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It’s difficult to imagine a Rocky reset keeping the legacy together better than Creed. As with the best films in this series, Creed doesn’t rely on only overcoming an opponent – in this case a brash champion, Ricky Conlan – but personal demons. Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) seeks stability in his life, and a means to establish himself from his father’s legacy. Then there’s Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), battling the demons of age, and finding a cause to keep going. Creed is outright perfect.
There’s a soft grain structure laid over Creed. That’s an entirely digital addition since cinematography came from the Arri Alexa. That’s fine, but the entire image is lacking in definition. That artificial grain looks like it’s from a lesser master, and best guess is that little was done in bringing Creed to 4K.
Between the Blu-ray and UHD, differences hardly stand out. A smidgen more detail in close, better defining elements in long shots of stadiums; things like that. Otherwise, unless side-by-side, picking those upgrades out is unlikely to happen.
To be clear, Creed’s image maintains stability. Consistency is high. There’s nothing inherently wrong other than softness, as if this were a 1080p master rather than upscaled from the 2K-derived source. Natural color keeps great flesh tones and Philly’s gray downtown skyline. When Creed pulls out his father’s boxing shorts, the Americana beams from the fabric. That’s kick the Blu-ray didn’t have.
The HDR naturally lends Creed better density. Black levels produce far better shadow delineation. Lights stand out, really intense when showing the stadium scenes from afar; all the camera phones sizzle. Overall contrast hits as it needs to.
No changes here. The DTS-HD 7.1 mix from the Blu-ray ports over intact. It’s a mix strong on ambiance, livening up city streets and echoing around gym interiors. During fights, corner calls literally come from the soundfield’s corners. Additional surrounds fill in space from large crowds, and even the smaller ones down south when Adonis starts his career.
Creed doesn’t exaggerate punches short of a few for slow-mo, dramatic effect. That means the LFE handles a busy, heavy soundtrack. It’s spectacular. When Creed walks down the aisle toward the climatic fight, his intro music throbs with full force. There’s an energy being driven by the low-end, critical in putting the character in a specific place.
Warner includes the original Blu-ray release and the same bonus features. Nothing new. Know the Past, Own the Future runs 14:49. This featurette tells a fine story on how the film came to be and was produced. 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.
A perfect reset of one of cinema’s best franchises, Creed’s outstanding ability to tell a personal, heartfelt story is as grand as its boxing aptitude.
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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our Patreon-exclusive set of 50 full 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: