Blu-ray Review “Lethal Weapon Collection”

Starring: Danny Glover, Mel Gibson, Joe Pesci
Number of discs: 5
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Running Time: 476 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love the “Lethal Weapon” franchise? This collection includes all four films from this action-packed franchise, “Lethal Weapon”, “Lethal Weapon 2”, “Lethal Weapon 3″,”Lethal Weapon 4”. It is rare that franchise continues to be entertaining as the series goes on and that is the case with these films. This Blu-ray collection is a fantastic representation of the “Lethal Weapon” series. Warner Brothers did a really good job with this release and really aimed to please the fans of this series. Even if you own this series already, this really stacks up to be an excellent release with a bunch of new content. This Blu-ray looks and sounds completely amazing. Each film received a fantastic overhaul in its video presentation and it such an improvement from previous Blu-ray releases. With the video, this release really pushed the HD 1080p format! In the sound department, each film comes with an extremely impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, which was blowing up my system. The track for “Lethal Weapon 1 & 2” is the most impressive since there was issues with the audio in the past releases.  So, all this greatness and we haven’t even touched on the special features yet.

The special features are jammed back as well. In “Lethal Weapon”, there is an audio commentary with Richard Donner. Fourteen deleted scenes running about 30 minutes, presented in sharp HD. There is a music video for “Lethal Weapon” by Honeymoon Suite. Lastly there is a theatrical Trailer. “Lethal Weapon 2” also comes with an audio commentary with Donner again. There are three deleted scenes for this film, presented in SD. There a vintage featurette called “Stunts & Action”, runs short. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer. “Lethal Weapon 3” includes an audio commentary with Donner, yet again. There is three deleted and extended scenes, presented in SD. There is a music Video for “It’s Probably Me” with Sting and Eric Clapton. Lastly there is a teaser and theatrical trailers included. “Lethal Weapon 4” brings the best commentary track with Donner, producer J. Mills Goodloe and associate producer Geoff Johns. One of my favorites features is “Pure Lethal! New Angles, New Scenes and Explosive Outtakes”, which runs just over 30 minutes. It complies all four films and is hosted by star Danny Glover. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

The fifth disc in this release consists solely of newly produced documentaries, all presented in HD. Like I said Warner Brothers went to town on this release. “Psycho Pension: The Genesis of Lethal Weapon” runs just over 20 minutes and features Donner, Gibson, Glover, writer Shane Black and many more talking about ’80s culture, the script and characters and the birth of “Lethal Weapon”. “A Family Affair: Bringing Lethal Weapon to Life” runs about 30 minutes and takes us into the world of the “Lethal Weapon” series with Donner, Gibson, Glover, Black again talking about their experiences. “Pulling the Trigger: Expanding the World of Lethal Weapon”, runs about 30 minutes Home video success stoked the flame for the Lethal Weapon sequels, but it took more than a hungry audience, an audacious director and a willing cast to make it happen. It required an ever-expanding story, new characters, new actors, and new obstacles for Riggs and Murtaugh to overcome, bigger action and set pieces, higher and higher stakes, and something more than “more of the same” to complement the original. The last doc, “Maximum Impact: The Legacy of Lethal Weapon” looks deep into the franchise and what made it work.

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Synopsis: Lethal Weapon (1987) With over seven minutes of previously unavailable scenes, the director’s cut of Lethal Weapon is a long-overdue present for fans. Riggs’s solitary homelife and the tragic loss spurring him in a reckless disregard for his own safety now come into greater focus. We see that recklessness is new scenes underlining the differences between the two cops. Murtaugh, just 50, needs reassurance about his skills at a firing range. Riggs, not caring if he sees another birthday, coolly walks into a schoolyard sniper’s field of fire. All the humor and adrenaline that made this original an entertainment milestone are here, too. No scenes have been removed. But new action and new insight are now included. Include yourself in the excitement. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) Riggs wows the pretties of a hotel spa before getting to Getz. Murtaugh receives bad bodywork news from an auto repairman after his beleaguered station wagon sees some Riggs-piloted street action. Plus, feisty Leo shares a newly included scene in which he recalls a suspect’s address by complex spins of numbers that, well, no one can tell it like Leo. And no one would follow his lead but Riggs and Murtaugh. It’s police procedure, Lethal style. And it’s yours to enjoy as the duo draws a bead on criminals hiding behind diplomatic immunity. Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) Riggs and Murtaugh are back again. This time, they must stop a former cop who has become an arms dealer to L.A. street gangs. Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) Mel Gibson and Danny Glover return as buddy cops Riggs and Murtaugh, with Joe Pesci riding comedy shotgun as chatterbox Leo. Murtaugh is still the family man. Riggs is still the gonzo loose cannon and – what’s this? – family man. His will-he/won’t he marriage to Cole (Rene Russo) is one of the new wrinkles in this powerhouse crowd-pleaser that also stars comedy favorite Chris Rock and international action star Jet Li. This sequel involves an action packed battle with a Chinese ganglord.

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