Trading Places (Paramount Presents #12) Blu-ray Review


Trading Places is a comedy classic and Paramount has finally given the film the treatment it deserves with this wonderful blu-ray release.

Studio: Paramount
Release Date: June 8th, 1983 (theatrical)
                           December 1st, 2020 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 116 mins
Region Code: FREE
Picture: 1080p (1.78:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
               French: Dolby Digital 2.0
               German: Dolby Digital 2.0
               Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English, 
                   English SDH
                   French 
                   German 
                   Japanese
Slipcover: Yes 
Digital Copy: Yes (Gives you a 4K version of the film if redeemed in iTunes)
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Don Ameche, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ralph Bellamy
Written by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod
Directed by John Landis
Rating: R (language and nudity)

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Poster



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Quote

Billy Ray Valentine: [after demonstrating some fake karate moves] That's called the "quart of blood" technique. You do that, a quart of blood will drop out of a man's body.

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What's It About?

The very rich and extremely greedy Duke Brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) wager a bet over whether “born-loser” Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) could become as successful as the priggish Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) if circumstances were reversed. So begins one of the funniest, most outrageous comedies of the 80s, cementing Eddie Murphy’s superstar status. Alongside the street-smarts of Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), Winthorpe and Valentine are a trio ready for riotous revenge that culminates on the commodities trading floor in New York City.

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Movie Review

TRADING PLACES is a classic. It's a classic of the 80's, a comedy classic, and one of the best films John Landis ever made. The film pairs up Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy right before both of them had their biggest hits with GHOSTBUSTERS and BEVERLY HILLS COP and both men are on fire here. Aykroyd was always good at playing uptight, rich men and he has never been better than he is here. Murphy, who had a huge hit with 48 HOURS the year before this, never seems like he is only starring in his second film. He is so sure at every moment that you just have to sit back and watch the man work. We also get Jamie Lee Curtis in her first comedic role and she holds her own against the two leading men. The film has aged surprisingly well, especially given recent events on Wall Street. There isn't very much I can say about this film other than you need to see it if you haven't, and if you have, then watch it again.

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Video/Audio

Paramount spent 2020 getting back into the home video game by bringing some of their heavy hitters like BEVERLY HILLS COP and COMING TO AMERICA to 4K blu-ray while bringing films like TRADING PLACES and POPEYE to blu-ray with their new "Paramount Presents" line. The studio has given TRADING PLACES a brand new 4K restoration and the results are pretty good. The film was never a good-looking film and this transfer captures this ugliness very well. Browns, greys, and blacks all look great with the blacks being pretty inky. Skin tones are also very good. Detail can be pretty high especially in close-ups. This is a well-done transfer that easily trumps the previous blu-ray release. We get a new Dolby TrueHD track that brings the film to life more than we have seen before. The surrounds give us an emersion that we haven't seen from the film before, bringing us into the film's world. Dialogue is clear and the film's lively score sounds great.

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Extras

While I would have loved to have a commentary track or even some new interviews with the actors, this extras package is pretty good. Everything outside of the interview with John Landis and the film's original theatrical trailer are brought over from the previous blu-ray. The new interview is fairly standard with Landis giving us a few behind the scenes stories. I also liked the inclusion of the isolated score track. I love the score for the film and this is a great way to listen to all of the cues.
  • Isolated Score in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Filmmaker Focus (8m 46s, HD, 1.78:1)
  • Insider Trading: The Making of Trading Places (18m 28s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Trading Stories (7m 58s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Deleted Scene (3m 08s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Dressing the Part (6m 30s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • The Trade in Trading Places (5m 25s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Industry Promotional Piece (4m 18s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2m 50s, SD, 1.85:1, 4x3)

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Overall

TRADING PLACES is a wonderful comedy that goes for broke and wins out every time. Aykroyd and Murphy are at the top of their game and Landis gives some great setpieces. Paramount really treats the film really well this time out (not like the last time) with a brand new restoration, an outstanding new audio track, and some great special features. 


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