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4.7 out of 5 stars24
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 July 2010
Well I must admit I had to have this, cos let's face it, it's Rambo. I'm a huge fan of the original trilogy and was a huge fan of Stallone's recent revival of the character in 'John Rambo' which i thought was a raw and gritty supercharged action film yet with depth of character and story that easily surpassed any of it's disposable contemporaries. Make no bones about it; "the expendables" sticker on the front the "expendables" trailer; the trailers of films from all of the actors in the "expendables" - this is a pure money making and marketing combo to tie in with the release of Sly's latest actioner. BUT, I have to say, what whilst expecting nothing more than the all new "Rambo - to hell and back" production diaries special feature, and maybe a couple of extended scenes in the movie, I was actually really surprised at just how different this new cut of the film is.

This is not just the theatrical cut with a couple of extra bits, this is a true director's cut style extended edition with a completely re-edited opening, many extended takes, many alternate takes, and whole new extra scenes that all blend seemlessly to really compliment and add much to the film. A lot of this really helps to elaborate the story, and really flesh out character and themes that whilst hinted at in the original, were never really fully explored. When Rambo says in the original "no, what you're trying to do is change what is", and Sara asks him "and what is?"; he just says "go home". I always used to wonder, "yeah, what is??". Well, a whole knew alternate take here reveals all, and also a few real home truths about his real feelings about war and regret. And that's not all, you find out so much more about the characters, their relationships, motivation, and so many tiny insertions of lines here and there, very subtle shot changes, alternate dialog, black and white flashbacks, that it's almost an entirely new take on the film. It's all great stuff!

A word of warning tho, there do appear to be a few cuts and alterations to some of the more violent and extreme/controversial scences. Some of these bits are alternate takes (when the main bad guy leader takes delivery of the young village boy for example), but others are just plain removed, or cut short. The child being stabbed in the attack on the village is missing, the guy flying though the air with both legs blown off is cut short, the bearded mercenary stabbing the solider under the hut is removed, and a few other bits that seemed slightly shortened. I should add that these alterations are VERY few, I probably counted 5 or 6, and doubt that this was a censorship issue as the majority of the blood soaked limb exploding violence is completely intact. I'd imagine this was purely a directorial/artistic decision, (a lot of the excised scenes were digital effects, some of which don't stand up quite as effectively as others). Something to bear in mind though before you buy!

The stunning MPEG 4 AVC encoded 1080p picture and 7.1 dts hd master audio remain, giving an blu-ray experience of reference quality, just like the original lionsgate release. People may hesitate to buy this, thinking that they're not really getting much for their money, but trust me this is FAR from a lazy release to steal your money, this is a superb director's cut edition that totally delivers. Also, for any foreign buyers, the blu ray is officially ABC encoded, so it will play on any blu ray player. Enjoy an all new Rambo!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 June 2016
This is the extended edition of the 4th Rambo film (from 2008), and is simply titled: 'John Rambo'. It's some 7 minutes longer than the original theatrical release, with both extra dialogue and combat scenes. It's not simply longer, but makes use of alternative material. While it is, ultimately, the same film, it nonetheless presents the director's intended vision for the movie - and makes for a more entertaining experience. If you're a fan of the Rambo series, this is the best version of the 4th instalment.

The film concerns Rambo, an ex-special forces soldier who's living in rural Thailand, and who's drawn into a conflict in military-occupied Burma. Somewhat reluctantly, Rambo agrees to transport a group of Christian missionaries into Burma. Although he warns them that it's a war-torn region, and that they'll be at risk, they are determined to go ... Some time later Rambo is approached by another missionary, who tells him that the group was attacked - and are now being held captive by the ruthless and sadistic Burmese authorities. And so Rambo agrees to transport a small band of ex-military men - so that they can rescue the captive missionaries. Only Rambo isn't just someone who transports people on his boat ... once in the war zone, Rambo takes charge of the ex-soldiers and seeks to free the captives. Only things don't go too well. Now a large company of the Burmese army are after them. And so Rambo decides to educate these vicious murderers - teaching them the real meaning of war: unleashing his rage, carnage follows ... as a one-man army, Rambo systematically destroys the enemy.

This is a very violent film. Perhaps the most violent movie ever. While the plot is rather simple, and the storyline somewhat obvious, it's well acted - and directed in a way that treats the subject matter in a serious manner.

As a fan of action films, and as someone who enjoys watching Stallone do what he does best, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It was great to see Rambo back in action. And he's simply a brutal force of nature. But he's also a tortured soul, longing to find a way to go back home ... poignantly, he succeeds.
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on 28 March 2008
Like many other reviewers I was very sceptical about Stallone making another Rambo movie. As much as I loved Rocky Balboa I didn't think Stallone could pull off the same magic with his second icon. On seeing Rambo, not only were my fears of Stallone's ridicule and failure washed away within the first 5 mins but I realised that he surpassed Rocky Balboa in performance, action and direction.

The film opens at a deliberately slow pace to emphasise Rambo's life and condition. He's physically bigger than ever and is still haunted by his previous life (as seen in his flashback nightmare). Where Rambo tries to find inner peace in Rambo III, he has, by this film, accepted who has is, what he has done and that he will never be forgiven or forgive himself. This is a solid foundation for the next hour of the film as the pace picks up.

On his entry into Burma, Rambo returns to his true-self and from gunning down the pirates to the rescue from the camp to the final battle he unleashes his primal spirit as a warrior in what I can only describe as chaotic carnage.

As an action movie I wish I could give it more stars as this is the perfect action movie made by the greatest action movie star. Where the makers of Die Hard 4.0 and Terminator 3 wimped out to gain audience figures and critical acceptance, Stallone gave everything the Rambo-loving public asked for and received a critical slating. The difference between critic and public opinion is another argument for another day. Check out the reviews on [...] to highlight that nest of vipers.

In summary, if you love action movies with style, character and blood then buy this movie. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
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Just like the recent Die Hard revival, Rambo proves that you can re-visit old themes with an older actor and come out with an all-out action winner. This isn't a 'modern' film for folk who enjoy hand-wringing, heartache about the rights and wrongs of any situation. You don't need to engage your intellectual and moral centres to enjoy the action.
This is a shoot-em-up and kill-em-all, old fashioned, rat-a-tat movie. And despite the snobbish reception it got from the film critics, it is definitely worth watching if you enjoy action/adventure films with traditional, macho heroes.

The scenario is very straightforward; John Rambo is retired and lives near Burma. He's an ex-Green Beret military killer, scarred by years of combat. He's not having a particularly nice time but he knows a dumb idea when it's suggested to him. And when a bunch of do-gooders want to go into Burma to help the people being slaughtered and oppressed by the bad regieme, he knows it's a bad idea. But, inevitably...
Won't go into the details because there is a plot, and there are a couple of great 'ouch!' and 'wow!' moments. But fans of the earlier First Blood movies will be rewarded by the return of death-by-arrow, the machete moment, plenty of sneakin' around the jungle action, some righteous laying waste to the bad guys and a simply magnificent explosion. (If you have surround sound then you should definitely switch it on, and you'll rattle the room at the right moment...)
The pleasure of films like this is that the bad guys are seen to be definitely bad and deserve everything the yget. Our hero is reluctant to take part, but unstoppable once he is engaged on a quest. And Sly has aged very well; he's in great shape for a bloke in his 60s and carries off the action sequences with complete credibility. The supporting cast are pretty good too, especially the ex-SAS Brit mercenary. He displays ultimate grit in the most gory sequence in the film...

If you want to watch a film which has an earnest debate about the rights and wrongs of military intervention in political situations then do NOT watch this one. If you want a full throttle, 90 minute romp which contains considerable violence and edge-of-the-seat YEAH! moments, then this is one to rent or buy. Rambo is fast-paced, well directed and cleverly nailed together. You might feel you're likely to be hit by the blood splatter in certain scenes... but that's half the point of watching, isn't it?
8/10: it's not art, but it is good film-making.
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on 29 April 2012
This RAMBO movie is also brilliant but the thing I don't understand about this release, the opening scene is missing. It mentions Never Before Seen Footage where the movie is longer and the opening scene is not in the movie.
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VINE VOICEon 18 September 2011
Rambo takes people upriver. Returns. Goes back upriver to rescue them. That's it. The script for this could not have been more than 10 pages long.

