Blu-ray Review: Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy



Beverly Hills Cop is a classic film from the ’80s that still holds up today and now thanks to Paramount’s newest Blu-ray remaster, it looks the best it ever has for your home viewing pleasure. I actually hadn’t realized that it had been decades since I’d seen the film, as no matter how often it happens I get stunned when I hear a movie I grew up with is 30+ years old. When I did the math that Beverly Hills Cop was 36 years old, well, time certainly has a way of flying away in chunks, doesn’t it?

So revisiting the movies now was almost the same as watching them for the first time, as only a few moments really came back to me throughout. Oh, but that theme song…what a fantastic theme song! I’d argue it’s one of the best movie themes of the ‘80s and possibly ever. It’s just an iconic theme that makes you want to peak around corners all stealth-like, then tip toe down the hallway like you’re trying not to get caught even if you’re doing nothing but walking to the other room. It’s true! Give yourself the most basic of missions right inside your home, like going to get a glass of water from the kitchen. Start down the hall or in another room and then hit play on the Beverly Hills Cop theme song (which is actually called Axel F. if you’re looking it up on iTunes) and if you don’t instantly press up against a wall and try to figure out the most covert way of getting into the kitchen from where you are, well, you’re a stronger person than me. Not as endearing, but stronger.

I won’t delve into the plots of the films, as odds are you know them by this point, but they all hold up well. The first film is the best, which isn’t surprising, and this is only the second time it’s been released on Blu-ray. After doing some investigative work (with the theme playing in the background, obviously) and finding a copy of the previous release, it’s safe to say that this remastered version is the copy to own even if you already purchased the 2011 release.

If that was the case and you do own it, instead of looking at this purchase as a double-dip, know that you’re getting Beverly Hills Cop 2 and 3 remastered and released on Blu-ray for the first time ever. So in the end it balances out and you come out on top. While it’s unfortunate that there wasn’t a 4K release of the trilogy, this new remaster taken from the digital 4K releases will have to suffice for the time being. There are a few new special features to be found on the original film alongside the previously released special features, though nothing overly ground-breaking and the two other films are bare bones.

For those new to the franchise know that this Blu-ray release is the best looking way to jump on board, and jump on board you should, as the first film is a classic, the second isn’t far behind and the third is still a solid action comedy. Plus, Beverly Hills Cop 4 is on the horizon and set for a Netflix release if all goes according to plan, so there really is no better time. So go ahead, take out your iPod, crank up the volume, hit play on Axel F., get your stealth on and head down to the store to pick up a copy today. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time, as doing it this way over simply driving to the location or ordering it online does add quite a bit of time to the purchase (worth it!)

As mentioned earlier, the remaster of these films has them looking the best they ever have for home viewing on Blu-ray. The first film keeps most of the film grain that may be somewhat jarring to some early on, as it’s not as clean a remaster as some may expect. I say this because it was jarring for me at first too; however, not long into the film the grain smooths out and becomes less noticeable overall. It doesn’t hurt the movie on any level, it’s just something that other films have chosen to clean up entirely when possible during a remastering. In the end it’s not something to hold against the films at all because they do look great and they were filmed on film, so it does work that it can still be seen that this was the case. The audio also sounds great, with each shining through in their own DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack.

Special Features:

This section just focuses on the first film, as Part 2 and 3 come with no special features. I’ll touch on the new additions to this section first, and then mention the stuff that came with 2011 release.

Isolate Score Track – For those interested, this feature turns off all audio tracks but the score.

Deleted Scenes – There are two new deleted scenes here for those who enjoy those.

Behind the Scenes: 1984 Interviews – This feature is roughly 7-minutes in length and includes bits with Murphy improvising certain lines (the most interesting part,) as well as a piece on Foley’s Beverly Hills “partners” Taggart and Rosewood, etc…

BHC Mixtape ’84 – There are some updated audio releases of some of the popular songs used in the film.

The remainder are previously released features:

Audio Commentary – The commentary is done by Director Martin Brest, and it’s him looking back on production and the challenges they faced when making the film. The usual stuff is touched upon. It would’ve been great to have had Murphy along for the ride as well.

Beverly Hills Cop: The Phenomenon Begins – This feature is just over 29-minutes in length and basically covers the film from its conception to the fame that followed.

A Glimpse Into the Casting Process – This feature is just under 10-minutes and touches on just how much of an impact on the film Eddie Murphy replacing Sylvester Stallone was, which is always fun to hear about.

The Music of Beverly Hills Cop This is just under 8-minutes in length and focuses on the film’s score.

Location Map – This featurette allows the viewer to briefly go behind-the-scenes in seven different locations found in the film.

And finally, there’s the theatrical trailer.

Paramount Pictures Presents Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy. Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher, Ronny Cox, Steven Burkoff, Jonathan Banks, Bronson Pinchot, Bridget Nielsen, Jon Tenney, Joey Travolta, Paul Reiser. Running time: 105 Minutes/100 Minutes/104 Minutes. Rating: 18A/14A/14A. Released on Blu-ray: Jan. 14, 2020.

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