45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2011
This series of films is one I've been hoping for for awhile now. I am aware that the first two films are available here in the states but they don't have any special features to speak of. Imagine my surprise when I was just looking things up randomly and found an entire box set, five discs, of the Lethal Weapon films available on blu ray and for a reasonable price!!!!
Now I'm not giving plot synopsis of each film and I'm not really going to review each film with any depth. Sorry, just don't see the point in doing so for a 24 year old franchise. The first Lethal Weapon is an American movie classic at this point. It's been ripped off and emulated multiple times(and unfortunately still is today). At the time of its release there wasn't a huge action movie market back in 1987. Sure, there were action flicks, mostly starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but most of them were real low budget and grindhouse type fare. This had name stars and a big director(Richard Donner of Goonies, Omen and Superman the movie fame) attached. Now this wasn't a huge budget film either. The film only cost about seven million to make, and even back then that was peanuts. The Lethal Weapon film had something that the other films of the time like Commando didn't have; GREAT CHARACTERS. Characters that you believed and were interesting and ultimately you cared about one way or another. The plot itself is ludicris and impossible. The way the police go about their 'procedure' is very much of the 80's, but the snappy dialogue, fun action set pieces(set pieces that stand out due to them feeling urgent and possible, unlike most action films of today), and great cast chemistry made this film original. If this film had just been a slice of life drama and not an action film then it would've still worked. Lethal Weapon 2, while not as classic for being original as the first, just furthered the strong points of the first and arguably made a better film. Adding a great addition in the form of Joe Pesci playing an annoying state witness named Leo Getz. The antics with stars Glover, Gibson and Pesci are not to be missed. Letha Weapon 3 is where the quality started dropping. It's by no means a bad film, it's actually a really fun good one, but the routine-ness of the proceedings were starting to show through. Joe Pesci's character has no function in the film beyond the fact that he was so popular in the last movie. The villain is weak to boot. The action is great and Gibson and Glover are just as endearing and watchable. Plus, they added a legitimate love interest to the mix played by Rene Russo. Russo and Gibson have a now classic scene of foreplay as they compare battle scars. Lethal Weapon 4 is the low mark in the series. I woudn't blame or argue with anyone that hated this film. It's a more episodic film(due most likely to the film being written as they were filming, which you learn in this new set's fifth disc suppliments). There are action scenes, tho they are awesome and expertly staged, where the main characters bicker and joke WAY TOO MUCH. You just want them to shut up for a second so you can watch the scene play out. It's also the most sentimental in the series as all invovled were aware of the serie's long running popularity and the fact that they knew this would probably be the last. As with previous sequels a character is added in the form of Chris Rock(in his first major studio film) as Glover's would-be son in law. Now I like the film enough despite it's flaws. It's still a fun flick, espeically if you're already a fan of the other films. It has a nice sense of closure, jaw dropping action(especially a brilliant freeway chase like no other),and a great villain played by Jet Li(this being his introduction to mainstream America). So, those are the films themselves.
The new Import Only blu rays are AMAZING. Totally worth picking up for any fan. The transfers are all crisp. This is the best the films have ever looked. The first two films exist here in the states on blu ray but they're pitiful transfers in comparison. Each disc ports over the blu ray features for each film(deleted/extended scenes, vintage featurettes, etc) and adds brand new commetary tracks for the first three films by director Richard Donner. I was excited by the new commentary tracks, but was a bit disappointed. Donner is accompanied by the new set's producer and he seems more interested in watching the films then commenting on them. Plus, he doesn't seem to remember much and often confuses scenes with other films in the series. The producer doesn't help him much as he doesn't do much to push along the commentary. More annoyingly, sometimes you hear Donner responding to someone in the recording booth who isn't mic'd, and he starts answering questions with no frame of mind for the audience. Can be very frustrating. The dvd commentary for part 4 has been ported over from the 1998 dvd, and it's still a fun listen as Donner is accompanied by several members of that film's production team.
Sorry folks but these ARE NOT THE DIRECTOR'S CUTS of the films, or as they should properly be referred to as 'the so-called director's cuts'. Back when Lethal Weapon 4 came out Warner Home Video released director's cuts of the first three films. They had previously deleted scenes incorporated back in(all these scenes are included on each film's disc as special features). Now while Donner didn't object he didn't personally put these scenes back into the films. He states that the theatrical versions are his director's cuts. The first film had the most added footage. While at the time I was excited to see more, the film buff in me knew something was wrong. The first film has a great deleted scene where Riggs confronts a sniper at an elementary school. This is an exciting scene in itself but redundant when edited into the final film. It essentially does the same job as the scene where Riggs goes undercover to buy coke at the Christmas tree lot---it shows that he's daring and prone to violence. It's cool but doesn't do much for the final narrative. I know some love the director's/extended cuts and would prefer them to the theatrical, but Im not one of them. I'm happy having theatrical versions with the deleted scenes as extras. SO DO NOT BUY IF YOU WANT DIRECTOR'S CUTS.
There's also a fifth disc with a four-part making of/retropspective documentary that runs about two hours. It has brand new interviews with Richard Donner, Danny Glover, Mel Gibson, Chris Rock, Rene Russo, screenwriter Shane Black, producer Joel Silver, and producer Mark Canton among others. This is the motherload right here. It goes in deep about the production for all four films(while, like the Indiana Jones dvd set, focusing more on the first film more) and gives you every scoop you could want regardin this film series. It's fun and informative. My favorite moments that I can think of off the top of my head have to do with Donner admitting his own ignorance regarding the suggestion of Danny Glover being offered up by casting director Marion Dougherty for the role Roger Murtaugh. "But Danny Glover is black", was Donner's initial response not realising right away that he could cast a black actor despite the fact that the script didn't specifically describe one. Show the times and how they've changed. My other favorite has to do with the long process that went behind Riggs' suicide attempt in his trailer. Gibson wasn't ready to do so asked to have it pushed back in production schedule. They cut the trailer set in half and carried it around with them from location to location until Gibson finally said he could pull the scene off. And if you've seen the first film you know it was worth the wait. A truly sad and harrowing scene ever committed to any action film I've ever seen. There's tons more of this and it's worth a view by EVERY Lethal Weapon fan. Just to hear about Shane Black's original, and much bigger, scripted ending is worth the view. I know I'll be watching it again in the future.
All in all this is worth the upgrade. Great transfers. An abundance of new and old special features. Despite the weak first three films commentary tracks I was happy to give them a listen, tho I won't be listening to them again, this is a great set. If you prefer the theatrical versions over the director's/extended cuts, or just don't give a crap either way then this is a total no brainer! Buy it! You know you want to.
PS: I don't know of any official US release date for these films in this particular form, but I am kind of annoyed that I have to import American made films with new special features, especially a franchise this popular and influential. I couldn't wait so I obviously had to. Though, Warner Brothers doesn't regionally code their discs so it should play in all players. I learned this last year when I got copies of The Goonies(another Donne classic) and Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(which includes special features not even on the US dvd releases like a great Tim Burton commentary).
86 of 96 people found the following review helpful
The Lethal Weapon movies are some of the best buddy/action/comedy movies ever. This two disc set includes all four movies in the Lethal Weapon series for the price of one movie. Each of the movies is shown in the Director's Cut edition. There are trailers for the first three movies, but not for LETHAL WEAPON 4. However, LETHAL WEAPON 4 does include a commentary with director Richard Donner. If you're unfamiliar with the Lethal Weapon franchise, a brief synopsis of the films follows.
LETHAL WEAPON is the first movie in the series and introduces the unlikely cop team of Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). Murtaugh is fifty-years old and a veteran officer. Riggs is an up-and-coming star of the police force, known for his atypical style. They are partnered together and become close friends while working to bring down a major drug cartel. Besides being just a good movie, LETHAL WEAPON is also notable for being the movie that made Mel Gibson a box officer superstar in the United States. Mel became famous because of Mad Max, but it was LETHAL WEAPON that made him a household name in the U.S.
LETHAL WEAPON 2 continues a few years after LETHAL WEAPON. Murtaugh and Riggs are still partners. Once again they are on a drug case, but this time it's an international drug ring of diplomats from South Africa with diplomatic immunity. They are also put in charge of protecting a key witness and informant, Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) who becomes a great secondary character in the series. Also, Riggs falls in love and pulls a house off a cliff. As a bit of trivia, Riggs was supposed to die in this one, but the studio called for a rewrite knowing how successful the franchise would be.
The Lethal Weapon series was going to be a trilogy wrapped up with the retirement of Murtaugh at the end of LETHAL WEAPON 3. After thirty-years on the force, Murtaugh is finally going to retire. However, eight days before the big event he and Riggs become involved in a case of gun running and cops gone bad. Riggs finds lasting love with an internal affairs officer, Lorna Cole (Rene Russo). Leo Getz also returns. This film is the weakest of the Lethal Weapon movies and the studio wisely decided to bring everyone back for one last film.
LETHAL WEAPON 4 brings back the entire cast of the Lethal Weapon films for one last go-around. Lorna Cole is pregnant with Riggs' child. Murtaugh's eldest daughter, Rianne (Traci Wolfe) is secretly engaged to Detective Lee Butters Chris Rock) and has a baby on the way, too. Meanwhile, Murtaugh and Riggs get entangled in bringing down a Chinese king pin, Wah Sing Ku (Jet Li) determined to move his operations from the Orient to Southern California.
If you don't already own the Lethal Weapon movies, this is THE DVD you want to own.
