ROCKY I-IV COLLECTION: The Definitive American Underdog Comes Home in 4K
Following the arrival of Creed III, it’s very fitting to be revisiting the films that launched this franchise into the hall of fame of sports films. Rocky, a film about a struggling amateur boxer who is given the opportunity of a lifetime to fight for the world heavyweight championship. In its simplest form, this is a film about the underdog spirit and the power of perseverance, but over time, these films grew into so much more and cemented their place in the culture. Like the titular Rocky Balboa, the film’s writer and star, Sylvester Stallone also found his way into stardom as an underdog. At the time the script was purchased, Stallone had very little to his name, which is kind of incredible to think about considering the megastar he quickly grew into. Like his character, Stallone beat the odds and brought his little film across the finish line to find Oscar’s glory and massive commercial success. Beating out certified classics like Taxi Driver and Network, Rocky may feel like an unlikely winner in the group, but its victory serves as a testament to the undying spirit of an unlikely champion of the people and the sweeping relatability of a film like this. Rocky isn’t just fighting in the ring; he’s fighting for justice. A character like this one relies largely on his ideals: honesty, integrity, and standing up for the little guy. Whether sharing a drink with the fellas on the corner, stopping in to greet the animals in Adrian’s pet shot, or training for his championship fight, Balboa wears his spirit on his sleeve and inspired an entire generation to do so the same. It would have been pretty easy for a film like this one to fall into the traps of many sports movies that focus on winning. Rocky subverts this expertly by maintaining the focus on finishing, rather than victory. Surviving and proving your worth is everything in these films and this attitude aligned perfectly with the American spirit, making Rocky a national hero and Sylvester Stallone a household name.
Stallone, who went on to participate in several notable projects will likely be most known for his work on this saga due to its massive popularity and the fact that by the end, he essentially embodied the franchise, serving as the director of many of the films as well as the face of the films. In addition to helming the franchise, Stallone also served as the bridge between his films, and the new wildly successful Creed spin-offs, the latest of which is out now in theaters, but before you step into the ring for Creed III, take a trip back to where it all began with this excellent collection.
In Warner Brothers’ latest release, you can catch all of Rocky Balboa’s most iconic bouts in stunning 4K. This set is absolutely jam-packed with special features including multiple commentaries, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and even the extended Director’s Cut of Rocky IV. For the old fans, the films you know and love have never looked better, featuring Ultra HD resolution that will make every bead of sweat pop off the screen. For the uninitiated, there has never been a better time to introduce yourself to one of cinema’s greatest heroes.
Rocky I-IV Collection is available now digitally and on 4K Ultra HD from Warner Brothers wherever movies are sold.