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Beverly Hills Cop
(Blu-ray)

review by Zach B.



MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 105 minutes

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton

Screenplay by: Daniel Petrie, Jr.
Story by: Danilo Bach and Daniel Petrie, Jr.

Directed by: Martin Brest

 

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $24.99

Features: Audio Commentary with Director Martin Brest, Beverly Hills Cop: The Phenomenon Begins, Casting Beverly Hills Cop, Location Map, The Music Of Beverly Hills Cop, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 1.85:1 Widescreen 1080p High Definition, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Brazilian Portuguese 5.1, French Dolby Surround 2.0, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Brazilian Portuguese Subtitles, Scenes (11 scenes)

Released: May 17th, 2011

 


"Beverly Hills Cop" is presented in 1080p high definition, preserving its widescreen theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Nice as it is to have an HD version of this movie on disc, it's unfortunate that Paramount has utilized digital scrubbing for much of this transfer. Here and there early on you can detect an appropriate amount of film grain, but for the most part, this 1984 film looks too smooth and glossy. Truthfully, the immense touching up feels a bit distracting, and at times when the camera pans in the film, there's an unnatural, sped-up effect — almost as if you're watching the movie in PAL format momentarily. 

There is some good to the transfer: fleshtones look decent, black levels are pretty solid and there is fine color saturation — even among all the polish. However, the picture suffers from other flaws: blemishes and dirt pieces pop up, and there's a lot of shimmering. Some noise is noticeable, too. It's watchable, but there's too much sheen. Purists likely won't be pleased. 

 


"Beverly Hills Cop" is given a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio upgrade. This is a pretty strong, warm and enveloping mix, with a nice balance between the sound elements. The movie's gunfire and action sequences deliver some good kicks through the channels, as there are some discrete surrounds. The subwoofer packs some decent punches, too. Dialogue is always clear and easy to hear (including Eddie's trademark laugh), while the film's memorable soundtrack pumps a good amount of energy into the speakers as well. (Gotta love Axel F!)

French Dolby Digital 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in Spanish and Portuguese are included. Also included are subtitles in those languages and English.

 


For its debut on Blu-ray, the supplements for "Beverly Hills Cop" are a straight-up port of the nearly-decade old DVD, minus the photo gallery. There's an Audio Commentary with Director Martin Brest, who, delivers an enthusiastic and solid commentary, despite some pauses. Brest offers a good deal of praise, but I'm amazed how he remembers so many interesting production stories and tidbits. Despite going back to the past, Brest recalls inspirations, how film equipment has evolved and a good deal more on many aspects of the movie. Worth a listen if you like the film.

Beverly Hills Cop: The Phenomenon Begins has clips from the movie, stills and features new retrospective interviews that are really quite nice and enjoyable to watch. Jerry Bruckheimer recalls that Michael Eisner and the late Don Simpson each had an idea for a Beverly Hills cop movie which is somewhat funny, so they recruited Danilo Bach to write the original screenplay (entitled "Beverly Drive"). After some shuffling, Daniel Petrie, Jr. wrote a new screenplay. Basically, this featurette follows the origins of the project and how a lot shifted... who knew that Sly Stallone would come in and adjust the screenplay and make it cost 6 million more? Who knew that Martin Brest chose to do the project on the flip of a coin? These interviews offer a load of information on making the movie, the casting and a lot of stuff I never knew plus a lot of great stories. This is simply a great look back on making a great movie... this is truly one of the best featurettes made for DVD I've ever seen. The cast and crew really bring a lot here and it seems like quite a fun journey on to making this film. Eddie Murphy is interviewed a little, but there's also Martin Brest, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton and a few more. This lasts a little bit under thirty minutes.

Casting Beverly Hills Cop gives a brief description of what a casting director does and goes from there on casting the film. The film's casting director, Margery Simkin, gives her insight on the process. Brest, Reinhold, Ashton, Reinhold and others talk about creating the characters and how to go about making the characters who they are. Simkin more or less leads the whole thing, and she brings a good deal of information to absorb to the table and shows how important casting can be. Also included are stills and clips from the movie. Another great, worthwhile featurette that lasts a little under ten minutes.

When you head to the Location Map, you can see a mini-map of sorts with key film locations. From there, you can click on seven different short featurettes dealing with the locations: "Beverly Hills Police Station," "Victor Maitland's Mansion," "The Biltmore," "Warehouse," "Art Gallery," "Harrow Club" and "Strip Club." Production designer Angelo P. Garaham gives brief insights on to the locations... these are short, only about a minute each, but they're still nice. 

The Music Of Beverly Hills Cop is another great featurette that is about eight minutes. Featuring interviews with Brest, Bruckheimer, Reinhold, music editor Bob Badami and others, this explores the song choices used in the film and interesting stories behind writing songs and using other ones, not to mention the classic Axel F theme and Harold Faltermeyer's score. 

Rounding the disc out is the Theatrical Trailer in high definition.

 



"Beverly Hills Cop" is one of the greatest films of the 1980s in my humble opinion, and is still a terrific watch all these years later. The film's debut on Blu-ray is what you'd expect from a catalog release — a port of a previous DVD edition — but the digital scrubbing used on the transfer is irksome. Die-hard fans of the film, however, may not be able to resist the film in HD.