May 292020
 

Escape from L.A. seems to blend together 1980s and 1990s cheese with a mixture of success while others are just too much, though Kurt Russell is still great as Snake. I will say, this one at least does have some replay value.

 

 

Escape from L.A.
— Collector’s Edition —
(1996)

Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Shout Factory | R – 100 min. – $34.93 | April 28, 2020

Date Published: 05/29/2020 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: John Carpenter
Writer(s): John Carpenter and Nick Castle (characters); John Carpenter & Debra Hill & Kurt Russell (written by)
Cast: Kurt Russell, Stacy Keach, Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Georges Corraface, Cliff Robertson


DISC INFO:
Features: Interviews, Gallery, TV Spots, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1


Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 45.79 GB
Total Bitrate: 42.92 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.0/5


Plot Synopsis: In 2013, the United States president (CLIFF ROBERTSON) is exiling all citizens who don’t conform to his hyper-conservative views to Los Angeles, which became an island after a huge earthquake. But, when the president’s daughter nabs the detonator to her dad’s apocalyptic weapon and sneaks into L.A. to be with the rebel leader she loves, the government taps commando-turned-crook Snake Plissken (KURT RUSSELL) to retrieve the young woman. And, if he doesn’t succeed quickly, he’ll be executed.

Review: While I can’t say have a special infinity for Escape from New York, I did find it to be an entertaining enough apocalyptic action-adventurer featuring a bad ass Kurt Russell sporting an eye-patch. Ten years later, after being held in development hell, Escape from L.A. was released and didn’t exactly catch the box office on fire ($25 million).

Interestingly, this was my first viewing of this sequel and… it pretty much was what I expected. It showed the difference between 80s camp with 90s camp, the latter not nearly as cool as the former, here we find Snake Plissken surfing on waves, alongside Peter Fonda, caused by a tsunami.

Part of the problem for me, though I acknowledge some might think this a positive, the visual effects even by mid-90s standards, was really poor, lots of bad green screen compositing that I found less thrilling and more snicker-worthy. Still, I guess this could fall into the good-bad category especially watching amongst friends and family (if we’re allowed to ever do that again, of course).

The acting is pretty standard. Kurt Russell is still a bad-ass and fills the role really well; Cliff Robertson as a Pat Robertson-like televangelist President of the United States cannot hold a candle to Donald Pleasance, though in fairness he had more to do in ETNY whereas Robertson stood around a control room. And Stacy Keach makes for a fine semi-foil as did George Corraface in what looks like a Che-inspired revolutionary character, but again, this is Snake’s show.

John Carpenter is a very talented filmmaker and I do appreciate he doesn’t get himself stuck in one distinct genre and instead diversifies going from a horror classic like Halloween, supernatural-horror with The Fog, post-apocalypse thriller in Escape from New York, supernatural-comedy Big Trouble in Little China, sci-fi/romance Starman and, of course, my favorite of his, probably even more so than Halloween, the claustrophobic horror film, 1982’s The Thing.

This might not rank among Carpenter’s best but far from his worst (Ghost of Mars, originally intended as an Escape sequel, is pretty bad), and cheesy as it is and as bad as most of the effects are, I suppose there is some charm that Carpenter brings to the look and simple storytelling.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover. The interior cover is reversible with the original poster artwork.

Interviews:

  • A Little Bit Offbeat (7:55) — Actor Stacy Keach
  • Beverly Hills Workshed (9:10) — Actor Bruce Campbell (Audio Only)
  • Part of the Family (25:55) — Actor Peter Jason
  • Miss a Shot, You Get Shot (14:37) — Actor Georges Corraface
  • One Eye is Better Than None (17:58) — Special Effects Artist Jim McPherson
  • The Renderman (19:04) — Visual Effects Artist David Jones

A pretty good array of participants here, some recounting their professional careers and then talking specifically about working on EFLA, and working with Kurt Russell and John Carpenter. Although it’s audio only and less than 10-minutes, the Bruce Campbell interview was the more entertaining of them.

Theatrical Trailer (1:34)

TV Spots (2:26)

Still Gallery (7:31)

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Shout Factory releases Escape from L.A. with a new 1080p high-definition transfer taken from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. As such, this looks rather brilliant, detail is sharp, colors are well balanced (from the beginning, the green in the opening credits have a nice pop) and there were no apparent or obvious signs of aliasing, artifacting or other flaws.

AUDIO – 4.5/5


The movie comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which, albeit nothing earth-shattering (or floor-shaking) striking, still is halfway decent. The action sequences do display some fine depth across all channels, while dialogue comes through the center speaker with nice, and clean, clarity.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


Escape from L.A. seems to blend together 1980s and 1990s cheese with a mixture of success while others are just too much, though Kurt Russell is still great as Snake. I will say, this one at least does have some replay value as I wouldn’t mind re-watching again. This “Collector’s Edition” release from Shout will go well with their release of Escape from New York and while the features aren’t overabundant, given the film’s lackluster success and probably near barebones home video releases, it’s good to get anything new.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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