Stallone 3-film Collector's Set [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Anthony Arrigo (17th September 2012).
The Film

Love his work, hate his work… there’s no arguing that Sylvester Stallone is one of Hollywood’s living legends. Now that he’s been enjoying a return to the spotlight after a decade or two spent making pictures that weren’t very well received, Lionsgate has decided to throw together a few of his hits (or, you know, just a few random titles they happen to own) in this 3-pack. The only thread tying any of these together is the fact that Stallone stars in them, otherwise each couldn’t be more different than the other. Personally, as a collector, I’m not a fan of sets with no rhyme or reason to them, but a casual fan of the man’s work may find some value in this package.

"Rambo: First Blood" (1982):

Stallone first brought the character to life in “First Blood”, based on the novel by David Morrell. Rambo, having returned home from the Vietnam War some years earlier, heads to Washington to look up an old war buddy, but he learns that his friend had died some time earlier due to Agent Orange exposure. Dejected at the loss, Rambo sets off on foot through the town of Hope. It isn’t long before he runs across Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), the local big shot who has a hard-on for drifters and wants Rambo out of his town. At first he complies, but when Teasle catches him within city limits again, he decides to make an example of the man. Shackled, beaten, abused and with flashbacks of his torture in ‘Nam beginning to resurface, Rambo makes a daring escape which leads to the police department organizing a massive manhunt. But when Rambo’s mentor, Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) shows up on the scene, he informs the men that “what you call hell, he calls home”, insinuating that it’s going to take one hell of an army to bring the man down, if it can even be done. Rambo’s abilities in these no-win situations are second-to-none and he sends frequent reminders to the police and army guards as they are constantly overwhelmed by his killer instincts.

If you mention the name “Rambo” to most people, it conjures up images of a ripped Stallone pumping round after round of machine gun fire into the bodies of his enemies. But I’d be willing to bet that most don’t recall that Rambo doesn’t kill a single man in “First Blood”. In fact, aside from a deputy who loses his balance and falls from a helicopter, there isn’t a single on-screen death in the film. Even when given a ripe opportunity to plunge his trusty blade deep into anyone who gets in his way, Rambo always lets them off with a warning or an injury, but never death. He lives by a moral code; he isn’t some savage brute looking to prove a point. When Trautman is brought in to negotiate with Rambo, it’s because he knows that he’s the only man John will listen to – the only one he truly respects. Originally, Morrell’s novel had Rambo committing suicide at the conclusion of the story. In fact, the Blu-ray includes that sequence as an alternate ending, but the film’s producers saw that the character had franchise potential, so the decision was made to let him live so that we could be given one of the most violent, latently homosexual action films ever birthed from the 1980's… “Rambo: First Blood Part II” (1985).

"Lock Up" (1989):

Somewhere around the late 80's/early 90's is where the cinematic trajectory of Sylvester Stallone’s career began to spiral downward. After riding high on some massive hits in the earlier part of the decade, Stallone began making some questionable decisions regarding his film choices. 1987 saw the release of the feel-good, father/son arm wrestling drama (or unintentional comedy, depending on how you look at it) “Over the Top”. Then, the critically and commercially drubbed “Rambo III” followed in 1988. Intent on bookending that film with another picture that lacks crucial elements like a good story and a strong villain, Stallone made “Lock Up” (1989), one of the most ridiculous films about prison I’ve seen since “The Longest Yard” (1974). Not that this is a comedy, per se, but I doubt the intent was to make prison look like a weekend retreat for men to bond, accomplish goals and teach the youth (unless the lessons involve Shanking 101 or The Proper Way to Toss a Salad). I think the problem is that Stallone had decided that he was more important than the material he was being given. He didn’t need the backdrop of a balls-out action picture to get people to see his movies – all he needed was to simply star in something and they would come. He was wrong. “Lock Up” tanked at the box office, and the ensuing years were far less kind to Stallone’s career than this turkey. I consider myself to be a fan of Stallone’s work, and even I hadn’t really heard about this movie. The thing is, in the pantheon of Sly’s work, this film isn’t nearly good enough to be considered one of his classics, but it isn’t nearly bad enough to play the midnight movie circuit to a raucous audience of drunks looking to laugh for 2 hours. Nope, “Lock Up” falls squarely into the category of middle-of-the-road; a film that has a phoned-in villain, a near-total lack of action and some of the most congenial prison inmates I’ve seen in a serious film.

