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FIRST BLOOD: 4K Blu-ray (Orion Pictures, 1982) Lionsgate Home Entertainment

‘There is nothing more dangerous than a guy with nothing to lose’ – a maxim certainly to apply to the psychologically complex Green Beret mercenary, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone). David Morrell’s 1972 novel, First Blood, was an unvarnished account of this proverbial God’s lonely man, recusing himself from society at large and, in the process, becoming a one-man arsenal of destruction. As written by Morrell, First Bloodis a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions, a tome, vetted in the spilled blood of those committed to the war in Vietnam, only to return home and suffer the slings and arrows of ingratitude for their service. The movie, directed by Ted Kotchell in 1982, is less probing than the book, concentrated on several exhilarating action set pieces, leaving much of Rambo’s motivations to conjecture. We do get momentary flashbacks, depicting Rambo’s endurance of pain at the hands of the enemy during the war – bound with barbed wired to a makeshift crucifix, his chest and arms repea…

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