The very rich and extremely greedy Duke Brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) wager a bet over whether “born-loser” Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) could become as successful as the priggish Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd) if circumstances were reversed. So begins one of the funniest, most outrageous comedies of the 80s, cementing Eddie Murphy’s superstar status. Alongside the street-smarts of Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), Winthorpe and Valentine are a trio ready for a riotous revenge that culminates on the commodities trading floor in New York City. – Synopsis from Paramount Pictures.
TRADING PLACES is directed by John Landis and makes most of the unconventional Christmas movie lists. It was originally written with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in mind for the lead roles but when they were unavailable, Aykroyd and Murphy were cast. This film is comedy gold and shows how much comedic talent that these two have.
Dan Aykroyd as Louis Winthorpe IIIic
Eddie Murphy as Billy Ray Valentine
Ralph Bellamy as Randolph Duke
Don Ameche as Mortimer Duke
Denholm Elliott as Coleman
Jamie Lee Curtis as Ophelia
The video is a 1080p AVC presentation that has been remastered for the Paramount Presents Collection. It was made into a new 4k scan to create this Blu-ray. The picture is better in every way from the previous release. The color correction makes the images feel more natural while still maintaining that cinema look. The skin tones are warmer, the details are sharper, and the contrast is impressive. The blacks are deep and add to the shadows. Other details such as skin imperfections and textures of clothing add to the quality of the transfer.
The audio is a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix and like the video, this is a big step up from the previous release. The former was on a DD 5.1 and it was the same as the DVD but with the new mix, the audio feels like it has opened up considerably. The large score and music add to the charm of the film. The rest of the time, the mix is dialogue centric with the voices being prioritized well with the other elements. When the music is playing with Billy Ray’s guests, the bass has a level that makes the party more lively. As for effects, some are off-screen like the rain after the Christmas party or the crown noise on the trading floor fill the sound field properly.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-Filmmaker Focus: John Landis on TRADING PLACES: This is a new extra with Landis discussing most of the details about the film.
-Insider Trading: The Making of TRADING PLACES
-Deleted Scene: Includes an optional commentary with Executive Producer George Folsey, Jr. commentary.
-Dressing the Part
-The Trade in Trading Places
-Industry Promotional Piece
– Theatrical Trailer
1 Blu-ray Disc
Slipcover is included with foldout poster
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Music Track: Dolby Digital 2.0
French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
German Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
THE BOTTOM LINE
TRADING PLACES is a classic comedy and you get to see the two leads at the early parts in their careers. It is highly entertaining and now fans have a nicer version of it to watch at home. The audio and video are perfect for the format plus they are an obvious upgrade from the 2018 35th Anniversary Edition. There are a few new extras and worth checking out. Overall, I highly recommend picking up this version to watch during this holiday season.