Frank Leone (Sylvester Stallone) is your everyman kind of guy. He’s got a girlfriend, a job and he lives a quiet life. That is, until it comes time for him to head back to prison to finish out a 5-year sentence. But, Frank makes the most of it by befriending the guards and being one of the most well-liked inmates you’re likely to come across. That all changes one night, however, when Frank is mysteriously dragged out of his cell in the middle of the night and unceremoniously transferred to a rough, maximum security prison. He soon learns why, though, when the nefarious Warden Drumgoole (Donald Sutherland) appears to tell him that he’s responsible for having Frank brought here. The warden still holds a grudge from years ago when Frank, desperate to visit the dying old man who had assisted him as a youth, escaped from a prison Drumgoole was warden of, a stunt that added 5 years onto Frank’s sentence and saw Drumgoole demoted down to heading up this decrepit facility. Now, it’s his turn to make Frank’s life a living hell. With no freedoms and a staff of guards willing to beat him down at a moment’s notice, Leone refuses to be broken and insists on finishing up his time without giving the warden the satisfaction of seeing him grovel.

I wish I could punch up some elements of the story here, but when the highlight of your film is a mud football game there’s not a whole lot I can do. Seriously, mud football. It felt like the game would never end. Now, I knew this wasn’t going to be some flashy jailbreak film with scenes of inmates storming the prison towers and machine guns mowing down row upon row of faceless guards, but a mud football game? Hell, they could have at least built up the secondary villain, Chink (Sonny Landham), enough to make it seem like Frank faced some real threats. Everyone eyeballs him up and down when he arrives at prison, and I figured he’d have a healthy supply of jobbers to pummel for 90 minutes, but instead the guy manages to befriend almost all of the inmates! How can you have conflict when everyone loves the guy? Chink, and a few cronies of the warden aside, the friggin’ prison yard CHEERS for the guy when he finally gets released (don’t act surprised, you knew he would). I won’t take all the fun out of the film, though. There are still a few scenes where Stallone gets to flex his power and put the beat down on a number of newly-acquired enemies. I just thought there might have been more of an action dynamic to the film. If anything, it’s a drama that got punched up by a script doctor who wanted to give it extra appeal for a big action star like Stallone.

I’m normally a big fan of Donald Sutherland’s work, but he really phones this one in. If you try to look behind his eyes, deep into his soul, you can see the reminder that he’s going to buy something nice with the check he’s receiving for his work here. I’m guessing he realized that this movie was going to be as dull on screen as it sounded on paper but, being a consummate professional and all, he sucked it up and churned out his performance. The guy did have some weak motivations, after all. He spends all of these years obsessing over a convict who cost him his job because of a prison break? One which he knows he was responsible for because he was being a prick to Frank about getting a little time out to visit his ailing benefactor. Even worse, you might hate the guy but you already know Frank isn’t going to kill him; that’s no way for a model inmate to prove he’s ready for release. So, you’ll have to accept the standard “take him away, boys” we’re left with at the end.

What would a prison movie be without stereotypical caricatures of prison inmates? The role of the fast-talking, “I can get anything you need”, used car salesman type is covered here by Dallas (Tom Sizemore). This was way, way back before Sizemore started doing enough drugs to piss away his career and sleep with cosmetically-enhanced monstrosities like Heidi Fleiss. Here, he’s actually not half bad. He takes an immediate liking to Frank, though I still don’t know why he knew who he was, and he shadows him for the entire film. You can’t have a prison movie without some fresh fish, and that’s where First Base (Larry Romano) comes in. For whatever reason, Frank takes a shining to this young whippersnapper and decides to be his father figure throughout the film. Unless he was planning to take him as his b*tch, I don’t know what the purpose was. The kid is young, reckless, stupid, immature, and he wrecks the one thing the guys worked so hard on in the prison automotive factory: a cherry red classic Ford Mustang. These guys busted ass during a montage cut to resemble something straight outta “Rocky III” (1983) and this punk trashes it literally moments after they’re done. And Frank lets him off the hook without even a customary beatdown. Some inmate this guy is. At least we’ve got Chink to stir the pot. Sure, the guy looks like a stone statue (and acts just as well as one), but at least he can kick the crap out of people like it’s a paying job for him.

You know who rocks the hardest here? John Amos as Captain Meissner, that’s who. He’s got two rules, and you better believe Stallone follows them. Why? Because John Amos will have your ass, that’s why.

