CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 25 Feb 2019, 01:07

Standard Blu-ray review + screenshots
https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Creed-II ... 64/#Review

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Warner Bros. presents Creed II in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and as a separate 4K UHD edition. The former serves up a solid A/V presentation with near reference-quality audio and a handful of short but enjoyable bonus features. Although my slight reservations about the film itself keep it from receiving a higher recommendation, this is a fairly well-rounded package that established fans will enjoy and newcomers should definitely look into.

Video Quality 4.0 of 5

Much like the first movie in this series, Creed II was shot on an ARRI Alexa Mini and ARRI Alexa XT with an output resolution of 2.88K (2880 x 1620) and, on this Blu-ray disc, was scaled down to 1080p.
Also like the original, Creed II favors slice-of-life drama over non-stop visual excitement and Warner Bros.' transfer, framed at the film's approximate original aspect ratio of 2.40:1, handles both sides well enough. Wide outdoor shots and brightly-lit arenas obviously fare the best, with strong levels of texture and detail that showcase the solid cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau. There's also a lot of low indoor lighting on display here: plush hotel rooms, Rocky's modest home and cozy restaurant, Bianca's concert at The Fillmore, a nighttime visit to Max's Steaks, the Delphi Gym, Mary Anne's palatial estate, and other locales. These all vary in mood and, by design, range from tastefully warm and inviting to, well, boring and ordinary. Other scenes venture into even less dazzling territory, including a nighttime chat outside Rocky's home -- under a forever-broken street light, appropriately enough -- that's essentially a series of painfully flat close-ups. (Luckily, the dialogue here is good enough to keep things interesting.) Still, that's not a jab at this Blu-ray in the slightest: Creed II looks almost exactly as it ought to from start to finish, which itself stands toe-to-toe with the first installment despite some of their fundamental differences.

The only problem worth mentioning, and one that's most obvious during a hospital visit just after the 60-minute mark, is some rather nasty banding on the background walls. This issue returns on a few very brief occasions throughout the film but, more often than not, is hardly intrusive and might only be spotted by those specifically looking for it. I didn't see Creed II in theaters so this potential problem may or may not be a source material issue, but one thing's for sure: it's also evident on the 4K edition (reviewed separately) and thus not exclusive to this 1080p transfer.


Audio Quality 5.0 of 5

The audio, on the other hand, is basically perfect...assuming you remember to choose the correct track beforehand, of course. To be fair, the default DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is no slouch: as expected, it deftly balances the film's quieter moments and punishing in-ring action -- both familiar halves of any installment in the Rocky universe -- to create a lifelike sound stage that envelops the viewer with its realistic, immersive. and dynamic atmosphere. Dialogue is crystal-clear and the score by returning composer Ludwig Göransson also enjoys a strong presence, as well as cuts from the rap-infused soundtrack and even Bianca's "live" performance early on. It's a fine mix and, for those "limited to 5.1", a more than acceptable presentation that gets the job done.
But even within those boundaries, the separate Dolby Atmos track (which again, must be selected manually and also folds down to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 automatically) is the real star of the show. It enjoys a noticeably more hefty presence in almost every department, from channel separation and dynamic range to low frequency, and can all be quite substantial at times. Creed II, like its predecessor -- which also made use of a 7.1 mix -- offers a true sonic showcase during its most intense moments and easily carries that "wow" factor that puts certain sequences squarely into demo disc territory. All three main fights are obvious standouts, from their entrance music all the way to the closing bell. And while the film's less intense moments obviously don't benefit much from these additional two (or more) channels, a more noticeable and fitting contrast between both sides is achieved in the process.

Optional dubs and subtitles are included in several languages, with forced yellow English subtitles that translate the Russian dialogue. All are perfectly legible and placed within the 2.40:1 frame. (Interestingly enough, a major flub during the first Creed-Drago fight -- in which one commentator refers to Viktor as "Ivan" -- is corrected in the subtitles but the original audio remains.)


Special Features and Extras 2.5 of 5

All extras listed below are included on the Blu-ray disc. The DVD omits the first four supplements.

Deleted Scenes (9:46, 1080p) - This short collection of deleted and extended scenes includes "Rocky's Eulogy for Spider Rico", "Max's Cheesesteak Restaurant (Extended)", "Rocky Trains Kids", and "Locker Room". These scenes -- which mostly deal with the theme of closure or "passing the torch" -- stand pretty well on their own and, while they're certainly worth a look, I can see why most of them were trimmed from the main feature.

"Fathers and Sons" (7:16, 1080p) - Key cast and crew members including director Stephen Caple Jr, actors Dolph Lundrgen, Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Florian Munteanu, Andre Ward, producer Irwin Winkler, Sugar Ray Leonard, and others discuss the father/son theme that runs through Creed II and the franchise as a whole, as well as the pros and cons of a son following his father's footsteps into the boxing ring.

