Rambo: The Complete Collector's Set
IMDB Links: First Blood Rambo: First Blood Part II Rambo III Rambo
There are certain fictional characters that become far more famous than any history has produced in reality. If a list was made of such characters one name would certainly be very close to the top; John Rambo. This man may only exist in movies but he is legendary, iconic in American lore. The character was originally created by Canadian novelist David Morrell in his book ‘First Blood’. When that was made into a movie starting ‘Rocky’ star Sylvester Stallone that was when Rambo became part of the global lexicon and a legend was born. Now the very name of Rambo conjures up images of dashing into battle against overwhelming odds. Rambo has become more than just another action hero. He is the sensitive man who is deadly when pushed into a corner or fighting for his beliefs. He became a symbol for those of my generation who fought in Viet Nam. These films captured how the anti-war sentiment was extended to a personal distain to those who chose to serve their nation. Now many of the previous DVD releases of the four films that comprise this franchise are discontinued, albeit there are Blu-ray versions still available. The only way to get them all is to take advantage of the new ultimate collector’s edition from Lion’s Gate. This six disc mega set has all four of the movies including a double disc edition of the last one, ‘Rambo’ and a bonus disc full of features. Each film is accompanied with more extras than ever before available. They also look and sound better than ever so if you are a fan of Rambo this is the set to get.
Like most films that are made from a popular novel ‘First Blood’ installed many changes. The films have become so popular and beloved that they are now considered canon for the character of John Rambo. In the book Rambo dies which just wouldn’t do for a film if it was to spawn three, possible four, sequels. Yes, they could have done the old standby of prequels but the audiences demanded to follow the life of Rambo after the events of the first movie. There were some decisions made in that first film that helped to make it a classic. At one time or another Sylvester Stallone was not the first choice for the pivotal role of Rambo. John Travolta, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman were reported as all up for the roles and favored by the producers at one time. Thankfully none of them were to get the role and film history was made. Stallone owns this part and will forever be part of his public persona.
First Blood (1982)
Directed by: Ted Kotcheff
John Rambo has returned from Viet Nam after an illustrious military career. He was in the Green Berets Special Forces and trained in survival, hand to hand combat and all forms of guerrilla warfare. If he was to wear his uniform it would be full of medals and commendations including the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. Upon his return he was chastised by the public for fighting. He took to being alone traveling through the country. When he gets to the small town of Hope in Washington State he crosses paths with Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), the sheriff. All Rambo wants is a place to rest for awhile and a meal but Teasle has him driven out of town. Rambo heads back to town and is arrested for vagrancy, resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon, his survival knife. At the station Rambo is beaten by a sadistic deputy. When he sees the man with a razor to shave Rambo he flashes back to his time as a prisoner of war and escapes in the most violent way possible. Soon the town is hunting for Rambo unaware that they are trying to capture a man highly trained to overcome any odds.
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
Directed by: George P. Cosmatos
After the events of the first film Rambo was sent to prison. As this movie starts he is just being released. He is asked by the military to accept a special mission. He is to investigate a report that there are still prisoners or war held captive in Thailand. The men in charge are hoping the reports are false but if they are still there they want to destroy all records and sweep the whole thing under the carpet to avoid embarrassment. Rambo discovers the existence of POWs as well as Soviet and Vietnamese troops still active there. They have a heavily seasoned army while Rambo has a bow and arrows and a knife. The army is hopelessly outnumbered by this one man on a mission.
Rambo III (1988)
Directed by: Peter MacDonald
After his return from the violent mission in the last film Rambo tries to live a more peaceful life in a monastery in Thailand. That doesn’t last long and his former commander Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna) pays him a visit. He wants Rambo to accompany him to Afghanistan to help deliver weapons to the Mujahideen freedom fighters to help in their fight against the Soviets. Rambo refuses but when Trautman goes anyway and is taken prisoner Rambo goes there to save his friend.
Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
It has been two decades since the last time Rambo has seen action. He is living Thailand in a village near the Burmese border. A missionary, Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze) wants to hire Rambo to take his party up the Salween River to Burma on a mission of mercy. Initially Rambo refuses but is finally convinced by a member of the missionary group, Sarah Miller (Julie Benz). Okay, Rambo is the ultimate in tough guys but she is a beautiful woman and he is still a man. Of course things don’t go well. Profiteers block their passage demanding Sarah in payment for passage. Rambo’s counter offer is to kill them all. The Burmese army makes the fatal mistake of attacking them and there are some POWs to be saved. The body count in this film is greater than all of the previous Rambo flicks combined.
First Blood: Ultimate Edition
Rambo First Blood Part II: Ultimate Edition
Rambo III: Ultimate Edition
Rambo: 2-Disc Special Edition
This is the set to get and no true film collection will be complete without it.