Coming to blu ray on Tuesday the 14th
What is it?-Lionsgate is taking 3 Sylvester Stallone films and repackaging them up. You get First Blood, the first of the Rambo films. You also get Lock Up in which Stallone is behind bars fighting for his life. You also get Cop Land, which when it was released was supposedly the first of many comeback films for Stallone in which he puts away the tough guy persona and plays a police man.
Review-As someone who is slowly trying to convert all his dvds to blu rays, I am loving all these combo packs that are coming out these days. As much as I am loving these packs, I am also becoming frustrated as well, that in the place of extra films, we are losing bonus content and it is losing quality where you would just have had a better option buying the single disc blu ray or just sticking with the dvd. As you can tell I hate bare bones editions of any film, I am spending my money on a item, I want all the love and care to go into that packaging that went into me giving up my cash for it.
Now that argument being said, Lionsgate with this Stallone set have really hit a home run. From the picture and sound quality, to just loading it up with supplements for us collectors. This is a must own. First film on the set is First Blood, given that I have the vhs, and dvd to this film and seen this film more times than I care to admit to, watching it on blu ray felt like a new experience for me. (And I saw it first run on opening weekend at the movie theater.) Behind Rocky, this is the second most recognizable character that Stallone has played. You may know the premise, John Rambo is an ex Vietnam Veteran who is just looking for a new start and he comes across an evil Sherriff who for no reason decides to start a war with him, figuring that they have nothing to worry about with this burnout. They arrest him, and he fights his way out of the prison and the Sherriff and his deputies are out to stop him, and they get more than they bargained for. The film excels at being not only just an action film. but like The Terminator and countless others, a film that still stands the test of time and is just as amazing today as it was then. I will go on record as saying; Rambo to me is Stalloneâ€™s best character. I loved all 4 films a lot. I loved the comeback film a few years ago that gave Saw and Hostel a run for its money in just pure killing and gore. First Blood alone to finally see it on blu ray is a 10.
But, we have two more films to talk about.
In 1989, when Stallone was saying yes to any film he could to make a buck, from those days came Lock Up. Another film I have seen at the theater, on vhs and dvd. This film while not as great as Rambo, at least was not as bad as Cobra or Assassins. (Watch me get those blu rays to review and retract my statement..joke) Stallone plays Frank Leone, he did a minor crime and served almost his whole sentence, but a warden named Drumgoole that he publically humiliated some time ago, has been transferred to the prison to make sure that Stallone never sees the light of day. This is Donald Sutherland gold; he plays the evil warden perfectly. He creates the perfect enemy for us to hate, while trying to disguise his actions as fair and called for. This film is utter cheese, but it is a popcorn action flick that played off all the other at that time exploitation films. This film is nothing more than mind numbing dumb fun. You know how the film will end before it even starts, because at that time Hollywood was all about heroes shining, and evil paying. But, this film really does its hardest to make the wrong person the hero and you almost feel that Sutherland is the true hero. Why am I overthinking this film? All in all, this was way better than Over the Top and most of his other films that year, lord knows this was all going overboard and thank god Oscar stopped the flow of steady Stallone films, not completely but made sure they were more yearly then monthly. It was overkill in those days and time. You would get Stallone, Arnold or Norris once a weekend. This film was fun and on blu ray, it is a great addition to any library. I would give this a 8 out of 10.
And last but not least, Cop Land. Cop Land was billed as Stallone playing against character. He gained weight, he was not the muscular hero, he was part of an all-star cast in a film that was more drama based then action. He plays Sherriff Frank Heflin who seems like a slow dim lit bumpkin cop who is in Garrison, New Jersey and his town is all about the crooked police officers. One day he opens his eyes to what is going on in town and what he is a part of and tries to do something about it. Harvey Keitel, De Niro, Liotta, and etc also star in this film. While in the past films, Stallone has always used action to hide his lack of range and acting chops, in this film he has nothing to hide behind and really delivers a performance that I am shocked Oscar did not notice and give him the statue. This film is really the classic small town crime drama, and like Fargo another film in this vein which I love a lot, this film really delivers. Strong performances and a blu ray transfer that really is superb. The best part of this film is that after it you can watch First Blood and Lock Up, and get your Stallone fix for the month. This film I would give a 8 out of 10 as well.
All in all, this blu ray is a must buy for any Stallone fan, or even someone who never witnessed these films to finally break down and watch them. You will not be letdown, not at all. Lionsgate just like with the Kevin Smith collection, they hit another home run.
The blu ray as a whole
9 out of 10