last action hero 4k

In 1993, Last Action Hero hit the big screen and promptly flopped. The film already had a dino-sized obstacle stacked against it: it opened a week after Jurassic Park, and people wanted to watch Jurassic Park over and over again. But there were other problems, too. The script was never where it needed to be, but studio execs were convinced audiences would show up for an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, regardless of quality. They were wrong. But in the years since Last Action Hero‘s theatrical release, people have re-evaluated the action-comedy, and while it still has problems, it’s better than its reputation suggests. And now it’s getting a 4K Blu-ray release.

The Last Action Hero 4K Blu-ray release is being billed as something fans demanded. In 2019, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment ran a fan poll where they provided a list of some of their films and asked participants which of the titles they wanted to see on 4K. Believe it or not, SPHE says that with over 30,000 responses, Last Action Hero was the movie that won out. And now they’re giving the fans what they want as Last Action Hero heads to 4K Ultra HD on May 18.

In Last Action Hero, “Young Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien) is a lonely 11-year-old boy who escapes from his bleak reality by watching the action-adventure movies of his favorite film character, Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger). When his best friend, Nick the projectionist, gives him a special ticket to the new Slater film, Danny is magically transported into Jack’s world, where the good guys always win. Danny becomes his helper as Jack battles a trio of nefarious bad guys, Benedict (Charles Dance), Vivaldi (Anthony Quinn), and The Ripper (Tom Noonan). But things get out of hand when Benedict steals Danny’s magic ticket stub and transports himself into the real world, where crime can, and often does, pay. Jack and Danny must leave fictional Los Angeles for real-life New York and battle the villains without the aid of movie magic or stuntmen.”

By now you probably know the story of Last Action Hero. When the film entered production, Arnold Schwarznegger was box office gold. It seemed like he could do no wrong in the eyes of movie-going audiences. With that in mind, the folks at Sony were convinced that signing Schwarzenegger to Last Action Hero would guarantee a box office hit.

Behind-the-scenes, problems arose – specifically on a script level. The initial draft was written by Zak Penn and Adam Leff, and Penn and Leff’s script was much different than the finished film (note: I’m not saying it was better; just different). The studio kept tinkering with it by bringing in Shane Black, the high-paid screenwriter responsible for Lethal Weapon. Then Schwarzenegger insisted on more rewrites from William Goldman, one of the best screenwriters in the biz (he wrote All the President’s MenThe Princess Bride, and more). Goldman did uncredited script doctor work; so did Carrie Fisher and Larry Ferguson. In the end, the script was credited to Shane Black and David Arnott. And, by all accounts, it was never where it needed to be.

When Last Action Hero hit theaters, critics tore it apart and it fizzled at the box office. In the years since its release, though, Last Action Hero has become kind of a cult curiosity. Does it have problems? It sure does! But it’s also a lot better than its reputation suggests, and I’m glad Sony is giving it a 4K so we can have a new chance to reappraise it. On top of that, the release is going to feature a brand new commentary track from director John McTiernan, which should be interesting. Here’s a full list of the special features.

DISC DETAILS & BONUS MATERIAL 
4K ULTRA HD DISC

  • Newly remastered in 4K resolution from the original camera negative, with HDR10
  • All-new Dolby Atmos audio + the original theatrical SDDS mix presented as 5.1 + original theatrical stereo audio
  • Audio Commentary with Director John McTiernan
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes (presented in 4K with HDR10)
  • Alternate Ending (presented in 4K with HDR10)
  • “Big Gun” Music Video by AC/DC
  • Original Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
  • Theatrical Teaser

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