Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
Release Date: Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray Now Available
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 10/10
In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a walled prison where brutal prisoners roam. But when the US president (Pleasence) crash-lands inside, only one man can bring him back: notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero Snake Plissken (Russell). But time is short. In 24 hours, an explosive device implanted in his neck will end Snake’s mission – and his life – unless he succeeds!
John Carpenter’s cult classic ‘Escape from New York’ is one well known with many of his fans, in large part undoubtedly due to Kurt Russell’s fantastic portrayal of the unforgettable Snake Plissken. ‘Escape from New York’ follows Snake after being apprehended and prepared to be sent off to New York, now no longer a normal inhabitable island but a mass prison with no guards where the inmates make their own rules. But when the President goes down in the prison city and is taken hostage, the government forces Snake to go in and rescue the President within a matter of hours before a poison they injected him with kills him.
Directed and co-written (written along with Nick Castle) by John Carpenter and starring the always great Kurt Russell in one of his most noteworthy roles of all time, along with great performances by Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Adrienne Barbeau and many more, ‘Escape From New York’ is a fun, smart and action-packed race against time through the heart of crime that still looks great over 30 years after its initial release.
Fans of ‘Escape from New York’ and John Carpenter’s work in general will definitely want to make certain to pick up a copy of this 2-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray to add to their collections. It delivers impressive high definition video and audio presentations, the video presentation is also an all new transfer taken from a new 2K scan of the inter-positive, struck from the original negative and looks fantastic. In addition to the top notch video and audio presentations, it also includes an entire disc filled with great bonus goodies, and that’s in addition to the three audio commentary tracks included on the first disc (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) so fans can easily see why this Collector’s Edition release is a must own.
The Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray release of ‘Escape from New York’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation from a new 2K scan of the inter-positive, struck from the original negative and utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole, delivering rich and vivid colors, sharp and detailed surroundings, even the numerous dark or fast moving moments never suffer from any noticeable faults and are always more than discernible at every point. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation from Scream Factory that fans of this classic should be absolutely thrilled with.
The Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray release includes the option of both lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks. I (naturally) chose to watch with the 5.1 channel lossless soundtrack utilized and it sounds pretty great overall. It delivers a sharp, discrete and often heavy hitting soundtrack as a whole, surrounding the viewer with the phenomenal score and numerous action moments, while also keeping all dialogue that might be occurring simultaneously from becoming inaudible or negatively affected in any way. This 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack delivers and it should not disappoint.
The Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray release of ‘Escape from New York’ contains a truly impressive collection of bonus content, including a full disc dedicated to the supplemental material in addition to multiple Audio Commentary tracks on the Feature Film Disc.
Disc One includes 3 different Audio Commentary Tracks to accompany the film. The first is a New Audio Commentary with Actress Adrienne Barbeau and Director of Photography Dean Cundy. The second Commentary features Director John Carpenter and Actor Kurt Russell, while the third Commentary track features Producer Debra Hill and Production Designer Joe Alves.
Disc Two is solely dedicated to bonus content and includes a number of Behind the Scenes Featurette’s, discussions, new interviews with the cast and crew and much more. Included on the disc is: ‘Big Challenges in Little Manhattan: The Visual Effects of Escape from New York’ (running approximately 14 minutes in length), ‘Scoring the Escape: A Discussion with composer Alan Howarth’ (approximately 19 minutes), ‘On Set with John Carpenter: The Images of Escape from New York’ (11 minutes), ‘I Am Taylor: An interview with actor Joe Unger’ (9 minutes), ‘My Night on Set: An interview with filmmaker David DeCoteau (5 minutes), ‘Deleted Scene: The Original Opening Bank Robbery Sequence’ with Optional Commentary (11 minutes), ‘Return to Escape from New York Featurette’ (23 minutes), along with Theatrical Trailers for the film and two sets of ‘Photo Galleries’, the first including Movie Stills and Behind the Scenes Photos and the second with Posters and Lobby Cards.