(aka 'Rocky VI' or 'Rocky VI: Puncher's Chance')
Sixteen years after ‘Rocky
V’ comes a sequel few can seriously have been anticipating, as
writer-director-star Stallone comes off the ropes for one last arthritic
combination. Given that he hit 60 last year, the whole thing’s hardly plausible,
but Stallone does manage to engineer a confrontation with a tiny grain of
credibility. Crowds are booing the latest undefeated heavyweight champ because
he’s never faced a serious contender, and when a TV sports programme comes up
with a computer simulation suggesting that he’d lose to the Rocky Balboa of old,
a charity exhibition bout is soon being talked up. It’ll give the title-holder
some good PR, and for widower Rocky, scuffing around a Philadelphia he barely
recognises, it’s a chance to regain his self-respect. ‘I still got sump’n
left,’ he says, ‘In duh basement…’
Of course, the real story here is whether by sheer act of will, Sly can muscle back in on the box-office action he once took for granted, and although it’s hard to resist the feeling that you’re being gypped to salve his mid-life crisis, the big lug’s still an inexplicably likeable screen presence.
Theatrical Release: December 20th, 2006
DVD Review: Sony - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.12 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Subtitles||English, French, Spanish, None|
by director Stallone
Even in modern film transfers Sony are usually a notch behind their competitors but this anamorphic, dual-layered and progressive DVD has a strong visual representation. The film has an intended dark appearance at times and I see no digital manipulation to offset that or any prevailing artifacts produced by the rendering.
There is a healthy 5.1 track that has its moments with separated crowd noise and bombastic haymaker punches. Subtitles are Sony's usual choice of annoyingly bright yellow.
Supplements include a very good commentary by Stallone. He is such an easy target but is actually an articulate and intelligent man and his insights into the details of production are very much worth listening to. There are 7 deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a blooper reel and three featurettes. Sums up to being about 50 minutes worth of extras. The commentary, even with a few gaps, is by far the best of them all.
Say what you will about Stallone - he captured some spark with the original Rocky and this, hopefully, final entry is as close as the series has come ever since. Strengths are the moody shots and restrained dialogue supported with impassioned speeches - and weaknesses are, as always, the boxing choreography and the absurdity of the plot. Still, I give the man credit - he doesn't appear to be afraid of work and although there are obvious limitations - he isn't deterred. There is some of Rocky Baloboa's character in that as well. Kind of a 'to succeed at anything you have to try first' attitude and I also applaud that. Anyone buying this will get exactly what they think they will.