Judgment Night Blu Ray Review (Warner Archive Collection)
Judgment Night is a 1993 suspense thriller film directed by Stephen Hopkins (Predator 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, The Ghost and the Darkness, & Blown Away). It was written by Lewis Colick (The Dirt Bike Kid, Unlawful Entry, Bulletproof, & Ghosts of Mississippi). The score was done by Alan Silvestri (The Avengers Trilogy, Predator 1/2, Back to the Future Part 2/3, & Forrest Gump). His original score was rejected & Stephen Hopkins requested the new one to be similar to Predator 2. It was produced by Gene Levy (Streets of Fire, Waterworld, & Brewster’s Millions), Lloyd Segan (The Boondock Saints 1/2, Blown Away, & Bones), & Marilyn Vance (The Getaway, Timecop, & Embrace of the Vampire). Emilio Estevez earned $4 million for this role in this. He wasn’t even close to being the studio’s top choice but after being turned down so much & running out of time they went with him as the lead. The budget was $21 million & it grossed $12,136,999 at the box office.
Francis “Frank” Wyatt (played by: Emilio Estevez from The Mighty Ducks franchise, Young Guns 1/2, Maximum Overdrive, & Nightmares) recently had a child & finally gets a guys night out after dealing with struggles of being a new father. He is joined by his brother John (played by: Stephen Dorff from The Gate, Blade, City of Industry, & True Detective), friends Mike Peterson (played by: Cuba Gooding Jr. from Boyz n the Hood, Jerry Maguire, Men of Honor, & Outbreak) & Ray Cochran (played by: Jeremy Piven from Heat, Entourage, Smokin’ Aces, & Very Bad Things). Ray conned a dealership into letting him test a high tech & fully loaded RV for clients so he could use it for their trip to the boxing event in Chicago. They get stuck in traffic so Ray tries to take shortcut to make up for the lost time. He accidentally hits a man named Teddy (played by: Michael DeLorenzo from New York Undercover, A Few Good Men, Platoon Leader, & Diggstown) & they discover he’s been shot plus has a bag of money.
Teddy is trying to warn them about something but they are quickly approached by some strangers. Fallon (played by: Denis Leary from Rescue Me, Suicide Kings, The Amazing Spider-Man, & The Ref) with his henchmen Sykes (played by: Peter Greene from The Mask, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, & Under Siege 2) & Rhodes (played by: Erik “Everlast” Schrody from House of Pain, Who’s the Man?, Bang, & Lowball) show up for revenge. Teddy stole from Fallon & he kills him for his betrayal right in front of lost group of friends. He tells his gang that they can’t have any witness to this crime so they chase & try to the hunt down the unlucky guys that were at the wrong place at the wrong time. They are all trapped in a urban environment that doesn’t like to help outsiders. The 3 men struggle to hide from the gangsters out for blood & can’t find any help. They try everything to get the attention of the police including breaking the law. This just drags others into this dangerous game of cat & mouse, can they make it out alive? or Will they be judged on their final night????
Judgment Night is highly under-rated, it’s one of the best thrillers made in the 90s! The chemistry between Estevez, Dorff, Gooding Jr., & Piven is amazing in this, it feels like they have all been best friends forever. Denis Leary chews the scenery as the main villain Fallon & he gives one of his best performances here. That character was written perfectly for him, I couldn’t see anyone else doing that role. I loved all his one liners especially the Purdue one since I hate that college! It had a solid supporting cast also with veteran Peter Greene who always plays a great bad guy & I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much from rapper Everlast from House of Pain but he was way better than expected in Judgment Night. It’s loaded with all kinds of suspense, thrills, & action.
It may be a dark film but it has a decent amount of humor to lightened up the scene real quick before going back to it’s more violent moments. The greatest thing about this production is it’s top notch soundtrack! Don’t get me wrong, the music from composer Alan Silvestri is good here but that soundtrack is legendary! It features Helmet, House of Pain, Teenage Fanclub, De La Soul, Living Colour, Run DMC, Biohazard, Onyx, Slayer, Ice-T, Faith No More, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., Sonic Youth, Cypress Hill, Mudhoney, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Dinosaur Jr.,Del the Funky Homosapien, Therapy?, Fatal, & Pearl Jam. They put together some of the most interesting collaborations ever by combining rock with hip hop. It’s still one of my all time favorite releases. Back to the film, it delivers in every possible way. It’s verry fun & entertaining, the replay value is off the charts. I am glad that Judgment Night finally got a proper blu ray release after only having a MOD DVD after the others went OOP!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Archive! This 1080p (2.40:1) transfer looks way better than expected especially for being a 90s catalog title. It’s a major improvement over all the previous home video releases. It holds up better than most productions from the sub genre from the same time. Chicago is the main character in Judgment Night, the cinematography & locations look great here. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is the main reason that you need to either buy or upgrade this film for your collection! It sounds amazing, the dialogue is very clean & all the action is boosted on it. My favorite part is the classic soundtrack, it’s never sounded better than this! It pounds through your home system. I am really impressed with the overall picture & sound quality for this release. It also has English SDH subtitles. It has no extras on the disc. It’s available everywhere right now including MovieZyng.com, CHECK IT OUT!!!!
You can buy it right now @ https://www.moviezyng.com/888574768737.aspx