Sylvester Stallone is having a bit of career resurgence with the release of The Expendables a couple years ago when Sly joined up with some of his action heroes of a bygone era. The sequel is set to hit theaters this weekend and in honor of him being back on top, Lionsgate released today Stallone: 3-Film Collector’s Set featuring, three of his best received movies. Well, his three best movies that do not have the word “Rocky” in the title: Cop Land, Rambo: First Blood, and Lock Up.
Honestly, Sylvester Stallone was a bit before my time and I was a bit too young to be watching his violent movies, and before The Expendables, the only other films of his I had seen were the Rocky where he single handedly destroy the Soviet Union, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (R.I.P. Estelle Getty), Victory (which needs a reboot but with women and starring Alex Morgan) and the greatest arm wrestling movie of all-time: Over the Top. Really, when I think of Stallone, I think of the Saturday Night Live sketch where Sly tries to help a dyeing Norm McDonald who insults his filmography with his final breaths.
Jokes aside, this three disk set is a good reminder did have a pretty good career. The highlight is the Cop Land from 1997 which showed to people like McDonald that Sly could act if given the right material as the sheriff of a town full of New York City police officers, who could not get a job himself in the city, who tries to root out corruption of dirty cops. The movie also has a stellar cast (well, a stellar cast and Michael Rappaport) including Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, Peter Berg, Janeane Garofalo, Robert Patrick, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco, and Method Man in his very first acting role. It does seem like they put the old DVD’s from previous releases and stuck them into one package. The special features for the Cop Land DVD (which are the same for the Blu-Ray version) include an audio commentary with Sly, Patrick, writer / director James Mangold, and producer Cathy Producer. There are a couple deleted scenes with optional commentary, a behind the scenes featurette, and storyboard comparison.
First Blood of course features John Rambo, Sly’s second most famous character who goes H•A•M on a local sheriff department when they decide to mess around with the wrong green beret Vietnam veteran. After all the parodies, the 1982 film is a bit dated now, but there is still plenty of unintentional comedy to still enjoy it especially the extremely eighties song that plays over the credits. The DVD special features include a “Survivor Mode” that lets you access additional information while watching the film (you can also access these features on the main screen), which increases the rewatchability of the movie as well as an audio commentary with Sly and an alternative ending. The Blu-Ray also includes an audio commentary with novelist David Morrell, a featurette, and advanced trivia track.
Stallone fights the law again in Lock Up (1989) where he is a prisoner who takes on a sadistic warden in the form of Donald Sutherland. The special features on the DVD just include a cast and crew featurette, production notes, and the theatrical trailer. The blu-ray also features the trailer, as well as two other featurettes and a profile of Sylvester Stallone. If you are a fanatic of Sylvester Stallone, you probably already have all three movies in your collection and there is not enough new here to buy again (unless you need to upgrade your collection to blu-ray), but it a good starter kit for anyone new to the action hero. But you will also want to pick up the first couple Rocky films too.
Full Discourse Notice: This DVD set was provided to me by BHI Impact for review.