As we reach the last of the John Carpenter 4K releases. Manhattan in New York is not a business capital, it is a maximum security prison. People are sent there if they are offenders for simple crimes. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) was a special op solider. Decorated and famous across the world. Now he is being sent to there to see his life out. He committed an armed robbery. Terrorists have hijacked the President of the United States (Donald Pleasence). So now Snake is sent to rescue him by warden Bob Hauk (Lee Van Cleef). However there is a catch…
The world has another great anti hero. A geeks wet dream and a star was born. Well all kind of. You get an action film, which seems to play with sci fi, 70s gang films but still nodding toward a cinematic past. The film is all about Disney pin up Kurt. Russell stayed in character during the shooting of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. He wanted to escape the Disney image created for him. He also wanted to make the film richer and toughen up Snake in the course. Ryan Gosling did the same some years later. ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is a better film for it and maybe DRIVE also.
So the 4K question? Does it really warrant another hord of cash being spent on it? Well yes for the die hard fans. Dean Cundey speaks of the cinematography in his commnetary and it has enriched the night scenes and the grim interiors. However for the average Joe like me, the whole feels a lot similar to that Blu Ray release you all ordered from the US. Though 1080 p it still had enough range, texture and light depth to stand up. The audio has been beefed up. It amps the soundtrack. Finally the slight whisper is now a full blown scream.
The best extra in the set is Purgatory: Entering John Carpenter’s ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Better retrospectives have not been released in truth. It is actually more enlightening then reading a lot of work on the film.
Purgatory: Entering John Carpenter’s ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK: A brand retrospective documentary produced by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures and featuring interviews with writer Nick Castle, cinematographer Dean Cundey, composer Alan Howarth, production designer Joe Alves, special visual effects artist/model maker Gene Rizzardi, production assistant David De Coteau, photographer Kim Gottleib-Walker, Carpenter biographer John Muir, visual effects historian Justin Humphreys, and music historian Daniel Schweiger.
Snake Plissen: Man of Honor – featurette from 2005 featuring interviews with John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Deleted Opening Sequence “Snake’s Crime” with Optional Audio Commentary
Photo gallery incl. Behind the Scenes
Audio Commentary with actor Kurt Russell & director John Carpenter
Audio Commentary with Producer Debra Hill and production designer Joe Alves
Big Challenges in Little Manhatten: Visual effects featurette – from 2015, features interviews with both Dennis Skotak, Director of Photography of Special VFX, and Robert Skotak, Unit Supervisor and Matte Artist
I am Taylor – Interview with actor Joe Unger – from 2015
Audio Commentary with actress Adrienne Barbeau & DOP Dean Cundey