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Review: 'Trading Places' a Solid Investment in 4K

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Dec 2, 2020
Review: 'Trading Places' a Solid Investment in 4K

What's more important than money? Nothing.

This is the theme of the high-concept, Reagan-era comedy "Trading Places." And it's a movie that would prove to make a lot of money for its filmmakers, turning Eddie Murphy into one of the most sought-after and highly paid actors of the decade.

In the film, two obscenely wealthy commodity brokers, Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche), decide to conduct a social experiment. The goal is to prove that having money makes people better and the lack of it makes them worse. The Dukes do their research by using human test subjects - in other words, screwing with people's lives.

The brothers make a bet that if they take all the money and privilege away from one of their employees, the arrogant and ignorant Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), and give it to a street beggar, Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy), the wealthy man will become a smart and talented executive and the poor man will become a criminal.

For a while, it seems that the theory is correct - until the two victims realize they're being played, and seek revenge. Unlike the classic tales that inspired this scenario, like Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper," no one learns a life lesson, no one discovers there are more important values than the material, and no one wins in the end but the guys with the biggest bank account.

As one of the most successful and critically acclaimed movies of the early '80s, this film is seen as an astute social satire and even a Christmas film, but you couldn't get away with its comedy today. It's painted in broad strokes that are sometimes sexist, racist, and homophobic. This being said, it's no more appalling than Dan Aykroyd's acting, and we've always seemed to forgive that.

This 4K Blu-ray offers a host of vintage special features, including deleted scenes, the theatrical trailer, and bonus features.

Remember those VHS cassettes you wore out in the '80s, back when you marveled over the fact that you could rewind scenes and watch them over and over? Now they're remastered in outstanding color and sound that makes streaming video fall flat.

Eddie Murphy's freshest and most critically acclaimed works, the movies that shot him to stardom, are available in 4K Ultra HD, a must for any real fan. In addition to "Trading Places," the movies "Coming to America," "Beverly Hills Cop" and "The Golden Child" are all newly remastered and anxiously awaiting your big screen. If you can't go out to the movies, watch movies at their best quality in your home.

Your best investment is "Trading Places," available in glorious 4K Ultra HD, December 1.

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