Amazon’s Gold Box of the Day is Rocky: The Undisputed Collection (Rocky / Rocky II / Rocky III / Rocky IV / Rocky V / Rocky Balboa) [Blu-ray] for only $19.49 (was $69.99) and this item ships free with Amazon Prime or a $25 order.
Review for Rocky:
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 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 has been handled with such vitality and emotional honesty that you can’t help but leap and cheer for Rocky Balboa, the chump turned champ (despite his valiant defeat in the ring) who stuns the boxing world with the support of his timid girlfriend, Adrian (Talia Shire), and grizzled trainer, Mickey (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
Review for Rocky II:
Beginning precisely where Rocky left off, the surprisingly effective 1979 sequel takes the saga of Rocky Balboa to its logical next step, as the palooka turned public idol and media darling returns to his “normal” life in Philadelphia with his newlywed bride Adrian (Talia Shire) and some degree of material comfort. He needs to find a job, but boxing champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is challenging Rocky to a lucrative rematch, and despite his doctor’s warning against future boxing, Rocky can’t resist. Defying the odds that most sequels can’t live up to their originals, Rocky II doesn’t pack all the punch that Rocky did, but it takes us further into the lives of its now-familiar and beloved characters, and Stallone (as director and star) gives us another rousing finale in the ring. Do you really need to know who wins? —Jeff Shannon
Review for Rocky III:
Rocky III: The third installment in the Rocky saga is the last one to matter, and in this case only marginally. The now rich and famous Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) triumphantly pummels a succession of boxing challengers until he encounters Clubber Lang (Mr. T), a human wall of brick who wants a piece of Rocky’s action. The Rock’s loyal trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) has taken ill and dies, so Rocky recruits retired opponent Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) to whip him into fighting shape after his embarrassing defeat to Clubber. Time for another rematch, mixed in with some family matters involving Rocky’s brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young), who’s feeling neglected amid all the hoopla. Not bad as sequels go, boosted by Mr. T.’s taunting presence and yet another rousing finale. For those with a bad case of ’80s nostalgia, the hit theme song “Eye of the Tiger” is sure to bring back memories. —Jeff Shannon
Review for Rocky IV:
It was time for Sylvester Stallone to say “enough, already” to the boxing hero he plays in the popular Rocky film series, but instead Stallone kept the saga going by pushing Rocky into Rambo territory. The 1985 Rocky IV finds the Italian stallion pitted against a seemingly unbeatable Russian monster named Drago (Dolph Lundgren) who lets his wife (Stallone’s then-wife, Brigitte Nielsen) do all the talking. With a mighty punch, Drago has sent Rocky’s former opponent and trainer Apollo Creed to an early grave, and the boxer responds with the ultimate challenge. Even the Russians are rooting for Rocky, so it’s not hard to guess how the film ends. Despite Stallone’s claims to the contrary, this installment was followed by Rocky V in 1990. —Jeff Shannon
Review for Rocky Balboa:
The sixth installment of the Rocky series picks up the story of the Italian Stallion 16 years after the morose Rocky V. And sure, at his advanced age, Sylvester Stallone now looks like one of those sides of beef his character used to pound on. No matter. Somehow you buy the premise after all these years, even if it takes forever for Rocky Balboa to stop wallowing in self-pity (Adrian is dead, his old haunts are demolished) and get down to the business of drinking raw eggs and running up staircases. The business at hand is an unlikely exhibition fight with champion Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver), which the near-sexagenarian Mr. Balboa has no business accepting. Of course, just as sure as the horns of Bill Conti’s theme music are even now trumpeting through your head, the ol’ Rock might have a punch or two left in him. Stallone wrote and directed, and there isn’t much to say except that the movie steps in its pre-determined paces with a canny sense of what has come before (it’s practically an homage to all the previous Rocky pictures, complete with fleeting flashbacks). Burt Young is around again, and Geraldine Hughes makes an appealing, rather chaste female companion for Rocky. Stallone’s Rocky has gotten suspiciously articulate over the years, but he still knows how to slouch. If Stallone never forgets that, he can probably keep the franchise rolling. —Robert Horton
My dad would love this I think I need to update his collection to BluRay!
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