Reel Reviews

Beverly Hills Cop - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

Beverly Hills Cop - Blu-ray Review

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5 Stars

It’s hard to believe, but this 1984 smash started out life a gritty, straight down the line, action vehicle that ended up in the hands of one Sylvester Stallone. The muscular one had a crack at rewriting it, handed it in, and caused the studio to say, “Shit, we can’t afford it!” Legendary producers Jerry Bruckheimer and his mentor Don Simpson astutely managed to get Sly to step aside, and fervently pursued their original concept with their original choice:

Eddie Murphy.

Now, being that the man became a superstar, it’s difficult to remember that Murphy was not really a known commodity back in the day, but thank the movie gods those producers saw something in him, because what followed was a one in a million merging of actor to character. Axel Foley is Murphy’s Indiana Jones—no other actor then or now could replicate the sheer magic that happened when the former Saturday Night Live actor stepped into those shoes.

Starting off in Detroit, Axel Foley is visited by a friend, Mikey, from his less than legal past. When his pal is executed right in front of him, Foley takes leave from his precinct and his irritable captain (hilarious real cop, Gil Hill) to find Mikey’s killer in Beverly Hills. Foley’s hilariously unorthodox methods soon come to the attention of the local authorities (Ronny Cox, John Ashton, and Judge Reinhold) and an (at first) uneasy affiliation grows to an effective crime solving team.

This film, directed by reluctant participant, Martin Brest, is a product of sheer magic; a formula that was ready to succeed the moment they came up with it, and one that will probably never be replicated (as the inferior sequels have proven). This film was not a comedy­—the director and producers had the foresight and faith to make a straight film and unleash Murphy’s, and his impressive co-stars’, improve humour into it. The result is comedy gold: organic, real, and hilarious. Nothing about this film is forced or signposting you to laugh, you just involve yourself with these characters, and—like people who become fast friends—they quickly win you over with their quirks and flaws and conviction.

The characterisations and the actors who pull them off are all first rate. Reinhold and Ashton had their characters nailed down before a single frame was shot, and it shows; Bronson Pinchot’s Serge is an 80s comedy icon; even bit parts, like Foley’s boss, Inspector Todd, and Paul Reiser’s Jeffrey are pitch perfect. Not to be forgotten, Foley’s nemesis, played with sinister relish by Steven Berkoff, rounds the whole picture off with nothing by class.

Not surprisingly, this film broke box office records and made Murphy a highly coveted movie star. Two sequels (and another proposed, currently to be directed by Brett Ratner) followed, and although this reviewer likes Tony Scott’s follow up, it and its anaemic successor (3 was just bloody awful) proved that every single element of that stupendous original was needed to make that magic.

A true classic, an original, and one of the best films made in the 1980s. Beverly Hills Cop should be on everyone’s shelf.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: Film Info}

Beverly Hilsl Cop - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R.
Director
: Martin Brest
Writer
: Daniel Petrie Jr.
Cast: Eddie Murphy; Judge Reinhold; John Ashton; Ronny Cox; Bronson Pinchot; Paul Reiser
Genre: Comedy | Action
Tagline:
He's been chased, thrown through a window, and arrested. Eddie Murphy is a Detroit cop on vacation in Beverly Hills.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Sir... I apologize for striking you. I have no excuse."
Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Release Date:
December 5, 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 17, 2011

Synopsis: A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: Blu-ray Details}

Beverly Hills Cop - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
5 Stars

3 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 17, 2011
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)

Don’t expect a shiny new version of the film; the transfer, like the films itself, is down and dirty. The opening titles sequence will terrify you (it’s SHIT), but as soon as the story begins proper, the film looks clean but definitely an unpolished product of its age: It’s very grainy, but that was there in the beginning, and it remains now. It’s not an impressive picture at all. The lossless DTS-HD audio is also only middle of the road, but, IF you have a decent surround set up, it is a marked improvement on the DVDs. There is nothing, as far as new content is concerned, just transplanted DVD features and why oh WHY was the film not released as a set? Double dip coming up, folks.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length audio commentary track with director Martin Brest.

Special Features:

  • Beverly Hills Cop -- The Phenomenon Begins (480p, 29:11)
  • A Glimpse Into the Casting Process (480p, 9:37)
  • The Music of Beverly Hills Cop (480p, 7:49)
  • Location Map (1080p/480p)
  • Beverly Hills Cop Theatrical Trailer (1080p, 2:33)

{2jtab: Trailer}

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