Ride with the Angels: Making Blue Thunder is a relatively recent Making-Of Featurette split into three parts: Pre-Production, Production and Post-, which can be played as one. Running at 45 minutes, it really is the highlight in the Extras department. The most interesting aspect is clearly the prep done to make the movie - the original script ideas of madman in an attack chopper on the loose in LA and how they evolved into the much more audience-friendly (and, at the time, politically topical) concept of high tech surveillance, i.e. Big Brother. They look at the set design, effects work (models used), the casting (including interviews with Roy Scheider), the characters, the aerial cinematography and then the work done to polish the whole thing off. A fairly comprehensive and extremely interesting Documentary, this is well worth your time if you're a fan of the movie.
The Special: Building Blue Thunder: Making of the Helicopter takes an all too short look at the creating of this attack helicopter, mainly through bastardisation of a Gazelle, with a wider cockpit, a large mounted gun, railings etc. Far too brief and flimsy, it takes a mere 8 minutes to skim over how they put the beast together.
The original 1983 Featurette highlights just how much things have changed in terms of making-of Featurettes, although it is better than your standard promotional bumf in Extras sections these days - just nowhere near as good as a decent modern documentary (as above), running in at a brief 8 minutes, but still cramming in contributions from the main cast and crew.
Finally we get the Original Theatrical Trailer (again, how things have changed, but at least back then you didn't get a compressed flash-images-of-the-entire-movie affair that gives everything away).
Blue Thunder autorotates to Region Free US Blu-ray with a pretty decent video rendition and a good audio track, as well as all of the extras from the previous SD release. The movie itself is an enjoyable action thriller with conspiracy theory undercurrents and a starring role for one mean looking urban attack helicopter. With solid performances, a pacy story and some excellent aerial stuntwork, this remains the best helicopter-driven production to date. Fans should consider this the definitive edition to own and newcomers should at least give it a rental. Very entertaining and recommended.
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