Rocky - single disc WIDESCREEN Genres:Drama, Kids & Family The only remaining evidence that Sylvester Stallone might have had a respectable career, this 1976 Oscar® winner (for Best Picture, Director, and Editing) is still the quintessential ode to an underdog and one of the best ... more »boxing movies ever made. After writing the script about a two-bit boxer who gets a "million-to-one shot" against the world heavyweight champion, Stallone insisted that he star in the title role, and his equally unknown status helped to catapult him (and this rousing film) to overnight success. The story is familiar, but it's handled with such vitality and emotional honesty that you can't help but leap and cheer for Rocky Balboa, the chump-turned-champ who stuns the boxing world with the support of his timid girlfriend Adrian (Talia Shire) and grizzled trainer Gus (Burgess Meredith). Oscar nominations went to all the lead actors (including Burt Young as Adrian's hot-tempered brother), but four sequels could never top the universal appeal of this low-budget crowd pleaser. --Jeff Shannon« less
"Hello Folks, I want to thank MGM for this release....they really got it right! first off... all the excellent bonus features from the 25th Anniversary edition.. the 30 minute on camera commentary by Stallone, the tributes to Burgess Meredith, the cinematographer James Crabbe and Bill Conti..ALL made it to this edition...which means you don't have to hold onto older inferior editions to have all the bonus features...and this IS a big deal. Too many recent DVD editions of movies lose old features which make keeping mutliple copies essential and that stinks. The extra features are really too many to list...multiple commentaries..and the Stallone alone is worth the update...its truly like watching the movie with him in the room...WOW! all the past trailers...the appearance on the Dinah Shore show..featurettes...this is a NO BRAINER for fans of the movie.
The three part "making of" which runs about an hour and half and features the main players is extraordinary in its revelations about the movie and the craft of making movies and WHY this was a million to one chance and WHY their lack of budget actually helped in many ways. The twenty minute documentary on the Steadicam and its inventor ...who filmed his demo on the art museum steps before heading to Hollywood....its just proof that all the planets lined up for this one! For those out there bitching about the upgraded releases of DVDs...don't buy em...for those of us who love the movies...these higher quality releases are very welcome. I picked this 2 disc set up for $15 at Target...and there are hours of features...WHAT A DEAL!
If you love the movie...get this version. if you don't care about bonus features...stick with your old copy."
ROCKY - 1080P glory with none of the extras...
Sean Devereaux | Los Angeles, CA | 12/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the only films in my top ten list that seems to get better every time I see it. Rocky Balboa is one of the most charming down on his luck loser's the cinema has ever seen. The film sweeps a range of emotions from hope where it was all but gone to chill you to the bone despair. A film of loneliness, surrender and ultimately redemption. Just re-watched the scene where Mickey comes to ask Rocky if he can manage him. The fear in the sub-text and in Rocky's eyes is so tragic and beautiful. I still get caught up in it after dozens of viewings. Just amazing.
Movie 5.0 out 5.0 stars
The picture quality is stellar, grainy and wonderful. There are some inconsistencies in the shadows during the fight and of course a large color shift when they cut to stock footage of the audience, but most if not all of these artifacts are probably from the original release. The sound is tinny here and there and over modulates once in a while, again I think this probably due to the original sound track being 30 years old but it is distracting on occasion.
The biggest disappointment is the lack of extras. MGM simultaneously released a collector's edition 2 disc DVD of ROCKY with commentary from Stallone and hours of behind the scenes and documentaries on the film. Unfortunately none of these are on the Blu-ray edition. The only extra is the original theatrical trailer. Quite a disappointment and although the picture is great, I would have opted for the DVD if I knew ahead of time. A 30 year old film is technically sub-par to what we see today and seeing it on a DVD vs. a Blu-ray Disc is probably not a hugely dramatic difference. I suggest saving a few bucks and getting a lot more with the 2 Disc DVD.
