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Escape From L.A.: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

Escape

“Escape From L.A.” is an underrated sequel. 

In this 1996 sequel to “Escape From New York,” Snake Plissken once again finds himself being called upon to embark on a risky mission. The President wants him to retrieve a black box weapon device that was stolen by his daughter and is now in the possession of a crazed revolutionary/gang leader named Cuervo on L.A. island (which has become an isolated hub for undesirables). Believing he has been injected with a time sensitive virus, Snake reluctantly accepts the job and soon finds himself facing off  against everything from a crazed surgeon and Cuervo’s violent gang while also bumping into some helpful allies along the way.

Despite mirroring “Escape From New York” a bit too closely both in plot and structure, the John Carpenter directed “Escape From L.A.” is a sequel that has improved with age. Yes, the FX are dated and there are some incredibly goofy moments (see the surfing sequence), but the John Carpenter, Debra Hill and Kurt Russell scripted sequel has some shockingly relevant political messages alongside, biting satire about Los Angeles, and a smart approach to the character of Snake who is essentially an antiquated person in a technological age. Without giving away what happens, it should be noted that film’s ending is deliciously bold, smart, and ballsy. It could have set-up a really intriguing third installment. 

The cast here is comprised of a fantastic collection of movie veterans (and cult movie heroes) such as Kurt Russell Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Stacy Keach, Bruce Campbell (in a bit role), Pam Grier, Cliff Robertson, Michelle Forbes, Valeria Golino (who should have been it much more) and A.J. Langer. Russell has no problem stepping back into the role of the gruff Snake Plissken. Buscemi steals the movie as the wisecracking double-crosser Map to the Stars Eddie. Peter Fonda is absolutely ridiculous as a surfer and Snake ally named Pipeline, but he has some of the most memorable scenes. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? The new print has a 4K scan from the original camera negative and the result will undoubtedly please fans. This is the best the film has looked.

Audio Track: 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? From Shirley Walker and John Carpenter’s score to the gunfights, the 5.1 score hits all the right notes. The 2.0 track is satisfactory as well if that is your thing. 

Extras:
* Theatrical trailer and TV spots
* Stills gallery
* 6 separate interviews with actors Stacy Keach, Bruce Campbell, Peter Jason, Georges Corraface, special effects artist Jim McPherson and visual effects artist David Jones that provide a wealth of set stories. Note: The Bruce Campbell interview is audio only. 

May 27, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , ,

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