Under the Radar

'Rocky' Gets Upgraded in the 'Heavyweight Collection'

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Rocky: Heavyweight Collection is out now on Blu-ray and this edition aims to correct the fatal flaw in the previous Rocky: The Undisputed Collection box set. This new collection features a massively upgraded disc for the 1976 Oscar Best Picture-winning original Rocky movie. This 4K transfer is absolutely one of the very best transfers of a '70s movies to date, bringing a lot of clarity to the image while maintaining the grit of its low-budget origins.

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The new transfer takes all the features from the Undisputed Collection's bonus disk and includes them on the Rocky disk, adding in a couple of commentary tracks that appeared on earlier DVD versions.

Rocky gets a lot of grief because it beat out some amazing movies for the Oscar: Taxi Driver, All the President's Men and Network (also nominated: Bound for Glory). And yet, Rocky holds up remarkably well almost forty years later. It's also the only Best Picture winner to spawn one of Hollywood's most successful franchises.

The Heavyweight Collection includes all six Rocky movies, including the 2006 series capper Rocky Balboa. All of the other movies include the same versions that came in the earlier box set. A lot of kids who grew up in the '80s will tell you that Rocky's original opponent Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers) is nothing compared to Rocky III's Clubber Lang (Mr. T) or Rocky IV's Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). III & IV were over-the-top event movies that were far removed from the real life that informed the original. They're still a lot of fun. Rocky V is a disaster, but Rocky Balboa is much better and a nice sendoff for the character.

You can get the Heavyweight Collection for around $40 online (it lists for $59.99). For now, it's the only way to get the remastered Rocky disk and all the other movies are out of print as well. This is a great buy if you grew up on the Rocky movies and haven't bought them before. Even if you're not a fan of the later movies, keep an eye out for the eventual reissue of Rocky as a single disc.

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