Directed by the legendary Walter Hill, this gritty, modern Western is regarded as a classic and features an all-star cast with Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Maria Conchita Alonso, Rip Torn, and Michael Ironside. Lean, mean Texas Ranger Jack Benteen (Nolte) locks horns with a former friend, Cash Bailey (Boothe), now a ruthless drug kingpin. Though they’re on opposite sides of the law, they share a love interest in the sensual Sarita (Alonso). When a crew of rogue soldiers descends upon the border town for an off-the-books mission, all roads lead to a bloody, to-the-death showdown, as loyalties shift and the lines between good and evil are blurred.
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Extreme Prejudice finally makes its Blu-Ray debut in the US with a 1080p transfer that most will find to be pretty great. While specific details about the transfer were not made available, this appears to be derived from a master created by StudioCanal which is in fighting shape. The transfer is naturally filmic with some decent detail in the production design and texture of clothing. There are some occasional specks of print damage present in the transfer, but overall the source is not terribly flawed. For the majority of the film it looks incredibly clear and detailed, but there are some shots that look a bit soft and lacking in fine detail. Colors are vibrant enough to make an impression, especially when capturing the varied earth tones in the landscape. The black levels are passable in their depth and white levels do not give into blooming very often. This is the best that the film has ever looked on home entertainment, so fans should be pleased by the presentation.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment brings us this new Blu-Ray with a lossless DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio mix that captures the action of this story perfectly. While there are a ton of memorable lines in this film, most will be paying attention to the hefty pulse-pounding scenes that pack a wallop. The environmental effects are delineated nicely from the spraying of bullets to the wind cutting through the desert expanse. The large confrontation at the end holds up well with clarity being top notch amidst the chaos. The dialogue holds up quite nicely, coming though clearly without being stepped on by the score or sound effects. The movie is accompanied by a soaring score from Jerry Goldsmith that sounds great here. This is a track that represents the film in a very satisfying way. Optional English, English (SDH) and Spanish subtitles are provided on this disc.
- Audio Commentary: Film Historians C. Courtney Joyner and Henry Parke provide a very informative commentary track in which they discuss the origins of the project, the extremely long production history, key differences from the original script, the background and history of the performers, the classic archetypes and tropes that are utilized, subplots that were eliminated, the tone of the film and more. This track is great about putting much of this feature into context.
- Isolated Score Selection And Audio Interview from Music Historian John Takis: An option to watch the film with only the score audible with an audio interview with the historian interspersed that provide some great background on the score from Jerry Goldsmith along with details on his career.
- Interview with Director Walter Hill: A 59-minute interview with Director Walter Hill in which he talks about his vast, interesting career in which he takes you from his early days working with Sam Peckinpah on The Getaway, his transition into directing, his successes and failures, how his films are all essentially westerns, and much more. Hill has a distinct flair for telling a story in a no-BS type of way that makes this a very entertaining watch.
- The Major’s Agenda: A new 23-minute interview with actor Michael Ironside in which he discusses his work in Canada prior to heading to the United States, getting cast in the V: The Final Battle and his big break in Extreme Prejudice, the debt of gratitude he owes to Walter Hill, the shooting locations of the film, getting sunstroke on set, memories of working with his co-stars and much more.
- The War Within: A nearly 25-minute new interview with actor Clancy Brown in which he discusses his early career, the experience of being directed by Walter Hill, explosions that may have been too close for comfort, characteristics of his character, the free-flowing testosterone and improvisation from some of the other performers, memorable shooting experiences and more.
- Capturing The Chaos: A new 15-minute interview with Director of Photography Matthew F. Leonetti in which discusses getting into the movie business, his desire to work within different genres, taking command of a set to capture the director’s intent, what he wanted to accomplish with certain creative choices and more.
- Trailers: This disc provides a Teaser Trailer (1:04), Theatrical Trailer (2:13) and TV Spots (2:13).
- Vintage EPK: A seven-minute promotional piece which breaks down the story while offering on-set interviews with some of the creatives.
- Still Gallery: A 10-minute collection of images from the production and promotional material is provided here.
Extreme Prejudice is a wild piece of action cinema which does not always hold together as a feat of storytelling, but never falters when it comes to delivering spectacle. The unpredictable nature of the story is one of the things that keeps it exciting, and the level of talent you have within the ensemble is unbeatable. Many of these performers would go on to have notable careers, but it is fun to go back and see where some of them were really starting to shape their personas. Lionsgate Home Entertainment has released a new Blu-Ray as a part of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series which sports a strong A/V presentation and some truly fantastic supplemental features. If you are a fan of well-made ‘80s action films, this one is worth your time and money. Recommended
Extreme Prejudice is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Lionsgate Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.