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Runaway Train [Blu-ray]
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DESPERATE AND DETERMINED TO SURVIVE
Two convicts break out of Stonehaven Prison in the dead of winter, boarding a freight train with the intention of getting as far away as possible before their notoriously sadistic warden finds out. But the brakes fail and the driver has a heart attack, sending hundreds of tons of metal hurtling through the snowy Alaskan wastes at terrifying and unstoppable speed.
Based on a script by Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai), with hardboiled prison slang added by real-life ex-con Edward Bunker (Mr Blue in Reservoir Dogs), this riveting thriller also boasts Oscar-nominated performances from Jon Voight and Eric Roberts with Voight playing spectacularly against type as a criminal so vicious that he served much of his sentence welded into his cell.
Combining electrifying action with constant psychological tension (the only surviving member of the train crew is a young, inexperienced woman), Runaway Train is one of cinema's great thrill-rides.
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Top Customer Reviews
I first watched this on TV, and even then it was effective. Frustratingly it has never been remastered properly in the U.S. One of the reasons I bought a region-free blu ray player is to watch this and other movies from Arrow -- they have produced a beautifully remastered blu ray: the video makes the movie spring to life (even in the previously murky looking prison scenes) and the audio is outstoundingly clear and powerful. As usual with Arrow, there are also interesting and plentiful extras.
You must see this! Then you will understand why this film has so many quotable lines, even though they sound illiterate in plain text, such as when Eric Roberts' character states, "I thought you was my friend" and "You was a hero," spoken in a mournful voice. A young Rebecca Demornay also does an excellent job as a terrified yet sensible railroad employee. Thank you, Arrow!
The film is very good with some brilliant performances from Jon Voight and Eric Roberts. Both men have escaped a high security prison, so when they bored a train to freedom, sadly the driver suffers a heart attack, and when the breaks fail, both men are stuck on a Runaway Train, which is picking up speed and heading for many perils ahead. This is a brilliant film with a stunning ending.
However, throw in Jon Voigt as the mad "not going back" violent psychopath lifer, Eric Roberts as the dumb kid you fell in with the wrong sort of people and Rebecca De Mornay as the love interest, looking very plain (but you can never hide those eyes) and you have a very well acted film.
Then, add a dash of a train without a driver, a train which is going at full tilt, and then, may be add a mad prison guard hell bent on retrieving his charges and you have a movie that will take you on a train journey unlike any put onto celluloid before.
This is not an action movie, more a movie with a brain, great acting, great suspense, great thrills, and an ending that you should just see.
Movies are meant to change your view on the world, take you to a new place. This does all of that and more.
Treat yourself to this masterpiece, you deserve it.
The imagery of the frozen Alaskan wilderness is excellently captured, as is the sheer brute power and force of the runaway train itself, which is practically a character to itself in the film. The exisential subtext of the film is fairly obvious (Manny being a pure, isolated individual bulleting headlong towards his destiny) but it's not obtrusive - you can enjoy this film simply for the action. There are some brutal setpieces - none of the one-punch-fall-down fighting of other 80s action films - and the acting is superb, especially by Voight (who spent time with real criminals to get Manny's character down, and remained in touch with them for years afterwards), and John Ryan, who plays the warden with soft-padded malevolence. The ending too is unforgettable, a fitting end to one of the finest films of the 1980s.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
ARROW video are second to none for classic blue rays and this is one of them.
This is a great action movie with a great booklet and reversible sleeve. Read more
I found this an absolute gem of a film with very strong characterisation and acting, and an amazing set. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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