"Casting Viktor Drago" (5:43, 1080p) - Florian Munteanu's character is explored in more detail by the actor, from the his initial casting and audition to meeting his childhood hero Sylvester Stallone and training for the film. We also hear from other cast and crew members including Dolph Lundgren, Tessa Thompson, producer William Chartoff, Stallone, stunt coordinator Danny Hernandez, and more.

"The Woman of Creed II" (5:51, 1080p) - Phylicia Rashad and Tessa Thompson talk about their characters, maintaining emotional balance, building on the first Creed, and the important role of real-life boxers' wives and mothers through support, teamwork, and patience.

"Rocky's Legacy" (15:01, 1080p) - Hosted by Dolph Lundgren with comments from several cast and crew members listed above, this short piece serves up a quick and lightweight overview of the Rocky and Creed films with plenty of film clips, favorite moments, production stories, and comments about the films' legacy and impact as a whole. Die-hard fans won't learn anything new here, but it's still good for a once-over.



Overall Score and Recommendation 3.5 of 5

Steven Caple Jr.'s Creed II is an obvious crowd-pleaser: it's got plenty of drama, well-choreographed and executed fight sequences, and enough nostalgia to satisfy long-time fans without feeling too gratuitous. The performances are solid all around, Stallone's continued presence is always welcome, and the father-son themes lead to a couple of genuinely heartfelt moments. Yet as a whole, it's not particularly well-paced during key stretches, rarely building enough momentum to amplify the biggest moments and not showing very much growth for some of its main and supporting characters. I certainly don't consider this film an unworthy installment of the franchise as a whole, but it's a clear half-step down from the first Creed. Warner Bros.' Blu-ray combo pack provides a decent amount of support for the main feature, including a near reference-quality audio presentation and a handful of short but enjoyable bonus features. Obviously recommended to die-hard fans, but not quite the knockout it could've been.


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4K review + screenshots
https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Creed-II ... 06/#Review
Much like the first movie in this series, Creed II was shot on an ARRI Alexa Mini and ARRI Alexa XT with an output resolution of 2.88K (2880 x 1620) and, on the 4K UHD disc, was upscaled to 2160p.
Although hinted at in my separate Blu-ray review, Creed II's visual style favors low lighting and a smooth, grain-free appearance that doesn't make it a prime candidate for jaw-dropping screen captures. Still, it looks better in-motion and, at times, extremely impressive: wide outdoor shots and brightly-lit arenas obviously fare the best, with strong levels of texture and detail that showcase the solid cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau. Once Adonis and Bianca make a move for the West Coast, the picture warms up and stands in even greater contrast to the Philly scenes and much more blue-tinted Russian and Ukrainian segments. A short underwater sequence, part of Adonis' recovery and training regimen, looks about as good as any such footage I've seen on the format. The spectacular ring entrances, especially during Creed II's thrilling final bout, serve up enough visual excitement to heighten the drama.

These fundamental improvements over the Blu-ray edition range from notable to substantial, both from the format's higher resolution and from the benefits of HDR. What's more is that sometimes the improved color grading elevates more subtle moments, such as those shot in Rocky's restaurant kitchen, the aforementioned underwater scenes, and other mundane locations (locker rooms, etc.), in that the colors stand out more strongly against the dark and dimly-lit backgrounds. While Creed II is still not a flashy picture overall and thus rarely achieves the heights of a true 4K image, what's here is at least a solid step up from the Blu-ray and, for most videophiles, the version to seek out.

The only potential problem worth mentioning -- and one that's most obvious during a hospital visit just after the 60-minute mark -- is some rather nasty banding on the background walls. This issue returns on a few very brief occasions throughout the film but, more often than not, is hardly intrusive and might only be spotted by those specifically looking for it. I didn't see Creed II in theaters so this may or may not be a source material issue, but one thing's for sure: it's also evident on the Blu-ray and thus not exclusive to this 2160p transfer.


Creed II 4K Blu-ray, Audio Quality 5.0 of 5


The audio, on the other hand, is basically perfect...assuming you remember to choose the correct track beforehand, of course. To be fair, the default DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is no slouch: as expected, it deftly balances the film's quieter moments and punishing in-ring action -- both familiar halves of any installment in the Rocky universe -- to create a lifelike sound stage that envelops the viewer with its realistic, immersive. and dynamic atmosphere. Dialogue is crystal-clear and the score by returning composer Ludwig Göransson also enjoys a strong presence, as well as cuts from the rap-infused soundtrack and even Bianca's "live" performance early on. It's a fine mix and, for those "limited to 5.1", a more than acceptable presentation that gets the job done.
But even within those boundaries, the separate Dolby Atmos track (which again, must be selected manually and also folds down to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 automatically) is the real star of the show. It enjoys a noticeably more hefty presence in almost every department, from channel separation and dynamic range to low frequency, and can all be quite substantial at times. Creed II, like its predecessor -- which also made use of a 7.1 mix -- offers a true sonic showcase during its most intense moments and easily carries that "wow" factor that puts certain sequences squarely into demo disc territory. All three main fights are obvious standouts, from their entrance music all the way to the closing bell. And while the film's less intense moments obviously don't benefit much from these additional two (or more) channels, a more noticeable and fitting contrast between both sides is achieved in the process.

