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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2011
Blu Ray all zone (not confirmed)

Ratio of the feature film:

Languages of the feature film:
- Dolby True HD 5.1: English
- Dolby 5.1: French, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish
- Dolby 2.0 Surround: Commentary by the director John McTiernan

Subtitles for the feature film and the making of:
- French, German, Italian, Castilian Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and English for the hard of hearings.

This film on Blu Ray is really amazing, a good picture with an outstanding soundtrack. The soundtrack is perfect with a fantastic music. The picture has a natural noise quite visible during the dark shots but not too annoying.
Even if the pictures is not 100% perfect, it gives us much more details about the models submarine for instance the missiles hatches visible on the hull of the Typhoon, the grid pattern on the outer bow doors of the caterpillar. We can also count the missiles silos when Ryan is about to go after the cook and show us how long the submarine really is, it makes the scene looking truly impressive!
High Definition picture means details we are not supposed to see !!
- We can clearly see the whole deck and the conn tower of the Red October is a giant model (where Sean Connery and Sam Neill stand at the beginning of the film) as we can see the edges of the model barely submerged.
- Technical mistake about this model, there is no wake as there are no propellers either which in fact are visible on a real typhoon-class submarine (when afloat).
- The wires holding the 3 models submarines are visible on nearly every "underwater" shot. For instance, when the first torpedo is shot at the Red October, we can clearly see several wires holding the Red October when she is evading the attack.
- The CGI effects are quite obtrusive but it is 1989 CGI, in fact we can say they are good considering what we were capable of doing in the 80s.

Overall, it is a true pleasure to see this film on Blu Ray with its beautiful picture. Although we see the wires holding the sub, the underwater sequences still look superb thanks to the flawless motion and lighting of the 3 submarines.

- Making of "Beneath the surface" -> Dolby 2.0, 29 min, SD, subtitled.
- Theatrical Trailer -> Dolby 5.1, 1.5 min, HD, no subtitle.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 July 2012
I have always considered 'The Hunt for Red October' to be one of my very favourite films, definitely top three, and my choice of film if I was allowed just one prior to be stuck on a desert island!

I first saw the film on it's initial cinema release, I was in my mid-teens and went with my dad. I then bought the novel, and still read it once every couple of years now. I bought the film on VHS, almost wearing it out before updating to DVD.

The lack of difference in picture quality between VHS and DVD always disappointed me (although the sound was noticeably better on DVD); particularly so with the underwater scenes, you could hardly see anything!

This has very much changed with the Blu Ray release.

The picture and sound quality are a huge improvement, and the level of detail on the underwater scenes now make them look almost like they have been re-filmed!

The sound is superb, particularly the sound of the sonar and the explosions!

I am still slightly suspicious of just how much a Blu Ray can improve a film of over twenty or so years old, but then again I suppose a lot depends on the source material made available for the transfer.

This is most definitely a good one, and I would say that if you consider yourself a fan of this film ie you watch it with some degree of regularity, you should upgrade to Blu Ray despite already owning it on DVD; you won't regret it!
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on 26 March 2012
Owned this on VHS (twice, one pan+scan, one widescreen) then dvd.

Now we have the Blu Ray, it's a clean and very 'movie-like' image, has great sound and is a major improvement in resolution, all of the underwater sequences are now much clearer than on any previous format, I spotted many details that I've never noticed before.
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VINE VOICEon 21 November 2004
Director John McTiernan has had a checkered past as a movie maker. He has made some of the best movies to come out of Hollywood in recent years (`Die Hard' and `The Thomas Crown Affair') and yet he is also the one responsible for some of the worst big budget productions (`The 13th Warrior,' `Nomads' and `The Last Action Hero'). Thankfully for fans of the Tom Clancy novel on which `The Hunt for Red October' is based, this movie falls into the first category. And equally lucky for fans of the novel and film is the fact that Paramount Pictures has seen fit to replace the previous movie-only bare bones DVD release with a special collectors edition.
In 1990 Paramount Pictures released the Sean Connery/Alec Baldwin starring adaptation of the novel. The movie was a triumphant success, even given its longer than usual running time and its lack of real action (most of the actual action occurs in the final moments of the film). What held the movie together, and kept the viewers rapt attention, was the simply incredible acting and presence of Sean Connery as Soviet sub captain Marko Ramius and the building suspense and tension that pervades the well structured plot.
The plot centers on the plan by Ramius to, with the help of some fellow crewmembers, to defect to the United States, taking with him the newest sub in the Russian fleet - the Red October (named after the October revolution. The Red October is capable of running silent with a new propulsion system that makes it almost invisible to sonar. The Russians launch a mission to destroy the submarine and even tell the Americans that Ramius is a rogue in an attempt to elicit their help in sinking the ship.
The one American who doesn't believe the Russian story is CIA analyst Jack Ryan (played in this movie by Alec Baldwin). Having met Ramius previously and studied him he suspects the true intention of the Soviet captain. He must convince his bosses and eventually an American sub captain (played wonderfully by Scott Glenn) to trust him and give Ramius a chance.
Taut and at times nerve wrenching (the blind timed navigating through the underwater trenches), the `Hunt for Red October' is simply one of the best techno-thrillers to come out of Hollywood in the past two decades. Sticking fairly close to the Clancy novel, McTiernan keeps building the pressure and ratcheting up of the stakes until an explosive final confrontation off the Labrador coast.
For the collectors edition Paramount has provided us with not only a commentary by McTiernan but also a nice "making of.." documentary. I have always been disappointed with McTiernan commentaries (`The Thomas Crown Affair' is a case in point) and again here with `The Hunt for Red October' there is a lot of dead air with not much being said. Where this DVD does score top marks is in the documentary. We are provided with some fairly in-depth insight into what went into the making of the picture.
Featuring all the leading actors in the movie and the production team responsible the documentary covers every angle and even reveals how close they came to not signing Connery when the Scottish actor was faxed the entire script sans the opening scroll.
A great movie and this well-made documentary make this DVD a must buy - Recommended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 November 2011
John McTiernan directed this great film based on Tom Clancy's novel and, for the most part, it sticks to the book. Although I had difficulties with Sean Connery's growling Scottish accent in the mouth of a Soviet sea captain, I grew accustomed to it and, in such a gripping story with superb acting from Connery, who really looks the part, (except the ...) and Alec Baldwin, it was easily forgotten.

