Aug 182012
 

Check out Blu-ray reviews for all three Death Wish releases starring Charles Bronson. There’s not much to speak of in terms of features but how does the audio and video quality hold up? Are these worth the asking price or upgrade over their DVD counterparts? Find out within!

 

 

 


Death Wish II (1982)

 

Genre(s): Drama, Crime
MGM | R – 89 min. – $16.99 | August 14, 2012

MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Michael Winner
Writer(s):
Brian Garfield (characters), David Engelbach (written by)
Cast:
Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Vincent Gardenia, J.D. Cannon, Anthony Franciosa

Theatrical Release Date: February 20, 1982

DISC INFO:
Features:
Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs:
1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Video:
1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles:
English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size:
22.2 GB
Codec:
MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s):
A


THE MOVIE – 2.75/5

With the murder of his wife and the revenge against her killers now behind him, Paul Kersey (CHARLES BRONSON) begins a new life in LA. But tragedy is never far from his door, and when a group of local hoods viciously assaults his daughter, which eventually leads to her death, a wrath unlike anything the city has ever seen is unleashed. Kersey has the face of each of them branded in his memory, and he will not rest until he tracks every one of them down… and puts them all in the ground!

It should be noted that this is the R-rated cut and not the unrated version some have clamored for. Why MGM chose to release this one, despite apparently having an HD transfer of the other version, I have no idea. This cut though is effective but the acting is hokey and the editing sloppy but there’s a certain sadistic entertainment the story holds thanks to Charles Bronson who, albeit not the finest actor, has some great screen charisma.

SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5

Theatrical Trailer (1:54; HD)


VIDEO – 3.25/5

Death Wish II hunts and kills onto Blu-ray with an OK high-definition, 1080p transfer. It’s not the best video I’ve come across as the detail level isn’t great and the picture itself seems a bit on the splotchy side at times. It’s no doubt a step up from the DVD version so on that front it’s an upgrade, but not a huge one.

AUDIO – 2.75/5

There’s only so much that can be accomplished with the Mono DTS-HD Master Audio track and it’s effective when it comes to the dialogue but when the gunfire goes off, it’s unsurprisingly on the flat side. All in all, it’s an adequate track that serves its purpose but nothing more.


OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, Death Wish II fulfills its promise for Charles Bronson to kick ass, shoot some evil “hoods” and don’t ask any questions later. The plot of course is simplistic and the acting isn’t the best but Charles Bronson’s gruff nature, as stilted as he may be, is surprisingly effective.


Death Wish 3 (1985)

 

Genre(s): Drama, Crime
MGM | R – 91 min. – $16.99 | August 14, 2012

MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Michael Winner
Writer(s):
Brian Garfield (characters), Michael Edmonds (written by)
Cast:
Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter, Martin Balsam

Theatrical Release Date: November 1, 1985

DISC INFO:
Features:
Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs:
1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Video:
1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles:
English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size:
21.1 GB
Codec:
MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s):
A

THE MOVIE – 2.5/5

Road-worn and battle-weary, Kersey (BRONSON) longs to leave his fighting days behind him. But when he arrives in New York to visit an old friend, he finds him brutally attacked and gasping for breath in a pool of blood. Now the silent avenger must wage war once more on the city’s punks, thugs and hoodlums. But this time he’s brought a small arsenal of guns, knives – and even a bazooka – to help him!

SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5

Theatrical Trailer (1:38; HD)

VIDEO – 3.0/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track might not be great but the audio coming via the center channel. Dialogues come across the best, crisp and clear but even the action elements, for which there’s plenty to judge, doesn’t sound too bad either.

AUDIO – 3.0/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track might not be great but the audio coming via the center channel. Dialogues come across the best, crisp and clear but even the action elements, for which there’s plenty to judge, doesn’t sound too bad either.

OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, Death Wish 3 is simply an insane ride which goes into overdrive in the third act where Kersey basically takes out an entire city block with guns and even a bazooka all to rid the city of a gang of punks. Look out for Alex Winter of Bill & Ted as the main thug’s sidekick.


Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

 

Genre(s): Drama, Crime
MGM | R – 99 min. – $16.99 | August 14, 2012

MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
J. Lee Thompson
Writer(s):
Brian Garfield (characters), Gail Morgan Hickman (written by)
Cast:
Charles Bronson, Kay Lenz, John P. Ryan, Perry Lopez, Soon-Teck Oh

Theatrical Release Date: November 6, 1987

DISC INFO:
Features:
Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs:
1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Video:
1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles:
English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size:
20.3 GB
Codec:
MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s):
A


THE MOVIE – 2.0/5

The streets are filled with death and destruction. Ruthless drug traffickers prey upon the poor, the lonely, the helpless. LA is a city desperate for deliverance… until now!

Two rival drug gangs have a death grip on LA’s battle-torn inner city. But their brutal reign of terror is about to come to a violent end. One man is out to avenge the cocaine-induced death of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter. His name is Paul Kersey (BRONSON) – and he’s armed, dangerous… and mad as hell!

A far cry from its predecessors, although that’s not saying a whole lot given the writing, this fourth installment actually delves more into the psychological elements of Kersey starting with an opening sequence which turns out to be a dream. While I appreciate the writer (Gail Morgan Hickman, Murphy’s Law) giving audiences something more for the character and actually deviating away from the previous movies in terms of the story, it feels old and getting a bit tired. I won’t say Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is a bad film per se but it hardly stands out either.

SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5

Theatrical Trailer (1:33; HD)

VIDEO – 4.5/5

Death Wish 4: The Breakdown actually looks fantastic on Blu-ray. Presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition, this entry looks excellent, full of detail with a discernible amount of film grain adding some touch that the others were missing. In addition, black levels were also impressive.

AUDIO – 3.0/5

The disc comes with a DTS-HD MA 1.0 track which isn’t bad but as with the previous two movies it’s OK but nothing to write home about. The dialogue tends to come off a bit soft at times while the music/score is a tad stronger, though still nothing special.

OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown isn’t as good as the previous installments but it’s not awful either. I will give the writer some credit for trying something new and attempting to give the main character a more psychological edge compared with the other films.



Published:
08/18/2012

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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