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Death Wish: 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray] [Import]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 22.31
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Death Wish: 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray] [Import] + Wicker Man [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Of The Killings Aug. 10 2013
By Miracle Max TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The first installment of the Death Wish series is probably the most important, as it explains how and why Paul Kersey became the Vigilante. The film opens with the violent rape of his wife and daughter. His daughter, the only survivor is left in a psychologically induced coma. Meanwhile A land developer friend of his gives him a gun as a gift and sign of friendship for closing a deal on a architecture design for a new development on the west coast. At first Paul keeps taking the gun out and staring at it not sure what to do with it. But a deep feeling in his gut keeps haunting him until he knows at last what he must do. This is when We get to see Paul Kersy take his first life in an act of pure frustration against the violent criminals that roam the streets of his city.

We get to see the human side of Paul Kersey more deeply in this first death wish film, and the impact his first killing has on him. Upon his first killing Paul vomits as it sinks in what he has just done. His hands shake and he is in a cold sweat, his guts in a knot.

Paul soon realizes that the only way to stop the sick feeling from his first killing is to keep killing more violent criminals, and that is exactly what he does. After each killing Paul becomes more relaxed with his new life as a Vigilante and becomes more confident towards continuing the killings. One by one Paul Kersey takes out his gun and rids the world of the scum bags that hold his city in fear. But it is Paul who ends up being feared by the criminals of the streets.

They know he is out there, they know he is looking for them. Every crime they do could be their last as the Vigilante is coming for them.
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I love seeing works of both fiction and non fiction where the content is presented in as blunt a form as possible, and I think this is the case with Death Wish. Although some may accuse this film's makers of exploiting peoples' fear of criminals I think that the director was simply trying to be realistic, this way the viewer can get an idea of what it is like to be a victim of violent crime, be it yourself or a family member. Also, I'm sure that there are things happening in real life that are far worse that what has been shown in this film, but that's a different issue. This is why the rape scene, brutal as it may have been, was a necessity to set this film apart as a realistic action/vigilante film.
Another interesting thing about Death Wish is that the protagonist does not seem like a person who would be an vigilante, he's a middle aged man who is, dare I say, gentle. But when rape and murder hit his family he does not know what to do, especially when the police do not seem able to help at all. And so after receiving a pistol from a newly made cowboy type friend in the Southwest he begins to walk the streets awaiting the latest mugger attack so that he can properly undertake the capping of their behinds. This is one of the unique features of the first Death Wish compared to its sequels, Paul Kersey does not know who he is hunting, and so he simply caps whosoever should try to mug him. But in the sequels he knows exactly who he is searching for.
I also liked the action in this movie. It seemed to me that what Paul Kersey lacked in physical finesse he made up for in marksmanship. I particularly liked the scene where the two men follow him into the tunnel from the café and he has to fend off two men with knives at close range with a pistol.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bronson's most famous movie role. Jan. 31 2004
Although Charles Bronson has appeared in a fistful of genuine classic movies (The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Once Upon A Time in the West, and The Dirty Dozen) it is this urban crime/revenge thriller that is most often associated with him. Paul Kersey is a New York based 'bleeding heart liberal' architect that has his life destroyed when a trio of thugs (one played by future star Jeff Goldblum) assault his wife and daughter. His wife dies and his daughter slowly sinks into a catatonic state. Kersey's rage grows and, after acquiring a pistol during a business trip to Arizona, he begins killing muggers while wading through the crime choked streets of New York. Director Michael Winner handles the material in as blunt a fashion as possible, presenting Kersey as a heroic Everyman doing what anyone would want to do under similar circumstances. Yet it is all salvaged by a wonderfully nuanced performance by Charles Bronson. At the time of its release, critics complained that the blue collar looking actor was terribly miscast as an upper class white collar victim turned victimizer. Yet the actor handles it well, by the film's end he has become the character and was thus permanantly type cast in the public's mind as the vigilante that cleaned up New York (although he would not play the actual role again until a series of lurid sequels made almost ten years later). While Death Wish is an essential for Charles Bronson fans (I cannot think of one who wouldn't want to have a copy), the actual subject matter was better handled in the Clint Eastwood thriller Dirty Harry (1971) and its 1973 vigilante themed sequel, Magnum Force.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very happy with purchase. Seller very good to deal with.
Published 15 days ago by Challoner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great oldies
I was such a fan of Charles Bronson when I was a kid. It is just so great to get those oldies at such great bargain prices from amazon.ca.
Shipping was also as expected. Read more
Published on June 23 2009 by C. Ouellet
5.0 out of 5 stars The first one is the best...
I wanted to see this movie for such a long time and it was as I rembered it. Bronson gives a superb perfomance. Read more
Published on June 20 2009 by The Rottweiler
5.0 out of 5 stars the ultimate vigilante film
Meet Paul Kersey,(Charles Bronson)mild mannered architect and
liberal.Kersey Believes that the criminals are merely a product of
being underprivileged and deserve some... Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2007 by falcon
4.0 out of 5 stars Your Typical Evening On A Saturday!
Published on June 30 2004 by Nick Rocco
5.0 out of 5 stars carbolic acid
This is the original in the Death Wish series,and its still the best.Paul Kersey(Bronson)is devastated after his wife and daughter are raped and killed,he goes on a killing rampage... Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by Ben W.
4.0 out of 5 stars CONTROVERSY IS GOOD.
I don't remember too many films from the 1970's the earned an entire OP/ED page in the N.Y. Times, but this urban classic did. Read more
Published on April 24 2004 by Gregory Saffady
5.0 out of 5 stars get this one
Death Wish is a winner. Add this to your DVD library today.
Published on Feb. 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
What can I say about this excellent film? It's a classic. This is the best Death Wish, although I also enjoyed it each time Bronson returned as Paul Kersey, and should be viewed by... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by Earl
5.0 out of 5 stars first Death Wish
I have heard that "Death Wish" is a western set in contemperary New York City. It is not. It is very rooted in urban gang war fare and it's victoms. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003 by Vagabond77
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