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Customer Review

358 of 365 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clearing up the Camouflage, May 3, 2008
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This review is from: Rambo - The Complete Collector's Set (First Blood - Ultimate Edition / Rambo - First Blood Part II - Ultimate Edition / Rambo III - Ultimate Edition / John Rambo - Special Edition) (DVD)
This review will not focus on critiques of the Rambo films, but rather on the details of the various digital home video releases. Since there have been three Rambo complete collection DVD sets and a blu-ray set so far, the contents of the various releases can be a quandary for fans. In 2002, Artisan originally released all 3 movies in a Rambo Trilogy Special Edition DVD Collection. This was an incredible set put together as nothing short of a labor of love. Not only were the movies digitally re-mastered, but the set came with an abundance of special features including commentaries, documentaries, and trailers, most of which were included in a bonus 4th disc. In 2004, Artisan released the Rambo Trilogy Ultimate Edition DVD Set after the Special Edition DVD set went out of print. The Ultimate set was primarily a waste of money for many fans, as most of the Special Edition DVD features did not carry over. Instead, the 'Special Operations' interactive features were offered up as a poor substitute. The only notable inclusion to this set was found on the 'First Blood' DVD, which featured the alternate ending and a commentary track by Stallone. This was later released in 2008 as the Rambo Trilogy Blu-Ray Box set featuring the same bonus content as the Ultimate Edition DVD set but with improved picture and sound. Also in 2008, Lionsgate released the Rambo: The Complete Collector's DVD Set featuring all 4 movies. This set carried over most of the bonus features from both of the previous DVD collections, although the advertised 'First Blood' commentary with author David Morrell from the Special Edition was erroneously missing. The individual movies were identical to the Ultimate Edition set but the bonus disc from the Special Edition set was also included, along with a few featurettes found only on the individual Special Edition movies. In 2010, Lionsgate released the Rambo: The Complete Collector's Blu-Ray Set, which reinstated the David Morrell 'First Blood' commentary but had many of the featurettes found on the DVD set's bonus disc inexplicably omitted. Below are the specs for the Lionsgate 2008 Rambo: The Complete Collector's DVD Set, which is the most comprehensive release to date in terms of bonus features. Any differences with the 2010 blu-ray collection has been noted in parenthesis:

First Blood
Audio commentary with Sylvester Stallone
Audio commentary with David Morrell (blu-ray and Ultimate Edition DVD set only)
Deleted scenes including the alternate ending
Interactive Military Special Operations Features- Survival Mode, Early Warning System, MetaBrief, MetaScope, MetaSight, MetaPoint, MetaMap

Rambo: First Blood Part II
Audio commentary with director George P. Cosmatos
Interactive Military Special Operations Features- Survival Mode, Early Warning System, MetaBrief, MetaScope, MetaSight, MetaPoint, MetaMap

Rambo III
Audio commentary with director Peter MacDonald
Deleted Scenes (not on blu-ray)
Interactive Military Special Operations Features- Survival Mode, Early Warning System, MetaBrief, MetaScope, MetaSight, MetaPoint, MetaMap

Rambo
Audio commentary by Sylvester Stallone
"Legacy of Despair: The Struggle in Burma" featurette
"It's a Long Road: Resurrection of an Icon" featurette
"A Score to Settle: The Music of Rambo" featurette
"The Art of War: Completing Rambo" featurette
"The Weaponry of Rambo" featurette
"A Hero's Welcome: Release & Reaction" featurette
Deleted Scenes

Bonus Disc
"The Real Nam: Voices from Within" featurette (not on blu-ray)
"Guts and Glory" featurette (not on blu-ray)
"The Forging of Heroes: America's Green Berets" featurette (not on blu-ray)
"Rambo-nomics" featurette (not on blu-ray)
"Selling a Hero" featurette (not on blu-ray)
"Suiting Up" featurette (not on blu-ray)
"An American Hero's Journey: The Rambo Trilogy" featurette (not on blu-ray)
"Drawing First Blood" featurette
"We Get to Win This Time" featurette
"Afghanistan: Land in Crisis" featurette
Theatrical Trailers for all 4 Films

To recap, those who have the 2002 Special Edition DVD set are probably better off buying the individual release of the last Rambo film. Those who own the 2004 Ultimate Edition DVD set might consider upgrading if the features on the 2008 bonus disc sound appealing. The 2008 Complete Collector's DVD set is probably best suited for those who don't own either of the previous DVD collections. And for those wanting the best video and audio experience, the 2010 blu-ray collection is clearly the best choice, even though some of the bonus features from the 2008 DVD release were omitted. Whatever set one decides to purchase, the constant re-release of the Rambo movies, although frustrating to many, can also be seen as a testament to the enduring legacy of a pop cultural icon that refuses to die.
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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 14, 2008, 7:25:15 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2008, 6:56:27 PM PDT
duke4711 says:
Thanks a lot for this review. I have the Special Edition and I'm going to buy the new movie by itself. There is no way I'm buying the other three movies again. Artisan can stick it.

Posted on May 17, 2008, 9:28:07 PM PDT
Chris says:
I don't own any of the movies on DVD (only old, blurry VHS) Your review was comprehensive, much better than the Amazon description of the product. Thank you very much! I pre-ordered this set based on your comments. P.S. The new movie was the best since First Blood!

Posted on May 20, 2008, 3:35:54 PM PDT
Very good information about the new set. Thanks! I'll just buy the new film by itself, since I already have the Ultimate Edition for First Blood and Special Editions for 2 & 3.

Posted on May 25, 2008, 9:59:58 PM PDT
marcelo78 says:
Excellent review!! Thanks for the clarification about the differences between all editions!!!
Fans don't need to be confused anymore.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2008, 3:04:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 28, 2008, 3:04:28 PM PDT
I'm glad I didn't own any of them before now, but I thank you kindly for letting me know what was on them. I have been double dipped many times before, albeit not yet with Rambo, and I appreciate people helping prevent the double dip.

Posted on May 28, 2008, 11:47:12 PM PDT
ari180 says:
Just wanted to add my thanks, too, "supes." Your generosity of time and effort is helpful to many, many people, and is very much appreciated.

Posted on May 29, 2008, 2:29:02 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 29, 2008, 2:30:21 PM PDT]

Posted on May 30, 2008, 5:52:29 PM PDT
Hey Supes,

Thank you so much for this breakdown. I compared it to the Special edition set since I didn't own either version and went with the S.E. set because of the Crenna interview. Yeah, I'm giving up a couple of deleted scenes but, that Crenna interview is what drew me to the S.E. version. Thank you again for this insightful review.

Posted on May 31, 2008, 8:54:57 PM PDT
Sherry Lipp says:
I'm going to write to Lionsgate and ask WHY the David Morrell "First Blood" commentary is missing. It is on the Blu-Ray version, but not this. I hoped this set would finally gather ALL the features from the previous editions...
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