Courtesy: Universal Pictures/Shout! Factory
The holiday season is officially upon us once again, and that means very soon TV networks and theaters alike will be inundated with their respective annual holiday fare. Of course that fare, both new and old alike, is not for everyone. Keeping this in mind, Shout! Factory has an interesting alternative for those looking to avoid that standard fare in the form of the recently re-issued 1992 action flicked Trespass. Originally released in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day 1992, Shout! Factory re-issued the largely forgotten flick on Blu-ray June 27 of this year. The fast-paced ensemble flick features famed actors/rappers Ice-T and Ice Cube alongside then up-and-coming actors William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Iron Man 3) and Bill Paxton (Titanic, Apollo 13, Aliens) as its leads. Trespass is not the most memorable action flick out there, but that is due in part to its original release date, which is discussed in the movie’s bonus material – the re-issue’s foundation. That material will be discussed shortly. The movie’s story is also discussed in its bonus material, and will be discussed in regards to its importance to its whole later. The cast’s acting rounds out the movie’s most important elements. When it is joined with the other noted elements, the whole of those elements makes this largely forgotten action flick one worth at least one watch among action aficionados.
Universal Pictures’ 1992 action flick Trespass is an interesting presentation for those looking for an alternative to the standard holiday fare on television and in theaters. Having debuted in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day 1992, the 101-minute (1-hour 41-minute) movie is not one of the 90s most well-known action flicks. It debuted at #7 and pulled in just over $5 million in ticket sales nationwide in its opening weekend, eventually reaching sales of $13.2 million before moving from theaters to home video. That is according to boxofficemojo.com. Thanks to Shout! Factory though, it now is getting the chance that it never truly got back in 1992, and the bonus material included in its recent re-issue forms the proverbial foundation for its presentation in its second life.
As Bob Gale, one of the movie’s two writers (the other writer was Robert Zemeckis, of Back to the Future fame), noted in the re-issue’s bonus material, the movie’s original Christmas Day 1992 release date was one of a number of obstacles that the movie faced in its original theatrical release. Also against the movie was the fact that Gale and Zemeckis had to change the movie’s title not once but twice before it even went into production. Gale notes in his discussion that the movie’s original title was The Looters, and eventually was changed to just Looters before the riots from the Rodney King verdict forced its title to change simply to Trespass out of concern of how audiences would potentially connect the two. Ironically enough, the title actually works considering the story’s title. That story will be discussed later. As if the already noted items were not enough obstacles, Gale also notes in his discussion that his agent was concerned about possible race relation issues that he found in the script, darkening the movie’s hopes even more. Considering all of these factors discussed by Gale, it is clear that the deck was stacked against Trespass right from the get-go. This vivid revelation shows why Trespass needed, if not deserved, its second life from Shout! Factory. It also serves to show the importance of bonus material included in the movie’s Blu-ray re-issue. Much the same can also be said of the separate interviews with Sadler and the movie’s producer Neil Canton, which present their own insight into the script’s roots and its production.
Keeping this in mind, it is wholly clear why the bonus material included in Trespass’ recent re-issue is so critical to its presentation. It is only one of the elements proving why action flick fans looking to escape the annual holiday TV and movie fare will want to give this re-issue a chance. The movie’s story is just as important to its overall presentation as the bonus material included in its recent Blu-ray re-issue.
Trespass’ story is relatively simple: Two firefighters discover a map to an allegedly hidden treasure in a building that the pair had only recently tried to save from a fire. When they go back to the building to search for said treasure, they unwittingly witness a gang crime that they otherwise would not have seen had they not been there. When the pair is caught by the gang, action ensues that ultimately leads to things somewhat coming full circle by the story’s end. There are no underlying subplots or any other elements here to distract audiences and cause the story to get bogged down in itself. It’s a straight-forward early 90’s shoot-‘em-up action story that is sure to appeal to the most devout action flick aficionados, even those likely not so familiar with the story or the movie which influenced it, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre – another item discussed in the movie’s bonus material — since it doesn’t require audiences to do a lot of thinking, opting instead for just entertainment, which is what action flicks are supposed to do.
Considering this simplicity and the draw that it was certain to have had, it’s easy to see why the movie likely would have had at least a fighting *no pun intended* chance in its original release had it been given perhaps an early spring or early fall release in its original release. Again, at least it will have that chance with its re-issue. Even as important as it is, it still is not the last of the most important of the movie’s elements. The work of the movie’s cast rounds out its most important elements.
Considering that the movie’s lead cast – all four previously noted actors – was still very young when it starred in Trespass, its collective work is important to note in examining the movie. That is because of how surprisingly entertaining the cast proved to be in whole. Ice Cube and Ice T showed through their performances their natural on-screen talent – talent that has since proven itself time and again for both men. One moment that proves this comes late in the movie as Savon (Ice Cube) and King James (Ice-T) go toe to toe against one another over the treasure and what to do about Vince (Paxton) and Don (Sadler). That moment of conflict shows just how much tension had been underlying between the men even before the events of the story happened. It would have been so easy for both actors to go over the top, but instead, both men showed such control that they ensured just as much here as in any other moment, viewers’ engagement and entertainment. Much the same can be said of Paxton and Sadler as tensions eventually grow between their characters, too. Audiences will be kept fully engaged as Vince and Don start to clash over their search and related safety or lack thereof. The pairs’ growing conflicts generates a certain ambiguity over whether the story even has a real villain or hero. Were Don and Vince the heroes or villains? Were the gangsters Savon and King James the villains or good guys? That ambiguity, and its ability to create so much discussion is a tribute to each actor’s work. It shows once more the importance of their work to the movie’s presentation. When that expert work is joined with the movie’s simple story and the in-depth bonus material included in the movie’s recent Blu-ray re-issue, the whole of these elements makes Trespass a movie that proves well-deserving of its second life. It also proves it to be a former holiday movie in itself that deserves at least one watch by those looking today for an alternative to the current standard holiday fare.
Universal Pictures’ 1992 holiday action flick Trespass is one of the famed studios’ least known and least appreciated offerings. It is a movie that, thanks to its recent re-issue via Shout! Factory, proves to be worth at least one watch by those looking for an alternative to the current standard holiday fare. This is proven in part through the extensive interviews that make up the re-issue’s bonus material. Those collective interviews form the re-issue’s foundation. The movie’s simple story strengthens its presentation even more, proving again why it is deserving of that chance. The collective work presented by the movie’s cast shows in its own way why the movie deserves its new chance, too. Each element is important in its own way, as has been noted here. All things considered, Trespass proves to be a former holiday release that is deserving of at least one watch by those looking for an alternative to today’s current holiday fare. It is available now in stores and online, and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:
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