It is a great Cold War story with limited sets (in submarines) which focus attention even more tightly on the characters. It reminded me of General Patton and Field-Marshall Rommel and other war leaders - "Know your enemy". It is fascinating in the way they develop understanding amid mutual suspicion until the startling climax.

Great film worth the investment - even the "expensive" collectible version (a concept I'm still not sure about. What makes the same DVD more collectible?).
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on 11 February 2013
Having read a few reviews saying that the quality of the transfer for the film wasn't good I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. It's not going to blow anyone away but it still looks very good. Considering that much of the film is set inside submarines it could have turned into just a dark blur but it isn't.

I have only seen this film on video before so can't speak as to whether you should upgrade from DVD to Blu Ray but it is a very nice looking film. If anything is an issue it's that it can seem rather dull outside of the submarines. Something I was quite surprised by.

As for the film itself, when the film was in the stages of getting made, many studios didn't want to touch it because they thought it was too complicated. It isn't really, there is a very good story here, all you have to do is pay attention.

Sean Connery I think can sometimes just end up playing himself in many films, what I mean by that is he doesn't seem to be trying to do anything different with a lot of his performances. I personally love Sean Connery though and have to say that in this there is something slightly different about him. He plays his character as someone a lot colder than we are used to seeing, somewhat distant from things at times, somebody who you can see has a million things going on in his head that he keeps beneath the surface.

The rest of the cast all play their parts well, obviously Alec Baldwin has the biggest part and he is very often used to help explain things to the audience. However I don't see his character of Jack Ryan as being integral to the story, there is nothing about him personally that really makes him stand out, or appear as if he could have a whole franchise of films starring him. The other Jack Ryan films starring Harrison Ford are more focused on him and his actions. He is just a part of what is happening in this film.

The film is now 23 years old and despite the frequent use of special effects there isn't that obvious aged feel to them. There isn't quite the sense of claustrophobia that you get in many films set on submarines because the film has a much larger scope and doesn't spend the whole time under water. This helps to tell the much larger story although does mean we get to spend a bit less time than we would probably like on board the Red October.

Overall, a very good tense cold war drama with possibly one of Sean Connery's best performances and a strong supporting cast. As a high definition movie you probably won't be blown away but still very decent presentation.
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on 16 November 2013
Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery lift this film, which is a bit hackneyed and very poor dialogue, almost tempting me to put on the subtitles, didn't though. A money churner. The story line is clever but submarines don't lend themselves to action, except the scene of a submarine surfacing at 30 degrees - glad I wasn't in it at the time. The only other real action was a massive underwater explosion but no explanation in the back scenes of how they did that.
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on 1 November 2001
The majority of films made from books completely ruin the original concept, but this is a welcome exception. Alec Baldwin is unengaging as Jack Ryan, but Sean Connery's performance is superb, and Sam Neill (a much under-rated actor) has to be mentioned for his brilliant support.
Most times, if I see the film and then read the book, I find the book boring, and if I read the book first then I find the film shallow and inconsistent. But this really works. The writer actually takes the film in a totally different direction, completely changing the ending, so both film and book can be enjoyed separately.
Special mention goes to the inspired scene where the Russian characters stop speaking Russian and start to speak English, without making you wonder why they switched languages suddenly. It's a brilliant piece of directing that reflects the high quality of the whole film.
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on 6 March 2009
The Blu-ray version of Red October is a huge leap forward from the DVD. One shouldn't be surprised but the image quality is very good with great depth, 8/10. Sure you will have grain in the image but that is McTiernans trademark, just look at Predator.
The audio is very good as well and the lossless audio is worth the upgrade alone. Red October have never sounded better. 8/10. The surround it very good and it is no surprise Red October received an Oscar in this department.
The only downside of this edition is the extras (as with the DVD). It is ok but with only one featurette and one commentary track it is not comparable to other well produced extras you can find, 5/10.
For all fans of the film, BUY IT. I have owned both the VHS and DVD(s) and this is hands down the best I have ever seen Red October. "What books?".
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on 28 February 2016
in my humble opinion sean connery is badly miscast as a Russian. accent not good and I don't think he looks the part. sam neill too would be more at home on das boot. as for sam's last line (not his fault, but on the script writers part) its crap. I was disappointed therefore as it is basically a good storyline. but I think the main players were not well cast.
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