Blu-ray score, due to lack of available extras: 3.0 out of 5.0"
"He doesn't know it's a show. He thinks it's a fight."
K. Hinton | Atlanta, GA | 12/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rocky Balboa is a local guy who is just going through life making ends meet. He boxes at underground clubs for extra cash. He breaks legs for a local bookie on the side. He trains at a gym, but only does so halfheartedly--to the point where the owner of the gym gives his locker away because of his lack of focus. He has a crush on his best friend's sister, a girl named Adrianne who works at a pet shop. All in all, Rocky is just another guy trying to make it in 1975 Philadelphia.
When the heavyweight champion of the world, Apollo Creed, has problems finding someone to fight at a holiday spectacle he's planning on New Year's Day, he decides to give a local guy a shot at the title. He chooses Rocky not for his skill, but because he's known as the Italian Stallion. Apollo thinks beating this hometown boy will let people know that he is the American Dream.
Rocky is the quintessential American hero. This is the greatest underdog sports movie and the one that paved the way for all the ones to follow. This rerelease in a two-disc collector's edition is long overdue. Some have problems because the film has been released so times, but with Rocky Balboa hitting theaters this winter it was pretty much a given that they would rerelease this film.
The extras: About the best thing in this collector's edition (in my opinion) is the inclusion of three sets of audio commentaries. The one with Sylvester Stallone is, in itself, worth the $20 price tag. Since Stallone wrote the movie as well as starred in it, he has some interesting perspectives and his reflection on the project 30 years later will be a big draw for longtime fans of the film. The "making of" featurette on the second disc is lengthy, so be prepared for all the info it contains. It comes in three parts and I watched them separately since they contain over an hour's worth of extra info. Finally, the booklet that comes with this set is an excerpt from an upcoming book called Rocky: The Ultimate Guide.
I would definitely recommend this DVD set for fans of the movie, and anyone who loves underdog sports movies. Rocky's whole life was a million-to-one shot and watching this movie will be uplifting and inspirational for anyone who has ever been down on their luck."
Movie of the Year in 1976 - The Best of the Rocky Movies
James Koenig | Minnesota | 01/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The original "Rocky", released in 1976, is without a doubt the best of the series of six Rocky movies. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1976, and fully lives up to its billing.
Sylvester Stallone wrote the script to this inspiring movie based on the Muhummad Ali - Chuck Wepner fight in 1975, where the unknown and out-matched Wepner dropped Ali, and then went 15 rounds with the Champ. Instead of seeing another boring boxing mismatch as most reporters and fight-fans did, Stallone was instead inspired by the doggged determination of Wepner, the knockdown of Ali, and Wepner's 15 rounds of fame. After seeing the fight in person (he was working security in the sports arena), Stallone holed himself up in his apartment and feverishly wrote the script to "Rocky". Many rerwrites later, Stallone presented the script to a production company and they liked it so much, they offered Stallone up to $330,000 dollars for the script. But there was one catch, Stallone wanted to star as "Rocky" in the film. Not wanting to chance the production on an unknown like Stallone, MGM had its eyes on Ryan O'Neal or Burt Reynolds as the star. Despite being financially impoverished, Stallone so believed that this was his one and only shot at getting into the movie business, he turned down the money. MGM liked the script too much to let it go, so they reluctantly accepted Stallone's terms, and work began on the low-budget movie.
Although inspired by Chuck Wepner, Stallone's Rocky was not based on Wepner's personality or life. Rocky is a rough, tough, street-wise character who works for a loan shark breaking people's thumbs when they don't pay up on time. Yet beneath that rough rocky exterior exists a soft-hearted gem-of-a-man just waiting to be discovered and inspired. Rocky finds his inspiration in his sweet, innocent, and pure love for his girlfriend Adrian (Talia Shire), and also in his trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith).
