DVD Shopping Bag: Lethal Weapon Blu-ray Box Set (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Last week Warner Home Video released the entire Lethal Weapon Saga on Blu-ray. I have been hesitant about watching anything with Mel Gibson in it as of late. The reason being... well, it really goes without saying. It is a strange thing when a celebrity’s personal opinions, actions, and beliefs start influencing how we see their on-screen personas. Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, and even Alec Baldwin had/ have great careers. When they go off on their tangents or do things that many of us find inappropriate it hurts their onscreen/ stage personas. I wondered if I could sit through a Mel Gibson movie and not see the man who fills up the tabloids. Is Martin Riggs, the character, stronger than Mel Gibson the actor? I know they are, in part, the same man. However, can a character of yesterday be more than the man we see today? 

It has been a long time since I have seen the Lethal Weapons movies. My best guess is that it has been at least 14 years. My college roommate got all three on DVD one day and we had a marathon in preparation for number 4. It was time to watch them again. 

I had forgotten that the movie took place at Christmas. Granted it was Christmas in Los Angeles, but nevertheless there are Christmas decorations and Christmas music in the film. As the opening credits rolled I noticed it was written by Shane Black, who is currently directing Iron Man 3. The late, great Michael Kamen’s score filled the room with evil violins. Yet I wondered who this Traci Wolfe we were being introduced to was and why I didn’t recognize the name. Oddly enough, I forgot Richard Donner directed the entire series as these films are so different from the work I associate him with (Superman, The Goonies, and Scrooged). In all honesty, it was 15 minutes into the film before I remembered I was watching to see if Mad Mel (the Mel Gibson of today) would ruin my enjoyment of the film. He didn’t. 

Perhaps it was Donner’s directing, the chemistry between Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, or even just the story, but I was sucked into this eighties classic. It’s 21 minutes before Glover says “I’m getting too old for this...” He then says it again 15 minutes later. Tom Atkins shows up as the old Vietnam War buddy of Glover and I was taken back to when I met Atkins at a Horror Convention. Even watching Gary Busey be, well, Gary Busey was fun. If anything, my whole experience of watching Lethal Weapon was ruined by an entirely different reason. 

If you live in LA or spend any extended period of time there, you learn that the movies take a lot of liberties with the real world location. Many of the scenes take place just minutes from where I live. On a daily basis I travel these routes and my trips take forever. Even two cops with their sirens on would take more time to get around than they show in the movie. Another big liberty in Lethal Weapon is how often in rains. The first time I was in LA it rained once in 30 days. In the past year it may have rained 10 times. In the film, rain is used to set a mood... but that just isn’t LA. In the course of the movie it rains four times over one week Sorry, that’s just not reality. Well, maybe it would be if El Nino was occurring. 

So how was the Blu-ray, Bob? It was good. The picture quality was acceptable, but didn’t make me stand up cheer. The sound could have used some work as I was constantly adjusting the dialogue scenes (turning them up) and the action scenes (turing them down). Is this worth the upgrade? Yes, if all you have are the VHS copies. Sadly, your DVDs should be good enough. 

I’m ready to get into the rest of the saga. Mad Mel may rear his ugly head by the end since he’ll look more like Mel today than Mel with the mullet. Lethal Weapon still holds up and is worth the nostalgic trip with Riggs and Murtaugh. 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
 

1. Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies [Blu-ray]
2. A Better Tomorrow 2012 3D - REGION FREE [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray]
3. Outlaw Josey Wales [Blu-ray]
4. A Trip To The Moon & The Extraordinary Voyage Deluxe Combo Blu-Ray DVD Edition
5. True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

The Aggression Scale [Blu-ray] Starring Ray Wise, Dana Ashbrook and Derek Mears

The Aggression Scale Starring Ray Wise, Dana Ashbrook and Derek Mears

A Better Tomorrow 2012 3D - REGION FREE [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] Starring Ju Jin-mo, Song Seung-heon and Kim Kang-woo

Coriolanus Starring Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler

Coriolanus [Blu-ray] Starring Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler

Denver & Rio Grande [Blu-ray] Starring Edmond O'Brien, Sterling Hayden, Dean Jagger

Denver & Rio Grande Starring Edmond O'Brien, Sterling Hayden, Dean Jagger

Gone Starring Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley

Gone [Blu-ray] Starring Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley

Man on a Ledge [Blu-ray] Starring Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, Elizabeth Banks and Jamie Bell