Optional dubs and subtitles are included in several languages, with forced yellow English subtitles that translate the Russian dialogue. All are perfectly legible and placed within the 2.40:1 frame. (Interestingly enough, a major flub during the first Creed-Drago fight -- in which one commentator refers to Viktor as "Ivan" -- is corrected in the subtitles but the original audio remains.)
Warner Bros.' 4K UHD combo pack provides a decent amount of support for the main feature including good use of HDR grading, a near reference-quality audio presentation, and a handful of short but enjoyable bonus features. It's not quite the knockout it could've been and doesn't always stand head-and-shoulders above the Blu-ray, but this 4K disc is obviously superior in a number of key areas.

+ same special features on the 4K as the standard Blu...
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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 25 Feb 2019, 22:40

Ludwig Goransson, Oscar winner for best original score with BLACK PANTHER

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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 26 Feb 2019, 12:53

Whysoblu review
http://whysoblu.com/creed-ii-4k-uhd-blu-ray-review/

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Video 4/5 stars
The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Warner Bros’ Creed II.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: 4K (2160p)
Dolby Vision: Yes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Despite the many dark and dimly lit scenes there is detail to be found in this 4K upscale, but mainly in the textures such as the leather in a punching bag and training straps or rubber in automobile tires being pushed. It’s not jaw dropping though. Closeup moments do reveal the finer things like beads of sweat, stubble, wrinkles, moles and more.

Depth: Depth in the overall image looks pretty good here with many examples to write home about from the city streets and boxing ring to even an exclusive dinner scene for the soon to be world champs in Russia.
Black Levels: The black levels are dark and natural, but that’s not saying much because much of the images throughout are dimly lit. I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s never inky or deep like I love them.
Color Reproduction: The style and colors in the cinematography here change throughout depending upon the location. Everything is a bit dark, but this one keeps the very natural aesthetics of the first Creed movie in balance throughout here. Probably my favorite eye popping scenes would be the ones in the pool underwater. The gorgeous blue water is eye popping and mesmerizing.

Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural, pleasing and authentic throughout.
Noise/Artifacts: With the exception of some banding here and there things look pretty good with no other nasty artifacts to ruin your viewing enjoyment of the presentation here.


Audio 4,5 stars

Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Warner Bros’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Creed II. I do want you to know that the 4K UHD Disc comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track while the 1080p Blu-ray comes repackaged with its original DTS-HD Master Audio one. Just an FYI as I mentioned in previous Warner Bros. 4K releases you must select the Dolby Atmos track from the main menu. It originally defaults to a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix.

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Audio Description Track, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: The dynamics thrive with wide channel separation here. There are some really cool moments to be had here, but they mostly revolve around the matches and training montage. Outside of those sequences this film is primarily a drama and while the quite, tender moments are rendered near perfection here there’s just not too much to write home about. The Atmos presentation does give the audio space a lot of room to work with here over the DTS-HD one.

Height: This is not the greatest use of Atmos here, but you at least get the arena experience with high ceilings and plenty of room to breathe. Examples of uses where the height channels are employed include score, soundtrack moments, underwater, the announcer, training montage, fire/flames during Drago’s entrance and more.

Low Frequency Extension: Remember those quiet moments I mentioned up above? Well those all go by the way side when there’s action, primarily punching for clarification. This is a sports boxing film after all. The punches and blows land with the utmost of authenticity and oomph here. Ludwig Goransson’s score and the rap infused soundtrack also thump things up. One of my favorite LFE moments though has to be the stomping crowd. I love it whenever crowds get rowdy and involved.

