Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Beverly Hills Cop: 3 Movie Collection Blu-ray Disc Set Review

In 1984 Eddie Murphy solidified his movie stardom as perhaps the funniest man in America in the 1980s with the action comedy classic Beverly Hills Cop. After his friend is murdered by what appears to be professional hit men, Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) goes against orders and pretends to go on vacation when in reality he is investigating the death of his friend seeking to bring down those responsible for the killing. The screenplay by Daniel Petrie, Jr. had been under consideration as a more straight forward cop action picture with a touch of the “fish out of water” scenario, but the inclusion of Murphy changed the entire tone of the film and one could argue that both Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hours may have inspired buddy cop action films with a touch of comedic moments to follow with movies like Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout. Murphy was under contract with Paramount Pictures and was one of the last big screen movie stars to have worked in what was the very last vestiges of the old Hollywood Contract Player System. That is the reason why the majority of Murphy’s films if not all of his films from the 1980s were released by Paramount Pictures. 

Murphy has both directly and maybe indirectly been responsible for giving comedians a shot in his feature films. Examples include Louie Anderson in Coming To America and in the three Beverly Hills Cop movies produced one will spot fellow SNL alumni and future successful comedians alike including Damon Wayons, Gilbert Gottfried, whose scene in the second film was so memorable, he not only got great recognition, but he stole the scene he appeared in from Murphy. Chris Rock has a small appearance in the third film as well.  As far as the original is concerned , it could not have been cast better with Paul Reiser as Axel’s friend at the Detroit Precinct and John Ashton and Judge Reinhold as Beverly Hills Police Detectives assigned to follow Axel, but eventually the characters form a bond that enables Axel to bring the people behind the killing to justice. Other cast members include Ronny Cox, Bronson Pinchot in a role that made him a sitcom star in the 1980s, Steven Berkoff, Jonathan Banks, James Russo and Frank Pesce. Sadly the sequels do not hold a candle to the original though they do have talented actors that include Jurgen Prochnow , Dean Stockwell, Brigette Nielsen and the third film features Hector Elizondo, Stephen McHattie, Joey Travolta, and John Saxon. A number of filmmakers also have cameos in the third film, which was directed by John Landis and the filmmakers include John Singleton, Barbet Schroeder, George Lucas, and Joe Dante. The second film was directed by Tony Scott and has a slick sheen to it while the original directed by Martin Brest does not. It is also the only film in the series what appears to be a wider anamorphic lens. The other two are presented in (1.78:1) aspect ratio although to me the presentation of the original Beverly Hills Cop seemed kind of cropped compared to how I recall seeing it when it was first released in theaters back in 1984. Of course since that is a long time ago, I could be mistaken. 

Though Beverly Hills Cop has been remastered, it sadly does not look as good as the two sequels. All three films are presented in 1080p full HD with English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Soundtracks and while all three still look good, they much sound better. French and Spanish Language Audio options are included on all three discs along with an English Descriptive Audio Track On Beverly Hills Cop. English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired are encoded on all three discs as well as additional English, French and Spanish Language Subtitles as options.  Actually the menus appear to offer even more options, but I am only listing these because these are what was noted on the packaging. Outside of that the onscreen menus are standard interactive still frames that are easy to navigate. Beverly Hills Cop is the only film in the collection with any extra value materials and these include two deleted scenes (3:49) four new featurettes that incorporate vintage 1984 interviews (6:49), an isolated score track by Harold Faltermeyer, and a feature that allows one to jump directly to scenes featuring the hit songs “The Heat Is On,” “Neutron Dance,” “New Attitude,” “Stir It Up,” “Do You Really,” and “Nasty Girl.”

The previously released Commentary by Director Martin Brest, Beverly Hills Cop - The Phenomenon, a glimpse into the casting process (9:37), The Music Of Beverly Hills Cop, an Interactive location map and the theatrical trailer (2:33) are included and wrap up the contents on the Beverly Hills Cop Blu-ray Disc. Sadly Digital Copy codes are not included within this three disc set. The discs are packaged within a single sized three-disc Blue BD case within a cardboard slip. Beverly Hills Cop: 3 Movie Collection is available now at retailers on and offline courtesy of Paramount Home Entertainment.

(C) Copyright 2020 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.