The Champ is Here
Continuing the Rocky legacy, Creed proves to be an essential addition to the series, elevating Michael B. Jordan as a believable underdog protege while continuing Balboa’s own story. Fitted with enough drama and turns, Creed reconnects audiences to an old friend while pushing them into a new era. Performances are Oscar-caliber all around.
The first Rocky movie (sort of) to be shot digitally doesn’t go easily. A grain filter has been added over the image, which on occasion has the ability to blot out a touch of fine detail. Minor, but still, there is impact.
Warner’s encode is generally pleasing, holding out to render shots cleanly. Close-ups are consistent and rich in definition. High frequency details are firm and clear. Some of the cuts and swelling during the closing championship fight are not pleasant to see in a good way.
Creed is visually refreshing, keeping excessive digital color grading away from the images. Natural saturation covers the entire film. No scenes fall into a trap of blues or orange. Flesh tones stay accurate and primaries remain bold.
If there is any loss, the shadows lack density. Contrast diminishes during scenes where darkness falls on the cast. Exteriors are (generally) better than interiors. Gray tends to be a prominent feature in the latter. It’s not enough to dampen the disc’s visual space.
There are numerous superb qualities to Creed’s audio. Crowds shout specific taunts out of specific channels during fights. The enveloping effect of arenas is intact. Inside gyms, other boxers hit bags and trainers bark orders. Philly has plenty of ambiance to offer.
Key to the DTS-HD 7.1 mix is a single shot fight wherein the camera swivels around. In theaters, Rocky’s corner calls were prominent in the surrounds. At home, the effect is diminished. Positioning dries up, a mix which is a little too near. Still, other sounds pop up in the stereos. Rears are a little less focused. Those needing some LFE will have to wait. Other than some dramatic scoring, it isn’t until the end when the sub cranks up for the punches and ambient music.
Know the Past, Own the Future runs 14:49. This featurette tells a fine story on how the film came out and was executed. Becoming Adonis discusses Michael B. Jordan’s character growth for six minutes, with deleted scenes following and clocking in near 20 minutes. A commentary from Coogler – he’s the one who pushed for the film – would have been appreciated.
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Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.