Hands Of Stone follows the life of Roberto Durán (Ramirez), the Panamanian fighter who, with the help of his trainer Ray Arcel (De Niro) made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old, and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words “no más” (“no more”). (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurette Roberto Durán: A Boxing Legend, A Nation's Pride (HD 23:33), nine deleted scenes (HD 10:42), two video versions of the title song “Champions”—one with lyrics featuring Usher (HD 02:26) and the other with lyrics featuring Ruben Blades (HD 02:32), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture is stylized with a warm saturated color palette. Hues are richly toned, at times deeply saturated. Still, at times the contrast of colors and dark tones is visually effective. Night scenes, and some interior scenes, in particular exhibit this effect. Fleshtones vary a lot, depending on the stylization and the contrasting color levels, at times appearing unnatural and at other times perfectly natural. Contrast is often well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is generally excellent, with fine detail exhibited throughout in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture, The fight with Leonard in the ring exhibits excellent clarity and choreography, with exciting up-close visuals. At times the imagery is very digital and non-cinematic. This is a nicely produced visual experience, with saturated colors and deep black levels. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding with at times raw commotion during intense fight scenes and wild audience reactions. Surrounds are actively engaged aggressively during such segments. Atmospherics are excellent and create believable realism. Foley sound effects also are quite realistic. Dialogue is a bit too forward and wanting in spatial integration. The music is lively, with a mixed bag of mestizos heritage. Rhythms are often very engaging. Also, there is a strong orchestral component to some segments. Overall, this is a satisfying soundtrack that effectively complements the storytelling. (Gary Reber)