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post #1 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=113995&d=1214508811
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: %3E

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

93






Studio and Year: Lions gate - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 93 Minutes
Genre: Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX Surround, French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English & Spanish
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish, Tim Kang
Directed by:Sylvester Stallone
Music by: Brian Tyler
Written by: Art Montrastelli & Sylvester Stallone
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May, 27, 2008







"Live for nothing or die for something"



Film Synopsis:



The ultimate American action hero returns - with a vengeance! After spending several years in northern Thailand operating a longboat on the Salween River, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) reluctantly agrees to carry a group of Christian missionaries into war-torn Burma. But when the aid workers are captured by ruthless Nationalist Army Soldiers, Rambo leads a group of battle-scarred, combat -hardened mercenaries on an epic, last ditch mission to rescue the prisoners - at all costs.



My Take:

I have been a Sylvester Stallone fan since I saw Rocky in the theater back in 1976. When First Blood came out back in 1982 I think it solidified Stallone as a star. I loved First Blood but when Part II came out was blown away (hey I was about 20 years old). The first two in the series have been my favorites as I never really connected with the third. After Rocky Balboa was released seeing this fourth installment in the Rambo franchise didn't come as a surprise. I had seen it on Blu-ray disc prior to this review but couldn't help but jump at the chance to watch it again when Lionsgate offered it. This is a straight forward and fairly simple story. For me I see its focal point being one dimensional. The idea is to create a situation wherein John Rambo can be thrown back into the fray. I can appreciate the fact that there are no bones about that. The screenplay moves quickly to achieve its purpose and once there it delivers to that end in spades. The bad guys are quickly established and get enough time onscreen so that we figure that they deserve the worst that Rambo can dish out. Once things are underway it gets bloody, graphically violent, and lots of stuff blows up. I could have done without the sexual assaults on women and the inference of a sexual assault on a minor though. Things are wrapped up and our man saves the day (for the most part). I thought the ending was a little corny but that's Stallone's style. When all was said and done I enjoyed Rambo. I liked the quick paced nature of the story and the action sequences were well done. It was overly violent which I thought could have been taken down a notch. I did appreciate its attempt to realistically depict the effects of gun battles and war.




Parental Guide:

The rating is appropriate. This is not one for young viewers and parents should be cautious.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 96



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Rambo comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 mbps and lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio that has an average bitrate of 5.8 mbps.

The video presentation was near reference quality and offered stunning images. Detail was sublime from almost every perspective with only a handful of shots appearing less than pristine in quality. I attributed this more to the photography than the encoding. Contrast was slightly elevated which made bright scenes appear more dynamic while obscuring fine detail and detectable delineation within whites. Blacks were nice and deep with plenty of dynamic range and visible gradations. This was the case with scenes containing both light and dark elements. I had no trouble detecting objects within dark areas or backgrounds during low light scenes. Colors were intentionally muted which made them appear flat but thanks to the video's high resolution and razor sharpness it came off just fine. Fleshtones were earthy looking which to my eyes was a perfect fit with the style of the film. This was a great looking transfer overall.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on this Blu-ray Disc was a sonic tour de force and was of reference quality. My SVS PB-13 Ultra subwoofer cranked out an abundance of clean, powerful, and room filling bass that had palpable extension. By design this mix is intended to be bombastic and aggressive. I had the feeling that my room had been transformed into a jungle as sounds were both distinctive and spatially ambiguous within the sound field. Gunfire and explosions had a tactile and dynamic impact that could be felt from any point in the room. The rich and immersive quality of the audio enhanced the experience to a higher level of realism. The soundstage didn't seem to have two parts but one very large one that was elaborately detailed and sonically superior. If you want to drive your entire system to demonstrate its capabilities this DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is the ticket. I have added Rambo to my list of recommended Blu-ray Demo Discs.



Bonus Features:



This is a well rounded and comprehensive bonus set that takes you inside the world of Rambo. It starts with the 20 year journey that brought Rambo to the big screen and includes details on script ideas, concepts and interviews. It provides details on the music used in the film, post production problems, the weapons featured in the story, opening premiere night and more. There is a very good feature on the continuing problems in real life Burma which is a must see.

Included is a Bonus view picture in picture option which plays along with the film (a profile 1.1 player is required) which is very informative and includes behind the scenes footage and more for those interested. The MoLog (Movie Log) feature allows you to watch the film, and create your own value added content via a shared blog. This option requires a Profile 2.0 compatible player and live internet connection. Lastly Lionsgate has included a Digital Copy bonus disc containing a standard definition version of the film which can be loaded on to a PC or Mac and then on to a portable playback device. I think this is a great idea and am glad to see that more studios are using it.