You all know the plot, the amateurish Philadelphia club fighter, Rocky Balboa, gets picked by chance to fight the reigning heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed. Creed is clearly a Muhummad Ali character, played to absolute perfection by another unknown - Carl Weathers. Rocky knows he has no chance to win as he is clearly outmatched ability-wise. Instead, he sets as his goal "to go the distance" (15 rounds), for no one has ever gone the distance with Creed. If he can survive 15 brutal rounds with Creed, then Rocky won't be "just another bum from the neighborhood".
The musical score by Bill Conti is tremendous. The score matches the emotional tone of the movie perfectly. It will have you hurting with every step as Rocky starts his training run at 4 AM, cheering with raised goosebumps during the training scenes with Mickey, and will have you on the edge of your seat with anticipation during the fight with Creed. (You will want to own this soundtrack!)
The casting is perfect. Stallone makes the perfect Rocky Balboa, Shire is wonderful as shy Adrian, who goes through a visual and esteem transformation throughout the movie, and Meredith is the hard-nosed Mick, who transforms the rock of a fighter into a polished gem. Rounding out the cast is Weathers, who is a fantastic "Ali", and Burt Young, who poses perfectly as Adrian's troubled and emotionally abusive brother Paulie.
Don't think of this film as a boxing movie; it is so much more than that. It's a tender love story, a story of a man finding purpose and meaning to his life, and it's an inspiration to all of us who have ever aspired to be more than we can be.
Rocky is a 5-star Academy Award winning movie, and if by chance you have not seen it yet, it is a must-see. If you watched it long ago, it is so good, it is worth another look. I guarantee you will be inspired, excited, and thoroughly thrilled with "Rocky". The movie was a million-to-one shot in 1976, and no one, including MGM, thought they were producing a classic. How wonderful to know that miracles still happen.
Jim "Konedog" Koenig
p.s. Great trivia question for the Rocky fan in your life: What is Mickey's last name??? (Goldmill)."
Inspiring as Rocky Tries to Go the Distance
A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com | Glen Ellyn, IL USA | 12/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rocky Balboa, now an icon of American culture, began his story here. Apollo Creed, a fighter with the class and style of Muhammad Ali, needs a boxer in the heavyweight championships when his opponent breaks his hand. He chooses Rocky, an unknown fighter with a marketable nickname, "The Italian Stallion."
Rocky is just a decent boxer from Philly who could have achieved something if he had more drive. He lives a futile life of discouragement, surviving on hard work and honor. He's a collection agent for a loan shark, and tries, even then, to treat his clients right, giving them the chance to pay up.
When Creed makes his offer to Rocky, Rocky realizes this is his door to freedom, to all he has dreamed of reaching. Creed, though, is the best, and Rocky knows it. He trains hard, but can't forget how good Creed is. His goal isn't to win; that seems unachievable. It is to go the distance, to last through every round. No one ever lasted that long with Creed.
Subplots that help provide depth are his love interest with Adrian, perfectly played by Talia Shire, and Paulie's (Adrian's brother) temper and sense of feeling disenfranchised. Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer, Mickey, is a stereotypically sour old man who talks in rough phrases from one side of his mouth who sees Rocky as the embodiment of his own failed dreams.
Rocky's relationship with Adrian is classy. He is a gentleman, albeit simple, and even slept on the couch when Adrian stayed at his place. That kind of class is refreshing to see.
Meredith, perhaps best known until this as the Penguin on the 1960s' Batman TV series, is a great compliment to Sylvester Stallone's Rocky, bringing a father-like wisdom and care to their relationship.
Stallone's own comment on Rocky says it is, "All about: pride, reputation, and not being another bum in the neighborhood." I saw it as an American dream. He worked hard, had a dose of luck, and when it mattered, was all heart.
The music is as strong as the movie. High school bands played the "Rocky Theme" by Bill Conti for many years. Watching Rocky's workouts, especially the running and pushup scenes, is inspiring. Mixed with the music, you might catch yourself suiting up and hitting the streets for a few miles after the final credits roll.