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The Taking of Pelham 123 [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] (Get Three Selected Blu-ray Titles for £17*)

John Travolta , Denzel Washington , Tony Scott    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
Price: 8.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Taking of Pelham 123 [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] + Unstoppable [Blu-ray] + Deja Vu [Blu-ray] [2006]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Travolta, Denzel Washington, James Gandolfini
  • Directors: Tony Scott
  • Format: Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish, Finnish, English, German, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: German, Italian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Jan 2010
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,459 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



John Godey's 1973 novel The Taking of Pelham One Two Three boasts a suspense situation so surefire that even the directorial bad habits of Tony Scott can't ruin this latest movie version. Four armed men seize a New York City subway train, isolate one car, and threaten to start killing passengers if a ransom isn't paid within the hour. The ransom was a million dollars in the book and also in Joseph Sargent's solid 1974 movie, in which Robert Shaw played the mercenary leading the hostage takers and Walter Matthau was the growling transit cop trying to outsmart him. In 2009, the title has gone digital--The Taking of Pelham 123--and inflation has jumped the asking price to $10 million. Where Shaw's menace was steely, John Travolta opts for manic, and shamelessly has a blast in the master villain role. His adversary, cagily underplayed by Denzel Washington, has been upgraded in civil-service rank but also demoted on suspicion of taking a bribe. This colors the dynamics of the dialogue between Washington at his control-center console and Travolta on the motorman's microphone aboard the stalled train.

So far, so reasonably good. But the director's trademark tactics keep getting between, well, everything. From the get-go, the visuals are subjected to pointless and irritating stutter effects, speeding-up/slowing-down, gratuitous camera movement, and the interposition of dirt- or light-smeared panes of glass between the camera and people we'd appreciate a clear look at. The 1974 movie settled for one police car being wrecked as the ransom is rushed uptown; Scott requires multiple collisions, each the occasion for police cruisers taking Lethal Weapon-style flight. The hostages in the earlier film were wittily individuated, a multicultural group portrait of the city at that mid-'70s moment; the ones on Scott's train--and also Travolta's fellow perpetrators, including that wonderful character actor Luis Guzmán--barely register. On the upside, John Turturro and James Gandolfini shine as two guys who (like the actors themselves) are very good at their jobs—respectively playing a hostage negotiator and His Honour, the mayor. The screenplay by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River) strives intelligently, if formulaically, to add new dimensions to the main characters and to offer its own gloss on the current economic meltdown. --Richard T. Jameson

Stills from The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (Click for larger image)

Product Description

Tony Scott directs this remake of the 1974 crime thriller 'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three' which starred Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. Denzel Washington takes over Matthau's role as Lieutenant Garber, a dispatcher for the New York City Transit Police who finds himself in a face-off with criminal mastermind Ryder (John Travolta, in the role originally played by Shaw) after an armed gang hijacks a subway train and takes its passengers hostage, threatening to start executing them one by one if they are not paid a hefty ransom within the space of one hour.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never really takes off 25 Mar 2011
By Inspector Gadget VINE VOICE
I've never seen the previous two incarnations of Pelham 123, but since the original was directed by Joseph Sargent, the man responsible for Jaws the Revenge, I think I'll give it a miss. Presumably Sargent is doing a life stretch in the funhouse without parole thanks to Jaws, so Tony Scott stepped in for this remake that is in danger of a Red Bull induced heart attack.

Travolta (dressed as one of the village people) and Washington star as the crook and subway controller who come to rely on each when a subway train is hijacked beneath New York City. A lot of back story is squeezed into the film in an effort to deepen the drama. But in the end...none of it really comes together.

The subway train spends 90% of the film completely stationary, so Scott exaggerates as much of the cinematography as he can to compensate for the lack of momentum. Federico Fellini once said that in order to entertain an audience all you have to do is show a train in motion. Well, there ain't much motion on board Pelham 123 I tell ya.

It's not a bad movie, just an entertaining one that might annoy you with it's multiple missed opportunities.

The Blu Ray features a great 2.35:1 1080p picture with DTS HD-MA sound, and loads of extras.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Although I did enjoy Tony Scott's latest effort, I can't see its simple plot and characters rewarding repeated viewings. Everything is exactly as described, there are no surprises in the story, no clever plot twists, and no interesting exposures of the main characters personas. Oddly, as I'm used to watching convoluted thrillers nowadays, I found myself trying to second guess from the moment the film started where the curve balls were, but after about 45 minutes of saying to myself "Ah...he REALLY is going to do that..." or "so that WAS true then...", I started to get wise to the idea and realised that the only surprise was there were no surprises. In the end, this is rather unsatisfying. The finale, where a plot twist is normally de riguer for a thriller, is a real let down.