  • Audio Commentary: With Sylvester Stallone

  • (HD) 4 Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) Its a long road: Resurrection of an icon featurette

  • (HD) Ascore to settle: The music if Rambo featurette

  • (HD) The art of war: Completing Rambo featurette

  • (HD) The Weaponry of Rambo featurette

  • (HD) A heros welcome: Release & Reaction featurette

  • (HD) Legacy of despair: The struggle in Burma featurette

  • (HD) Rambo Series Trailer Gallery

  • MoLog

  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:



Lionsgate has put together an impressive Blu-ray Disc package in Rambo. The film is not going to win any awards but for those that like plenty of hard hitting action it gets the job done. It features superlative audio quality, near reference video and a complete set of bonus supplements. It has found a place in my collection.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 12:54 PM
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Wow ! I was going to skip this but it sounds like ,at least for a night with friends over, it could be a nice addition.

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post #3 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 01:06 PM
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Ralph, did you notice any audio dropouts during the presentation? I watched this just the other night on my Samsung BD-P1400 (v1.6fw) and there were 3 very distinct audio drops in the film, the first occuring right about the 13 minute mark.

It seems I'm not the only one who has experienced this as a search on the Internet yields numerous other people with the same issue across multiple playback devices. That said, I just updated my firmware to the recently released 1.8 and the problem went away!

Overall, I loved this film. I agree that some of the sexual assaults where over the top, but to me this helped to establish more legitimacy with the story and the situation. This very thing IS HAPPENING in Burma today, and Stallone invoking those story elements only portrays the military in an accurate, if difficult to watch, light.

The audio on this disc is definitely the stuff of demo material. The .50 cal "up close in the cab" scene had me "checking to see if I had got any on me".

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post #4 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

I didn't notice any audio droputs using my Panasonic BD30 bitstreaming the DTS-HD MA audio to my Denon.

I also have the Samsung 1400 but its in the living room system.


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post #5 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 01:53 PM
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I also didnt notice the drop outs and thought the movie much better then the critics reviewed thought it was. This went to "must have" on my wish list.
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post #6 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 02:21 PM
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Agreed, this is quite entertaining, though not for the squeamish. Might be my favorite of the four.

And I thought the ending was perfect as it drew the movies full circle - First Blood begins with Rambo walking the road with his GI jacket and duffle, and Rambo ends with him walking the road with his GI jacket and duffle, and finally coming home.

How this got a lower score than Meet the friggin' Spartans, I'll never know, because the whole "score within the genre" thing should apply here as well.

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post #7 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Quote:
Agreed, this is quite entertaining, though not for the squeamish. Might be my favorite of the four.

And I thought the ending was perfect as it drew the movies full circle - First Blood begins with Rambo walking the road with his GI jacket and duffle, and Rambo ends with him walking the road with his GI jacket and duffle, and finally coming home.

How this got a lower score than Meet the friggin' Spartans, I'll never know, because the whole "score within the genre" thing should apply here as well.

MEC2

MEC2, I am glad that you liked the ending and thought it was perfect. I didn't mind the ending but thought that it was a little corny.

Regarding your comments about this and Meet the Spartans I believe that you have answered your own question.

I liked this movie but when compared to other action films it falls into the middle of the pack. That is not a bad thing but is simply my opinion. You have seen the film and have your own. How about we let it go at that?

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post #8 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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Nice review Ralph

I miss seeing Jerry Goldsmith’s screen credit. I didn’t like the score on the film however sound effects and ADR dialogue mix sounded cool, but isn’t the centre so common these days! More dialogue panning I say.

The onscreen violence was “over the top” I mean the BBFC cut and hack away at other films on this type of level Predator gets cut then realised with BS story that makes you what to punch someone for being cheeky. Then Commando gets hacked and I’m sure you know what scene I’m talking about.

How in the world this managed to get an 18 certification it should have gotten something in-between, slightly above 18R which is porn, because it looked like Stallone was making a snuff movie. LOL

Oh, there is just one other thing thou. Who was keeping count on the body count because I lost count?
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post #9 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 03:31 PM
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I've been lurking in Ralphs reviews for a bit now, and as far as I can tell, there isnt too many bluray movies that Ralph isnt going to like. There are some cool scenes, but some of the explosions looked like stock footage (which to be fair was a photography thing not a bluray tech deficiency as Ralph mentioned), and I'm not refering to flashbacks. If you've enjoyed the Rambo series, its worth a watch, but think rental, not purchase.
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post #10 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 07:28 PM
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score 93 wow this must be a good movie hope so getting it from ebay for 14.00 sealed new ...

