Friday, February 14, 2014

Escape Plan Blu-ray Disc Review

Though they have shared screen time in The Expendables parts 1 & 2, Escape Plan is really the first time Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger have co-stared in an action picture and the results are quite good so long as one knows that this is an action picture vehicle for both stars and not everything works logically and at times some of the brevity is misplaced. Still what I liked about Escape Plan was that it gave both action hero titans a chance to shine. They both really work so well together that one wishes they could have worked together a lot sooner when they were in their prime.

When I think of Stallone's heyday as an action star I think the time between Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV as being his zenith as far as popularity. Though ironically First Blood is a far better motion picture on multiple levels and the first and third Rocky pictures are my favorite followed by Rocky Balboa, which gave his signature character a proper farewell.

For Schwarzenegger, I think he hit his career high with Terminator 2: Judgment Day. With the exceptions of John Milius and Paul Verhoeven, no one has ever directed Schwarzenegger as well on screen as James Cameron. Though both action heroes have had career highs and lows since then, even in the disc extra features, both men acknowledged that while they were very competitive at one time, age and wisdom has made their pairing work better now than they might have been in the 1980s and 90s.

The premise is straight forward. Stallone is a professional jail breaker used to expose the faults in prisons so they can be corrected. He gets betrayed and abducted on his latest job and placed in a prison unlike any he has been in before and with no knowledge where he is. Schwarzenegger is the inmate who teams up with Stallone's character and together they formulate and execute an escape plan. The film also features performances by Jim Caviezel, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Sam Neill, Vincent D'Onofrio, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, and Guy Ritchie gangster picture alumni Vinnie Jones.

The film is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a spot on 1080p/24fps high definition (2.40:1) aspect ratio coupled with an intensive English DTS-HD MA 7.1 Surround Soudtrack. A Spanish Language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Soundtrack along with English Dolby Digital 2.0 Optimized For Night Listening  and an English Descriptive Audio Soundtracks are provided as well. There is also a DTS Surround Optimizer program included on the disc along with English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and English and Spanish Language Subtitles.

A DVD with a standard definition anamorphic widescreen presentation, English and Spanish Language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and English Closed Captions for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and English and Spanish Language Subtitles is included too.

The Blu-ray interactive menus are well rendered and easy to navigate. Within the Blu-ray BD case is an insert containing a limited time code for both a high definition i'Tunes Digital Copy and Ultraviolet HD Digital Copy of the film too.

On both the Blu-ray and DVD is a retrospective feature length audio commentary with Director Mikael Hafstrom and Co-Writer Miles Chapman and a making of featurette (23:13). Exclusive to the Blu-ray Disc is a featurette about real maximum security prisons that dissects and reveals implausibilitiee in Escape Plan (21:57), a documentary focusing on Arnold and Sylvester's quest to co-star in a film together that took thirty years to happen (15:34) and a reel of 11 deleted scenes (8:13) presented in high definition too.

A reel of trailers for other Lionsgate titles that include Divergent, The Expendables 2, The Last Stand, and Dredd (6:28) wrap up the bonus features encoded onto this Blu-ray Disc Set. Escape Plan is now available on Blu-ray Disc at retailers on and offline courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

(C) Copyright 2014 By Mark Rivera
All Rights Reserved.