|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.33:1, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono|
|Year Released||1978||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||114:16 Minutes||Other Extras||None|
|Region||4||Director||John G. Avildsen|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Meanwhile, world heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is in a bit of a bind because the opponent he was about to fight had to cancel due to injury. Naturally, he is not happy at the prospect of having to postpone the match, and none of the high-ranked boxers he seeks to replace that opponent with are available. His manager is unable to come up with any ideas on how to fill the void, so Apollo comes up with the idea of granting a low-ranked boxer a shot at the title. Soon, a match is arranged between Balboa and Creed, and the film goes through the different paths the two follow up until their heavily publicized bout. To tell you much more about the film would spoil it for you if you haven't seen the film already, but suffice it to say that this film is definitely worthy of the two hours you'll spend watching it.
The colour saturation of this film is very muted and dull, but this is reflective of the way in which the film was shot, as well as the way colours were balanced in films with real-life subject matter during the late 1970s. MPEG artefacts did not appear at any point in the transfer. Film-to-video artefacts picked up the slack, big-time, with every possible culprit you can think of adding some shimmer to the image. Fence posts, alarm clocks, car chrome, illuminated signposts, all of them shimmered whenever the camera moved, and almost as often when it didn't. While this transfer is nowhere near as bad as films like The Thing for showing some aliasing when you least wanted it, there is enough of it to make for a less-than-optimal viewing experience. Some telecine wobble becomes apparent at 69:45, with the entire picture shaking up and down as if the camera were being operated by a crack-addled duck. Finally, film artefacts are also a significant problem with this transfer, with all sorts of black and white marks showing up in the picture every so often, and the occasional scratch on the negative for good measure.
The score music in this film is mostly provided by Bill Conti, and it is a surprisingly moving effort for a film that is basically about the lead-up to a boxing match. In addition to the powerful Rocky theme, some whimsical and reflective themes are used to convey the emotion of a particular moment in the film. Although these pieces of music don't have a great deal of impact overall, the overall film score is very appropriate for the general theme of the film. It is easy to see why the Rocky theme is listed as one of the ten most recognizable pieces of film scoring ever committed to the big screen.
As I mentioned, the surround presence is somewhat limited by the source material, with the rears only being called upon to support such ambient sounds as the spectators, and of course the music. When they were used, the rears were well integrated into the soundtrack, giving such moment as the title fight a somewhat immersive and life-like quality that they probably never have had before. It succeeded amply in drawing me into the film in a way that no other presentation of this film has ever done. The subwoofer was occasionally used to put some bottom end on some sequences, but it had very little to do due to the limitations of the source material.
The video quality could have done with a back-to-the-source remastering, but it is streets ahead of any VHS presentation.
The audio quality carries its limitations from the original source material, but it is still quite good considering that factor.
A poorly-preserved theatrical trailer keeps this DVD streets ahead of most Warner Brothers releases for extras.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Sharp CP-303A Back Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|