A few words about…™ First Blood — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Absolutely 4 Stars

When First Blood was released, back in October of 1982, reviews were generally positive, and then the film took off, bringing in an almost 50mm domestic and 125mm international gross.

Retired Green Beret John Rambo became a very human super-hero overnight, and sequels were obvious.

The first film in the series, carrying the same title as author David Morrell’s novel has been released via Lionsgate as part of their ongoing upgrade of their catalog titles, but presumably also to tie in with Rambo V, due in the fall of 2019.

While there is probably less 4k to Andrew Laszlo’s cinematography, this is an example, especially in the mine sequence, in which HDR shines.

Lionsgate gives the film in an ultra-clean, cinema-like presentation, that is only eclipsed by Rambo: First Blood Part II, which will also be in release, (along with III), as it was photographed by the great Jack Cardiff. It seems that the production company spared no expense on the sequel.

Enough special features round out a superb presentation, especially taking into consideration of $15 street price.

This is a series worth owning in 4k, as the upgrade is obvious.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Absolutely

Highly Recommended

RAH

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Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

20 Comments

  1. Britton

    These will be $7.99 each during Best Buy's Black Friday sale.

    Just curious, where did you see this? Best Buy's Black Friday ad is up on several sites and no mention of these titles. Most UHD titles on the ad are $14.99.

  2. atfree

    Just curious, where did you see this? Best Buy's Black Friday ad is up on several sites and no mention of these titles. Most UHD titles on the ad are $14.99.

    It's not printed in the add, but all 3 are part of the "Choose from 20 titles" mentioned in the $7.99 category. Just go to the following link and scroll down:

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/promo/movies-4k-799

    I'll pick up First Blood and Halloween from this list. Ant Man & The Wasp will round out my purchases this year. I'll have to remember not to buy Captain Marvel or Avengers 4 until BF 2019. I still haven't gotten around to my release date purchases of Black Panther and Infinity War.

  3. Robert Harris

    It seems that the production company spared no expense on the sequel.

    Tell that to Cosmatos. He wanted to shoot First Blood II in Thailand. Kassar and Vajna forced him to do it in Acapulco instead to save a buck.

  4. Lord Dalek

    Tell that to Cosmatos. He wanted to shoot First Blood II in Thailand. Kassar and Vajna forced him to do it in Acapulco instead to save a buck.

    Where might one believe the budget would have landed with a Thailand shoot? And what might have been gained?

  5. ghostwind

    Do you know if both of these have a new Blu-ray from the same master used for the 4K?

    The Blu-rays included with the first 2 aren't duplicates of the ones from years ago – they're different.

    I would assume they use the new master, but I can't say for sure. I just know that they're not the same BDs from 10 years ago.

    I also assume the same for "R3" but Lionsgate's not sent me a copy of that one yet so I don't know for sure…

  6. Colin Jacobson

    The Blu-rays included with the first 2 aren't duplicates of the ones from years ago – they're different.

    I would assume they use the new master, but I can't say for sure. I just know that they're not the same BDs from 10 years ago.

    I also assume the same for "R3" but Lionsgate's not sent me a copy of that one yet so I don't know for sure…

    Thanks. Looking on Blu-ray.com I see ones released in 2007/2008 and ones in 2015 (which have the same artwork as the new 4K ones). See links below. I don't know if the 2015 ones were new releases at the time (and maybe re-used here in the 4K set) or if they were same as the 2007 ones. Hmm…

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/First-Blood-Blu-ray/61/

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/First-Blood-Blu-ray/121026/

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Rambo-First-Blood-Part-II-Blu-ray/735/

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Rambo-First-Blood-Part-II-Blu-ray/134560/

  7. ghostwind

    Thanks. Looking on Blu-ray.com I see ones released in 2007/2008 and ones in 2015 (which have the same artwork as the new 4K ones). See links below. I don't know if the 2015 ones were new releases at the time (and maybe re-used here in the 4K set) or if they were same as the 2007 ones. Hmm…

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/First-Blood-Blu-ray/61/

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/First-Blood-Blu-ray/121026/

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Rambo-First-Blood-Part-II-Blu-ray/735/

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Rambo-First-Blood-Part-II-Blu-ray/134560/

    I wasn't aware of a 2015 release and would guess that it was just a reissue. There don't seem to be any reviews of it from sites like mine.