Surround Sound Presentation: Crowds, voices, the swimming pool, training moments, fights, etc. are all moments of when you’re engaged and in the middle of things. Outside of these kind of moments are where you’ll feel a bit front heavy in the track, but it’s to be expected. There’s a lot of drama here. One of my favorite rear channel moments is when the rap song during the main training montage jumps around the individual channels. In my opinion that is a wicked use of channel separation and worth writing home about.
Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue throughout is always clear and intelligible. No spoken word is lost in the shuffle. You can’t ask for anything more there.
Creed II Movie Review


Extras

This 4K Ultra HD disc release of Creed II includes the theatrical version of the movie in 4K on the UHD disc, as well as in 1080p HD on the included Blu-ray. I’m sorry to say folks but there’s no audio commentary and all five of the supplemental materials are only found on the Blu-ray Disc. In addition you’ll also find a Digital Copy code good for the film in what shows as VUDU and Movies Anywhere. At the time of this writing only the VUDU side was accepting the code. So without further ado lets take a closer look at the five extras housed on the Blu-ray Disc. Thankfully they all have a somewhat hearty run time and not just under 5 minute long EPKs we’re all used to.

Fathers and Sons (HD, 7:16) – This one is all about the father/son relationship that’s the theme throughout this entire film. It was interesting to learn how Dolph was pitched to come back and resume his character thirty years later. This one also explores real father and son relationships in the ring and outside of it. For Adonis’ journey here its a different one as his real father is not there.

Casting Victor Drago (HD, 5:43) – The cast all chime in how big Florian is here. Ha ha. Like Dolph he also knows how to fight. Stallone is a child hero so its cute to hear Florian kind of get giddy about that fact. The challenge with him was to make him have control and not actually hit the person. LOL.
The Women of “Creed II” (HD, 5:51) – Like the father and son extra up above this one explores the mothers and wives of real boxers. Phylicia Rashad and Tessa Thompson chime in here about their characters and relationships in both Creed films. It also explores the music Tessa’s character makes in the movies. You can tell that both of these women really appreciate being part of this franchise. I love that!

The Rocky Legacy (HD, 15:01) – Determination, family and boxing…the themes of all these films continues to capture the hearts and ignite passion amongst fans as explored by our narrator Dolph Lundgren. We go over a lot of important stuff here like the heroic music, the Rocky philosophy and themes, locations, inspiration, the villains (we spend a lot of time on Ivan Drago for some reason LOL), relationships, the sport of boxing and more.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 9:46) – There are a total of four sequences to be found here and are as follows: “Rocky’s Eulogy for Spider Rico,” “Max’s Cheesesteak Restaurant (Extended),” “Rocky Trains Kids” and “Locker Room.”
Creed II Movie Review

Summary
I just can’t give you enough reasons why Creed II is a MUST-SEE, MUST-OWN 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release for me. It’s a very personal choice and cherished franchise for me. The films mean the world to me and for the life of me I cant wait for the first six Rocky films to come home to the 4K format either (the first movie on iTunes doesn’t count or cut it for me). This movie is all about the heart and story for me. So I wouldn’t concern myself with a 4-star video score or the fact that its light on extras. I would be buying this for the story itself and the pride in owning it on the best possible format and presentation…that being 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. It’s almost like you don’t even need a reason, huh? Ding! Ding! Fight!
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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 01 Mar 2019, 14:23

Japanese editions to be released May 10
(standard, standard limited, steelbook 4K limited, standard 4K limited)
https://amzn.to/2ToiDRP

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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 04 Mar 2019, 14:57

Movie & standard Blu-ray Review
https://theultimaterabbit.com/2019/03/0 ... farinella/


'Creed II' (4K UHD) and 'Cobra: Collector's Edition' (Blu-ray) reviews
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20 ... ion-blu-r/
The 4K truly highlights the impeccable fight choreography throughout. Viewers will feel every uppercut and body blow (as each droplet of sweat and blood flies from the opponents), especially when enhanced by that bass-thumping Dolby Atmos sound mix.

Best extras: Viewers get four featurettes roughly 35 minutes in total — but no optional commentary track.

The longest featurette of the bunch is a quick overview of the Rocky franchise hosted by Mr. Lundgren. It includes interviews with the “Creed” stars: Mr. Stallone, announcer Michael Buffer and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.

The remaining trio covers the woman of “Creed II” (Tessa Thompson as the wife of Adonis and Phylicia Rashad as mom Mary Anne Creed); the casting of Mr. Munteanu as Viktor Drago; and a look at the father/son relationship in the films, including an interview with a real father/son boxing team David Paul and fighter David Mijares.

Also worth a look, especially for nostalgic fans, is a deleted scene where Rocky eulogizes Spider Rico at his funeral. Viewers will fondly remember he faced the boxer in the first movie back in 1976.



4K Blu-ray Review from ReferenceHomeTheater
https://referencehometheater.com/review ... ay-review/
Technical Review

Creed II was shot on an Arri Alexa camera at 2.8K resolution with an unknown digital intermediate master resolution. It also has a Dolby Vision layer on the disc which is how I watched it on both Sony OLED and Vizio PQ LCD displays. Overall the image is good, with nice clarity and some nice HDR scenes. The boxing scenes are particularly good with HDR effects as the fighters enter the ring to fire or other light effects. However, there are some issues with the image. One scene of the NY skyline looks to have some clipping and other artifacts in the sunlight. A shot of Moscow at night has bright lights but shadow details are crushed. One other review saw some banding but I didn’t see that myself, and so Creed II comes in as a solid HDR title but not the best.

