Monday, November 2, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 41.7 GB
Film Size: 30.1 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: Free

Video
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Like most new releases, the presentation looks very strong. Detail is very impressive whenever the shot allows, sometimes things are a bit skewed by the way the film is shot, using weird angles and perspectives while Travolta is on screen, but can often shine too.

Colors on this release are rich and vibrant, black levels are also very very good. Whether the shot be close-up or wide-shot, the amount of detail in depth in the picture always shines and always impresses. There was not one scene where I thought it looked bad in the slightest. 9/10.

Audio
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is included. Other language tracks to get DTS-HD Master Audio treatment on this release include French and Spanish. There is even an English Descriptive Service track present on this release, like other recent Blu-ray releases.

The mix on this release is very impressive, but to be honest I expected it to be. Despite the film being a very dialogue heavy film, there is still a lot of opportunities to create environment and space, including the busy and later quiet subway station and the always busy city of New York. I'm happy to say they paid great attention to the environment, with good placing of effects throughout the film.

This mix has everything a top notch audio presentation should, with the only thing keeping this from the best audio mixes is the actual film itself. I believe the track is about as impressive as it could have sounded, but it's still not one of the best audio experiences on the format. 9/10.

Extras

MovieIQ (BD-Live)
BD-Live connects you to access real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie.

Cinechat (BD-Live)
Send on-screen instant messages to your friends around the world while you watch the movie together.

Commentary with Director Tony Scott

Commentary with Writer Brian Helgeland and Producer Todd Black

No Time To Lose: The Making of Pelham 123 (30:26) (HD)
A nice in-depth look at remaking the film, casting, and plenty of behind-the-scenes footage.

The Third Rail: New York Underground (16:16) (HD)
All about the subway system in New York, as well as the importance of it. The cast and crew also talks about filming on the tracks.

From The Top Down: Stylizing Character with Danny Moumdian (5:17) (SD)
All about hair stylist Danny Moumdain and his inspiration.

Marketing Pelham (7:04) (HD)
See the different theatrical trailers for the film, clearly marketed to appeal to action fans.

Previews (HD)

Digital Copy
Compatible with iTunes, Windows Media, and PSP.

Overall we get a solid supplements package, I liked the behind-the-scenes look at production of the film, and the Blu-ray exclusive Digital Copy is nice for those who enjoy them. 6/10.

Blu-news Summary
The Taking of Pelham 123 is a film that I was very excited to see. The trailer looked very good, and I've always been a big fan of Denzel Washington. John Travolta playing the terrorist was an interesting idea, I mean seriously? But to be honest Travolta does a fantastic job as the villain of the film, creating a character like never before in his career. It's definitely a great improvement from Wild Hogs to say the least.

Pelham is marketed like quite the action flick, but to be honest it's not some huge action movie but rather a thriller. Some may find it underwhelming compared to the trailers for the film, as everything looks so fast-paced, but I don't think anyone will find it disappointing. It picks up quite a bit in the action category during the last half hour of the film at least.

The film runs close to two hours, but you'll never find yourself looking at your watch. The conversations between Garber (Washington) and Ryder (Travolta) will have you both interested in their characters as well as wondering what will happen next.

The situation is similar to Air Force One, only it doesn't involve important political figures as hostages and there isn't quite the amount of action, but there are quite a few deaths. I like the approach for this film, I think it may have been improved if we actually cared about anyone on the subway, as everyone aboard is quite bland, but ultimately was just fine.

Despite a few things I disliked abou the film, I found it definitely above average, I certainly enjoyed it very much and I would be willing to bet you would too. Definitely watch this movie, whether it be a purchase or a rental, you won't regret it. 8/10.

The Blu-ray release is strong, featuring impressive video and audio, and a nice little supplements package. Overall this release is easily 'Recommended.'

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