This film holds up very well over the years.
This is all the Extra Features this Blu-ray disc has?
When William H. Bonney (Emilio Estevez) was brought to John Tunstall's (Terence Stamp) cattle ranch, it seems that Billy the Kid has taken another pit stop from his wayward life. However, in Tunstall he finds a mentor and even befriends some of the other people that Tunstall has taken in. These would be Josiah "Doc" Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland), Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Dick Brewer (Charlie Sheen) among others. Well, Lawrence Murphy (Jack Palance) doesn't like Tunstall, Tunstall doesn't like Murphy's business practices and one thing leads to another and Murphy winds up dead. This is really where this movie begins because Billy and his friends are deputized to take in Murphy and his crew, but Billy thinks that the world would be better off without them. What ensues are shoot outs, cat and mouse chases and whole lot of western styled fun.
Done in a very gritty style that really paid homage to the western films of the past, Young Guns is such a great movie because it clearly wasn't a bunch of hot young actors playing cowboys. This film felt authentic. It felt like you were watching something that was steeped in the lore and history of this genre. Filled with great action scenes, very good writing, and a real sense of time and place Young Guns is truly a western to be reckoned with.
"The Real Billy the Kid" Documentary
My only complaint about this documentary is that I wish it was longer. This is a nice addition to this DVD because after watching this film you want to know what this person was like. Through talking heads and archival footage we seem to get a multifaceted account. This makes sense simply because I don't think anybody could be how Billy the Kid was and not have more than one side to them. Overall, I found that I really liked the feel of this documentary. While it got a little bookish at times, on the whole it played in a highly entertaining and interesting manner.
Advanced Trivia Track
Playing throughout the film I sort of found this more annoying than anything else. Young Guns is the kind of movie that you want to watch without anything bothering you. You don't want to the phone to ring, you don't want people talking, and you certainly don't want an Advanced Trivia Track popping up throughout the film. Now, if you are simply watching this track because you have already seen the movie many times, that is another story entirely. That said, I do think that this track still gets in the way a little bit mainly because it's hard to watch this film as simply a passive viewer.
1.85:1 - 1080p - MPEG 2. I was surprised by the look of this release right off simply because I had expected this movie to look better. It seems that this film has been cleaned up (though I still noticed a little bit of dirt pop up from time to time), but what got me to most were how the darker toned scenes in the movie were handled. Things actually seemed somewhat fuzzy. Anyone who owns a Blu-ray player and an HD-TV will tell you that all that does it magnify how bad an image looks. In addition to this, there were times when the actors in this movie didn't look right. I can't 100% put my finger on it but it seems like Lionsgate might have messed up the color correction somehow. Either that or it's just a cast of the a great TV making a poorly compressed DVD look bad.
English Dolby Digital EX Surround - English DTS-HD - High Resolution ES. The reason why people buy the next generation technology is because they want their movies to sound how they do in the theater. Does this mean that all Blu-ray discs should offer audio that will take the proverbial system out for a spin? No. However, a movie like Young Guns doesn't seem like it was ever properly geared for this next generation format. In that regard, who can really blame it for not having the punch that many of today's movies have. I will admit that during the action scenes, this movie sounded as good as any other Blu-ray DVD I have put in my system. That said, the whole movie isn't like that.
An all-star cast featuring a bunch of Hollywood's still hot actors graces this front cover. They are all decked out in their 19th Century garb and for some reason, now, this movie no longer looks like Young Hollywood playing cowboys and indians. The back portion of this disc serves up some more artwork from this a movie, a description of it's story, Special Features listing, a cast list and technical specs. There's not too much I can say about this packaging other than that it looks old and new at the same time.
In what surprised many because it was actually a decent installment to the Western genre, Young Guns now comes blazing on Blu- ray DVD. When it was first released in 1988, I was a huge fan of both Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland. I hoped that they would make a movie together but when I heard that they were and that it was going to be a western, I wasn't too excited. I wanted to see these actors in the present, living out of a car, and on the run from the law for some reason. What I got instead was an action fueled western filled with a lot of violence, dialogue, and plain old fashioned grit. Even more impressive was how Emilio Estevez juggled the many sides of Billy the Kid. Make no mistake about it this guy was bad, but he seemed fueled by the need for justice and somehow imparted that to the rest of the men.
This release seems like it could have contained a few more extras but all in all Young Guns is a nice addition to the Blu-ray family.
Young Guns was released February 17, 1988.