Before now, there was one "great" "Rocky" film, the original. "ROCKY 3" was somewhat entertaining, though silly and not in the same level of class as the original. All the rest were absolutely trash! However, "ROCKY BALBOA" is close to great! No, it's still not up there with the original, but it has the same kind of heart missing in the rest. There's also more at stake for Stallone here, behind the camera as well as in front of it and he's done well here. For Stallone to make a "comeback" with his most known role in the hopes of being taken seriously, means a lot of risk. After one crappy "ROCKY" film following another, he's finally done it right! "ROCKY BALBOA" succeeds due to its smaller hopes as well as its main character's smaller aspirations as well. Talia Shire's not around now, her character is dead, he's got a son. The son is generally annoying and whinny, but, in one of the film's truly great moments, Rocky gives his son some necessary tough love, and the well written speech sinks deep into the audience as it's obviously heartfelt and Stallone's own feelings about his life, career and more. It's one of many touching moments. SEE THIS FILM!
SONY has provided a 1080p/MPEG-4 transfer with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The image never pops off the screen like the best SONY blu-rays do, but it's generally impressive. The intentional gritty look means grain, and there's more of it than we'd have liked although it's on par with the theatrical presentation. Colors are processed to such extremes that colors veer from realism in different scenes as well.
SONY has provided a PCM 5.1 mix. While "ROCKY BALBOA" is a surprisingly dialogue-heavy film, there's an abundance of ambient effects, making the city come to life in scene after scene. However, it's during the fight scenes in which the mix becomes most aggressive and most exciting! "ROCKY BALBOA" offers one of the most entertaining mixes to come out in some time.
Most of the extras from the dvd have been carried over, only now they're in 1080i!!! The audio commentary with Stallone is outstanding! The deleted scenes are intriguing and while the alternate ending drags the film too much, it's still worth examining.