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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Escape Plan [Blu-ray]


(Mikael Håfström , 2013)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Summit Entertainment

Video: Lions Gate



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:56:34.922

Disc Size: 47,980,119,001 bytes

Feature Size: 35,648,028,672 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.49 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: February 4th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 5042 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5042 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
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 Surround



English (SDH), English, Spanish, none



• Commentary by director Mikael Håfström and co-writer Miles Chapman

Executing the Plan: the Making of Escape Plan (22:13)

Maximum Security: The Real Life Tomb (21:57)

• Clash of the Titans (15:34)

• 11 Deleted Scenes (8:13)





Description: A structural security expert must escape from a prison based on his own designs in order to track down the person who framed him in this gritty action thriller staring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ray Breslin (Stallone) has designed some of the most high-tech, escape-proof prisons in the world. When Breslin takes the fall for a crime he didn't commit, he's locked up in a penitentiary of his own making. Desperate to prove his innocence but unable to accomplish his goal from the inside, Breslin puts his professional know-how to use by planning the ultimate prison break. Meanwhile, as tensions among the convicts start to flare, strict warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) enlists lead guard Drake (Vinnie Jones) to maintain order as mysterious inmate Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) fights to prevent the volatile inmates from turning on one another. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Amy Ryan, and Sam Neill co-star.



The Film:

Prison-cracker extraordinaire Ray Breslin has only just busted out of one of his toughest assignments yet when a mysterious agent presents herself to his team, enlisting his services to test a privatised underground prototype designed to incarcerate the country’s baddest law-breakers. With his ego tickled by the challenge at hand, Breslin agrees to the job, but the brutality he meets with has him suspecting that someone has stitched him up and left him for dead. With a variety of newbie- phobic cliques, a sadistic warden who doesn’t believe his true identity or just doesn’t care and perspex cells that leave him exposed at all times, Breslin struggles to plot an escape, but respected lifer Emil Rottmayer may just have enough connections to get the job done – as long as he can tag along too.

Excerpt from Eye For Film located HERE

Breslin receives a lucrative offer from the CIA to break out of a private super-prison, set up to make the world's vilest villains permanently disappear. The parallels to Guantanamo Bay are about as subtle as a billy club to the cranium.

The prison -- which looks like it was built to hold Magneto with its elevated glass cells -- happens to house Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), the wizened inmate who acts as accented tour guide to the prison, the inmates and the merciless warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel in a thankless role that consists of hisses and sneers). Rottmayer informs Breslin of what we knew shortly after the opening credits: that the prison is corrupt and Breslin is being set up.

If anyone acquits himself in Plan, it's Schwarzenegger, looking good in a goatee and salt-and-pepper hair. While he need not rehearse award speeches, he gets most of the film's few laughs, and even switches seamlessly from English to German in some scenes. Schwarzenegger seems to be the only one here who correctly takes the film as a lark.

Excerpt from USA Today located HERE

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

Escape Plan has been transferred to Blu-ray by Summit / Lions Gate. The film appears to have been shot on digital. It's dual-layered with a high bitrate. It looks excellent - the 1080P offering a strong replication. Daylight scenes bright and clear but the majority of the film takes place inside the prison enclosures. Detail and close-ups are crisp, the few bright colors are rich without embellishment. I see no noise. The film can look fairly flat without much depth showing through. The excessive CGI and 'diagramming' is a little off-putting, IMO. But that is no fault of the Blu-ray transfer which seems to do its job - and then some. Solid presentation, overall.
















Audio :

The effects in Escape Plan definitely benefit from the DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a whopping 5042 kbps. Audio pierces tightly around the soundstage - noise springing from all areas and depth rich and imposing. Alex Heffes (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) does the score which can get pretty bombastic at times - in a good way. Well, the action is kept moving and the score pushes and pulls supporting the electricity. There are optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Plenty of extras - unfortunately don't help the film too much - but do add some needed value to the overall package. We get a commentary by director Mikael Håfström and co-writer Miles Chapman, discussing the usual - and it's interesting. I gained a bit of respect for the production hurdles. There are three featurettes that run close to an hour - they have interviews with the filmmakers, Stallone and Arnold and a good piece on 'Maximum Security' incarceration. There are also 11 Deleted Scenes.



Ohh my.... How can I state this... yes, it is as preposterous as you might expect, but if you are capable of forgiving the many missteps - it can also be entertaining. Many have a soft spot for Sly - as we generally associate him with his Rocky character. I'm always up for a prison flic and this had some redeeming features. Just not that many. The Lions Gate  Blu-ray offers a good presentation and it's not as bad a film as some represent, but this isn't a disc package we can recommend at the present price unless you can put your 'discerning critic' away for an evening.

Gary Tooze

January 28th, 2014



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 5000 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
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Gary W. Tooze






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