Rambo - First Blood - Part II

Rambo - First Blood - Part II

DVD Rating: **

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Read Gator MacReady's film review of Rambo - First Blood - Part II

Filmed in Panavision, the 2.35:1 anamorphic picture is well framed and captures the action extremely well. Watching this movie in cropped format would ruin its spectacle, I dare say. Plus the picture is bright, with great fleshtones and a very green jungle. Sometimes it can be a little dirty and grainy, but overall there's nothing to complain about. Well, you could moan that it's not the brand new remaster the recent R1 SE got.

Sadly, the sound is only Dolby 2.0. The R1 SE was given a full blown 5.1 track PLUS DTS. Here we have a meagre and modest track that delivers bangs and booms with no flare and no amount of base. It's rather unsatisfying and a bit thin. Too bad.

Copy picture

Behind The Scenes footage is the same stuff recycled to look different. You'll find it a bit repetitive and none of it is new. The Last American P.O.W. explains why Cameron thought the script was important. There were still zillions of Americans held prisoner in 1985 and by making a movie about going back to rescue them, the US-of-A could have the last laugh after all.

Sean Baker:Fulfilling A Dream is the story of author David Morrell's son, who died of cancer. He had watched First Blood hundreds of times and was a huge Rambo fan. Then one day Sly called to talk to him. And he fulfilled his dream of...well...talking to Rambo. What they spoke about is best left unknown.

Creating The Beauty Of War, Action In The Jungle and Preparing For Action are old and dated featurettes that remain a tiny bit interesting. It's weird now seeing Stallone a lot younger and decked out in Rambo gear and talking like a normal person. He shows a touch of humour and sarcasm, not something that fits the Rambo image. George Pan Cosmatos mentions how he had to find the right kind of jungle and make it photogenic. Plus filming in Vietnam proved impossible, so they hauled production down to Mexico and planted rice. You get the idea.

The short length of these mini-documentaries - the longest is seven minutes - and their old fashioned approach prevent them from achieving modern standards.

Info on Sly tells of how he struggled to get started in the biz and create a credible character - or should we say franchise? - other than Rocky. His career high of Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was still a decade away at this point.

A decent Photo Gallery and a pan-and-scan Trailer finish off the extras.

The R1 release contains a commentary by George Pan Cosmatos and features dozens more extras. But relax, the commentary is one of the dullest in DVD history - more like George Pan Comatose.

If you want a Rambo DVD and are not fussy about extras, then go for it.

Reviewed on: 08 Sep 2002
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Rambo - First Blood - Part II packshot
Sly dons his bandana a second time - this time with greatly enhanced body count.
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Product Code: MP004D

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic

Sound: Dolby Surround 2.0

Extras: The Last American P.O.W.; Sean Baker:Fulfilling A Dream; Creating The Reality Of War; Action In The Jungle; Preparing for Action; Sylvester Stallone Personality Profile; Interviews; Behind The Scenes; Photo Gallery; Trailer

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