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Risky Business 4K Ultra HD Combo (Criterion Collection) – Review & Restoration Details

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

A teen hires a call girl while his parents are away for the weekend, ending up embroiled in some "risky business."

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Risky Business is the 1983 teen comedy that helped to launch Tom Cruise into superstardom. Written and directed by Paul Brickman, the film eschewed the usual lowbrow raunch of the typical sex comedy while still touching on many of the same themes, opting for a highly stylized, more mature film that also tackles materialism, loss of innocence, and Reagan-era capitalism.

Joel (Cruise) is a high school senior living in the affluent suburbs of Chicago. His parents are going away for the weekend, leaving him all alone in the house. His friend Miles (Curtis Armstrong) has the philosophy “sometimes you just have to say ‘f**k it’,” and encourages, forces, Joel’s hand into having a call girl come to his house. After a false start with a transgender prostitute arriving, Joel calls the number given to him. The beautiful Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) shows up, they have sex, and she refuses to leave his house. He has no choice but to leave her there so he can go to school and take his exam, but when he arrives and realizes his mother’s expensive crystal egg is missing, he goes searching for Lana. Now Joel is wrapped up with Lana, her violent pimp Guido (Joe Pantoliano in a perfectly unhinged performance) and manages to trash his father’s Porche.  Lana has the perfect plan for Joel to come up with the money quickly in order to fix his dad’s car, and it involves using the house as makeshift brothel to throw a party, inviting all of Joel’s wealthy, horny friends over.

At its core and on paper, Risky Business sounds like every other teen sex comedy from the era, but it is not. The execution is where this film deviates from the rest. There is a dark overtone, a dour outlook, a sadness to the coming-of-age story and a serious look at the vacuousness of the endless pursuit of wealth. Brickman’s very stylish, mature way of filming, from the shadowy dream sequences to the highly “metropolitan” sex on a train sequence that uses the quickly cut sequences of trains as a metaphor for sexual climax (courtesy of editor Richard Chew), helps the film elevate itself over such fare as Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Porky’s.

Purchase Risky Business (The Criterion Collection) [4K Ultra HD Combo] on Amazon.com

  • Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business (1983)
  • Tom Cruise in Risky Business (1983)
  • Tom Cruise in Risky Business (1983)
  • Tom Cruise and Joe Pantoliano in Risky Business (1983)
  • Tom Cruise in Risky Business (1983)
  • Tom Cruise and Curtis Armstrong in Risky Business (1983)
  • Risky Business 4K Ultra HD Combo (Criterion Collection )

The Video

The new 4K restorations of the director’s cut and theatrical releases of Risky Business were taken from the 35mm original camera negative and a 35mm interpositive, supervised and approved by producer Jon Avnet and director Paul Brickman. The film is presented on 4K in a 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. The grain structure is very consistent apart from some scenes where there heightened graininess and some softness, potentially where the interpositive was used, such as in the scene in Porche after the car chase (“Porsche. There is no substitute.”) where they are swarming in grain and even crushing out in the shadows. These few places aside, the grain still looks natural and detail is crisp. The grading with the Dolby Vision is not staggeringly bright, but it does add a nice bit of pop in the colors and highlights, such as during the infamous sex scene with De Mornay in the house, or the dream sequence in the shower, or the subway lovemaking scene.

The Audio

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack was remastered from the original magnetic tracks. The sound is excellent for a film from 1983, with clear dialogue and subtle atmospherics. Do not expect staggering lows to heat up your subwoofers for this mix, but the score from Tangerine Dream come through with superb dynamics and clarity and the hits of the early ‘80s have a lot of punch, including the famous “Old Time Rock and Roll” dance sequence.

The Supplements

The bulk of the bonus features are on the included Blu-ray, with three new interviews with the crew. The 2008 theatrical release audio commentary with Brickman, Avnet, and Cruise is also included on both 4K and Blu-ray discs.

Bonus Features:

  • Includes both Theatrical and Director’s Cut
  • Audio Commentary recorded for the theatrical release in 2008 featuring producer Jon Avnet, director Paul Brickman, and actor Tom Cruise
  • The Dream is Always the Same: The Story of “Risky Business” (1080i; 00:29:29) – In this 2008 documentary, director Paul Brickman, actors Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay, and other key collaborators share anecdotes about the making of Risky Business.
  • Jon Avnet (1080p; 00:20:34) – In this interview, conducted by the Criterion Collection in 2024, producer Jon Avnet talks about his collaboration with director Paul Brickman. (NEW)
  • Richard Chew and Bobbie O’Steen (1080p; 00:30:13) – In this interview, conducted by the Criterion Collection in 2024, editor Richard Chew and film historian Bobbie O’Steen discuss the decisions behind specific sequences in Risky Business. (NEW)
  • Nancy Klopper (1080p; 00:18:09) – In this interview, conducted by the Criterion Collection in 2024, casting director Nancy Klopper talks about the search for the cast of Risky Business. (NEW)
  • Screen Tests (1080i; 00:14:36) – This short program features screen tests with actors Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay.
  • Trailer (1080i; 00:01:29)
  • Essay by film curator and critic David Kehr
  • Foldout of original poster art with essay on other side

The Final Assessment

An eighties classic that stands up to the test of time and is still a good watch as an adult. The film looks better than ever in this new 4K restoration from Criterion Collection. Recommended.


Risky Business (The Criterion Collection) is on on 4K Ultra HD Combo on July 23, 2024

Purchase Risky Business (The Criterion Collection) [4K Ultra HD Combo] on Amazon.com


  • Rating Certificate: R (Theatrical) | Unrated (Director’s Cut)
  • Studios & Distributors: The Geffen Company | Geffen Pictures | Warner Bros. | The Criterion Collection
  • Director: Paul Brickman
  • Written By: Paul Brickman
  • Run Time: 99 Mins.
  • Street Date: 23 July 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • Max. Luminance: 1000 nits
    • Min. Luminance: 0.0001 nits
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Subs: English SDH
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A teen hires a call girl while his parents are away for the weekend, ending up embroiled in some "risky business."Risky Business 4K Ultra HD Combo (Criterion Collection) - Review & Restoration Details