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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka "Rambo: First Blood" )

directed by Ted Kotcheff
USA 1982

Although probably one of the most cliché'-ridden action franchises in history, the initial tale of Ex-green beret John Rambo is a decent story. A very strong physical presence onscreen Sylvester Stallone, who was already a big star after the first three Rockys, played the part exceedingly well and eventually Rambo established his genre-stature to even a higher positioning. The film, like the sequels to all his movies suffer from 'not quitting while you are ahead'. 4/5 of First Blood has excellent loner (stranger in a strange land) and survival elements with the common premise of a disillusioned war-hero returning to find his 'home' unacceptable with bigotry and social displacement. In the end John Rambo's closing speech has as much profundity as these films will ever achieve. Both Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy are, as usual, excellent, if one-dimensional, support players especially for films like this. I used to use tag this film as a typical "guilty pleasure", but upon re-visitation will just state that I liked this film.... not the violence, but the story and characterizations. It is as rewarding as this early 80's genre specific cinema will achieve. out of     

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 22nd, 1982

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Artisan Entertainment - Region 1- NTSC vs. Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1- NTSC vs. Lionsgate - REGION FREE Blu-ray

Big thanks to Enrico for the Artisan screen captures!

1) Artisan - Region 1- NTSC LEFTP

2) Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Lionsgate - REGION FREE Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Artisan Entertainment

Region 1  - NTSC

Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc)

Region 1  - NTSC

Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition)
Region 1 - NTSC
Lionsgate
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:06 1:33:00 1:33:00 1:33:11

Video

2.36:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.24 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.89 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.34:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 24-28 mb/s
MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Artisan

 

Bitrate:

Special Edition - 2-disc

Bitrate:

 

Ultimate Edition

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) English (DTS), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

English: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
English: DTS-HD 5.1

Subtitles Spanish, and none Spanish, and none None English, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artisan Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.36:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by writer David Morell
• Featurette - First Blood: A Look Back
• Theatrical Teaser
• Theatrical Trailer
• Production Notes
• Cast and Crew Information
• Trivia Game

DVD Release Date: August 29, 2000
Keep case

Chapters 30

Release Information:
Studio: Lionsgate

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.31:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by writer David Morell
• Documentary "Drawing First Blood"

• Storyboard

• Production Notes

• Teaser

• Trailer

• 8 pages liner notes photos and text

DVD Release Date: October 21st, 2003
Double slim Keep case in cardboard Box

Chapters 30

Release Information:
Studio: Lionsgate

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.31:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Sylvester Stallone
• Deleted Scenes
• Survival Mode options 

DVD Release Date: November 24th, 2004

Keep Case in Cardboard box
Chapters: 30

Release Information:
Studio: Lionsgate

Aspect Ratio:
  2.34:1

MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p

Edition Details:

• Commentary by writer David Morell
• Documentary "Drawing First Blood"

• Commentary by Sylvester Stallone

• Trivia
• Deleted Scenes

DVD Release Date: February 6th, 2007

Standard
Blu-ray case
Chapters: 30

 

Comments: ADDITION: REGION FREE Blu-ray - July 08': NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

This film will never look as pristine as much of the newer films to 1080P but this is a strong improvement over the cache of SD editions that flooded the market. First Blood has a gritty appearance and looks to have been shot of consecutive rainy days - it's fairly dark and drab. The Blu-ray betters the older releases in all the usual areas - far less noise/artefacts (see the blue sky in the first large comparison capture), and the skin tones no longer have that mottled orangey/yellow look that I've come to despise in standard definition. So detail, and to a lesser degree colors, are the improvements in terms of image. It's no demo disc but looks about as good as it can. The feature takes up 19 Gig of the single-layered Blu-ray.

Audio as well gets a cleaner offering with both DTS and 5.1 choices. The DTS sounded pretty strong and there are plenty of opportunities for the rear speakers to come into action. It can be fairly loud at times but the Jerry Goldsmith score is never overpowering.

This appears to be the only NTSC edition that includes optional English subtitles (like 2 of the three SDs also offers Spanish).

Extras include from a few of the SDs. Good, separate, commentaries from writer Morell and the other from Sly himself. He's far more intelligent than people give him credit for - Morell's is prepared and excellent. We also have the 'Drawing First Blood' documentary and deleted scenes plus a Blu-ray trivia track that can run concurrent to the film.

It's not that I'm a huge fan of First Blood but I think, conceptually, it gives enough of a reason not to look down our noses at it. The rest of the series is garbage, including (especially) the new one, but I'm not so harsh on this first entry and don't think the others should tarnish its strong themes of individualism, respect and survival-ism. The Blu-ray is quite thoroughly the best way to watch this and it has superiority in every area of all the SD editions. Another positive is that it's quite reasonable - consider as well the decent accessible commentary tracks.  

***

ADDITION (Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC ) - Dec -04 - Well, we can see how bad the initial release was back in 2000. Same commentary as the Special edition and we can even see the SE and UE are both slightly cropped. This Artisan edition has color issue, has been brightened and is hazy. Truly one for the trash, although it appears to have a different extra featurette. If you own this it's time for an upgrade.

*****

There are some significant differences. The newer Ultimate Edition has removed the DTS track - a bad choice. In its place it seems they have included a kind or quasi-survival game that can be played while watching certain scenes of the film. I tried it out a bit and it seems like a decent effort was put into it. In the image department the new UE is slight brighter and sharper than the old version - but this is very very minimal. The original Special Edition has a commentary by the writer David Morrell and the new Ultimate Edition has a commentary by Sly Stallone. The old SE has a documentary which helps it eclipse the extras on the new UE. Disappointingly the new UE has no subtitles although is advertised as having English. I think the new UE was really to sell this "Survival Game" Feature which I expect most fans will not bother with - it is outside the realm of the film itself and more of a toy feature.

Bottom line: Unless you are a huge Stallone fan and want to hear his comments, I would be satisfied with the original Special Edition. If you think you might enjoy the "Survival Mode" game then by all means get the new Ultimate Edition. Audio fans will want to keep the old SE for the DTS track.

NOTE The 2nd disc on the Special Edition also offers a Full Frame version of the film.

 - Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

(Artisan - region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 


 

Subtitle Sample

 

NOTE: The Special Edition has only Spanish subtitles and the Ultimate Edition, although advertised as having English subtitles has none. The Blu-ray has English and Spanish.

(Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2nd Full Frame Disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition - Survival mode option) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM


 


Screen Captures

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

1) Artisan - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Lionsgate - REGION FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Artisan - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Lionsgate - REGION FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Artisan - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Lionsgate - REGION FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Artisan - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Lionsgate - REGION FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Artisan - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Lionsgate - REGION FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

A few more caps from the Blu-ray

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray
Menu: -

 

DVD Box Covers

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Artisan Entertainment

Region 1  - NTSC

Lionsgate (Special Edition - 2-disc)

Region 1  - NTSC

Lionsgate (Ultimate Edition)
Region 1 - NTSC
Lionsgate
Region FREE -
Blu-ray

 


 


 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...