Paramount Presents Trading Places Blu-ray review

Nov 29, 2020- Permalink

Director John Landis’ 1983 comedy Trading Places placed SNL alumni Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in a buddy comedy where two men of opposite economic classes team up to take on the two rich brothers who played with their lives on a whim. I watched and watched and rewatched this movie when it first came out. Great performances by Aykroyd, Murphy, and their co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Ameche, and Ralph Bellamy. Paramount has now released it as part of their Paramount Presents Blu-ray line and this new transfer is based off a 4K restoration. Paramount Presents’ special packaging is not available in Canada, so I had a chance to review the standard package.

The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer is in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio compared to the theatrical release’s 1.85:1 ratio. Quite simply, this is the best Trading Places has ever looked in a home theatre release. The image has so much detail from facial features and clothing to the finely-crafted offices of the Duke brothers. There’s a light film grain, the colour palette is rich and warm, and the black levels are deep. Digital noise and compression artifacts are nowhere to be seen. Just an excellent video presentation.

On the audio end, there’s an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack as well as French, German, and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. There’s also a Dolby Digital 2.0 track of just the score. Subtitles are available in English, English SDH, French, German, and Japanese. The audio team have done a great job of moving the original front-heavy audio mix and moving environmental and ambient effects into the surrounds to place us in the middle of the action. There’s even some good low-end support from the subwoofer. The score is lively and dynamic and dialogue is clear, centred, and well-prioritized.

As for extras, the US Paramount Presents version comes with a digital code (not in Canada) and a special slipcover with a fold out of the original poster. On the disc, there’s a “Filmmaker Focus” with John Landis reminiscing about the shoot, a trailer, a making-of featurette, a deleted scene, some original junket interviews, and pieces looking at the costumes and commodities trading.

Excellent video and audio teamed with good extras and a ton of laughs make adding Trading Places to your collection a no-brainer.