Anytime is a good time for popcorn(which I'm finding out as I snack on a bowl while I review this DVD at 9 in the morning), and anytime is the right time for a "popcorn" movie. Although the series went one step too far with the 4th edition in the series, but this 3rd offering presents the same strengths as the rest of the series, along with a few new talents added to the mix.
Riggs(Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh(Danny Glover) are back once again, with Murtaugh always getting dragged into more trouble by the risk-taking Riggs. Both team up with an internal affairs officer named Lena(Rene Russo) to catch yet another killer. The film lacks a strong bad guy, but director Richard Donner is lucky that the chemistry between the three leads is excellent, and their conversations are sharp and energetic enough to carry the movie. Gibson's jokester personality gives the movie a needed dose of humor, as well. This edition also tries to integrate some drama into the mix, and although at times it's a little much, it's performed well.
"Lethal Weapon 3" is a strong effort from all involved, and although it goes a little long at times, the cast is excellent and director Richard Donner stages both the action and conversations well. Wait till after the credits roll for another funny sequence.
This director's cut edition includes 3 additional minutes of footage. This DVD is listed as "Not Rated".
VIDEO: Although I have not seen the original edition, this new edition from Warner Brothers is, visually, a very pleasing experience. Images are consistently sharp and offer good detail; clarity is also fine throughout. Colors are natural and occasionally bold, looking nicely saturated and not exhibiting any problems. Flesh tones are natural, and black level is good. Jan De Bont's cinematography(he also directed both "Speed" and "Twister", as well as the cinematography duties on "Die Hard")is marevelous, and gets a nice presentation here.
I really didn't notice anything that I felt was problematic or worth complaining about. No pixelation or shimmering, and aside from a couple of tiny marks here and there, the print used is clear and clean. Overall, Warner has presented the director's cut of this film with very strong image quality that fans of the series will enjoy.
SOUND: This new Director's Cut edition (as with the first and second edition of the series) offers both a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, as well as a DTS edition. Both are very good, and I didn't notice much difference in the details of either. The remastered Dolby edition though, is an especially good-sounding effort. The film's audio offers plenty of action-movie audio, with both a giant explosion and a well-played car chase within the film's first 10 minutes, along with a number of other intense sequences spread out throughout the rest of the running time. Surrounds are used effectively and the audio also offers some powerful bass at times, as well.
The film also offers a great score by Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen and David Sanborn; the score does a fine job at giving the action a boost and helping along the comedic tone of some scenes. The music sounds excellent, filling the room with ease and sounding dynamic and thrilling. Dialogue is clear as well, never sounding harsh or thin.
MENUS:: These new editions of the film also offer new menus; the one for this film offers a main menu with the opening scene playing, along with music from the movie. Although sub-menus aren't animated, there are different animations when one makes a selection from the main menu.
EXTRAS: It would have been a fine addition to the "Lethal Weapon" experience if Warner Brothers had provided packed special editions of these titles(a commentary from either the cast or Richard Donner), but still, aside from the extra footage, there are a couple of additional supplemental features.
Trailer: The film's theatrical trailer is included, letterboxed at 2.35:1 and in Dolby 2.0
Also: Cast and crew bios and a text section about the final scene.
The Film B
Video 94/A = (376/400 possible points)
Audio: 92/A = (368/400 possible points)
Extras: 75/C = (225/300 possible points)
Menus: 85/B (170/200 possible points)
Value: 82/B = (246/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: B
DVD GRADE: B