I wanted more out of “Lock Up”. A film about Frank’s previous escape would have been more exciting than what we got. I’m sorry, but I still can’t get over the fact that the highlight of the film - the main “action” set piece - is a goddamn football game. I kept hoping that bouts of extreme mayhem were just around the corner, but nothing ever materialized. This isn’t so much a bad movie, because it’s certainly a quick watch with some entertainment value, but it’s so definitively mediocre that you won’t find many reasons for repeat viewings. As a Stallone fan, I was able to overlook some of the flaws but, by the end of the picture, with all of the inmates cheering Frank on as he walks out the gates, I couldn’t help but think how utterly lame most of it was.

"Cop Land" (1997):

If there’s one thing most film fans can universally agree on, it’s that the 90's were not kind to Sylvester Stallone. Hell, he started the decade off with “Rocky V” (1990), one of the most reviled and maligned sequels of all-time. The only breaks he got were in 1993 with the release of both “Cliffhanger” (which nobody should be ashamed to admit they enjoy), and “Demolition Man” (which everyone should be required to watch), but even both of those minor cult classics weren’t enough to derail the disaster that was his once-illustrious career. The man needed to break out of his comfort zone, and not by doing another “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” (1992). That shakeup came by way of a script written by James Mangold, at the time an unproven director with only one independent feature to his name. But his script, for a film called “Cop Land” (1997), was considered to be such a strong, hot commodity in Hollywood that numerous big name actors were vying for roles. Stallone, willing to do just about anything to realign his career and make a good picture, accepted the role of the slightly dimwitted, affable, overweight town sheriff, and it would prove to be one of the best decisions he could’ve made.

The town of Garrison, N.J. is a quiet, peaceful community – and for good reason: it’s populated almost entirely by NYC police officers. The community, established by Lt. Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel), is run by Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone), who is unable to pursue his dream of being a big time NYC cop due to hearing loss he suffered during an accident a decade ago. One night, after a night out at a strip club, Lt. Donlan’s nephew, Murray “Supercop” Babitch (Michael Rappaport), kills two African American teenagers when he mistakenly thinks they fired upon him on the road. After one of Donlan’s men, Jack Rucker (Robert Patrick) is caught planting evidence to support Murray’s claims, Ray decides to abscond with Murray, after falsely claiming he committed suicide, back to Garrison in order to avoid an investigation by Internal Affairs, led by Moe Tilden (Robert De Niro). The relationship between Ray’s men in town begins to strain, especially with Gary “Figgsy” Figgis (Ray Liotta), an officer who has a bone to pick with Ray over a past crime. As things slowly devolve, Freddy begins to see that the peaceful town he proudly protects may have something sinister lurking beneath its veneer, forcing him into a role that puts his life in jeopardy.

If you don’t already know, “Cop Land” has one helluva ensemble cast. Despite the previously mentioned fact that this was essentially writer/director James Mangold’s first foray into Hollywood, the strength of his story proved a powerful lure for some of Hollywood’s top talent. Once Stallone was a lock all the other names followed. And, really, nobody phones it in here; everyone is playing at the top of their game. I would be remiss to not immediately mention Robert De Niro as the IA officer who sees Garrison, N.J. just as the film’s title suggests – a land for cops to play around in, doing whatever they will outside the jurisdiction of NYPD. His scenes are among the best in the film, especially when Freddy pays him a belated visit later in the film that serves to do nothing but piss De Niro off. His energy and intensity is at a crescendo here, and after this same year’s “Jackie Brown” (1997) one could easily argue that he hasn’t done anything that touches either performance since.

Stallone’s performance can be viewed in a couple different ways. For one thing, it was considered a decent risk (not a huge one since he hadn’t been hot for a while) for him to take on the role of Freddy Heflin. He gained 20 pounds for the role, which was a far cry from the ultra-jacked action heroes he had become accustomed to playing. Freddy is a very low-key kinda guy. In fact, he’s so low-key that you could almost see him as being a little slow in the old gray matter. He’s a good guy with a big heart, but he’s also very naïve to the events unfolding right under his very nose. It takes someone like Moe Tilden to light a fire under his ass, and even then it’s too long before Freddy decides to jump. Stallone is an actor I’ve always had an appreciation for because he’s able to so deftly slip into a role and make it his own. This is in spite of the fact that he’s such a cultural figure that it can be difficult for people to see him in a role where he isn’t toting a machine gun or wearing boxing gloves. Freddy is someone who had higher ambitions in life, but an accident during his teenage years put a stop to most of them, and he’s lived a relatively quiet life just accepting things as they come. He doesn’t make waves.

I can’t possibly praise every member of the cast enough here, but when you’ve also got Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, John Spencer, Michael Rappaport, and Frank Vincent in your film chances are it’s going to be full of explosive, powerful performances. Keitel’s character reminded me a lot of Ben Gazzara’s in “Road House” (1989). Both are powerful men, who have an entire town under their thumb, controlling all aspects of life with little regard for any outside authority. It’s their own version of paradise, but all good things eventually come to an end. A good actor can make a bad script better, but when you’ve got great actors working with an equally great script – it produces something special. While some saw the film as meandering and too slow to burn, I view it as a great modern classic filled with a fantastic cast that works hard to bring Mangold’s mystery to life.

This Blu-ray contains the 116 minute "Director’s Cut" of the film, which adds back in numerous small character moments and lines, in addition to reinstating Debbie Harry’s cameo as a bartender. Having never seen the film theatrically, I can only say that nothing feels superfluous or out of place, and most reviews I’ve come across have stated this is the preferred version of the film to see. The only way to obtain the "Theatrical" edit is to hunt down the now-OOP original DVD issued by Buena Vista.

Individual film ratings:

"Rambo: First Blood": A-
"Lock Up": C+
"Cop Land": A-

Video

“Rambo: First Blood” sports the same 2.35:1 1080p 24/fps AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer that the original Blu-ray release featured. Given the film’s limited budget, it looks very good in high-definition. The biggest benefit the image receives is the improvement in clarity and fine detail. Though the image may often be soft at times, the picture exhibits clear line delineation and sharp edges on objects in the foreground. Colors aren’t very robust, but the majority of the film is filled with the muted, earthy tones of the Pacific Northwest’s forests. Black levels could stand to be more rich and deep, but they’re acceptable given the limitations of the picture at the time. This is the best I’ve ever seen the film look and, while it may be far from the best demo material available, this is a solid upgrade from all previous home video editions.

“Lock Up” gets sentenced to Blu-ray with a 1.85:1 1080p 24/fps AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer that, quite honestly, surprised me with its quality. This was a low-budget 80's prison film, so I expected it to look drab, washed-out and anemic. Instead, though the picture is largely devoid of robust colors and vivid vistas, the image is consistently clear and cinematic. Rahway State Prison (where the film was shot) is an ugly place, full of metallic hues and steely colors. The detail in their grit is evident here in this high-definition image. Black levels are consistently dark and rich, never fading out into a dark grey or purple. The best looking scenes, of course, are those shot outside in the daylight. Fine detail is excellent in this kind of lighting, especially when you’re watching the muddy, grimy hardcore game of football the men play on the field. Sharpness generally allows for well-defined outlines on screen objects, though there are some shots where the focus is lost and things get a little soft. I can’t find much to complain about, though. This is a quality image with a fine theatrical appearance. What film grain there is never intrudes on the image; it only serves to enhance it.

Inconsistent. That’s the word I would use to describe the 1.85:1 1080p 24/fps AVC MPEG-4 encoded image for “Cop Land”. Right from the film’s opening, and continuing sporadically throughout, there is film grain as thick & heavy as Stallone’s character. Sometimes it adds to the cinematic look of the film, other times it can be a distraction because it clouds the picture with too much noise. The image has a tendency to appear soft, hazy, and a bit unfocused with an apparent lack of fine details. There are times, however, when the picture steadies itself and presents a clear, sharper image than we had been seeing previously. It’s an appreciable upgrade over the previous collector’s edition DVD, but casual fans of the film may want to hold off on upgrading if they don’t view it very often. It certainly could have used a bit more love in the upgrade to high definition.

Individual video ratings:

"Rambo: First Blood": B
"Lock Up": B
"Cop Land": B-

Audio

The English DTS-HD High Resolution 6.1 Matrix mixed at 48kHz/24-bit on “Rambo: First Blood” is a solid track for a film coming out of 1982. Though it lacks some of the finesse of newer mixes, the track sounds wonderful when Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic score is coming in from all sides. Explosions and gunfire bring the LFE and rear speakers to life, but never overpower the track. Dialogue is mostly clear, but there’s also only so much you can do with the audio when Stallone is mumbling on screen. The guy can be downright unintelligible at times. Otherwise, this is a perfectly satisfactory listening experience. Note that the film seems to default to the English Dolby Digital EX 5.1 surround sound track, so you may want to check which track is enabled before starting the picture. Also included is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround. Subtitles are included in English and Spanish.

