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Creed - Blu-ray Review

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Creed - Movie Review

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5 stars

After the success of Rocky Balboa (both critically and commercially), if you’d have asked me should the character of Rocky return for yet another installment I would have said “no” and quite emphatically.  In fact, to my friends and family and any stranger who dared listen to me rant, I did say just that.  Stallone’s movie was such a satisfying end to the Rocky narrative that I didn’t think Stallone should dare turn the page or start a new chapter with the character. 

Boy, was I ever wrong.

Yes, dear readers, Creed is THAT exceptionally good.  Writer-director Ryan Coogler reteams with his Fruitvale Station star, Michael B. Jordon, and delivers a spinoff that will knock audiences this holiday season on their ass.  He has proven me and any other person who felt that Rocky was over-and-done completely wrong and I couldn’t be happier about that fact. 

While it could be called Rocky 7, Creed concerns itself with Adonis Johnson (Jordon), the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed.  On the streets at an early age and thrown in one detention center after another, Adonis spends most of his young life with a limited exposure to the outside world.  It is little wonder then, as a grown-up, he finds himself completely rudderless.  He’s got some raw fighting skills but, as he battles for the dough, he often spends his earnings before the amount is even counted. 

It is up to the widowed Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) to steer him in the right direction but even she can only do so much for him.  And so, it is off to Philadelphia to work with the man who knew his father’s skills in the ring the best: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).  It is Rocky – who still minds his restaurant and the grave of his dear, sweet departed Adrian – who needs the most convincing to slip the gloves back on for another round, this time as a supporting player. 

Interestingly enough, Stallone is now the same age as Burgess Meredith was when he reluctantly agreed to train him in the original film and now, thanks to the fabulous script by Coogler, Rocky – almost 30 years later – steps into his shoes.  The mentee is now the mentor and a fabulous relationship between Creed and Rocky emerges.  Some might even suggest that – gasp – it’s heartwarming. 

Time flies but the formula doesn’t change.  For this kind of success, the formula doesn’t have to and, by flexing some serious muscles here, Creed proves just how effective familiarity can be.  With the same music and the same costumes and same feel to the training montages, Creed soars with a strength that is matched only by the solid performances of its players. 

The under-appreciated Jordon is absolutely cut with panther-like poise and seriously nails this character, making him every bit the lovable underdog we never tire of rooting for.  I continue to root for him in his profession.  As Creed, he’s got a serious chip on his shoulder (for good reason) and, when the world learns of his heritage, there’s a wonderfully positioned balance of emotions felt as he deals with managing his detention-oriented youth with his father’s legacy.  It will bring tears to your eyes.   

Stallone, who didn’t write this installment, still LOVES the character and it shows in every scene he is involved in.  Creed is a testament to his engagement with the character that brought him so much fame and fortune and he continues to supply the character with an active voice; a voice that is sorely missing in most franchises when they get this old.  He will surprise you with the depth he goes in exploring this beloved character.  He might be bruised by his quiet life and filled with regret but Stallone never ever lets us forget that Rocky is human. 

Truthfully, NO ONE understands just how risky this move could have been for Stallone if it played out differently.  With complete trust in Coogler, he champions another successful round beside the ring as Rocky Balboa.  Who among us could have predicted this?  Bravo to him and bravo to Coogler, who proves that he – as a director perfectly in tune with his vision and his actors – has what it takes to bring a character out of retirement and introduce another one without soiling a much beloved franchise.

Make no mistake about it; when it comes to winning over the hearts of moviegoers this holiday season, Creed is a definite contender.

Creed - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality.
Runtime:
132 mins
Director
: Ryan Coogler
Writer:
Ryan Coogler
Cast:
Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson
Genre
: Action | Sports
Tagline:
Your legacy is more than a name ...
Memorable Movie Quote: "You're not built for this"
Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site: http://creedthemovie.com/
Release Date:
November 25, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 1, 2016.
Synopsis: Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.

Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer. Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo—the fierce rival who became his closest friend. Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.

With Rocky in his corner, it isn’t long before Adonis gets his own shot at the title... but can he develop not only the drive but also the heart of a true fighter, in time to get into the ring?

Creed - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 1, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps); Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

Warner Bros releases a digitally shot film with a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that nicely captures details and textures. Colors are graded well and so is clarity. Skintones are displayed well with a lot of fine detail being noticeable. The fight scenes are beyond realistic, with blood and cuts and body shots looking and feeling every ounce the weight they carry. Even location shots – all shot with the Arri Alexa camera by cinematographer Maryse Alberti – ripple with nice detail. The sound, presented here in a very robust 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is solid.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Creed’s director, Ryan Coogler, might not have been born when the original Rocky film was released but it matters not.  Creed is the real deal and, yes, Stallone was ROBBED at the Academy Awards this year for his performance as Balboa.  The supplemental items here include 15 min of interviews with Jordan (a fantastic actor) and Coogler, details the yearlong training Jordan faced in becoming Adonis Creed, and a strong collection of deleted scenes, which should have been left in the movie.

  • Know the Past, Own the Future (15 min)
  • Becoming Adonis (6 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (20 min)

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