Blu-ray Review “Escape from New York: Collector’s Edition”

EscapeNYStarring: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Season Hubley
Director: John Carpenter
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: April 21, 2015

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When I thought to myself, “do I really need another edition of Escape from New York on Blu-ray”?, I quickly remember that this was being released from Shout! Factory and they give a lot of love to their releases. This film was previously released in 2010, but this new Collector’s Edition includes a new 2K scan of the inter-positive, struck from the original negative and a butt-load of new special features. This film is still a classic and a blast to watch. Kurt Russell is so iconic as Snake Plissken.

Official Premise: In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a walled prison where brutal prisoners roam. But when the US president (Donald Pleasence) crash-lands inside, only one man can bring him back: notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero Snake Plissken (Russell). But time is short. In 24 hours, an explosive device implanted in his neck will end Snake’s mission, and his life, unless he succeeds!

The Collector’s Edition of “Escape from New York” includes a nice improvement over the 2010 Blu-ray. with its 1080p transfer presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I was expecting a little more from the new 2K scan but there was a nice improvement in quality from the previous release. I believe the same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which sounds classic score by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth. Also included is a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track but the 5.1 is easily the winner here.

There are special features filled out on both discs. The first one features, a brand new audio commentary with Actress Adrienne Barbeau and Director of Photographer Dean Cundey. This is worth the purchase alone, love these two. There is also an audio commentary track both Director John Carpenter and Actor Kurt Russell, as well as another with audio commentary with Producer Debra Hill and Production Designer Joe Alves. Each track is amazing in its own way and worth checking out for any fan.

Disc two kicks off with a collection of high-def extras. “Big Challenges in Little Manhattan: The Visual Effects of Escape from New York” looks behind-the-scenes with some interviews with Dennis Skotak, Director of Photography of Special VFX and Robert Skotak, Unit Supervisor and Matte Artist. “Scoring the Escape: A Discussion with Composer Alan Howarth” chats with the composer on creating the sound for the film. “On Set with John Carpenter: The Images of Escape from New York” is a collection of work from Still Photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker.

There are two more interview features, the first is “I Am Taylor: An Interview with Actor Joe Unger” and the second is My Night on Set: An Interview with Filmmaker David DeCoteau. There is a deleted scene for the original Opening Bank Robbery Sequence including optional commentary by John Carpenter and Kurt Russell. “Return to Escape from New York Featurette” is a cool vintage EPK with interviews. Lastly there are Theatrical Trailers and Photo Galleries included.

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