Who doesn’t love to listen to the musical themes of Bill Conti in lossless audio? Exactly. The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound track mixed at 48kHz/24-bit sounds great when it’s pumping out Conti’s signature tunes. The problem is that when it isn’t doing that, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot else to give the audio any range. This is a prison movie, so the most you’re likely to get out of your rear speakers is the endless chanting and taunting from other inmates inside the prison or out in the work yard. There’s no gun fire, no explosions, though there is a mildly intense sequence involving a classic Ford Mustang that woke up my subwoofer from its nap. The best this track can offer is the score from Conti. Though I wasn’t a fan of some themes he used here, his signature sound is unmistakable and it sounds fantastic pumping through every speaker in my system. Otherwise, this isn’t the most stellar of tracks. I’d wager that source materials prevent this from sounding better because there’s not much range to be found that requires such a hefty soundtrack.
Both English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo tracks are included, as well as a Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 monaural track. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish and French.

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound track mixed at 48kHz/24-bit provided for “Cop Land” is a quality track that displays good range, allowing for an immersive experience. Early scenes in a strip club feature house-pounding bass booming through the LFE while rap music plays on the track. The surrounds are put to use wonderfully throughout, whether it be during young Freddy’s underwater rescue of a drowning girl, or when Freddy & Figgsy have a talk outside surrounded by a cacophony of crickets & barking dogs. The film’s score, composed by the great Howard Shore, is masterful. I was reminded of his work on “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), as both films have minor similarities in tone (which clued me in to this being Shore’s work before I even saw his name in the credits). Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that there is some interesting use of sound employed during the climax which further aids in ratcheting up the tension. Subtitles are included for English for the hearing impaired and Spanish.

Individual audio ratings:

"Rambo: First Blood": B
"Lock Up": B-
"Cop Land": B

Extras

DISC ONE: "Rambo: First Blood"

The audio commentary with Sylvester Stallone is a fantastic example of how commentaries should be done. Never at a loss for words, Stallone is an endless stream of information regarding all aspects of the production, and his thoughts provide some wonderful insight into how this classic came together. I was amazed at just how much he remembered about the film all these years later. Even such minor details as the lighting in some scenes or what the weather was like; it’s little bits like this that make these features so imminently important.

The second audio commentary track is with the writer of the novel, David Morrell. His track is complementary to Stallone’s in that Morrell engages the listener as though they’re more of a student. A former English professor at the University of Iowa, he dissects the film from a literary perspective, offering up a lecture on the character, his motivations, parallels to real-life students and many more aspects of Rambo that may not have been fully carried over to the film. Morrell even takes a moment to get personal, discussing how his son, who was dying of cancer, received a phone call from Stallone to perk up his spirits.

“Out of the Blu” is a trivia track which provides viewers with information on the film, via a small pop-up window, about the locations, weapons and much more. If you’ve already seen the film a dozen times (like me) then this is a great way to learn some more information while watching it. Personally, I’ve always found features like this to be best used when paired with a commentary track.

“Drawing First Blood” (480p) is a behind-the-scenes featurette which runs for 22 minutes and 36 seconds. Nearly all of the film’s principals – director Ted Kotcheff, Sylvester Stallone, writer David Morrell, producers Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna – discuss how the project went from languishing in development hell (where it was drafted 26 times!) to finally getting the greenlight. They talk about the scripting process, the film’s two major (and completely different) endings, their thoughts on the Vietnam War, and they also offer up some anecdotes on the production. It might not be terribly long, but they cram a great deal of information into this piece.

A reel of deleted scenes (480p) runs for 5 minutes and 33 seconds. The film’s divisive alternate ending is included here, as well as a flashback John has of a traumatic night out in Vietnam.

Some bonus trailers (1080p) are included for the following Lionsgate releases:

- “The Descent” runs for 2 minutes and 23 seconds.
- “Crank” runs for 2 minutes and 3 seconds.
- “Lionsgate Blu-ray promo” runs for 1 minute and 2 seconds.

