Rocky V (1990)

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Released 18-Jan-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 99:50 (Case: 112)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:36) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John G. Avildsen

Starring Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire
Burt Young
Sage Stallone
Burgess Meredith
Tommy Morrison
Richard Gant
Tony Burton
Jimmy Gambina
Delia Sheppard
Mike Girard Sheehan
Michael Williams
Kevin Connolly
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Bill Conti

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Rocky movies fitted quite happily and logically into a trilogy structure. Thus, Rocky III should have been the conclusion to the series, and Rocky IV (1985) was really pushing it. Rocky V (1990), however, was a completely unnecessary and thoroughly embarrassing end to the series.

    As with the other Rocky films, Sylvester Stallone again provides the script. This time, however, the original Rocky director, John G Avildsen, returns to the helm, in an attempt to re-create the magic of the first film.

    In this overly sentimental and nostalgic tale, with its simplistic and heavy-handed themes of male mentoring and parenting, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) returns from Russia to discover that his fortune has been gambled away by a crooked accountant. Rocky also finds out that he is potentially suffering irreversible brain damage.

    In this riches-to-rags story, Rocky and his wife, Adrian (Talia Shire), and his young son Rocky Jr. (Sage Stallone), return to the mean streets of South Philadelphia. Once there, Adrian gets her job back at the pet store, Paulie (Burt Young) hits the booze again, and Rocky re-opens Mickey's gym.

    Back walking the streets of Philly, Rocky meets Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison), a very hungry fighter, who asks Rocky to train him. Rocky lives vicariously through Gunn, and through Gunn's success, Rocky gains a new lease on life. Unfortunately, however, Rocky Jr. begins to feel a little alienated and unloved, leading to the father-son soap opera sub-plot.

    Things go further awry with the help of a Don King style fight promoter (Richard Gant), who's desperate to goad Rocky back into the ring. The climatic scene is disappointing and unsatisfying, and marks a sad end to the Rocky franchise.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is an improvement over the previous films, but is also very, very grainy.

    The transfer is presented in a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness is generally good throughout. But sadly again, the shadow detail can be poor. For example, consider the shot in the attic at 19:21, or the exterior night shot at 42:05, which both lack shadow detail.

    The colour is a lot better than the previous films, which is probably due to the source material being much more recent.

    There are no problems with MPEG artefacts. As mentioned earlier, once again there is a serious amount of grain present, such as at 14:22.

    There are no problems with film-to-video artefacts, but I did notice some slight telecine wobble during the opening credits. Some small film artefacts are scattered throughout, but they are much smaller and less frequent than the previous films.

    English, English for the Hearing Impaired, German, German for the Hearing Impaired, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Polish, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish, and Hebrew subtitles are present. The English subtitles are accurate.

    This is a Dual Layer disc, with the layer change at 66:36.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are five audio tracks on the DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are fine throughout on the default English audio track.

    Along with the return of the original Rocky director, John G Avildsen, Bill Conti returns as the film's composer. Apart from the now very familiar themes, a few of the songs featured in the original film, such as Take It Back, also reappear.

    The English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio track is surround encoded, and I was very impressed with the surround presence and activity. Indeed, as with the Stereo Surround track on Rocky II, it is far more aggressive and immersive than the 5.1 tracks on Rocky III or Rocky IV. While the surround sound mix is quite front-heavy, the rear speakers are used very effectively to support the score and provide ambience. Good examples of the use of the rears include the noisy press conference at 81:11.

    Despite the lack of a LFE channel, the subwoofer does get a lot of redirected bass, and good examples include when Rocky punches the punching bag at 77:14, or the heavy bass of the hip hop music at 26:06.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Considering this was a re-release, I was expecting more in the way of extras.


    A simple menu.

Theatrical Trailer (1:58)

    The trailer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, with English Dolby Digital Stereo audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Rocky V was previously released on DVD in R1 as part of the Rocky Collection DVD Box Set. In terms of features, that disc was much the same as ours.

   This year, the Rocky Anthology DVD Box Set was released in R1.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    I would favour the R1 box set, but only marginally. According to a few sources, the 5.1 mix isn't that different to the Stereo surround mix.


    Rocky V is the weak ending to an otherwise enjoyable series of films. Rocky V is the best looking and sounding of the Rocky films on DVD, but undeniably the worst of them.

    The video quality is reasonable.

    The audio quality is good, and one of the best stereo surround tracks I have ever heard.

    The extras are limited to one trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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