I’ve mentioned before on this site that Eraser, for me, is an Arnie film that I can’t help but enjoying. And with that in mind, I’ve, er, just forked out to import the American Blu-ray release. It’s region free, so if you go shopping somewhere like www.movietyme.com or www.playusa.com, you should be able to pick it up for between £10-15.
Not that it’s particularly worth doing so, to be fair. This is a fairly lazy catalogue release, of a film that never really saw a lot of love on DVD. The previous disc release was bereft of extras, and likewise, there’s not a sausage of supplementary material here to entertain or engage you either.
Furthermore, you can’t really applaud the video transfer too much either. It’s as if Warner Bros has been content here to improve on the DVD picture by 20% or so, but not strive for any more than that. The result is a perfectly fine picture, but not one that particular extols the virtues of a big, 1080p-ready display. The audio track is a bit meatier, but then it was on the DVD as well.
So what of the film? Well, I’ve got a theory or two. My first is that it’s the last 1980s film that was ever made, albeit released in the second half of the 90s. That said, apart from a bit of CGI, everything about it screams early 80s action movie. There’s relentless violence, a few quips, a paper-thin plot, flimsy premise, nothing you can’t see coming and direction that pushes no boundaries whatsoever. Theory two is that this is a Terminator film by any other name. It’s not up to the quality of a James Cameron Terminator movie, but Arnie is arguably more indestructible here than he ever was in the Terminator films. Nails, big falls, gunshots? Pah. The man, quite literally, just gets up and carries on. Every now and then he limps for a bit, but that’s just a gesture, and one that even he gives up on in pretty short time.
And yet it’s a hoot. James Caan is a staggeringly predictable villain, but is happy to go with the flow, and I was quite happy to watch him. Good to see the late James Coburn turning up for a cheque as well, although Vanessa Williams failed to carve out a movie career of note off the back of Eraser, and it’s not being unkind to suggest that the reason is up there on the screen.
Then there’s Arnie, arguably cutting loose for the last time on screen, before his films got either a) more serious, or b) shit. And you know what? It’s fun to watch. With a couple of useful one liners (most notoriously, after killing a crocodile, he turns round and declares “you’re luggage”) and a whole lot of gunfire, it’s a film where nothing matters other than entertaining you. And that’s what I admire Eraser for the most. There’s no pretension here, it’s a straight blast, and all the better for it.
That said, there’s no reason I can see to invest in the Blu-ray. That empty DVD will do the job pretty much as well, for a lot less cash.
The Movie:The Disc: