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Young Guns: Special Edition

This pimped-up smudge of pop history may have filled the seats in its day with its cast of dashing pretty boys spitting chaw and slinging their six-guns, but 15 years later it plays like lukewarm late-'80s kitsch. Emilio Estevez stars as William "Billy the Kid" Bonney, alongside Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemaszko, and Lou Diamond Phillips as his fellow "Regulators," a spurned band of outlaws gunning for vengeance over the death of their kindly benefactor (Terence Stamp). Like nearly every other western ever made, Young Guns tells ye olde tale of honest folk done wrong by the ruthless businessmen who rule the frontier with the aide of corrupt politicians. This hand-me-down pads Billy's vicious killing spree with a sanctimonious air of righteous wrath, but no tipping of the dramatic scales can compensate for the movie's unambitious Brat Pack pageantry. Hack director Christopher Cain plays out each scene with a Joel Schumacheresque eye for mediocrity and, despite an oddball peyote sequence which, improbably, may well have inspired key scenes in Oliver Stone's The Doors a few years later, it's difficult to remember much of anything from Young Guns within a few minutes after viewing it. Artisan presents this Young Guns: Special Edition in an ordinary anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) from a grainy source-print with both DTS and 2.0 Dolby Surround audio tracks. Chiming in on a laid-back third track are supporting players Mulroney, Siemaszko, and Phillips. This "Special Edition" also includes a half-hour documentary, "The Real Billy The Kid," a subtitle trivia track, and a trailer. Keep-case in paperboard sleeve.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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