[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros

rocky, the knockout collection, 4k, reviewRocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV) [4K Ultra HD] amazon-cart-logo

Director(s): John G. Avildsen (Rocky), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky II-IV)

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers

Release Date: February 28, 2023

A Review By: Kevin Lovell

Disc Rating: 6/10


ROCKY (1976)

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards®, this 1976 Best Picture Winner inspired a nation. A struggling Philadelphia club fighter (Sylvester Stallone) gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fight for love, glory and self-respect. Featuring a legendary musical score and thrilling fight sequences, this rousing crowd-pleaser scores a knockout!

ROCKY II (1979)

After club fighter Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) goes the distance with the world heavyweight champion, boxing fans clamor for a rematch. But Rocky, having sustained massive injuries, announces his retirement. Though he tries to make a new life for himself, Rocky realizes that he can’t escape his true calling. The ring beckons once more, and the “Italian Stallion” must prepare for the fight of his life.

ROCKY III (1982)

As Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) fights his way into the hearts of millions, life couldn’t be better. But when Clubber Lang (Mr. T) KOs Rocky in a humiliating defeat, it becomes apparent that the “Italian Stallion” has lost his edge. Considering hanging up his gloves, Rocky receives encouragement from an unlikely ally: his old nemesis, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). With Creed’s help, Rocky strives to regain the “eye of the tiger” before confronting Lang in a grueling rematch!

ROCKY IV (1985)

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) holds the world heavyweight boxing championship but faces a new challenger: Drago (Dolph Lundgren), a 6’4″, 261-pound fighter who has the backing of the Soviet Union. Rocky prepares for a powerfully charged fight, in which he must defend not only himself but the honor of his country!

Also included is Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago. Stallone masterfully reshapes Rocky IV in the ultimate director’s cut!

Please Note: Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.

[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros 1

Get ready to go the distance with the first four iconic ‘Rocky’ films. Join Rocky Balboa as he is given the opportunity of a lifetime with the chance to fight a massive match against current champion Apollo Creed where he strives to simply go the distance in the match of his life. Then, rejoin Rocky as he once again takes on Creed in a rematch for the ages. We then revisit the epic bout between Rocky and the hard-hitting Clubber Lang before accompanying Rocky against the human beast of a fighter Drago in a match that will test Rocky’s limits in every possible way while he additionally tries to confront the loss of his friend at the man’s hand.

[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros 2
Rocky II

The ‘Rocky’ films are iconic to say the least and each (especially the original) are true classics that will surely never be forgotten, not to mention being responsible for kick starting the career of action star (and writer/director) Sylvester Stallone who starred in the title role and wrote the first film which was directed by John G. Avildsen. After the first film Stallone also took over directing duties and served as director, writer and star of the subsequent three films. In Addition to Stallone, the first four films in the series also feature a noteworthy collection of talented stars in supporting roles including Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Mr. T, Dolph Lundgren, Brigitte Nielsen and of course the legendary Burgess Meredith.

The ‘Rocky’ series still holds up remarkably well even more than four decades after the first installment was initially released, still delivering all of the heart, hope and excitement that they did so many years prior and always seeming to make for a rewarding watch regardless of how many times you might have seen them previously. The franchise is still holding strong too, with ‘Creed III’ delivering a winning box-office punch to become the highest grossing opening weekend installment in the series. In short, ‘Rocky’ was always a winner and very much still is, and now fans can revisit the first four films in the series available on 4K Ultra HD at last.

[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros 3
Rocky III

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment brings home the first four ‘Rocky’ films on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever, along with the physical debut of Stallone’s recent recut of the fourth film dubbed ‘Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago – The Ultimate Director’s Cut’ and while it’s great to see at least most of the Rocky films make their physical 4K debut, the release ends up being somewhat of a mixed bag with a few issues that could deter some diehard fans. All four films (and the new Director’s Cut of IV) are presented in Ultra High Definition with Dolby Vision and HDR-10 and they each look pretty spectacular as a whole, with these new UHD video presentations serving as the definite highlight of the release.

The films each also feature 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks and aside from a mistake on the 5.1 presentation of ‘Rocky II’ which is curiously off pitch (slightly lower than usual), the rest sound solid and don’t disappoint. Unfortunately for those who are more interested in the original theatrical soundtracks there are some issues at hand. While I didn’t personally have a chance to watch them all with the various options it has been confirmed that the first Rocky’s original theatrical audio is in fact a multichannel soundtrack folded in, while many foreign soundtrack options on ‘Rocky III’ are apparently also off pitch. If you’re content with the 5.1 soundtracks on each then you should be generally pleased with all but the one, yet if you’re intent on watching with the other soundtrack options utilized, you may want to consider the issue prior to purchasing.

