Death Wish (40th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-Ray]
Director: Michael Winner
Cast: Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia
Release Date: Own it today on Blu-Ray
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
A New York City architect becomes a one-man vigilante squad after his wife is murdered by street punks in which he randomly goes out and kills would-be muggers on the mean streets after dark.
Charles Bronson has arrived and all criminals had better watch out, because he’s on the lookout for criminals and thugs, and he’s not afraid to take the law into his own hands in order to rid the streets of its scum. For the first time ever, ‘Death Wish’ comes home like you’ve never seen or heard it before, arriving on Blu-Ray in a 40th Anniversary Edition that fans of this classic vigilante thriller will definitely not want to miss out on.
‘Death Wish’ is probably one of the (if not the single) most notable performances by Charles Bronson. It also features the film debut of Jeff Goldblum who portrays one of the main 3 thugs. The film was directed by Michael Winner, who also directed the two subsequent entries in the franchise. He obviously works well with and knows how to best utilize Bronson, as they work together tremendously. The two previously worked together on the film ‘The Mechanic’ a couple years before this one which many speak very highly of, though I have not yet had the pleasure of myself.
Fans and newcomers to the film alike will definitely want to pick up a copy of this 40th Anniversary Edition of ‘Death Wish’, which also marks the films first release on Blu-Ray. It looks and sounds fantastic, and while it doesn’t feature much in the way of bonus content, just having the film on Blu-Ray alone is pretty wonderful, and the more than reasonable price of the release definitely helps too.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Death Wish’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. For a film that is four decades old, this high definition video transfer looks quite stunning. The colors and elements are all sharp, detailed and everything looks absolutely great overall for the most part, while still maintaining that grain that is certain to be present on a film of this age. I’m fairly certain that most fans and newcomers to the movie alike will be quite satisfied with the high definition video transfer on this 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray release.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Death Wish’ features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2M (2.0 Mono) soundtrack. As I adore my surround sound, I used the Dolby Pro-Logic II X feature on my receiver in order to simulate the 2M soundtrack to 7.1 and I must say that this Dual Mono track held up to the task surprisingly well. This lossless soundtrack is clear, distinct and keeps all of the action oriented elements sounding as sharp and detailed as one could ever imagine they could, while doing a phenomenal job of amplifying the films wonderful original score as well. I think most of the fellow audiophiles out there should be very pleased with this lossless DTS-HD MA 2M soundtrack on this new Blu-Ray release of the classic film.
The one area that this 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition of ‘Death Wish’ is lacking is in the field of bonus content. The sole special feature included on the release is the original theatrical trailer for the film. Yet while it may be lacking any unique bonus content, it is just wonderful to see this and so many other classic films finally making their way to Blu-Ray and the extremely reasonable price certainly helps compensate for the lack of extras.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Own the 40th Anniversary Edition of ‘Death Wish’ on Blu-Ray today from Paramount Pictures & Warner Home Video.