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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 August 2016
People often ask me why review old films that we already know are great. Ill tell you why. Because I love films and to do a quick review enables me to show a bit of affection for the movies I have loved all my life. One of of them being First Blood amongst many many others.

This classic is a pefect example of a Vietnam vet movie in which the very troubled Green Beret is still struggling with the civilian world many years after the war ended. John Rambo is still fighting a war.....in his head.

First Blood is by far the best charecter Sylvester Stallone has created since Rocky Balboa, bringing a real sense of vulnerability and depth that most actors perhaps could not with this type of film. Yes John Rambo did change slightly with the second and third film but was back to basics in the fouth film which I think is way up there with First Blood and one of the best action films ever.

First Blood though is simply wonderful and more of a drama than an action film when you look deeper into it. Stallone does a cracking job acting with pure conviction to the role. The ending is brilliant where John Rambo breaks down releasing his demons to Col Trautman. Some of the best acting I think Sly has ever pulled off. That scene even brings a lump to my throat.

The flash backs to Nam are realistic and horrific when you seevRambo being cut across the chest. And the scene where Rambo picks up the smashed bloody dead body of the police officer bully who falls from the chopper onto the rocks below. Sly looks disturbed as he stares into the dead eyes of the cop, with the music used in the flash back scenes building. What I love about that scene is that we don't get to see the image in Rambo's mind but Slys face says it all. God only knows what is going on in Rambo's head.

From the very first scene with the opening Jerry Goldsmith theme to the end credits with the fairly cheesy 80's balad the film never really let's up. Everything works perfectly.

So if you don't own a copy of First Blood then the Bluray is the copy to get because it's loaded with informative extras. The steel book is a nice edition and the limited edition granada box set with all four films is an absolute must.

I'm slighty mad as I own all of the films on steel book, the grenade, the DVDs with the original art work and a VHS box set of Rambo 1-3 that is still sealed.

I keep hearing that Stallone is going to make a 5th Rambo film called Last Blood. How true it is I don't know but fingers crossed.
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on 17 April 2016
A superb action film, much better than your average type.

John Rambo is a damaged Vietnam war vet travelling without purpose and trying to put his life into some kind of order when he is picked on by a group of bully policemen over what is basically a misunderstanding. Pushed too far Rambo fights back but will anything persuade him to stop?

The film features some great locations and some well directed action, the character also has a winning combination of hardness and vulnerability which helps the audience sympathies with his plight. Of course the premise is a touch absurd but is nothing compared to the sequels.

I suppose the character of Rambo could be seen as a metaphor of the trauma the whole of America went through as well as a critique of the way former soldiers are treated when they return back home with problems. The USA was deeply disturbed by what they went through in Vietnam and some of the defeated soldiers were seen as an embarrassment when they returned, with all their baggage, it didn't help that many were conscripts and unprepared for what lay ahead. When Rambo first appears in the film he is an unwanted, each person he meets tries to move him on, dismissing him as a drifter. The idea of a super solider turning on the country that has betrayed him is a chilling idea. Yet Rambo is our hero and the unfairness he undergoes continues as he faces an unfair fight, heavily outnumbered and outgunned. When first arrested the sheriff mistakes his state of trauma for stubbornness which only leads to greater bullying in order to try and break him down.

The film is shot in some beautiful mountainous woods in the winter with lovely cinematography, the mine scene was lit with just two matches but looks wonderful, the music adds a touch of softness to what might otherwise be a very hard character. The film has no female characters of any significance, this film is very much one for the guys.

Barely a single line of dialogue feels out of place or unnecessary. When the team hunting Rambo mention they left the first aid kit in the car, its shows how disorganized and not in control they have become, a stark contrast to their early pursuit of Rambo.

American Sniper drew a lot of attention to itself last year with it's exploration of PSD, but in a way First Blood was way ahead of the game. The film could have begun with Rambo being picked up by the Sheriff but instead it begins with him travelling to meet a fellow ex-solider who served with him all those years ago. This introduction shows Rambo is unable to relate to the outside world other than in an army context and just adds that touch of understanding to the character before it gets going.

The sun rarely shines in First Blood, it's only at the start that the light stretches out across the lake and the cheerful music plays as Rambo thinks he has found a place he'll be welcomed. As Rambo's vengeance reaches it's peak the story switches to night and even the lights from the buildings are shut down by Rambo. Stallone has very few lines in the film and it's a testament to his acting that we are able to identify so clearly with the character and his emotional state without needing a lot of dialogue, the original first cut of the film gave Rambo much more to do but the film makers cut a lot of this out, which in part helps build mystery around the character. Stallone also performed a lot of his own stunts and made suggestions with the script.

The antagonist in First Blood like many great ones, is a more complex character than he first appears, he is not "bad because he's bad" like in Rambo 3. At first he's just a law enforcement officer trying to protect his community, he senses trouble with Rambo and infers from Rambo's vague answers about his travelling plans that he plans to lodge in the town. The sheriff is not present when Rambo is beaten and abused and only knows that Rambo attacked his men and may well be crazy. His early pursuit of Rambo is mixed with caution, he berates an officer for trying to shoot Rambo in a crowded area and he originally wants to take him alive. It's hinted in the film in one scene that he may have fought in the Korean war where as Rambo served in the later Vietnam one. These wars mimic the strategy of the two men, the sheriff seeks to gather his full force together then hit his enemy with it, Rambo fights guerrilla war, leaving traps and trying to confuse and demoralize his foes. As the film develops though the Sheriff's frustration boils over and he becomes desperate to personally get Rambo. Unlike the sequels which follow where the enemy are Vietnamese, Russians and Burmese military, non-western types who are easy to dehumanize as a bad race, in First Blood however the enemy is Society and Rambo is at war with it, in the end the result is far more powerful.
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on 26 April 2017
This review applies only to the single DVD version (ASIN:B000050YLX). The average bitrate is 5436kbps. Picture and sound are both very good - much better than the previous DVD I watched.

It's a great movies and the only one of the Rambo movies worth watching (even though First Blood Part II continues the story). There is a powerful storyline. It's not just mindless action/violence as you might expect.
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on 25 January 2016
The US import blu ray is region free, not Region A as stated on Amazon. It will play in the UK. Blu ray transfer is nice: colours pop and detail good, no overt signs of DNR. This import, unlike the UK version, has a commentary by Stallone, and a decent documentary. The original and easily the best!
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on 14 April 2017
Fantastic movie and still the best of the original three. This DVD version (with original theatrical poster) is the best because there is more commentaries and documentaries so more insightful for die hard fans. DVD arrived on time too. Recommended.
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on 24 August 2017
Great Film.

On a recent family holiday, we visited the town of Hope in British Colombia, where this was filmed.

It reminded me of the film and I enjoyed watching it again.

Rambo, the original Bad Ass :-)
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on 14 January 2015
This is an exceptional film. When i first saw this i was expecting some action movie full of machismo but its not that at all. Its a really moving film and i was in tears by the end. So underrated and undervalued. nothing like the next few rambo movies
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on 5 September 2017
MY favourite Rambo movie. Stallone at his best.
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on 13 July 2017
top quality picture, great value
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on 29 April 2017
Excellent film
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