    One element that supports the idea the BDs are new comes from the opening menu. When both the BD and the 4K boot, they demand you choose a language.

    That's unusual for Lionsgate – I don't recall any of their discs doing that in the past – and it's on both discs, which implies to me the BD is a 2018 product…

  8. Colin Jacobson

    I wasn't aware of a 2015 release and would guess that it was just a reissue. There don't seem to be any reviews of it from sites like mine.

    One element that supports the idea the BDs are new comes from the opening menu. When both the BD and the 4K boot, they demand you choose a language.

    That's unusual for Lionsgate – I don't recall any of their discs doing that in the past – and it's on both discs, which implies to me the BD is a 2018 product…

    Think Studio Canal re did them for Europe a few years ago so perhaps they are using those newer transfers-would explain multiple language choices too…

  9. Blu_rayfan66

    Think Studio Canal re did them for Europe a few years ago so perhaps they are using those newer transfers-would explain multiple language choices too…

    IIRC, the language choices are English and Spanish.

    There are non-US components, as some of the extras clearly come from a French release. For instance, a featurette about the restoration is called the "Restauration"!

  10. Colin Jacobson

    IIRC, the language choices are English and Spanish.

    There are non-US components, as some of the extras clearly come from a French release. For instance, a featurette about the restoration is called the "Restauration"!

    The only language option should be "Pain"

  11. I recall an interview with Kurt Russell regarding Tombstone where he said he ghost directed the film and Sylvester Stallone told him George P Cosmatos was the director to hire for that.

    Bearing that in mind, could it be that Stallone ghost directed Rambo: First Blood Part 2 and maybe Cobra as well.

    Seems a reasonable deduction although giving instructions behind the scenes is one thing I feel Cosmatos still has to convey those instructions to the crew and thus is still directing things.

    Studio Canal did these, not Lionsgate, Lionsgate are just using the new scans Studio Canal provided to them. ( I think )

  12. Colin Jacobson

    The Blu-rays included with the first 2 aren't duplicates of the ones from years ago – they're different.

    I would assume they use the new master, but I can't say for sure. I just know that they're not the same BDs from 10 years ago.

    I also assume the same for "R3" but Lionsgate's not sent me a copy of that one yet so I don't know for sure…

    I believe your assumption is correct.

    The UHD BD and "new" BD have very similar traits.

    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1&a=0&d1=12569&d2=12574&s1=125042&s2=125123&i=0&l=0

  13. FoxyMulder

    I recall an interview with Kurt Russell regarding Tombstone where he said he ghost directed the film and Sylvester Stallone told him George P Cosmatos was the director to hire for that.

    Bearing that in mind, could it be that Stallone ghost directed Rambo: First Blood Part 2 and maybe Cobra as well.

    Seems a reasonable deduction although giving instructions behind the scenes is one thing I feel Cosmatos still has to convey those instructions to the crew and thus is still directing things.

    It has long been rumored that Stallone actually directed Cobra, with Cosmatos just acting as a figurehead. I haven't heard the same claimed about Rambo, but I'm sure it's possible.

    Kurt Russell confirmed that he directed the majority of Tombstone after the original director, Kevin Jarre, was fired. As you mention, he claimed that Stallone recommended Cosmatos to be the credited director.

  14. Received my copy today…went to redeem the digital copy and was told I already own this movie in HDX. Well I do on a previous blu ray which I converted via Vudu’s disk to digital program. So the question, is the code that comes with the 4K disc for HDX or UHD?

    tx

  15. Well since my blu-ray for some insane reason stop playing it looks like I will be getting this classic on 4K blu-ray as it is a movie that I have to have in my collection! Will most likely also get Rambo 2 & 3 on 4K blu-ray as well. Would be nice to hit the lottery, ROFL!

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