Man on a Ledge Starring Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, Elizabeth Banks and Jamie Bell

Memorial Day [Blu-ray] Starring Jonathan Bennett, James Cromwell, John Cromwell

Outlaw Josey Wales [Blu-ray] Starring Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke

Run for Cover [Blu-ray] Starring James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors, Ernest Borgnine

Run for Cover Starring James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors, Ernest Borgnin

Silver City [Blu-ray] Starring Edmond O'Brien, Yvonne De Carlo, Barry Fitzgerald

Silver City Starring Yvonne De Carlo, Barry Fitzgerald, Richard Arlen

The Vanishing of Pato Starring Nino Frassica, Neri Marcore, Flavio Bucci

We Need to Talk About Kevin Starring Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller

We Need to Talk About Kevin [Blu-ray] Starring Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller

ANIME

Black Cat - The Complete Series S.A.V.E. Starring Brandon Potter, Brina Palencia, Jamie Marchi

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring John Swasey, Pam Dougherty, Christopher R. Sabat

Gintama the Motion Picture [Blu-ray]

Gintama the Motion Picture

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple - Season Two (Classic) Starring Josh Grelle, Carrie Savage and Christopher R Sabat

Shiki: Part 1 (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring John Burgmeier, Jerry Jewell, David Wald and Lydia Mackay

Shiki: Part 2 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Mike McFarland, Stephanie Young, Dana Shultzes

CLASSICS

A Trip To The Moon & The Extraordinary Voyage Deluxe Combo Blu-Ray DVD Edition Starring George Melies

Bridge to the Sun Starring Carroll Baker and James Shigeta

Star of Midnight Starring William Powell, Ginger Rogers, Paul Kelly and Gene Lockhart

Strange Love of Martha Ivers Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack Starring Kirk Douglas, Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck

This Could Be the Night Starring Jean Simmons, Paul Douglas, Anthony Franciosa

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies

Criterion Collection

Summer with Monika (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Harriet Andersson and Lars Ekborg

Summer with Monika (Criterion Collection) Starring Harriet Andersson and Lars Ekborg

Summer Interlude (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Maj-Britt Nilsson and Birger Malmsten

Summer Interlude (Criterion Collection) Starring Maj-Britt Nilsson and Birger Malmsten

HORROR

Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies [Blu-ray] Starring Bill Oberst Jr. and Jason Vail

Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies Starring Bill Oberst Jr and Jason Vail

Demoniacs: Remastered Extended Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Joelle Coeur, John Rico and Willy Braque

Demoniacs: Remastered Extended Edition Starring Joelle Coeur, John Rico and Willy Braque

The Rape of The Vampire: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Solange Pradel, Bernard Letrou and Jacqueline Sieger

The Rape of The Vampire: Remastered Edition Starring Solange Pradel, Bernard Letrou and Jacqueline Sieger

Requiem for a Vampire: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Marie-Pierre Castel, Mireille Dargent, Philippe Gaste

Requiem for a Vampire: Remastered Edition Starring Marie-Pierre Castel, Mireille Dargent, Philippe Gaste

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Jules Verne's Mysterious Island

Wing Commander Academy: Complete Series Starring Malcolm McDowell, Mark Hamill and Thomas F. Wilson

TV LAND

Degrassi Season 11: Part 1 Starring Justin Kelly

Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Third Season Starring Brooke Elliott and Margaret Cho

Maverick: The Complete First Season Starring James Garner, Jack Kelly, Diane Brewster

Murdoch Mysteries Season 4 Starring Jonny Harris, Yannick Bisson, Thomas Craig and Helene Joy

Murdoch Mysteries Season 4 [Blu-ray] Starring Jonny Harris, Yannick Bisson, Thomas Craig and Helene Joy

Rookie Blue - The Complete Second Season Starring Missy Peregrym and Gregory Smith

Rookie Blue - The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] Starring Missy Peregrym and Gregory Smith

Royal Pains: Season Three - Volume Two Starring Campbell Scott, Mark Feuerstein and Paulo Costanzo

True Blood: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Anna Paquin and Steven Moyer

True Blood: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Ryan Kwanten, Chris Bauer, Stephen Moyer and Sam Trammell

True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season Starring Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard

True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms. 



Series: