Red Dawn (1984) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: John Milius
Starring: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson
Rated: PG-13/Region A/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Shout Select
When Communist paratroopers descend on a Colorado high school football field, a group of the school’s students wages an all-out guerilla war to save their town — and their country. Featuring an all-star cast, including Patrick Swayze (Road House), Charlie Sheen (Platoon), Lea Thompson (Back To The Future), C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing), Powers Boothe (Tombstone) and Harry Dean Stanton (Alien), Red Dawn “comes up like thunder” (New York Post)!
Red Dawn has always been a favorite of mine. So I was beyond excited when I heard Shout was releasing a Collector’s Edition of it through their Shout Select line. They’ve done great work re-releasing movies that were already on Blu-ray but giving them a boot with transfers, extras, and an overall better-looking package. The same can be said about their release of 1984’s Red Dawn. The movie was very much a product of its time. It’s 1984 and Russians invade the midwestern portion of the United States. We then get an all-star cast of teens that form the Wolverines and fight back against the nasty Russians! Lead by Patrick Swayze we have a team made up of characters played by such names as Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey before her and Patrick would be united in the iconic Dirty Dancing later on. This movie is made up of what would make the 80’s such a great time for film. It is often violent and a little over the top, but it is also a whole lot of fun. A certain type of fun that seems to be lost these days but is here in full force in Red Dawn. Also, as you watch this one you just never know who will be left standing when all is said and done. That unpredictability can often go a long way and it does just that with me here.
If you pre-ordered this from Shout you got a poster of the new cover, but I will admit the only new extras you get here is a 70-minute documentary. That might be the only new thing but it is a good one. I don’t own the previous version but apparently, the transfers on both are the same as well. It should also be noted that this is the theatrical version so the cut McDonalds scene you might have heard of isn’t here either. Still, if you want a cool version of a great movie and don’t already own it on Blu-ray this would be a great way to go with it. Don’t let the PG-13 rating make you think any less of what you will be getting because this one can get rather violent at times. PG-13 in the 80’s is a lot different than today’s rating standards. All in all, I love Red Dawn. I love the action, the story, and the performances. As you can see here, it looks good and should be a welcomed edition to anyone who wants to see a really awesome movie from a really cool time.
– NEW “A Look Back At Red Dawn” – A 70 Minute Feature Including Brand-New Stories From Co-Star Doug Toby, Casting Director Jane Jenkins, Production Designer Jackson DeGovia, And Editor Thom Noble
– Archival Featurette: “Red Dawn Rising”
– Archival Featurette: “Training For WWIII”
– Archival Featurette: “Building The Red Menace”
– Archival Featurette: “WWIII Comes To Town”
– Original Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 87%