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Escape From New York Blu-ray Review

Escape From New York Blu-ray

“Escape From New York” is A-Number-1.

You should all know the story of “Escape From New York,” but, on the off chance you don’t, here’s a little refresher. The story: After the President becomes stranded in Manhattan island (which is now a prison), a NY Police Commissioner recruits a former soldier turned criminal (Snake Plissken) to rescue the President (and a valuable tape) in return for a full pardon. Since the President has been taken hostage by the Duke (who has a specific set of demands), it’s a race against time for Plissken to carry out his mission.

“Escape From New York” is one of those underrated films that I just can’t praise enough. It’s one of the best sci-fi films, it’s one of the best John Carpenter films, it’s one of the best cult films, it’s got a first rate score by Carpenter and Alan Howarth, and it’s arguably the best Kurt Russell film. It’s a visionary, gritty, dark sci-fi-action film by genre master John Carpenter, but more than that, it’s got one of cinema’s best anti-heroes with Snake Plissken. The gruff eye patch sporting bad-ass has rightfully become an iconic character over the years and that’s all due to actor Kurt Russell. Not only does Russell make the character his own, but it’s the type of part that you can’t imagine any other actor playing.

The supporting cast is equally amazing here as viewers get to see Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Tom Atkins, and Adrienne Barbeau. While some actors play straight forward characters here, there’s plenty of weird and quirky supporting characters throughout the film. Perhaps the most notable is Isaac Hayes as the villainous Duke.


Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? I’ve seen some truly terrible copies of this film over the years, but this print was mind blowing. Sure, it’s a tad grainy, but this is the clearest I’ve ever seen the film look. Even the darkly lit scenes look amazing.

Audio Tracks: 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the iconic score to Plissken’s growling voice, this track does not disappoint.

* A deleted scene with optional commentary.
* Not one, or two, but three commentary tracks. One track is with Adrienne Barbeau and Dean Cundey, one is with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell and the other is with Debra Hill and Joe Alves. The Carpenter and Russell is easily the most entertaining and informative track of the lot.
* 2 photo galleries that contain movie stills, behind the scenes photos, posters and lobby cards.
* Theatrical trailers for “Escape From New York.”
* “Scoring The Escape”- Sean Clark chats with composer Alan Howarth about scores, his studio, “Escape From New York,” music cues, and more.
* “I Am  Taylor”- Actor Joe Unger talks about his part as Taylor and his experience in filming “Escape From New York.”
* “Return To Escape From New York Featurette”- A 23 minute old school featurette that contains interviews with Kurt Russell, John Carpenter, and others. Discussions include the script, characters, and more.
* “Big Challenges In Little Manhattan”- A featurette about the visual effects that contains interviews with Dennis and Robert Skotak.
* “On Set With John Carpenter”- Still photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker chats about the production over the photos she took on set. Lots of behind-the-scenes tales in this extra.
* “My Night On Set”- Director David DeCoteau talks about his involvement on “Escape From New York.” An interesting story to be sure.

Overall Thoughts: If you don’t already own “Escape From New York,” this is a must buy. Essential viewing.

March 25, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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