I had high hopes when I saw the above box set on Amazon.com's pre-order list. The release date was pushed back three times, so I was quite anxious to get my hands on this set. It arrived today and I quickly opened the packaging and was pleasantly surprised at the set itself, at least until I opened it. The movies come in a glossy/metallic box with a photo of Charles Bronson from Death Wish 3. It really is quite nice, but the above scan doesn't do it justice. The metallic effect just doesn't scan very well. I was feeling good and seeing the MGM & 20th Century Fox logos on the back of the box was a good sign, or so I thought.
But lurking within the box were these two previously released single disc DVD sets. The first disc, and the one I purchased this release for, features Death Wish 2, Death Wish 3 and Death Wish 4 crammed onto a single sided dual layer disc. At the time, the Amazon.com page made no mention of this, but the three films are presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The page has since been updated to include the aspect ratio and the number of discs within this release. I wish this information was made available sooner, had I seen it, I don't believe I would have placed my order.
The number one question most people reading this will have is whether or not Death Wish 2 is the complete uncut version. Sadly, the answer is no. This is the watered down 82 minute cut yet again. However, it does appear that the audio sync problems regarding Death Wish 4 have been corrected from the previous release. The set also features 10 To Midnight and The Mechanic on a second disc.
What is it with getting a decent release of the Death Wish films? The only good one (that I'm aware of anyway) is still the long out of print Death Wish: The Vigilante Collection from Australia. It features all five Death Wish films on five separate discs, all uncut and in anamorphic widescreen. MGM and 20th Century Fox have once again provided us with a mediocre release of the three Death Wish movies in their collection. I should have known better, but I was suckered in by that artwork. Shame on you MGM!