For some reason, Creed II defaults to a DTS soundtrack instead of the Dolby Atmos one, so you need to change that before you watch it. The Atmos track is far better, with more dynamic range and much better immersion. Watching Creed battle Drago is physically painful as you hear the sound of the punches landing, forcing me to wince and look away at times. When you’re in the arena or underwater, the Atmos effects are fantastic.



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4K Blu-ray Review from AVSForum
https://www.avsforum.com/creed-ii-ultra ... ay-review/
For its presentation in Ultra HD Creed II was derived from a 2.8K source, rendered from a 2K DI, and up-converted to 4K.

This is an excellent Ultra HD presentation that looks great on my large screen. This is a drama/thriller that features elements that make use of rich color, boldly applied contrast, and a distinctive visual aesthetic. With a discernible increase in detail and emboldened chromatic highlights the UHD image appears noticeably sharp, and vivid. Primary colors such as red, and blue, are pleasingly rich, while whites and grays appear gradational. Fleshtones are wonderfully lifelike, and consistent throughout the presentation. Looking at the shots of the darkened streets in Philadelphia, Vegas, and the interior of the sports arenas, the added dimension in blacks and shadows is immediately noticeable.

The rendering of detail is excellent as the finest minutia in physical features, clothing, or the variety of textures seen in areas such as the desert training location, are reproduced with stark realism. The benefits of high dynamic range and wide color gamut are on display as well, as colors have an added dimension that makes them eye catching. The sequence where Adonis enters the arena before his first encounter with Viktor looks terrific.

Shot digitally, this rendering makes the most of its original elements, which are excellent. Looking at the 1080p version, which is solid in its own right, the difference is noticeable, but not what I would describe as night and day. That being said, there is no question about which of the two makes for the most engaging viewing experience.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Forum Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

In comparing the DV and HDR-10 renderings I ran the same scenes using my reference Panasonic UB820 UHD player (DV) and Oppo 203 UHD player (outputting HDR-10 only). The title looked terrific on both formats with respect to the reproduction of HDR. Any differences weren’t worthy of note and there my rating for each are the same.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the less aggressive variety but, considering the source material that’s not a complete surprise. Its use of audio objects placed above is comprised of a mix of atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done well when implemented and creates a tangible level of immersion. The music score is subtly mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. While this mix doesn’t make constant use of attention-grabbing audio object placement, I found myself completely involved when it mattered and found this to be an enjoyable audio presentation that complimented the source material.

** It should be noted that the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack is the default audio option. Listening to the Dolby Atmos mix requires entering the audio set up menu and manually selecting it.**


Creed II comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video, lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 and DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

Lighting schemes are effectively used in this film to help set the tone/setting based upon the mood of the scene and characters within it. The chroma range isn’t diverse but hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are appropriately bland with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen are exquisitely detailed and sharp with superb depth of field and visible texture during wide angle shots. Contrast is spot on and blacks are deep with revealing delineation that provides excellent perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video has a clean, pristine quality that enhanced dimensionality and provided a looking through a window effect.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel (Atmos core) and DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio tracks features crystal clear dialogue, robust dynamics and a subtly aggressive and involving surround sound mix. I was impressed with the implementation of both spacial dimension and discrete directional sounds that created a realistic and occasionally immersive listening environment. This worked hand in hand with film’s music, and thematic elements to build tension and help drive the story. The low frequency rumble of synth bass and resonating punch that underscored the dramatic points sounded great. Be sure to turn this one up, sit back and take it in. It’s a lot of fun!

** It should be noted that the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack is the default audio option. Listening to the Dolby Atmos mix requires entering the audio set up menu and manually selecting it.**

(...)

Final Thoughts:

Creed II like its predecessor, successfully captures the essence and freshness of the Rocky film lore, paying a rousing homage to the character and films that have become near and dear to its devoted fans. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack featuring excellent Ultra HD video, crystal clear high definition audio/video, including a complimentary Dolby Atmos sound mix and, a fair supplemental offering. I thoroughly enjoyed Creed II and highly recommend that you give it a spin on the highest quality format supported by your home theater system.
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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 05 Mar 2019, 17:36

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https://www.mediaplaynews.com/creed-2-review/
While the film serves as a natural sequel to both Rocky IV and Creed, it borrows a lot from Rocky III in terms of story structure. While much of the plotting fits in well with the “what happens next” soap opera flow of the “Rocky” movies in general, the film is bound together by the motif of legacy, in particular the influence parents and children can have on each other that transcends generations.

In fact, two of the featurettes included with the Blu-ray are built upon this idea. The first is “The Rocky Legacy,” a 15-minute history of the “Rocky” films hosted by Lundgren that examines why the franchise has endured. The second is the seven-minute “Fathers and Sons” featurette, which takes a deeper look at how the desire to build a legacy impacts the characters involved.

Interestingly, the film adds depth to the Drago character beyond his role as the cookie-cutter villain from Rocky IV. He blames Rocky for his loss of stature following their match, and through his son he seeks a measure of revenge as well, against the fighter now seen as Rocky’s protégé.

There’s a six-minute featurette devoted to the casting of amateur boxer Munteanu as the younger Drago, and he certainly casts an intimidating shadow when standing next to Jordan’s Creed (not unlike seeing Lundgren’s towering frame over Stallone 33 years prior).

The six-minute “The Women of Creed II” focuses on the other side of the equation, Thompson as Bianca and Phylicia Rashad as Adonis’ mother representing the impact his professional struggles have on his personal life.

Finally, there four deleted scenes running a total of 10 minutes, and a couple of them will be of particular interest to longtime “Rocky” fans.

One features the funeral of Spider Rico, who was the first boxer Rocky was seen fighting during a sparring session during the first film back in 1976. This seen adds a bit of context to one of the film’s plot developments.

Another scene serves as a secondary climax to the film, as the characters encounter each other in the locker room after the climactic fight.



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http://www.redvdit.net/creed-ii/
Picture Quality (4.5/5):

Originally shot on the ARRI Alexa Mini and ARRI Alexa XT with an output resolution of 2.88K, Creed II had to be downscaled to 1080p for the standard Blu-ray release. While there aren’t too many scenes that offer a stunning visual display of events, the storyline centers itself around more of the standard life drama, and the overall experience that is to be had with the presentation does a really good job at visualizing that. With its representation of the emotional aspect of the storyline, coupled with the few fight scenes that occur, audiences are able to perfectly capture the story of the movie, and experience everything with out any issues.


Audio Quality (5/5):


Packaged with an English Dolby Atmos audio mix, the Blu-ray release of Creed II does an absolutely phenomenal job at conveying the movie in a powerful enough manner that does a really great job at placing you right into the middle of everything. Despite the movie’s lack of visual excitement overall, the conveyance of the emotions that accompany the struggle that comes with Adonis’ relationship with his father were absolutely the most powerful part of the audio track, while the fight scenes did an astonishing job at making sure you felt like you were in one of the seats of the arena. The transitions from channel to channel were effortless and did a great job at adding to the level of immersion; while the dialogue was spoken cleanly, ensuring that the characters could be heard and understood without any need to adjust the volume levels going into it.


The Packaging (3/5):

The Blu-ray release of Creed II is packaged in the standard two-disc amaray case. Neither the Blu-ray disc nor the DVD disc feature any artwork that’s related to the movie outside of the standard generic text. There is a digital copy that’s been included as well as a slipcover that’s available in the original pressing of the release that features the same artwork that’s available on the case.


Special Features (3/5):

There’s a handful of supplemental features that were included on the Blu-ray release of Creed II. The content includes allows for a nice expansion upon the storyline, with a small amount of the content directed at some of the behind the scenes material. The features included are brief, and I honestly think they could have been more in-depth and offered greater detail to those who choose to explore them. Included with this release is:

Deleted Scenes
Rocky’s Eulogy for Spider Rico
Max’s Cheesesteak Restaurant (Extended)
Rocky Trains Kids
Locker Room

Fathers and Sons – Various cast members, including director Stephen Caple Jr. talk about the father and son relationship that flows through the movie, and the franchise as a whole.

Casting Viktor Drago – An exploration of Florian Munteanu’s character, providing various details that were developed from the initial casting, the audition, and training for the film.

The Woman of Creed II – Phylicia Rashad and Tessa Thompson talk about their characters, establishing and maintaining an emotional balance, and the important role of boxers’ wives within the real sport along with the mothers through support, teamwork, and patience.

Rocky’s Legacy – Dolph Lundgren shares various comments with cast and crew members, and a quick overview of the “Rocky” and “Creed” movies with brief clips, favorite moments, production stories, and comments about the legacy and the impact that the series has had.

(...)

Final Thoughts:

(...)The visual and audio performance of the Blu-ray release were really nicely executed and did a really great job at making sure every aspect of the film was clean, clear, and easily understandable. The special features, while they were a nice touch, could have been more in-depth and offered greater detail on their topics within; but I can’t complain all too much about what was provided. If you’re considering this release for your collection, I’d definitely recommend picking it up if you too have been following along with the legacy.



