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TRAINING DAY: Denzel Washington's Most Iconic Role Comes Home in 4K

When thinking about the most iconic performances of all time, few come to mind more often than the prolific Denzel Washington and his legendary performance as crooked LA detective, Alonzo Harris in Antoine Fuqua’s crime masterpiece, Training Day. Even if you’ve never seen this film, I’m confident you’ve encountered some of its culture-shifting tropes in modern law enforcement TV, one of its god-tier one-liners, or one of its many references in hip-hop. Training Day is a film so large it’s practically inescapable, and for good reason, because few films have redefined a genre like this one. In this case, crime movies for the subsequent 22 years have been borrowing influence from this film and it doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. Beyond its prolific performances, Training Day ushered in a new brand of uncompromising realism that brought its setting to life and made its lead performance a part of the culture forever.

Much of this grittiness can be attributed to Ayer, whose experiences growing up in LA granted him insight into the treacherous landscape, but Ayer’s script is brought to marvelous heights by one of our generation’s greatest talents: Denzel Washington. Washington, who has turned in more celebrated performances than maybe anyone else working, goes to places he’s never been on this one. Displaying an unmatched level of charisma and enigmatic magnetism, Washington manages to transcend this film's countless other incredible aspects and firmly cement the work in the zeitgeist. That’s not to discount the excellent contributions made by Ethan Hawke, the co-lead, and the amazing supporting cast featuring household names like Eva Mendes, renowned character actors like Cliff Curtis, and hop-hop legends like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. All of the pieces in this film come together perfectly to make it what it is, but a performance as powerful as this honestly outshines everything else which is why the sole Oscar win for this film belongs to Washington, nabbing the Best Leading Actor Oscar at the 2002 Ceremony. There’s a lot to love about a movie like this, but it’s a performance like Washington’s that has me revisiting this year after year and I’m glad I can finally add it to my collection in its most impressive format to date.

This 4K release isn’t just a staggering release of the film, but it’s loaded with definitive special features that are sure to satisfy long-time fans of the film. The extras include music videos for Nelly and Pharoahe Monch, which are a perfect complement to a film that’s so heavily hip-hop inspired, a commentary by director Antoine Fuqua full of great tidbits about the making of a film like this, and even alternative endings. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or have never seen this, I’m not sure I’ve ever been so confident recommending a film. Training Day is sure to either become or remain a favorite, so be sure to keep an eye out for this one.

Training Day is available now in 4K Ultra HD digitally as well as wherever discs are sold.

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