I walked out of Rambo in early 2008 feeling a little bit cheated. The credits rolled at 77 minutes and it felt like the film was missing a final act. Stallone said he was on a deadline to deliver the final cut of the movie, and, if given more time, THIS version is what he would have released first time around.

Now running 99 minutes (with 11 still swallowed up by credits) we get a bit more character development, and a couple of scene re-arrangements along with a new on-screen title 'John Rambo'. There's not much more than that. The extended character scenes are even more repetitive than they already were featuring annoyingly circular dialogue that seems to go on forever without really going anywhere. The editing over these extended moments is really, really bad too. Lots of fades, lots of mis-matched cross-cutting, little sense of place or timing. Terrible!

Rambo (or Fourth Blood as I call it) is, stylistically, a world away from the previous 3 movies. While the others were shot in lovely anamorphic Panavision/JDC-Scope, this one is shot in ugly, cheap, nasty Super-35. There are loads of fake filters too, which make it look like a hack episode of CSI. Stallone could have done better there. But the worst, the absolute worst, worst, worst thing about this film is the overabundance of incredibly fake, totally unconvincing CGI blood effects, which take me out of the film every time. I don't care if Stallone was on a budget and a schedule, he could have sacrificed some of his paycheck to improve this. He claimed the film was intentionally super-violent because that's what war carnage is really like. Fine, good for you. But when he uses dozens of fake CGI deaths it completely ruins and cheapens whatever realism he was aiming for (pun intended).

I suppose it's a hard juxtaposition and a sad testament to modern day action film-making where everything is fixed with cheap cheats in post-production, very little is actually there before the camera, and nothing is really made to last. When you compare Rambo to films of the equivalent 10-15 years ago, where most of the action, atmosphere and effects were done in-camera, when you actually felt like you were taken some place authentic and real, it makes you long for a revival of action movies where the action and danger is tangible and not just an afterthought by a lazy director. I find it odd that First Blood director Ted Kotcheff was a 'technical consultant' on Rambo, when there is really no similarity between them. First Blood felt raw and believable, while Rambo feels overly polished (to disguise the numerous faults) and fake.

Yes, I am still giving it four stars as I am glad that the Rambo story finally came to a satisfying close and it was good to see him return home once and for all, though one can't help but think that would have happened 25 years sooner if it hadn't been for Sheriff Teasle, but after the realism of Rocky Balboa, Stallone should have delivered something better. He has the ability, but was clearly just seduced by the modern aesthetic and attitude.

This Blu Ray features a nice 1080p 2.40:1 picture that brings out all the fakeness of the camera filters and a very, very loud DTS HD-MA sound design. An 84-minute documentary is also included.
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on 12 January 2014
Just what I expected from Sylvester Stallone, this DVD completes my set of the Rambo films. Could watch this one over and over again.
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on 27 December 2014
First of all, my headline isn't meant in any way to glamorise people getting hurt for fun, as this movie is of course fictional, but sadly its happening for real in the nation its set in : Burma.

Because of the ongoing civil war in the said country, it was filmed in Thailand (as the bonus material points out - if its available on this particular DVD), needless to say, if those who are looking for an action movie intertwined with events that sadly reflect the savagery of human to human (not innocent people), and the necessary expectations of a war movie (which it really is) then this is for you.

Even I was "making my nerves work" when I was about to see this film, actor/director Sylvester Stallone does a fantastic in front and behind the camera here - those who haven't seen this film yet, here's a warning : Those with a sensitive disposition/weak stomachs, steer clear, but if films like "Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan" etc, has been viewed, then it shouldn't be an issue.

9/10!.
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on 25 July 2013
My husband got this to take on holiday with us so he can watch it on the plane keep him quiet for a bit lol
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on 4 July 2008
If you are a true Rambo fan you will not be disappointed with this movie, don't watch this film unless you want to see Rambo kiling anything with a heartbeat!!!

If you like your anti-heroes to be braun over brains, blood over emotion then you will not be disappointed.

Sean
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