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Review: 'Get Shorty' gets a new facelift on Blu-ray

Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 5:03 PM Central

by John Couture

Don't look now, but Shout! Factory is quietly putting together a nice little boutique for film connoisseurs. Their Shout! Select line is curating a handful of titles a month and giving them the all-star treatment.

Several studios are doing a great job curating titles such as Olive Films, but there's just something about the titles in the Shout! Select line. These aren't necessarily the film critics choices, but rather a collection of feel-good movies that are accessible to a wide audience.

I'm talking about films such as The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension, Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection and most recently Get Shorty. These are the cult classics that may have been glossed over when they were released initially on Blu-ray and Shout! Factory has given them the wow factor.

If you're not familiar with Get Shorty, the film stars John Travolta as loan shark Chili Palmer with aspirations of making movies. The Elmore Leonard novel is adapted by Barry Sonnenfeld and has all the trappings of Hollywood and the behind-the-scenes ambiance that film buffs crave.



It had been a hot minute since I had watched Get Shorty before I reviewed the Shout! Select offering. I had forgotten how much that I loved this little film. Not only is John Travolta still riding the high of his Pulp Fiction comeback, but the cast is chock full of A-listers including Rene Russo, Gene Hackman, and Danny DeVito.

The film captures the unmistakable Elmore Leonard essence and oozes a cool factor that still resonates over 20 years later. The new Blu-ray offering is remastered from a new 4K transfer and the film has never looked better. It begs the question that while Shout! Factory has not yet gotten into the 4K UHD business, how long will they continue to hold out?

The collector's edition is jam-packed with a plethora of special features. The audio commentary with director Barry Sonnenfeld is particularly fascinating as he shares a great deal of insight into the process of making Get Shorty. He also shares several wonderful stories from production that truly gives the viewer a new appreciation of the inner workings of Hollywood.

The collection also includes several featurettes, a blooper reel, and a deleted scene among other offerings. The result is a robust Blu-ray that truly feels like a collector's edition. This is definitely the gold-standard version of Get Shorty and worth the upgrade even if you already own the film.

Get Shorty is a great film that stands the test of time. If you haven't seen it in a while, be prepared to step back through time to a simpler Hollywood before the onslaught of digital downloads. This was a time where a little "wise guy" justice went a long way and John Travolta was still the epitome of cool.