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post #11 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 08:09 PM
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This movie ruled. I know how people think the violence is too over the top but remember it's alot worse in Burma in real life. If you love 80's action movies this is a must have. I think it's the best Rambo and I've watched all of them tons of times.
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post #12 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 08:23 PM
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Rambo is a must own movie for anyone who calls themselves ACTION FANS.

Blu-ray : 340
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post #13 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 08:30 PM
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Just bought it and watched it. Much better than I expected. The AQ is superb. No dropouts here. Full 7.1 goodness.
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post #14 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 08:57 PM
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i just started buying new sealed bluray dvds from ebay i am a bluraylic...
i know i am off topic here .i hope bluray will stay for 10 years not like those big laserdisc that was so hot and died after 2 years

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post #15 of 49 Old 06-26-2008, 09:22 PM
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It amazes me how in one room the audio sounds one way but in another (like mine) it can sound completely different. Don't get me wrong I thought the audio was awesome on my set-up (5.1) BUT I felt the rears had very little action going on. I wasn't "sonically" involved. I got the occasional bleeds to my rears but overall I felt it was a real front heavy movie.

It can't be my set-up because very next movie I threw in was Transformers and ALL my speakers came alive!
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post #16 of 49 Old 06-27-2008, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EaglePC View Post

i just started buying new sealed bluray dvds from ebay i am a bluraylic...
i know i am off topic here .i hope bluray will stay for 10 years not like those big laserdisc that was so hot and died after 2 years

Do you mean 2(0) years? Because Laserdisc was around a looooong time and had thousands of titles, some that have yet to even make their way to standard DVD. Blu-ray should be so lucky.
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post #17 of 49 Old 06-27-2008, 03:12 AM
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No droputs here with my BD30 bitstreamed to 3808CI set-up. This is one great soundtrack and I must admit, it may be my favorite Rambo film.
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post #18 of 49 Old 06-27-2008, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBLsound4645 View Post


Oh, there is just one other thing thou. Who was keeping count on the body count because I lost count?

here is a chart for all 4 movies:

http://www.slashfilm.com/wp/wp-conte...eath-chart.jpg




I also thought the violence was a little over the top, but man...best action sequences i've seen yet audio-wise. i love it when rambo tells the other guy to "fire off a shot" with his .50 cal. shakes the house! soooo deep.
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post #19 of 49 Old 06-27-2008, 04:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haste View Post

here is a chart for all 4 movies:

http://www.slashfilm.com/wp/wp-conte...eath-chart.jpg




I also thought the violence was a little over the top, but man...best action sequences i've seen yet audio-wise. i love it when rambo tells the other guy to "fire off a shot" with his .50 cal. shakes the house! soooo deep.



LOL now that's what I'm talking about, oh dear. I think we need a back-story to how Rambo disposed of the enemy when on tour of duty in Vietnam?
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post #20 of 49 Old 06-27-2008, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBLsound4645 View Post

LOL now that's what I'm talking about, oh dear. I think we need a back-story to how Rambo disposed of the enemy when on tour of duty in Vietnam?

You will get your wish, he is already in talks to do another Rambo. I personally saw this movie 4-5 times in the theater about 10 times total. Since I don't have a theater at the house, I felt it was my duty to see this the way Stallone intended and boy did he do it right! It definitely isn't for the squeamish, that was intended to show what is really going on in Burma. As far as action movies go, this one moved right up to the top of my list.
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post #21 of 49 Old 06-28-2008, 04:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedubbadoo View Post

You will get your wish, he is already in talks to do another Rambo.

I’ll have to keep a close eye on, the imdb site for future developments, cheers.

Edit: saw this on Wikipedia. Rambo V upcoming in 2009. The films focus on a troubled Vietnam War veteran and Green Beret, John James Rambo, who is skilled in many aspects of survival, weaponry, hand-to-hand combat and guerrilla warfare.
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post #22 of 49 Old 06-28-2008, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haste View Post

i love it when rambo tells the other guy to "fire off a shot" with his .50 cal. shakes the house! soooo deep.