246 of 290 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2000
I almost bought this but have discovered the hard way that you should ALWAYS research the DVD especially for uncut versions and missing footage. This box set contains the old cut versions and NOT the directors cut DTS versions. LW 1-3 are out on DTS and LW 4 is only available in DD 5.1 and actually contains the missing footage for the previous 3 movies !!!
57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2000
The Lethal Weapon series in itself is a great set of movies, and this is a flat-out good pack of movies for the fans of the Lethal Weapon series. This has the original DVDs with the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and the Widescreen video, but I'm a fan of extras so I like the 3 pack director's cut better.
If you feel like getting all four movies in pack, go for it: otherwise I would get the cheaper three pack and buy LW 4 seperately.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2008
Imagine Lethal Weapon 1-4 on two discs for 10.49 in widescreen!!You cant do better,on this set The dvd quality is excellent.The set makes an excellent gift.I bought 3 copies as holiday gifts and everyone was thrilled by the set 5 star rated.A great deal thank you!01/10/08.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2012
Please accurately describe the audio and video quality of any Blu-Ray you review. Thanks to those who do this.
I purchased the UK version, and have watched all four of the movies in the set. Of course I haven't seen the USA version, but it will most likely be the same.
I am very pleased with this Blu-Ray purchase. I took notes after watching each of the four movies.
I thought the video quality was great. The first movie didn't have quite as good of video quality as the last three, but it was still very good. I noticed a little fine grain in some of the scenes in the first movie, but didn't see any in the last three. In all four of the movies, blacks were black, without grain, and without distortion. There were a lot of night scenes in the fourth movie, and they all looked great. Overall, I give the movies an average of 9.4 on a 10.0 scale, with 10.0 being absolutely perfect. I have never rated a Blu-Ray less than 4.0.
Aspect ratio was 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 in the last three movies, and, for some reason, 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 in the first movie.
All four of the movies have DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, which is also great. There is a lot of surround sound, except for the third movie, which doesn't have as much as the other three. There really isn't much sub-woofer bass, but I did notice more in the fourth movie.
Movie 1: 1 hour and 47 minutes.
Movie 2: 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Movie 3: 1 hour and 54 minutes.
Movie 4: 2 hours.
All of the movies are very good, but my favorite was the second movie. There is a 5th disc, but I did not watch any bonus material.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2007
It's absolutely worth the money. It's great that movie companies are now putting movie franchises all in one set at a great price. If you're a fan of the lethal weapon series, I highly recommend this for you. All four Letal Weapon Movies with Director's cuts and bonus features. You will not be sorry!
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2002
This special edition box set with all the Lethal Weapons is an impressive package with some good extra material.
The first of the Weapon films is still the best, with Mel Gibson as the suicidal cop Martin Riggs paired up with Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) as his reluctant partner. The action is great, and while it does tend to get carried away sometimes (not helped By Richard Donner's frenetic pacing), it's still the most fun of the franchise, and one of the best action films of the 80's.
Mel is great in one of his first major film roles, and Glover works well with Gibson. Director Donner, who gave us Superman (1978), directed all the Weapon films, but this one is the undisputed finest. Action at it's most outrageous.
The second instalment is not quite as good as the first, but its still exciting frenetic fun, with some witty humour. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are the partner- in -crime duo again, and this one sees Riggs and Murtaugh joined by Joe Pesci as Leo Getz, the annoying cop who returns in parts 3 and 4. The action is as impressive as the former one, and director Richard Donner's hard- as-nails approach to the film makes it as exhilarating as it's predecessor.
Lethal Weapon 3 and 4 are the weakest of the franchise, yet still retain soome of the cool action present in the first 2 films, with Gibson and Glover doing a "take the money and run" deal. The action is good, and in Lethal Weapon 4, Jet Li as the bad guy ups the hard-edged approach. However, the last two films aren't as much fun. The extras are good, if not great, with trailers, Featurettes, Behind-the-scenes Footage an Audio Commentary and some additional Footage.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2004
All four of these movies are winners. Each of the movies gets 5 stars as far as I'm concerned. The first three are director cuts.
The first instalment has seven extra minutes of footage. You really get to see just how far down Mel Gibson's character, Martin Riggs has gone down. You see his wedding picture, but don't know anymore than that. He is near suicide early in the film, not able to laugh at the Three Stooges. Then, a short time later, he cooly walks into the line of fire of sniper at a school yard and shoots him.
You also see just how good of a shot Riggs is when he shoots a smilie face from several hundred feet way with his service revolver.
The first one revolves around death of a famly friend of Murtaugh, and the subsequent murder of another friend. Lot's of shooting, explosions, fights, car chases. Tons of action with bits of humor, especially about Murtaugh's wife's cooking. Best seen uncut for there are many swear words, and certain scenes that would never survive the cutting rooms of cable TV.
