First Blood Steelbook 4K UHD Is the Pick of the Week

For several years now, I’ve periodically come up with little monthly movie themes for my home viewings. It’s a way for me to get out of my comfort zone a little bit and watch films I might otherwise skip, or that I’ve been putting off. It started with watching horror movies in October. Then came film noirs in November, and foreign language films in February. Some themes worked well, others did not (no matter how hard I try I just can’t watch a whole lot of musicals in a row). The more years I do this, the more themes settle in. I just finished with Westerns in March (not very alliterative, I know, but it was a fun month) and now we are moving into Totally Awesome ’80s in April. I had a lot of fun with it last year and I’m looking forward to it again this year.

Turns out this week gives us a couple of nice 4K upgrades to some classic 1980s movies.

I randomly, just this weekend watched the original Rambo Trilogy. John Rambo, the character played by Sylvester Stallone, is permanently lodged into my memory banks from when I was a kid, but I’m honestly not sure if I ever actually watched all three films. Other than the first one, they certainly weren’t familiar at all during this rewatch.

Buy First Blood 4K UHD

The sequels very quickly became caricatures of themselves, the type of over-the-top, explosion-heavy, nonsensical plot action movie the 1980s are famous for. But that first film is different. It is more of a character study than a non-stop thrill ride. Rambo is a PTSD-riddled Vietnam veteran who is hassled and beaten by some local small-town cops until they push him over the edge. Don’t get me wrong, it still has plenty of action, and the drama isn’t all that well executed, but considering how utterly ridiculous Rambo III is, the original looks like Shakespeare in comparison.

Lionsgate is releasing First Blood as a 4K Steelbook exclusively to Walmart. As far as I can tell it is the same transfer they did for this film a couple of years ago, but since that is out of print, now is your chance to grab it. They are also releasing Last Blood, the (supposed) final film in the franchise. I haven’t seen that one yet.

Also, out this week that looks interesting:

Major League (35th Anniversary 4K Steelbook): It has been many years since I watched this baseball comedy from 1989, but now may be the time to revisit. It stars Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernson, and a handful of others as a group of misfit baseball players who are nevertheless recruited to a major league team. The idea is for the team to have such a losing season that the owner can easily move them to Miami. It is a The Producers-type scheme except for baseball instead of Broadway.

La Haine (Criterion 4K): Mathieu Kassovitz’s acclaimed drama about three young men in Paris in the aftermath of a riot gets a Criterion upgrade.

Cutthroat Island (4K Steelbook): Another Lionsgate 4K Steelbook released exclusively through Walmart. Geena Davis and Matthew Modine star in this romantic adventure about pirates looking for treasure.

All Ladies Do It: I’m fascinated by Italian director Tinto Brass. He started his career as an avant-garde maverick who then switched to political films then after the producers turned his political satire Caligula into an X-rated erotic mess he switched completely to near-pornographic films (albeit ones with a lot of style and beautiful cinematography). This is one of his more famous erotic films getting a 4K UHD upgrade.

Mat Brewster

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