Rollercoaster Blu-ray Review
“Rollercoaster” isn’t quite a thrill ride.
After a nameless psycho terrorist detonates a bomb at a theme park, a smart alec safety inspector (Harry) begins to investigate the incident and discovers that it may be connected to other theme park accidents. Eventually, he and other officials are contacted by the madman who is demanding a million dollars to stop his heinous crimes. The officials think they can outsmart the terrorist, but he continually outwits them and monitors their every move. What follows is essentially one long chase across multiple theme parks to catch this guy before he strikes again.
After a truly eerie and suspenseful 14 minute opening sequence which finds the creepy terrorist bombing a rollercoaster track, it’s pretty much all downhill for the movie from there (if you’ll pardon the rollercoaster pun). What could have been an intense thriller turns out to be a rather overlong and repetitive film with largely one note characters and stiff dialogue. Even the film’s major climax disappoints here as it peters out with an abrupt end and a subplot that goes nowhere (I’m referring to Harry’s daughter and love interest at the theme park). Still, the 1977 film does deserve credit for its spectacular opening sequence, impressive cinematography and the generally excellent theme park location shooting.
In terms of the cast, George Segal (Harry), Timothy Bottoms (the terrorist) and Richard Widmark (who plays a hard ass Agent) are the clear highlights here even if there characters are far from fully developed. I should point out that there are several notable small supporting roles here played by Henry Fonda (who has a blink and you’ll miss it role) and a young Helen Hunt as Harry’s daughter.
Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? This disc boasts a pristine transfer that looks better than a lot of Shout! Factory catalogue titles.
Audio Tracks: Dolby TrueHD Sensurround 3.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? While underwhelming as an audio track, I have to give props for the inclusion of the original Sensurround track. With that said, I think most viewers would do well to put on the DTS track instead as it offers up better audio quality (especially during the rollercoaster scenes).
* Still gallery.
* Theatrical trailer.
* Radio spots.
* A near 13 minute interview with writer Tommy Cook who discusses rollercoasters, his life, how he came up with the story and more.
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