The second one just as good as the first adds more footage with Riggs flirting at the hotel pool before picking up Joe Pesci, who adds some of the greatest one liners in the past decade, as Leo Goetz. New footage also includes the whirling dizying numbers game that helps them find the home they're looking for.
This one involves the South African Embassy, before the end of apartheid. Opens with a great chase scene with cars, choppers, and shoot-outs. There is another chase with the station wagon, a two truck, and a surf-board.
One of the best scenes here is the commercial that Murtaugh's beautiful daughter Rianne stars in, and the consequences for Murtaugh. We also get a very intimate look into Riggs's wife's death, involving a gold pen.
The best scene in this movie, and one of my favorite all-time movie scenes is when Murtaugh goes into the consulate to try to emigrate South Africa. "Because You're Black"! Priceless. He talks of how he wants to free his black brothers. The bathroom scene is also priceless.
The consulate declares war on the police department after millions in Kruggerands were lost in a police bust. It involves diplomatic immunity, and a romance for Riggs.
Same action as the first. Riggs is finally over the death of his wife, and Murtaugh is still thinking of retirement. Fights, explosions and a falling house. Classic
The third isn't as good as the first two, but that doesn't mean that it isn't great. The first two are among the best cops and robbers movies ever made, any movie even a bit short of them are not a dissapointment.
Added footage on this one include new footage of Rianne and Riggs, more fighting at the boat, and the new addition to Riggs family with the newly acquired rottweiler.
The third installment hs a Clapton/Sting collaboration theme song. It opens with a huge explosion of a huge building. This was filmed at a real buidling that was being demolished, after Riggs cut the wrong wire. This gets them demoted to foot patrol.
There's a chase scene with two armored trucks, the station wagon, which takes a real beating, a motorcycle, and the final scene with the burning truck. It shows the way to "Cement" relationships.
This one revolves around gun smuggling, and we're introduced to Rene Russo who joins the cast as the tough as nails no hold barred cop who falls for Riggs. Chris Rock also joins as the brash, edgy lieutenant, who falls for Rianne.
The fourth one is almost as good as the first three, still great though. This one adds Jet Li, involved in a counterfiting ring. The movie opens with a flame thrower scene, and a huge explosion. There's a shoot-out with a boat sinking, immigration issues, great chase scenes involving a bicycle, a mobile home, trains, busses and cars.
It's a wonderful set of four movies that start in a rush from the beginning and don't let up to the very end. The first minute is great, right up to the
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
Richard Donner's long-running LETHAL WEAPON series may have run its course by the time its fourth installment was released in 1998, but for action fans, they remain personal favorites -- the pinnacle of the Joel Silver-produced, stylized "buddy pictures" that became a permanent part of our movie-going culture during the 1980s and 90s.
Of course, it helped that Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, as a pair of mismatched L.A. cops, had splendid chemistry together on-screen, and also that Donner, who seemed to find his niche as an action filmmaker with the series, handled each picture with plenty of energy and distinction. Go ahead, say that two, maybe even three films in the series was enough -- but you won't find a lot of viewers who weren't at least mildly entertained by either the first or second entries in the series at least, while parts 3 and 4 made box-office chum of its counterparts financially if nothing else (though with the star profit participation and salaries, I'm not sure the studio made a whole lot of money in the process).
After a lengthy delay (the European versions of this set have been available for well over a year), Warner has rolled out a 5-disc LETHAL WEAPON COLLECTION on Blu-Ray, offering improved 1080p transfers of the first two films (previously available only in awful-looking, standalone Blu-Ray platters), the debut of the later sequels, and a bonus documentary. Each film is presented in its original theatrical version with the deleted scenes offered as extras.
All the transfers here are quite good, and if you previously owned the old Blu-Ray or HD-DVD editions of the first two films, you'll notice an appreciable improvement in those transfers here, with stronger detail and bolder colors. The third and fourth films fare even better, with DTS MA soundtracks on-hand for each picture.
Extra features aren't overwhelming - the main draw are the copious deleted scenes, some of which had been added to prior, director-unapproved "Extended Cuts." Donner contributes commentary tracks that are, unfortunately, not all that interesting, dominated by long gaps of silence and with the director having to be prompted by an off-mike moderator at certain points. Music videos are also on-hand throughout the four movie platters, with the fifth disc reserved for a four-part, almost two-hour new documentary. I say "new," even though this retrospective talk with the principal players (Donner, Gibson, Glover, etc.) was shot in the spring of 2010. It's an engaging and fun look back at the series' production, showing that the chemistry between the stars and director was, unsurprisingly, as strong off-camera as it was on the screen.
Even if the supplements are a bit light, this is still a recommended purchase for "Lethal Weapon" fans, though the international, region-free box-set release is considerably less expensive (and has the exact same content on it).