[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros 4
Rocky IV


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Rocky: The Knockout Collection’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10 on all four films (and the Rocky vs. Drago Ultimate Director’s Cut) presented in their original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio (with the exception of Rocky vs. Drago which is presented in 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio). The video presentations are easily the star of this set and they serve up clean, sharp and source faithful presentations that look quite great as a whole without any notable issues or faults to be uncovered along the way. The video presentations for the first four films all look solid and offer noticeable improvement in detail, depth and clarity, while still retaining plenty of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of the source material.

Perhaps the one main issue is a brief segment in the theatrical cut of ‘Rocky IV’ that shifts from the 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio to 1.78:1 beginning around the 10:17 mark and reverting back around the 10:25 mark. The video presentation for ‘Rocky IV: Rocky vs Drago: The Ultimate Director’s Cut’ looks somewhat different from the rest of the presentations primarily due to the new Aspect Ratio as well as the cleaner, more polished picture that resulted from revisiting and remastering the material. The Dolby Vision addition on each also contributes a nice color palette with gorgeous, lifelike colors that are boosted by deep, sharp blacks. Overall, these are very nice Ultra High Definition video presentations for the most part that each hold up quite well and should please the franchise fans.


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for all four films (and the Director’s Cut of IV). The multichannel soundtracks are altogether solid for the most part and aside from an issue with the 5.1 track on ‘Rocky II’ which is oddly set at a lower pitch than it should be, the other multichannel soundtracks hold up quite well and offer clean, crisp and well balanced soundtracks that do their job capably without any notable issues or problems. There have been some other issues with additional soundtracks reported and confirmed since this one first hit stores including the original Theatrical soundtrack for ‘Rocky’ which seems to be a multichannel presentation folded down instead of the legit original offering, and many folks have additionally noted problems with the pitch in the foreign soundtrack options for ‘Rocky III’. Fortunately, if you are perfectly content to view each film with the 5.1 track selected (which is also what the discs will automatically play if not manually selected) everything aside from the pitch issue on II holds up nicely. Overall, these soundtracks are a mixed bag and while most of the 5.1 options deliver nicely, some dedicated fans might be understandably hesitant to purchase this collection until these errors are addressed, while most casual fans on the other hand should be mostly content.


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Rocky: The Knockout Collection’ includes a few nice extras, all of which have been previously released in one manner or another. The majority of the extras can be found on the Blu-ray Bonus disc, while the 4K UHD disc of ‘Rocky’ also includes 3 Audio Commentary tracks including an ‘Audio Commentary with Avildsen, Winkler & Chartoff, Talia Shire and Burt Young’, along with a second ‘Audio Commentary with Sylvester Stallone’ and a third ‘Audio Commentary with Lou Duva and boxing commentator Bert Sugar’.

The Blu-ray Bonus Disc is where you’ll find all of the other extras including some of the extras from the previous ‘Rocky’ Blu-ray release, although many features from that such as the multi-part documentary are not included here. Included on the disc are ‘8MM Home Movies of Rocky with Commentary by Director John G. Avildsen and Pre-production Supervisor Lloyd Kaufman’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length), along with ‘3 Rounds with Lou Duva’ (running approximately 4 minutes), ‘Steadicam: Then and Now with Garrett Brown’ (approximately 17 minutes), ‘Make-Up! The Art and Form with Michael Westmore’ (15 minutes), ‘Staccato: A Composer’s Notebook with Bill Conti’ (11 minutes), plus ‘The Ring of Truth’ (9 minutes), ‘A Tribute to Burgess Meredith’ (8 minutes) and ‘Stallone Meets Rocky’ (3 minutes). Also included is ‘The Making of Rocky vs. Drago: Keep Punching’ (58 minutes) which is listed as an Extended Behind the Scenes Documentary yet is somehow curiously 35 minutes shorter than the version available to watch on YouTube. The release also includes ‘Trailers’ for all four films and the new cut of IV (approximately 14 minutes altogether).

[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros 5
[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros 6
Rocky II
[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros 7
Rocky III
[4K Ultra HD Review] Rocky: The Knockout Collection (Rocky I-IV); Now Available From MGM – Warner Bros 8
Rocky IV

*Please note that the above images are taken from previously released Blu-Ray discs and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD discs themselves and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray releases are the property of their respective owners.

Disc Rating: 6/10

‘Rocky: The Knockout Collection’ (Rocky I-IV) is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD from MGM & Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment

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