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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 06 Mar 2019, 00:25

Special Features to Note:

A handful of quick featurettes tackle different elements of the story. “Fathers and Sons” finds director Steven Caple Jr. saying family is what drives the picture, while Sylvester Stallone even calls it Shakespearian. “Finding Viktor Drago” covers the search to find the actor to play Drago’s son. Stallone says they went through “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of guys before they found Florian Munteanu – he was perfect because he really knows how to fight, and of course, he’s huge. “The Women of Creed II” delves into how the filmmakers wanted to make sure Adonis and Tessa Thompson’s Bianca were portrayed as an actual team, and not have Bianca just be someone waiting off to the side. “The Rocky Legacy” is hosted by Dolph Lundgren, and talks about – what else – the legacy of the franchise, and how the series tells stories of underdogs, determination, and family, and how the franchise as a whole inspires people.

There are also some deleted scenes, two of which are noteworthy. One finds Rocky giving a eulogy at a funeral for Spider Rico, the first opponent Rocky fought in the first Rocky. This scene reveals how Rocky found out about the secret boxing training facility in the desert where Rocky and Adonis go near the climax of the film, as that’s where Spider learned to fight. The other deleted scene is a from the end of the movie, in which Adonis meets first with Vikor, and then with Ivan, in the locker room. It’s a quiet but emotional moment, and I’m surprised it was cut, as it provides some extra closure.

https://www.slashfilm.com/new-blu-ray-r ... -creed-ii/


Video (4K UHD)

From a 2K digital source, the upscale here is a pleasing one. Consider the level of resolution and visible detail in the stadium interiors. Thousands of spectators (mostly digitally added) show the best possible sharpness. Excellent texture shows when in close, while various exteriors of Philly and LA soak up the available detail.

This is an image of absolute clarity. So little noise seeps in, it’s a wonder why more productions don’t aim for a similar result. Like looking through glass at production, there’s no impediment to this digital cinematography. Thank Warner’s encode for not introducing anomalies during the transfer to disc.

Careful shadows preserve detail while still producing gorgeous black levels. A key scene takes place outside of Rocky’s home, at night, with a burned out street light overhead. It’s carefully managed, finding a balance between total crush and perfect black. Note Creed II doesn’t embellish contrast through this Dolby Vision presentation. Aside from stadium lights, mood keeps things restrained and calm. It’s not a sequel pushing dynamic imagery, but natural and pure.

That goes for color too. Again, aside from the stadiums and their entertaining light shows, primaries fade to suit the intended tone. Flesh tones fare well, blending into Creed II’s reserved look. The style is attractive, well suited to the needs of this script. Note scenes in the Ukraine as Drago trains use a definite teal tint, contrasting the warmer images Stateside.

Video (Blu-ray)

Creed II loses a lot of subtly in terms of color grading when on Blu-ray. While attractive with pumped up saturation, it takes things to a neon extreme. That’s apparent comparing the first Creed/Drago fight with the red/white/blue shorts and skin tones. Skin tones skew toward orange, and the gaudy color brightness looks like a failing. All tone is lost, left with a yellowed appearance. Something is amiss.

The rest is great, with beautiful clarity and detail. Texture is consistently high. A bit of crush is forgiven considering shadow density. An avoidance of banding or other compression issues deserves a head nod.

Audio

Stupidly defaulting to DTS-HD rather than Atmos (a commonality with Warner), the Atmos track sports some stellar stadium work. The way crowds swell, with specific jeers popping into the rears, sells the idea of being in that ring. Stereos split widely, both there and in gyms as fighters train. It’s careful enough to keep a line on individual punches; certain blows land in either channel depending on their visual position.

It’s a strong low-end too, managing some heavy beats from the soundtrack or from fighter intros. Punches toned down in artificiality since the days of Rocky IV, although the beefier shots still make the sub react with tight, powerful jolts. When a fighter hits the mat, that also elicits a heavy blast. Aggressive, when it needs to be.

Extras

Everything stays on the Blu-ray for this set. Three featurettes start, with Father and Sons (7:16) delving into the relationships between the stars, while Casting Victor (5:43) and The Women of Creed II (5:51) explain themselves by name.

