victorious each time.

    And so life has been good to Rocky --- as evidenced in the beginning of part III, with sequences of Balboa defending his title all around the world, doing TV commercials professionally now, appearing on "The Muppet Show" and affording him and Adrian (Talia Shire) the luxuries of a new mansion in which they move Paulie (Burt Young) and Mickey (Burgess Meredith in his last performance in the series) with them. While Balboa is basking in his new success as champion of the world, he is not made aware of the fact that Mickey has been making sure the fighters he has been facing to defend the title have been....well.....not too difficult to beat because his intention was to protect Rocky and keep him somewhat healthy after the beating he took from Apollo in part II......not made aware of that fact until, at a statue presentation in downtown Philadelphia, he and Mickey and Adrian are harassed by a hulking, angry contender who wants to fight Balboa --- Clubber Lang (Mr. T); when Lang crosses the line and begins to taunt Adrian, Rocky agrees to a fight with him anywhere, anytime.....however, returning to their mansion after Mickey ran out on him after the encounter with Lang, Balboa confronts Mickey and tells him he wants to fight Lang----one last fight before he officially retires, but Mickey believes this guy is not just a fighter but a killer, and as he tries to portray to him "You cant win, Rock! He'll knock you into tomorrow......" It is then Mickey admits to Rocky that the fighters he faced before Lang were nothing like him and were more "hand picked" (but he denies that) to "protect" Rocky from real dangerous fighters like Clubber Lang. Balboa convinces Mickey to train him one last time, but of course, Rocky goes into the training a bit too cocky and after Mickey has a heart attack before the match with Clubber, Balboa loses his concentration and stamina and receives a brutal beating from Lang and loses the belt. It is at this point the friendship with ex-enemy Apollo Creed is formed, as Apollo approaches Rocky to offer to train him for a rematch against Lang once Mickey passes away.

    The film then explores Rocky's inability to regain belief in himself as Apollo tries to get him back into shape in his L.A. gym where he first began; no matter what kinds of tactics Apollo uses to try and get him into shape, Rocky doesnt seem to want it anymore; he breaks down in front of Adrian and admits that for the first time in his life, he is afraid --- and this is a major turning point in the character. Now with Adrian and their son growing up (which contains massive plot inconsistencies as the film progresses from III to V and suddenly the son's name has changed; wasnt he supposed to be "Rocky Jr"? Then what is he doing with the name "Robert" in part V?) Rocky doesnt want to lose what he has by swapping punches with Creed.

    Of course, in traditional Rocky style, Balboa gets his second wind again while training with Apollo, and becomes the tough, iron-like "Italian Stallion" again to face Clubber Lang in the final fight scene. Decked out in Apollo's red white and blue trunks, Rocky takes on Clubber and the angry, brutal boxing style he dishes out.....and asks for more, using this tactic to wear Lang down and then unleash all his strength on him; of course, I dont have to tell you who wins at the end of this one, do I?

    One thing I did want to mention in closer observation of this part in the series after multiple viewings over the years, it seems, at the end of the fight with Lang at the end, Rocky's face is nowhere near as bruised and battered than it looked after he fought Apollo in part II.....his face was a massive black and blue spot at the end of that film, but here, against the machine-like Mr T, Stallone's character doesnt look all that beat up for such a horrendous opponent. And all Clubber Lang walked away with after losing the belt back to Rocky was a bloody nose.

    Turning points in this film, as I have highlighted, include Mickey's death and Rocky's friendship development with Apollo, which takes part IV to an emotionally new level.


    This was the first disc in the set to offer a "flipper" choice, of full screen on one side and wide on the other, and this choice will be there for parts IV and V as well. I ran, of course now with a 16X9 screen, the widescreen side of the disc, and must say......the same "so so" quality runs rampant in part III. MGM again claims this was a high def new transfer of this 1982 film, but it just doesnt look all that great.....there is grain and dirt present, as there was in part II, but it seems a tad bit worse in this newer film, believe that or not. MGM may have been working with damaged prints to begin with and did the best they could, but its my job to relate to you exactly what I saw.....and that was a not-so-clean print. Again, I WOULD say though, that this may be the best Rocky III will ever look......I dont want to say "until high definition arrives" because MGM is claiming this is ALREADY a high definition print transfer.......*rolls eyes here*

    One thing I would like to mention: when watching this disc on the FULLSCREEN side the first time I brought the set home and viewed it on my 27" 4:3 TV, there was a digital pixelation freezeup problem during the scene with Mr T harassing Rocky and Adrian and Mickey at the statue; no matter how many times I cleaned the disc or played it in different spots, THAT same scene locked up and broke into digital pixelation, indicating it may have been a defective disc.....I dont know if other pressings are like that, so I wanted to forewarn anyone who may buy this set that there MAY be this problem on the fullscreen side of part III.....but there was NO such problem on the widescreen side.


    The same results here with the audio; this 5.1 mix sounds pretty much like a weak Dolby Surround track if that.....there is again that shrillness to the center channel that gets downright staticky at times, and the overall sound of the mix is treble-heavy and "hollow" with no heft to it until Clubber starts punching Rocky in the face in the final battle sequence, which heats the audio up a bit more. As suspected, the series goes on in the box set, and more surround usage is applied on the Dolby, we can sense more crowd roars and score support for "Eye of the Tiger" but it still sounds oh so dated and forced.....the crowd roars from the rear channels take on that aforementioned "looped" effect, where they sound like they were placed there as a gimmicky 5.1 trick from MGM.....yet as distracting as this sounds, I need to applaud MGM for at least putting SOMETHING into the surround channels on an advertised "Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround" soundtrack. It was nice to revisit Rocky III outside of cable and TV broadcasts and listen to it in surround sound, even if the audio is rather weak and exhibits a shrill, treble-heavy unpleasantness to it.

    Stay tuned friends as I revisit Ivan Drago, the SIBERIAN EXPRESS, in Rocky IV!

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