The Rocky Anthology—MGM
Despite some unfortunate '70s style curses, Rocky is a simply timeless tale of the American spirit, and the start of something big: The second installment is a little heavier-handed but still wildly satisfying. The rest become more cartoonish—the Cold War–themed IV is almost laughable now—until the franchise flamed out with V.
These are the best-ever presentations of the entire quintet, all 1.85:1 anamorphic with spiffy high-definition remasters. The image is basically clean, save for a digital haze in shadowy or smoky areas of the frame, which are fairly common. Reds and blacks are especially strong. All carry Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks and, a rarity for MGM, Rocky is given a DTS track. I wish I could say that the 1976 landmark has been remixed to stand toe-to-toe with today's best blockbusters, but rear-channel use is timid, although fidelity is solid. Rocky is the only movie in this set with its theatrical mix also included, in this case, mono. The original and the first sequel are configured single-sided, dual-layered, while III, IV, and V are dual-sided, single-layered, with full-frame versions on the flipside.
All of the bonus materials from the previous edition have been dropped. Only the five trailers remain, the sole "new" extra here being A&E's Biography of star/writer/sometimes-director Sylvester Stallone, in a plain cardboard sleeve. My biggest gripe though: still no direct chapter access to the "Gonna Fly Now" training sequence!