Coming on 4K Ultra HD in a Special Edition Steelbook from director Rob Reiner and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the return of an iconic film with the story of STAND BY ME.
It is the summer of 1959 in the town of Castle Rock and Gordie (Wil Wheaton), Teddy (Corey Feldman), Chris (River Phoenix), and Vern (Jerry O’Connell) are teenage boys spending Labor Day weekend doing boy stuff. Vern tells his friends that brother Billy has discovered a body in the woods but can’t say anything because they would get in trouble.
The boy decide that they will go look for the body and become town heroes and pack up for the long walk. Chris goes as far as to take his father’s gun for protection. Much to their dismay, they run into the town bad boys led by Ace (Kiefer Sutherland), and Eyeball (Bradley Gregg) who threaten them and steal something precious to Gordie.
On the trip, the boys have a chance to bond even more. Around the campfire, Gordie tells stories of characters he has created. Chris encourages Gordie to continue becoming a writer and not let his homelife interfere with his goal. He also tells the story of what caused his reputation and the boys are shocked by what he tells them.
The next day they find what they are looking for and aren’t sure how to feel about it all. Right behind them is Ace and his gang who make demands and threaten the boys even more. By now these four young men have discovered that they are each very strong and Ace, even with his gang with Billy (Casey Siemaszko), Denny (John Cusack) and Charlie (Gary Riley), cannot change that.
When you are twelve, friendships are the memories you keep forever!
Wheaton as Gordie is such a gentle young man who was dealing with a very traumatic situation at home. The trip is something he wants to do and knows that along with his best friend, he is going to be okay. Wheaton fit the bill perfectly as Gordie. Phoenix as best friend Chris has a tough exterior but emotionally supports his friend Gordie. He also has a story that needs telling and when he does it shocks his friends to see such emotion. Phoenix was also a perfect fit to play Chris.
Feldman as Teddy is memorable, but then again anytime Feldman was on the screen in the 80’s he was memorable. He brought this character the relief it needed at times because the film without it would be so intense. O’Connell as Vern is the one person who held back and seemed the most fearful but that didn’t stop him from following his friends!
Sutherland as Ace is a ruthless teen who finds joy in being the bully to the boys. He is going to make his own mark and it will be at the expense of someone else’s’ death. Sutherland is also an 80’s star that left his mark on that era. Cusack flexes as brother Denny and knows what is happening isn’t right. Riley, Siemaszko and Gregg are definitely followers to Ace’s leadership.
Other cast include Scott Beach as Mayor Grundy, Marshall Bell as Mr. Lachance, Frances McCain as Mrs. Lachance, Jason Lipsett as Vince, Bruce Kirby as Mr. Quidacioluo, William Bronder as Milo, and Richard Dreyfuss as the writer Gordon.
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Bonus materials include 4K Ultra HD Disc, Feature Presented in 4K Resolution with Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos +DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Mono Audio Options, along with Deleted and Alternate Scenes.
Bluray Disc Feature presented in High Definition 5.1 Audio BLU-RAY DISC
Feature presented in High Definition, Special Features: Picture-in-Picture Commentary with Director Rob Reiner and Actors Wil Wheaton & Corey Feldman, “Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand By Me”, Audio Commentary with Director Rob Reiner and Music Video.
STAND BY ME is based off the Stephen King novella The Body with the written script by Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon.
This film is iconic in so many ways, as a coming-of-age story but also because it was, at the time, relatable to so many people. Most of us who are now in our sixties remember the days when we could take off from sun up until sun down doing goodness knows what without a parent in sight. Most of us did not have to be home until the sun was almost down.
Bike riding and exploring where everything at that age. My brother and I would go toward the hills separating us from Mexico and climb to see how far we could get before someone would yell at us. If it wasn’t the hills, then it was the winding back road to the beach, the estuary – any place where no one else wasn’t.
That’s what the film STAND BY ME came to mean for so many. It is a story of friendship, difficult times, emotions that you cannot share with anyone but your best friends, and memories we did not realize would have to last us a lifetime. We would be almost the last generation able to have such freedoms.
Now with the release of STAND BY ME, we can share in their journey once again.
In the end – it is the last summer to remember!