Movie Review: FIRST BLOOD (4K Ultra HD Combo Pack)

FIRST BLOOD is based on the 1972 novel of the same name by David Morrell. The movie was directed by Ted Kotcheff from a screenplay by Michael Kozoll, William Sackheim and Sylvester Stallone who stars alongside Brian Dennehey, Richard Crenna and David Carusso.

He never fought a battle he couldn’t win–except the conflict raging within his own soul. Academy Award-nominee Sylvester Stallone stars as war hero John Rambo. An ex-Green Beret haunted by memories of Vietnam, he was once the perfect killing machine. Now he’s searching for peace, but finds instead an over-zealous, small-town sheriff who’s spoiling for a fight. All hell breaks loose when an unjustly imprisoned Rambo escapes and becomes the target of a massive manhunt. Now he must use all his cunning, combat skills and weapons training to stay alive and outwit his pursuers. Co-starring Brian Dennehy and Richard Crenna, First Blood is an explosive action-thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, powerful frame.

This 1982 action classic follows Vietnam veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) who’s become a drifter since he’s returned home from the war and feels like he doesn’t belong. What happens is, he ends up walking into a small town in upstate Washington where he receives a cold welcome and warning from Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), the local sheriff who lets the drifter know that he’s not welcome there. Rambo tells the sheriff that he’s just passing through and would simply like to grab a meal but Teasle wants him out of the town asap and this is where things go down hill for the entire police force.

John Rambo is shown extreme disrespect by Teasle and his badged goon squad and is treated like a criminal instead of an American hero. They push him too far and this triggers his survivalist instincts (he gets flashes backs to his time as a prisoner of war) and John Rambo goes on the defensive and starts to fight back. Some of the trigger happy deputies also get reckless and end up getting themselves killed while they’re chasing down the war hero. This is when his former commander, Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna), enters the picture to let Sheriff Teasle and his men know what kind of man they’re actually dealing with. He’s arrived to save the hunters from the hunted and in the end he’s able to help Rambo stop his one man war against this small town police department that declared war on him.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. These Ultra HD movies all come in black keep cases which helps them easily standout from the popular blue cases that have been around since day one. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The UHD disc (black stripe)  and Blu-ray disc (blue stripe) both feature some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this 4K upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this release. Fans will be able to experience this movie like never before with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) release. This features four times the resolution of Full HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) that delivers the brightest, most vivid and realistic color and greatest contrast.

Bottom line is, to me First Blood is the ultimate action movie that paved the way for so many other action blockbusters that would follow in the 80s. This movie is so awesome that is spawned three sequels with a fourth one that’s in the works, a video game, action figures and a merchandise line that included Rambo’s trademark survival knife. Not only does this movie include a lot of intense and death defying action scenes but it also comes with a heartbreaking story about this Vietnam veteran who’s turned into a quiet drifter because he feels like he doesn’t fit in. John Rambo is clearly suffering from PTSD which has become such a serious topic in present day that so many of these soldiers have to deal with this and a lot of them are never able to get any help. The way these brave soldiers were treated by some Americans when they returned home from the war was a complete disgrace and embarrassment and hopefully we’ll never have to see that again. This movie touches on that just a little as we watch Rambo go up against the entire small town police force and shows them they should have just left him alone. They drew first blood and it was a big mistake they’ll never forget. Movie fanatics that have already upgraded their home entertainment centers (screens and players) to watch 4K movies are sure to enjoy the experience. First Blood will make its debut on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) on November 13th.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: R

4K Format: 2160P Ultra High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.34:1)

4K Audio Status: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.34:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! This release includes extras imported over from a previous home video release and also features a new, never-before-seen featurette, “Rambo Takes the 80’s Part 1”, which looks back at the incredible impact of this evergreen film.

4K UHD Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary by Sylvester Stallone
  • Audio Commentary by David Morrell

Blu-ray/Digital Special Features

  • NEW “Rambo Takes the 80s Part 1” Featurette (17:43)
  • “Making Of” Featurette  (22:34)
  • Alternate Ending (02:02)
  • Outtake (00:54)
  • Deleted Scene (02:28)
  • “Restoration” Featurette (01:35)
  • “The Real Nam” Featurette (26:56)
  • “Forging Heroes” Featurette (09:54)
  • “How to Become Rambo Part 1” Featurette  (14:20)
  • Audio Commentary by Sylvester Stallone
  • Audio Commentary by David Morrell
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:13)

 

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