Director: Jonathan Mostow
Cast: Kurt Russell, Kathleen Quinlan, J.T. Walsh
Release Date: September 21, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Kurt Russell is Jeff Taylor, headed toward a new life in California with his wife Amy (Kathleen Quinlan). When their car dies on a remote highway, a seemingly helpful trucker (J.T. Walsh) offers Amy a ride to the local diner while Jeff waits with the car. Then Jeff discovers his vehicle was deliberately tampered with, and by the time he gets to the next town, his worst fears are about to come true.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
You can also check out our reviews for the other releases in the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line by clicking on each title below!
The 1997 thriller ‘Breakdown’ tells the intense story of Jeff Taylor and his wife Amy who are on their way to begin a new life in California when their car breaks down on a remote highway in the middle of nowhere. After a seemingly kind truck driver stops and offers a ride as assistance, Amy decides to take him up on it while Jeff waits with the car. But after Jeff realizes that the car was actually tampered with, he repairs the vehicle and heads to the local diner where his wife should be waiting. When Amy is nowhere to be found at the diner, he heads out in search of the trucker who he eventually tracks down only to be told he’s never seen him before. Now Jeff must figure out what this man wants and how he can find his wife which sets off a terrifying chain of events as everything begins to be revealed.
The tense and underrated 1997 thriller ‘Breakdown’ finally makes its Blu-ray debut here in the states as the twenty-sixth title in Paramount Home Entertainment’s limited edition ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line which showcases various noteworthy films from Paramount’s expansive and decades-spanning catalog released in new numbered, limited edition Blu-ray releases with newly remastered video presentations (almost always from a 4K source) along with quality audio soundtracks, collectible packaging and some extras. ‘Breakdown’ definitely makes a fantastic addition to the ‘Paramount Presents’ line and this taut thriller directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Kurt Russell, Kathleen Quinlan and J.T. Walsh still holds up tremendously more than two decades after its initial release, serving up a powerful, tense and terrifying tale of one couple fighting for survival against an unexpected threat. It’s a fantastic film that doesn’t seem to get anywhere near the respect it deserves and fans of this one who have been anxiously awaiting its Blu-ray debut will almost surely want to make a point of picking up a copy of this great Blu-ray release. This is yet another impressive ‘Paramount Presents’ offering that brings the film home with a fantastic new high definition video presentation, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack and some noteworthy new extras to top it all off.
Overall, the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of the wonderful and underrated 1997 film ‘Breakdown’ directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Kurt Russell brings the thriller home on Blu-ray at last. Sporting a gorgeous high definition video presentation utilizing a director-approved remaster from a new 4K film scan, complimented by a pretty great Dolby TrueHD multichannel soundtrack, plus collectible packaging and then sealing the deal with some nice extras including numerous brand new bonus features such as an Alternate Opening and a new audio commentary with Mostow and Russell. Altogether it will definitely make this release a must own for any diehard fans of this great road thriller, along with those of you that are collecting all of the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray releases. It’s a pretty fantastic Blu-ray release for a great film and this one is definitely highly recommended for anyone that’s already considering a purchase.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Breakdown’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of the film with its original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio, featuring a director-approved remaster from a new 4K film scan. This newly remastered video presentation looks marvelous and offers a clean, beautiful and wonderfully detailed presentation from start to finish with no unexpected problems to be found along the way. It retains plenty of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its source and holds up great even during the fast moving and occasional darkly lit sequences throughout, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should downright thrill fans of this great 90’s thriller.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack is quite solid in its own right and delivers a clean, sharp and often hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, vehicle and nature activity, along with some action effects and more throughout the various speakers at every fitting opportunity, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a very nice 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that sounds great from start to finish and never falters or disappoints.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Breakdown’ features the usual collectible packaging included on all of the limited edition ‘Paramount Presents’ releases featuring a slipcase with a front fold-out image showing a larger version of the original theatrical artwork (‘Breakdown’ in particular actually features different artwork on the front slipcase, fold-out of the slipcase, as well as on the front interior case; three different designs in all) along with pictures on the interior of the case’s sleeve and a quote from the director (as always a beauty shot of the artwork is included at the bottom of the review for a better idea of what to expect inside). The disc itself also includes some noteworthy extras including a few which are new to this release. Included is an ‘Audio Commentary with director Jonathan Mostow and Kurt Russell’, along with an ‘Isolated Score’ option and both an ‘Alternate Opening’ and the ‘Alternate Opening with Audio Commentary by Jonathan Mostow’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length each). The release also features some Featurettes, interviews and more including ‘Filmmaker Focus: Director Jonathan Mostow on Breakdown’ (running approximately 11 minutes), ‘Victory Is Hers: Kathleen Quinlan on Breakdown’ (approximately 4 minutes) and ‘A Brilliant Partnership: Martha De Laurentiis on Breakdown’ (8 minutes). The film’s original ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (approximately 2 minutes) is also included along with archival trailers for ‘Kiss the Girls’ and ‘Hard Rain’.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Breakdown’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray; Newly Remastered as part of the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line from Paramount Home Entertainment
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