It was a very busy week over at Paramount Home Entertainment, topped-lined by two new additions to the studio’s popular “Paramount Presents” line of restored films as newly-minted Blu-ray releases.
Let us jump right in with the good news that on July 6 the first of these two new additions to the “Paramount Presents” promotional banner will be a 4K film restoration of director Walter Hill’s 1982 blockbuster hit, 48 Hrs.
This “buddy” action/comedy teamed Nick Nolte, as a world-weary homicide detective by the name of Jack Gates, with slick-as-a-whistle conman, Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy in his film debut), who become unlikely partners on a multiple-murder case.
On the prowl is the sadistic Ganz, played by James Remar, who was Ajex in Walter Hill’s 1979 surprise hit, The Warriors. He escaped from a prison work detail with the help of Billy Bear (Sonny Landham) … and in no time the pair are involved in the murder of Gates’ partner.
Through a series of events, Gates learns that a prisoner by the name Reggie Hammond was a former associate of Ganz. He meets with him in prison, which doesn’t go all that well, but nevertheless cuts the con-artist a deal, 48 hours on the outside if he helps him find out where the murderous Ganz and Billy Bear are hiding.
This begins an unlikely partnership, with Gates always on the verge slapping Reggie around … and worse. Filmmaker Walter Hill, with 48 Hrs., delivered the perfect blend of comedy and action … it was a smash!!
Bonus goodies include “Filmmaker Focus: Director Walter Hill on 48 Hrs.” and the 1966 animated short film, Space Kid.
So successful was the teaming of Nick Nolte with Eddie Murphy that director Walter Hill got the pair back together again for the 1990 film release of Another 48 Hrs. This is also a new 4K film restoration and it is the other “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray release that will be heading home on July 6.
The sequel actually out-performed the original. Which makes all the sense in the world as Eddie Murphy had gone from being an unknown quantity as an actor to a super-star with such hits as Trading Places, two Beverly Hills Cop movies and Coming to America, which were all released theatrically between 48 Hrs. and Another 48 Hrs.
Included with the “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray release of Another 48 Hrs. is “Filmmaker Focus: Director Walter Hill on Another 48 Hrs.”
Shifting over to the 4K Ultra HD format, there will be two additions available on July 20 … 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack presentations of director Stephen Sommers’ launch of the G.I. Joe film series, the summer of 2009 blockbuster, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and director Jon M. Chu’s 2013 sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. These new 4K Ultra HD editions are timed for the arrival in theatres of director Robert Schwentke’s Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins on July 23 (finger’s crossed).
Bonus features include commentary from director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay on G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and commentary from director Jon M. Chu and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura on G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The companion Blu-ray discs include the previously release bonus goodies.
Lastly, June 29 has been selected by Paramount Home Entertainment as the street date for writer/director Jonathan W. Stokes’ Wildcat, starring Georgina Campbell (as Lyta-Zod in the Krypton television series) and Luke Benward as a journalist and her Marine escort respectively who have been taken prisoner by terrorists in Iraq.
Stokes’ film doesn’t waste a moment getting started as Khadija Young, who claims to be a reporter, is hauled into a prison cell, handcuffed to a bed and then assaulted, left screaming and in pain. To her rescue comes Abu Khalid (Mido Hamada), who just wants to help her … he gives her water, kind words and then just when she thinks that it might not be so bad he starts in on her with questions and more pain.
The cat-and-mouse game begins. She says she is nothing more than a journalist. Abu Khalid thinks otherwise. With her is the only survivor of her Marine convoy escort, a soldier named Luke.
He has been kept alive for a purpose, which we soon learn is that their captors believe they might say things to each other that they might not reveal under the relentless torture. They must be careful in what they say.
Wildcat is an intense psychological thriller that keeps you guessing … and wondering if either Khadija or Luke will survive this ordeal. The truth will be revealed on June 29 with the DVD debut of Wildcat.