Washington and Travolta, along with an excellent supporting cast, actually put in very strong performances (more than the film deserves I think), although Travolta does descend into pantomime on a couple of occasions. Tony Scott's direction is more excitable than usual, and although the many fast cuts and swooshing pans are fun to watch (I particularly enjoyed the thrilling opening sequence), they are soon in danger of becoming migraine inducing as the film progresses. The script is generally strong, but becomes weak during the exchanges between Washington and Travolta where it really needed to bite, very odd.

Image quality is exactly what we should expect from a modern BRD release; superb, with plenty of detail and a realistic level of grain (helping to add an accurate cinematic texture). The soundtrack is even more impressive, with good spacial separation and deep bass where required. Music is also intelligently used, and there is plenty going on in the surrounds during the action scenes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why, Oh! Why! 24 Feb 2010
Are American studios so bankrupt of ideas that they need to take a classic like ' the Taking of Pelham 123' and destroy it in this crass manner. The original was full of character actors doing what they did best, coming up with a film full tension with a crackling ending. Here we have a bunch of characterless actors, looking for a pay cheque, really do these people have no shame? Another atrocity foisted on the unsuspecting public by Hollywood
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another pointless re-make 28 Jan 2010
This is so inferior to the original, difficult to know where to begin. A very poor re-write, no humour, an excess of obscenities to no purpose,a revised story to give prominence to the two,very expensive stars,no minor characters of any interest. The ending of the original film is both witty and appropriate. The ending of this version is ridiculous and unbelievable, completely changing Washington's character so that the two stars can confront each other at the end. And of course, no Walter Matthau!Don't buy it - the original, if you haven't seen it, is a fine thriller.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Idiot 'pop video' director ruins great movie 27 Feb 2010
When will Hollywood stop pandering to the 'yoof' audience by handing over multi-million pound movies to stupid irritating pop video berks who want to add their 'creative artistic signature' to the project?

By which in this case I mean irritating stop-go freeze-frames, pointless speeding up and slowing down of the action, random zooms in and out, scratchy grainy scenes through smeared glass, a demented over-loud grinding soundtrack... who the hell is Tony Scott, anyway? How did he get to wreck the efforts of a strong cast doing their best with a thin script?

Somewhere lost in this murk are fine character actors like John Turturro and James Gandalfini, while Denzel Washington's downbeat 'everyman' performance is hideously swamped by all the noise going on around him. Perhaps the film's baddie, John Travolta, realised the only way he would get the better of this assault on the senses was to go completely over the top - which he does in the vein of his 'warlord' role in the preposterous Battlefield Earth.

Aside from a couple of car crashes, there's not much of special effects budget lavished on this - so all Scott does to inject 'excitement' into sequences like the race to get the ransom in on time, or following the runaway subway train at the end, is to just do loads of rapid cuts and zoom ins and plaster a load of noise on to the mess. The train sequence is particularly feeble - for all the frenzied cuts and camera work, the train never looks like it is going faster than walking pace. Absolute rammel!

Anyone who loved the first film will hate this, with all its 'rebooted' junk - mobile phones, a teenage kid with a laptop hooked in to his girlfriend... oh God, please stop!

And what about the plot holes?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
Very good quality, excellent would recommend it to friends and family. We really enjoyed it was wonderful. Just what we needed.
Published 1 month ago by Zola Kyele
5.0 out of 5 stars thank you amazon.
a great film that will have you on the edge of your seat. denzel washington alongside john travolta is amazing. amust see film for everyone. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mandy.
5.0 out of 5 stars taking of pelham 123
i now have both editions which has the original film upon which this one is based. definitely more violent . good viewing
Published 3 months ago by dicktemplate
4.0 out of 5 stars WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
I enjoyed the action in the movie and the inter-play between Washington and Travolta. Travolta comes across as a guy who has thought of everything, up until the movie gets into the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by The Movie Guy
4.0 out of 5 stars Not their norm's
An exciting watch but I've never rated John Travolta as an actor since Saturday Night Fever and Grease, yet Denzel Washington can do no wrong.
Published 7 months ago by jacqueline french
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Remake
Well worth looking at for the engaging characterisations and how the story finally plays out. The gratuitous violence is a tad overdone!!
Published 7 months ago by Poppa Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD
Published 7 months ago by addkids
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp
Good decent movie great cast.Denzel on top form as is John Travolta, better than the original so can recommend a good watch
Published 8 months ago by Happy chap
5.0 out of 5 stars a well worth watch
a gripping film brilliant actors a really intense film well worth the money id recomend it and tell every body i know to watch it
Published 9 months ago by Lesley Hale
4.0 out of 5 stars Watchable
well acted film with good quality cast making the film well worth watching on more than one occasion and a good addition to mt DVD collection.
Published 10 months ago by Keith Ellis
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