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Judgement Night: The Warner Archive Collection (1993) - Blu-ray Review

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Judgment Night (1993)

This is why, no matter how bad the traffic jam is, you STAY THE COURSE.  You want to get to the boxing match?  Keep your ass in line.  One wrong turn later and your entire life could be rendered null and void thanks to a dangerous neighborhood and a stray bullet.  Ain’t NOBODY got time for that and Judgement Night, starring Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jeremy Piven, and Stephen Dorff, proves why.

"is exactly the tension-filled fateful night you want it to be. And still it resonates."

This is what happens when a brand-new father (Estevez) joins his friends - Mike (Gooding), Ray (Piven), and, at the last minute, his brother John (Dorff) – for a night out on the town.  Riding around in a tricked-out RV, they are headed to a boxing match far away from the suburbs.  Things go south quickly when a shortcut bypassing the traffic leads them to witness a gangland murder and that’s AFTER they accidentally hit the victim.

Appearing on blu-ray thanks to the Warner Archive Collection, Judgement Night, once made immortal to a whole lot of Gen Xers thanks to its grunge and hip-hop soundtrack collaborations, has returned to patrol the mean streets of Chi Town.  This time, though, in sparkling High Definition.  The tense sequences are relieved only by the violence in the heat these men are forced to feel. {googleads}

The film, even heralding from 1993, still kicks a whole lot of ass.  The frightening part about what we are seeing here, as the friends find themselves hunted down by Fallon (Denis Leary) and his bloodthirsty gang after witnessing a murder, is that everything about the situation feels very real.  The fear.  The violence.  The locations.  It all hits so incredibly hard.  From the rooftops to the sewers, their refuge in this night of deadly chase is always short-lived. 

With a decked-out motor home that gets set on fire and a cast that create characters with sympathize with, Judgment Night, directed by Stephen Hopkins (Predator 2), is a violent rush of really poor decisions and the consequences therein.  Inner-city exploits turn deadly relatively quickly here and this film, clever in its rollout and in its editing, is exactly the tension-filled fateful night you want it to be. And still it resonates. Another body murdered indeed.Judgment Night (1993)

Even as it was hammered by critics, Gen Xers knew differently and, as time has been on its side, this new viewing proves that the movie, an action-oriented thriller with Fallon, a ruthless leader of a gang with money and murder on its mind, who hunts down Frank (Estevez) and his friends.  The film rewards its viewers with a suspenseful story that isn’t afraid to kill off characters in order to finish its tale.  Call it cold.  Call it whatever you have to in order to sleep at night.  Just don’t call Judgement Night a bad movie.  It is not. 

In fact, thanks to this release, my head is once again filled with the might of melody that is Helmet’s and House of Pain’s collaboration of “Just Another Victim”.   As far as this Gen Xer is concerned, the film and the soundtrack are a MUST.

Fight me at your own risk, bro.  Judgement Night, now in its stunning new HD transfer from Warner Archive, is relentless.

4 beers

Judgment Night (1993)

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and brutality, and for language.
110 mins
: Stephen Hopkins
Lewis Colick
Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Denis Leary
: Action | Crime
In a deadly game of cat and mouse, they must fight to survive..
Memorable Movie Quote: "No, you can't take my money. But you can... take my money."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 19, 1993
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 8, 2019
Synopsis: Noted producer/director Stephen Hopkins (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, 24, Predator 2) navigates this harrowing journey of four suburban men into the nightmarish neighborhood of Chicago's crime-infested underworld. When four young men (Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Piven) take a wrong turn on their way to a boxing match in a state-of-the-art RV, they witness a murder. Now, the killer's leader (Denis Leary) cannot let them live, and the four must find their way to safety while being hunted through Chicago's meanest streets. With a powerhouse cast, this edge-of-your-seat thriller takes viewers on a life-and-death road trip into terror.


Judgment Night (1993)


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Archive Collection
Available on Blu-ray
- January 9, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

If you are worried about the crush of the dense night, don't be.  This release is pure midnight madness with strong lines.  Presented in a strong 1080p transfer, the film has never before looked this crisp. Colors are vivid and fine details are noticeable. The city skies are a true black and the land is full of harsh city edges and concrete jungles. Skin tones are warm. Occasionally, the red tones overcompensate in some areas, but a sharp-looking release nonetheless. The faithful English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is an incredible accompaniment to the feature.



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