It’s a shame The Rocky Legacy isn’t longer, because this 15-minute look back on the series – hosted by Dolph Lundgren – brings up the nostalgic feelings and delves into the underdog themes. Some 10-minutes of deleted scenes mark the disc’s finale, and one of them needed to stay, if only to complete a small point in Rocky’s life.

http://doblu.com/2019/02/21/creed-ii-4k ... ay-review/


Dolph Lundgren, delivering an excellent, world weary performance

https://www.hollywoodoutbreak.com/2019/ ... out-punch/

Seeing how much Dolph Lundgren has grown as an actor was also great to see.

https://www.hidefninja.com/2019/03/05/c ... ay-review/

Lundgren may have a master’s degree in chemical engineering, but my regard for him as an actor has never extended that far. That said, he has a presence, which is adequately tweaked here to provide an emotional resonance when, again, considering the history that stems from who Ivan Drago was and where the film places him now.

https://weliveentertainment.com/welivef ... =hootsuite

But the secret weapon in Creed II’s arsenal is Lundgren. Time has sculpted the former He-Man’s face from chiseled marble into a character actor’s mug, able to convey decades’ of rage and longing with a furrowed eyebrow. Ivan Drago was a .5 dimensional character in Rocky IV, an Aryan terminator who may as well have wiped his ass with the American flag while stomping orphans to death. Creed II turns this cartoon monster into an aching, empathetic person, and the resolution of his storyline with Viktor is the most surprising (and surprisingly affective) material in the film (even if there’s a few too many nudge-nudge callbacks. One reference to “I must break you” would’ve done the trick, Creed II has like four).

https://cinapse.co/creed-ii-goes-the-di ... 34b4fee4ee
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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 07 Mar 2019, 11:16

4K Review: 'Creed II' Makes Me Long For A 'Drago' Instead
https://www.forbes.com/sites/lukethomps ... 07463f137a

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Riddle me this: whose story,of those two, do you find more compelling? For me, it's no contest: I want to know what the Dragos have been up to, especially when we briefly get to see how Ivan's ex-wife Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen) has made her way up in the intervening years. Granted, I am a long-time Lundgren fan happy to see him in any movie that uses him well, so maybe I'm biased (...)
It's as if all involved think the bad guys in old Rocky movies were too over the top, yet it's precisely because they were that they're memorable enough for us to want more Ivan Drago in the first place.
On the disc's deleted scenes, there's one which feels absolutely crucial,in which each major male character gets his small moment of resolution after the final fight. It's Munteanu's best moment of acting, and Lundgren's, so of course it's trimmed from the final movie, probably because somebody somewhere insisted this was Adonis' story and needed to stay focused on that. Lundgren hosts a larger segment about the Rocky saga as a whole, and it makes you wish, again, that there had been a movie called Drago as well as, or possibly instead of this one.
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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 08 Mar 2019, 03:07

Zero VFX presents their environment and crowd work on CREED II:
https://vimeo.com/321811821 (VFX reel / VFX breakdown)

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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby savagesketch on 08 Mar 2019, 06:39

Personally, I would have liked it if this scene wasn't cut. It provides some great closure for Adonis-Viktor, Balboa-Ivan, and Adonis-Ivan. At only two minutes with only 15 words spoken, the theme of forgiveness is excellent... Be forewarned, SPOILERS ahead... :wink:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHkx2RYFjN8
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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 11 Mar 2019, 16:35

Japanese promo poster for the Bluray release

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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby GeneralMcFaiL on 14 Mar 2019, 19:11

Who on earth thought it was a good idea to cut this from the film? This would have been an amazing (not to mention better) end to an already good film.

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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby TEMIRLAN on 14 Mar 2019, 20:43

any extended version planned?
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Re: CREED II (Steven Caple, Jr., 2018)

Postby Jox on 15 Mar 2019, 21:39

https://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/73712/creed-ii/
Video:

The film's character oriented indie look needed a transfer that could handle the muted colors while also delivering on the rousing moments with the visual exuberance it deserves. The crisp 1080p transfer handles both ends beautifully.

Audio:

The DTS-HD 5.1 track explodes in all of its surround glory during the fighting scenes, where every channel gets their share of punches and ambient boom. The dramatic scenes really come to life when the score kicks in, and the sub-woofer especially enjoys some natural dusting off when the many non-diegetic song choices come to the fore.

Extras:

Fathers and Sons: A quick look into the father-son dynamics within both sides of the story.

Casting Viktor Drago: A five-minute EPK about Florian Munteanu's transfer from real fighting to movie brawls.

The Women of Creed II: Another very brief EPK, this one about Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad, who plays Adonic Creed's mother.

Rocky's Legacy: A 15-minute lovefest from the cast and crew about one of the most iconic characters in American cinema.

Deleted Scenes: 10 minutes of excised material. Nothing really special here.

Final Thoughts:


Executed with a balance between grand vision and personal precision by director Steven Caple Jr, who like Creed writer/director Ryan Coogler, comes from the indie world, Creed II is a worthy follow-up. The great A/V presentation here should provide a clear addition to your Rocky and Creed Blu-ray collection. The Creed franchise is going strong so far, but please don't have Adonis fight an exuberant dude with a Mohawk for the third one.
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