I love that part aswell, it's only lasts about 2 seconds but it sounds absolutely spectacular.

Good review Ralph. I love Rambo, the movie is brutal, violent and action packed. The disc itself is excellent, Lionsgate did a great job with it.
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post #23 of 49 Old 06-28-2008, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles0424 View Post

It amazes me how in one room the audio sounds one way but in another (like mine) it can sound completely different. Don't get me wrong I thought the audio was awesome on my set-up (5.1) BUT I felt the rears had very little action going on. I wasn't "sonically" involved. I got the occasional bleeds to my rears but overall I felt it was a real front heavy movie.

It can't be my set-up because very next movie I threw in was Transformers and ALL my speakers came alive!

Charles0424, you took the words right out of my mouth.

I have 7.2 system and this movie just didn't sound like a reference audio track should sound. IMHO, The Orphanage, Master & Commander and my personal favorite demo movie, Cloverfield all sounded like a reference audio track should sound in my room.

Larry
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post #24 of 49 Old 06-28-2008, 06:50 PM
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I thought Rambo was a pretty decent movie. Interesting look into Burma and it's rule under the Military Junta. A little shallow but it's what I expect from a Rambo movie.

I have to say this is one of the most impressive Blu-Rays dics I have seen in terms of video quality. In my book, it's a definite reference disc. An absolutely gorgeous transfer!
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post #25 of 49 Old 06-29-2008, 08:14 AM
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I really liked it. A Rambo with a story. Though, not too much of it.

And the technical aspects of the disc: Might be the best looking and sounding disc that's been released on Blu so far.

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post #26 of 49 Old 07-02-2008, 05:52 AM
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Hi guys,

You should try the French DD track, just to see, you might be surprised...
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post #27 of 49 Old 07-04-2008, 07:56 PM
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I have to say this movie is a breath of fresh air in the action movie genre, where the norm has been pg-13'd and vanillafied for optimal political correctness. This movie delivers with full intent to its genre and full intent to the Rambo namesake. It's not catering to "focus group expectations" or just delivering "the next sequel". It's doing it entirely for the "art" (as odd as that may sound for a "Rambo movie").

If ransacking a village is shocking to you, it's not because the movie went overboard. It's because you are alive and can still empathize with the horror. If the scenes of rape are shocking, it's not because the movie went too far. It's because you truly acknowledge the brutality of the act. As far as the depictions of rape go in this movie, I don't feel they were overly in your face, either. It's just quick shots to let you know it was present, rather than graphically depicting the actual act (which has certainly happened in some movies long past).

If any of the violent content seems gratuitous just because it is "Rambo", I suggest reconsideration. It is depicted because things are that messed up in Burma (and worse). If it shocks you, that is a GOOD thing. That means the movie has sufficiently conveyed to the viewer how serious an issue this is.

Margot Robbie is THE most exquisite human creature on the face of the planet, in this moment in time.
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post #28 of 49 Old 07-04-2008, 08:49 PM
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Also I wanted to mention that this movie shares a kindred spirit with Tears of the Sun. They both take you to a different place that operates in a manner that you utterly could not imagine how brutal and horrible can still exist in the "modern world". It doesn't candy-coat it or sterilize out the negative. It presents it to you at face value to deal and come to grips with (but fortunately it does not leave you "empty-handed" in that it supplies an instant hero to perform the duties that you wish you could do if put in such a situation). It reminds you how absolutely blessed you are not have been born into a locale like that. It reminds you that there IS true evil out there. It's not about a lack of "talking things out" or diplomacy or politics. It is just sheer evil whose only cure is to remove it from this world like cancer is surgically removed from a living body. Movies like this are "important" in a sense that they remind you that "civilized society" is not a given once you wander past the comfy borders of your native land.

Margot Robbie is THE most exquisite human creature on the face of the planet, in this moment in time.
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post #29 of 49 Old 07-06-2008, 04:00 PM
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I didn't see Rambo in theatres and regret it. I have had the BD for just over 2 weeks and I have watched it 7 times! Count it, 7 TIMES! This is such a great movie IMO. I agree with one of the posters above that it rivals First Blood I and II as the best! The boxset is great too! I'm just really happy with my purchase! For anyone on the fence about getting it, get it. You won't regret it! Best blind buy I've had ever.
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post #30 of 49 Old 07-06-2008, 05:33 PM
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I'm working my way through the 1-3 boxset and I'm very impressed. I'm just waiting for a good sale on Rambo and it's mine.
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