Rambo appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Though not a visual showcase, the 4K UHD replicated the source well.
Sharpness usually looked solid. A few wide establishing shots could seem a little soft, but most of the flick appeared well-defined.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as I noticed no issues in that regard.
In terms of colors, Rambo used a palette that either tended toward blue-greens or tans. Not a lot of vivid hues emerged, but the tones were accurate and full within the minor stylistic constraints.
Due to the restrained palette, the disc’s HDR capabilities failed to add much. Nonetheless, when we got brighter tones, they came with extra impact, and whites/contrast felt more dynamic.
Blacks appeared dark and tight, and shadows were usually fine, with nice overall visibility. No one will use this as a movie to wow friends, but the 4K felt like a good representation of the original material.
I found a lot to like about the Dolby Atmos audio of Rambo, as audio quality was good. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, a little edginess affected a few lines, but most sounded natural and concise.
The score showed consistently solid range and vivacity, and the effects followed suit. Those components seemed bold and dynamic.
The soundfield seemed positive. Much of the audio stayed with environmental information, and rain popped up frequently and used all the channels well.
In addition, the action scenes worked the soundscape in a strong manner. They created a fine sense of the mayhem and used all the channels to form a vivid attack. The movie delivered a powerful soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the original Blu-ray? The Atmos mix offered a bit more involvement, and visuals were better defined, cleaner and more dynamic. This ended up as a notable upgrade over the Blu-ray.
The 4K UHD brings both the movie’s Theatrical (1:31:31) and Extended (1:39:16) cuts. Via that extra almost eight minutes, we mostly find additions to the Sarah/Rambo relationship. Nothing memorable or crucial appears, but I’m glad the disc offers the option to view either version.
In terms of extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director/actor Sylvester Stallone. Alongside the theatrical cut, he offers a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, editing and cinematography, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and other production domains.
Overall, Stallone delivers a good commentary. He comes across as invested in the process and provides a nice array of topics related to the movie. This ends up as a solid chat.
Seven featurettes “It’s a Long Road: Resurrection of an Icon” (19:43), “A Score to Settle: The Music of Rambo” (6:31), “The Art of War Part I: Editing” (6:46), “The Art of War Part II: Sound” (3:15), “The Weaponry of Rambo” (14:23), “A Hero’s Welcome: Release and Reaction” (9:30) and “Legacy of Despair: The Real Struggle in Burma” (10:41).
Across these, we hear from Stallone, producers Avi Lerner, Kevin King Templeton and John Thompson, composer Brian Tyler, editor Sean Albertson, second editor Paul Harb, supervising sound editors Perry Robertson and Scott Sanders, re-recording mixer Leslie Shatz, property master Kent Johnson, and actors Paul Schulze, Julie Benz, Tim Kang, Graham McTavish, Matthew Marsden, Rey Gallegos, and Jake La Botz.
The shows cover the project’s roots and development, story/character/screenplay areas, sets and locations, Stallone’s work as director, cast and performances, music, editing, and sound design, props, stunts and effects, and the movie’s release/reception.
I expected a lot of fluff from these segments, but they boast a surprising amount of substance. The clips examine a good array of subject and does so with relative gusto. I find a lot to like here.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of 13 minutes, 45 seconds. We find “Do You Believe In Anything?” (2:30), “Who Are You Helping?” (4:42), “Boat Ride” (4:12) and “Let’s Keep Going!” (2:21).
These mostly extend existing sequences and focus on interactions between Rambo and Sarah, as all four expand that relationship. While this seems like a good idea given the thinness of the overall narrative, the scenes fail to do much to develop matters. They remain forgettable and without a lot of merit.
In addition to the film’s trailer, the disc wraps with To Hell and Back. It spans one hour, 23 minutes, 32 seconds and presents a “director’s production diary” that visits various sets and includes commentary from Stallone as he discusses the aspects of the production that we see.
I enjoy this kind of fly on the wall material, and “Back” brings a slew of great views of the shoot. Stallone adds a bunch of useful insights about the production and helps make this a terrific addition.
A second disc provides a Blu-ray copy of Rambo. It doesn’t duplicate the 2008 release linked above, as instead, it presents the 2010 “Extended Cut” Blu-ray.
Rambo packages relentless gore without anything more than a rudimentary plot and anonymous characters. Not even the expected vicarious thrills arrive in this dull adventure. The 4K UHD provides very good visuals and audio along with a useful array of supplements. Rambo continues the series in a forgettable manner.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of RAMBO