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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Unstoppable [Blu-ray]

 

(Tony Scott, 2010)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: 20th Century Fox

Video: 20th Century Fox

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:38:30.362

Disc Size: 44,210,213,996 bytes

Feature Size: 29,702,578,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.19 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 15th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3942 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3942 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary with Tony Scott

The Fast Track; Unleashing Unstoppable (29:41)

Derailed: Anatomy of a Scene (10:01)

Hanging Off the Train: Stunt Work (14:25)

On the Rails with the Director and Cast (13:25)

Tracking the Story: Unstoppable - Script Development

Theatrical trailer (2:26)

Digital Copy "How to"

Sneak Peek

Digital Copy

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Hang on for the ride of your life as Oscar Winner Denzel Washington and Chris Pine (Star Trek) team up for the year’s most electrifying action-thriller. A runaway train, transporting deadly, toxic chemicals, is barreling down on Scranton, Pennsylvania, and only two men can stop it: a veteran engineer (Washington) and a young conductor (Pine). Thousands of lives hang in the balance as these ordinary heroes attempt to chase down one million tons of hurtling steel and prevent an epic disaster. Helmed by visionary director Tony Scott (Man on Fire), this story inspired by true events delivers excitement and suspense that are — unstoppable!

***

A massive unmanned locomotive, nicknamed "The Beast" and loaded with toxic cargo, roars through the countryside, vaporizing... anything put in front of it. A veteran engineer and a young conductor, aboard another train in the runaway's path, devise an incredible plan to try and stop it -- and prevent certain disaster in a heavily populated area.

 

 

The Film:

Mr. Scott is partial to blunt, rapid cuts; whipping pans; and saturated colors. He likes twirling the camera around characters, like a sugared-up tot running 360s on a playground, a hyperactive visual style that can turn the screen into a blur of pulsating color. Here, working with the cinematographer Ben Seresin and some ace sound technicians, he creates an unexpectedly rich world of chugging, rushing trains slicing across equally beautiful industrial and natural landscapes. There is something mesmerizing about these trains and the men who run them, something nostalgic too, because they seem like history machines, summoning up a past lived and also imagined, as in, for starters, “The Great Train Robbery” (1903), “North by Northwest” (1959) and “Speed” (1994).

Excerpt from Manohla Dargis at the NY Times located HERE

How Scott deals with his "chase" is not for me to reveal here, but although the possibilities of two trains on one track would seem to be limited, he and Bomback are truly ingenious. They employ a kind of logical lateral thinking: The trains can move only in certain ways, but those ways may not be as obvious as we assume.

Not that those are terms we're thinking of during the action. The photography and sound here are very effective in establishing that a train is an enormously heavy thing, and once in motion wants to continue. We knew that. But Scott all but crushes us with the weight of the juggernaut. We are spellbound. And we sure hope those little kids are saved.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

As theatrically described - 'saturated' is the operative word for Unstoppable on Blu-ray from Fox. It's a thick, heavy, image with color vibrancy and excellent contrast.  The image quality is impressive if a tad overly brilliant. It certainly suits the film though. From what I can gather this looked quite similar theatrically - and is reasonably typical of a Tony Scott production - meaning visually excessive. This is dual-layered and has a very high video bitrate. Skin tones seem true and the image is essentially without a flaw.  This would probably be considered to be reaching the heights of the format's capabilities for a modern film to 1080P. Detail is strong and there is some depth shown. It is easy to discern as HD and I expect it blows the SD DVD away.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

A barn-burner with significant force supporting the expected action/aggression scenes all embodied in a powerhouse DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3942 kbps. The original score by Harry Gregson-Williams suits the film and balances well between the cornucopia of action interspersed with more passive scenes. There is some heavy bass here - enough that it pulses through your body as it reverberates to the back of the room. Obviously train sounds, metal and a host of other imposing effect sounds exhibit phenomenal range and depth. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Supplements are stacked with a Tony Scott audio commentary covering many details mostly privy to his directorial preferences. After that there is about a hour's worth of more specific featurettes involving sound bytes with the cast - more from Scott, an anatomy of a scene, stunt work, train talk and more. Included are some Blu-ray specific options that run alongside as the film runs - entitled Tracking the Story: Unstoppable - Script Development. There are a theatrical trailer, a Digital Copy "How to", sneak peeks and the second disc digital copy.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
If you are in the mood - this can be a very entertaining film. No pretension - you get exactly what you might expect from this genre and there is a modicum of fun along the way. Chris Pine continues to impress and Denzel is Denzel. Just like the other Tony Scott train flic - with Mr. Washington - from 2009; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3  - Unstoppable is an exhaustive ride. You throw everything the Hollywood express has at its financial means and it can, but not always, produces something worth viewing. The Blu-ray gives an abundant, if predictable, night in the home theater. Popcorn would be suitable. Enjoy! 

Gary Tooze

February 16th, 2011

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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