Paramount Presents is a new label to recognize and celebrate films from the studio’s vast and storied library. The Paramount Presents banner will be used for a new line of collectible Blu-ray Discs incorporating a curated selection of enduringly popular movies, as well as films that had a cultural impact upon their release. The label will also be used to bring classic films to select theaters for limited theatrical runs so audiences can experience them again on the big screen.
“Paramount’s library represents over a century of filmmaking and includes some of the greatest films in cinematic history,” said Bob Buchi, president, worldwide home media distribution, Paramount Pictures. “We look forward to opening the vault and sharing some of our most treasured films with fans under the new ‘Paramount Presents’ banner, both in theaters and in our new Blu-ray collection, which has been crafted to offer something special to casual fans, dedicated film enthusiasts, and collectors.” This new collection will return each title to the spotlight with remastered releases that include brand new bonus content.
Plot: Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine are the subjects of a bet by successful brokers Mortimer and Randolph Duke. An employee of the Dukes, Winthorpe is framed by the brothers for a crime he didn’t commit, with the siblings then installing the street-smart Valentine in his position. When Winthorpe and Valentine uncover the scheme, they set out to turn the tables on the Dukes.
Director: John Landis
Runtime: 116 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.
The Golden Child
Plot: After a Tibetan boy, the mystical Golden Child, is kidnapped by the evil Sardo Numspa, humankind’s fate hangs in the balance. On the other side of the world in Los Angeles, the priestess Kee Nang seeks the Chosen One, who will save the boy from death. When Nang sees social worker Chandler Jarrell on television discussing his ability to find missing children, she solicits his expertise, despite his skepticism over being “chosen.”
Director: Michael Ritchie
Runtime: 94 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: There isn’t a consensus for this film, so I took the top review: “This film — insignificant and lightweight and monumentally silly — is entertaining from beginning to end.”
Something exciting about Paramount setting up this collection is the intended purpose; focusing on people like me and you; film enthusiasts and collectors. I’ve seen some people in the forums complain about “having to buy these again,” but we all know buying anything is an option — if you want re-releases with the best possible image, you’ll always have to reach into your pocket. What else is new?
The best news is that all of these releases look the best that they ever have! I know that’s the big question and the elephant in the room, so once again yes, all three of these releases are significant to modest jumps over their previous releases. If you love them, you will have to have them.
- Trading Places looks the best it’s ever been with a new improvement to not only the color, but black levels and sharpness which, in turn, gives the film a new organic look. You can notice the tiny details on clothing, buildings and especially with up close shots. This is a flawless looking transfer and they absolutely nailed it! Finally, as seen in previous remasters in this lineup, bonus features include a new Filmmaker Focus with the director John Landis and a digital copy.
- The Golden Child isn’t as perfect of a release in comparison to Trading Places. Since I followed that, with this, I noticed that the picture wasn’t as sharp or as detailed. I wouldn’t go as far as to say this transfer was bad, but it’s more of a moderate upgrade. I try not to throw numbers on things, but if Trading Places was a 5/5, this would be a 3.5/5. Finally, this release includes a new featurette on Making of The Golden Child, as well as a digital copy.
(Like I mention in ever Paramount Presents release.) The only “off” thing about this lineup is that they’re being released on Blu-ray and not 4K. My only guess? Personally, I think it’s the best option to help keep the cost down and nothing else. Some are already predicting that next year (2021) these will be released again in 4K… but I doubt it. That would be a strange strategy… who would buy them again? I certainly wouldn’t.
In conclusion —
Taking everything I’ve said into account, both of these films get my recommendation to add to your collection! You can grab a copy at your local retailer December 1st! Nobody knows how many movies Paramount is setting up to release. Is it 10? 25? 50? I think it all depends on the sales and word of mouth… if these releases gain popularity, then more will be added. I’m sure there’s a standard dozen to start things off, so we will have to wait a few months and see what happens.
Are you a fan of these movies? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Cheers & stay safe,
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