Directed by: Michael Winner / J. Lee Thompson
Starring: Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Vincent Gardenia / Kirk Taylor, Martin Balsam, Ed Lauter / Kay Lenz, John P. Ryan
MPAA Ratings: R
Distributed by: MGM Entertainment
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Running Time: 89 / 92 / 99 minutes
Blu-ray Scores: 3.5 out of 5 stars
When I think Charles Bronson, I always think about ass-kicking. I watched “Death Wish” at as young teen and was taken over by its violence. At that time in the 80’s, the violence was completely over-the-top. If you are wonderingwhere is “Death Wish” and “Death Wish 5” in the series. The original is owned by Paramount and the last is owned by Lionsgate, neither have plans for Blu-ray. My really only issue is that “Death Wish 2” is not the unrated edition, it would have been great to finally seeing it get a proper release. Nonetheless, if you are looking for some awesome revenge films, don’t miss out on these Blu-rays.
Paul Kersey takes on the role of vigilante again in “Death Wish II”. He sets out to to find and seek revenge on the the five street punks who murdered his daughter and housekeeper on the streets of Los Angeles. In “Death Wish 3”, Paul Kersey hits back on New York City and is forcibly recruited by a crooked police detective to fight crime against a large gang that is terrorizing the neighborhoods. “Death Wish 3” also packs a great score by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and also the film debut of Alex Winter (“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”). “Death Wish 4: The Crackdown” was back in the day, the first Isaw in this series (sorry). Even though it is not the best entry in the series, it still features vigilante Paul Kersey who kicks major ass against members of a vicious Los Angeles drug cartel. This time he is trying to stop the flow of drugs after his girlfriend’s daughter dies from an overdose.
I really enjoyed the 1080p Blu-ray transfers for these films. They are all also presented in their original aspect ratio: 1.85:1. They are not perfect presentations but they are a real bump from past DVD’s. The audio on each release come with DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 tracks. They are not really spec for Blu-ray but still sound decent. The transfer and audio are very similar to the recent Chuck Norris films released on Blu-ray, which I also enjoyed quite a bit. It is not a Criterion release but if you are a fan you should be satisfied overall just to have the films in HD.