DISC TWO: "Lock Up"

“Making Of” (480p) is a featurette which runs for 6 minutes and 50 seconds. Standard for an 80's EPK, this brief piece features some behind-the-scenes production footage while a narrator fills us in on the production’s notes and locations. Stallone is interviewed and he discusses his character and the film’s plot. I know they don’t always provide the most information, but I love watching these old featurettes.

Sylvester Stallone Profile” (480p) is a featurette which runs for 3 minutes and 13 seconds. This is mainly a profile on how he acts in “Lock Up”, since no other works of his are covered. Stallone talks about his creative process as an actor, as well as discussing how he sees his character in the film as an “every man” who’s just trying to do his time after making a mistake early in life.

“Behind the Scenes” (480p) is a featurette which runs for 8 minutes and 12 seconds. There isn’t any focus to this piece, as it’s just a collection of odds and ends from the production showing actors waiting for their cue on set, interacting with prisoners (and signing a few autographs) and shooting the film. It’s unprocessed and unpolished, but it gives you a good idea of what the atmosphere on set was like.

A series of (extremely short) interviews (480p) are available for the following cast & crew members:

- “Sylvester Stallone” runs for 5 minutes and 4 seconds.
- “Donald Sutherland” runs for 20 seconds.
- “Sonny Landham” runs for 41 seconds.
- “John Amos” runs for 16 seconds.
- “Darlanne Fluegel” runs for 41 seconds.

The film’s theatrical trailer (480p) runs for 2 minutes and 25 seconds.

Finally, the disc includes calibration tests for both video & audio. I so rarely see these included on home media anymore, so it’s a nice inclusion for those who want to utilize them to see if it yields a better picture or sound from their system.

DISC THREE: "Cop Land"

The audio commentary with writer/director James Mangold, actors Sylvester Stallone & Robert Patrick, and producer Cathy Konrad is good, if not a little uneven. With so many participants, it can be easy for everyone to get going once the ball is rolling, but it’s also just as easy for them to space out and start watching the film, too. Stallone mentions the efforts he made to get his look right for the part, proclaiming it to be some of the best work he’s ever done. Can’t say I’d disagree with him there. Mangold has the most to say of anyone, and he provides a lot of information on the film’s genesis and production.

“Cop Land: The Making of an Urban Western” (480p) featurette runs for 14 minutes and 17 seconds. James Mangold had wanted to make an urbanized Western for some time, and he saw this film as his opportunity to do so. The strength of the script he wrote is what attracted all of the biggest names in Hollywood, with Sly being the first to sign on. Personally, I’ve seen this film a couple times now and I only vaguely picked up on this intention.

Storyboard comparison (480p) runs for 1 minute and 53 seconds. This brief piece shows side-by-side the film’s climactic shootout using both actual footage and hand drawn storyboards.

There are two deleted scenes (480p) included, both with optional audio commentary, for the following:

- “Car chase” runs for 3 minutes and 14 seconds, a black couple is stopped by Freddy’s deputy as they drive through town.
- “Profile” runs for 1 minute and 39 seconds, another scene of racism, this one has all Ray’s guys chasing down a couple of black youths driving through town playing loud music.

The disc contains a number of bonus trailers (1080p) as well:

- “The Expendables” runs for 1 minute and 18 seconds.
- “Reservoir Dogs” runs for 1 minute and 43 seconds.
- “Rambo” runs for 59 seconds.
- “Jackie Brown” runs for 1 minute and 44 seconds.
- “Pulp Fiction” runs for 1 minute and 32 seconds.
- “EPIX promo” runs for 1 minute and 45 seconds.

Finally, the disc is enabled with Lionsgate’s standard bookmarks feature.

Packaging

The 3-disc set comes housed in a standard keep case, with a swinging center tray holding 2 of the 3 discs. Each title is the same as those Lionsgate released individually, right down to the artwork. The cover art features a generic shot of Stallone. Way to sell the excitement, Lionsgate!

Overall

I like all of these films but, as I stated earlier, I’m not a fan of packaging unrelated titles together simply because they share a lead actor. Casual fans won’t have a problem buying a set like this, but collectors will wrestle with where to file it on their shelves, and that usually means they’ll bypass the release entirely. These are the exact same discs that have been previously issued, so fans don’t need to worry about there being any new bonus features included. Likewise, you should note that although the packaging doesn’t list any of the bonus features, they clearly do exist. Since this set can be found for under $20, I’d say it’s worth a purchase if you’re looking to save space and don’t already own any of these titles.

The Film: Video: Audio: Extras: Overall: B

 


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