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Stand By Me (1986) - 4K Blu-ray Review

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Stand By Me (1986)

Misery is just about this reviewer’s favorite Stephen King adaptation. Its director, Rob Reiner, was the only one entrusted with that adaptation because the author knew the director would adapt it well. The reason that King knew he would adapt it well, was because the director had already turned his short story, The Body, into the coming of age, adventure movie Stand By Me.

"Stand By Me is a true classic, not to be missed"


Its reverence amongst not just King stalwarts but film lovers the world over was no fluke. This is a classic in the truest term.

The story is essentially a reminiscence of author Gorden ‘Gordie’ Lachance (Richard Dreyfuss), about the summer he and his friends headed out into the woods to locate the dead body of a kid the police hadn’t found yet. Gordie (Wil Wheaton), his bestie Chris (River Phoenix), damaged goods Teddy (Corey Feldman) and loveable chub Vern (an unrecognizable Jerry O’Connell) all march out into the forest together. Of course, their morbid mission aside, more fears await, when a group of older teens led by psychopath Ace (Kiefer Sutherland) are also looking for the body of Ray Brower. The boys will be forced to face who they are now, and who they want to become at their journey’s end.

It’s just a beautiful adventure film with fantastic characters and relatable (in any era) flaws in each of them. Their differences are pronounced, with each having their own area to inhabit, and each is impressively brought to life by the performers—all of whom would rise to stardom after this film.

Richard Dreyfuss’s essentially the narrator of the film, only cropping up in bookend scenes really. But his delivery has a warmth and wit that transcends the melancholy of this story. Between him and the kid performers an essentially dark tale is made digestible. In fact, its flavor is sweet.

This is a period piece (a period before this reviewer was born) but the themes of growing up, of childhood friendships slipping away, and of remembering those precious moments when they’re gone, are universal for any generation.Stand By Me (1986)

Reiner is a low key director, but does sweeping vistas throughout the film that belong in Westerns. Shooting on location added to the authenticity of the story, and I’m sure aided Reiner in pulling the best performances out of the young actors.

The music is of the period and helps immerse you in a world now long past us. For such a morbid, scary premise, this is a magic story of youth and is as fine for the young as it is for the older generations. Impeccable in every way, fantastic script, performances, and lyrical direction. Stand By Me is a true classic, not to be missed.

4/5 stars

Stand By Me (1986)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- August 27, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Slovak, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono; Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; German: Dolby Digital 5.1; Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

VIDEO:

For a rather understated looking film, this 4K native scan is flawless in its capability to look accurate to the period it’s depicting, and to render the forest landscapes, the railway, and the kids real. Everything from the boys’ clothes to the blue skies leaps off the display. Blacks and highlights frame the HDR almost three dimensionally. The greens are rich and full of depth and night scenes and the swamp scene have never looked this detailed. Grain is unobtrusive but ever present. The most detail one has ever seen for this simply executed flick. I will say, in 4K, that Feldman’s ear prosthesis is showing its true edges in some shots.

AUDIO:

One can never whine about an ATMOS mix in any film, I just find it surprising that this—hardly an action picture—gets the works. But it’s immersive and detailed, especially in the train sequence. Dialogue is centre focused and clear. What’s more impressive is the richer layers in the quieter scenes; there is such depth from the sounds of the forest one could close their eyes and feel like they’re there. This isn’t going to blow your speakers off the walls by any stretch, but it does its job masterfully and is a richer mix than the DTS-HD from the previous release.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Picture-in-Picture Video Commentary with Director Rob Reiner and Actors Wil Wheaton & Corey Feldman
  • "Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand By Me" Audio Commentary with Director Rob Reiner

Special Features:

You actually get a brief selection of deleted scenes on the 4K disc, with the blu-ray (made from this 4K scan) having the same extras from the 2011 release. Not revelatory but at least you get something on the new 4K disc.

  • Newly scanned in 4K from the original camera negative with HDR
  • New Dolby Atmos Track
  • New Never-Before-Seen Deleted & Alternate Scenes

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

Stand By Me (1986)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
89 mins
Director
: Rob Reiner
Writer:
Raynold Gideon
Cast:
Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
Genre
: Drama
Tagline:
For some, it's the last real taste of innocence, and the first real taste of life. But for everyone, it's the time that memories are made of..
Memorable Movie Quote: "Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird."
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site: https://www.thehustle.movie/
Release Date:
November 26, 1986
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 27, 2019.
Synopsis: After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a boyhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy.

Stand By Me (1986)

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