A Few Words About A few words about...™ Unstoppable -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Tony Scott's Unstoppable (Fox) is a great thrill ride. What it may lack in character development, back-story or nuance, it makes up in spades in intelligent action.


    Viewing this, I realized that depth of character, back-story and nuance really aren't necessary here. It's a terrific film, with characters that one will love (or hate). I found myself getting emotionally involved to a point where if I had the ability, I was prepared to find an international arms dealer, purchase whatever was necessary, and blow virtual news copters out of the sky. For those who haven't yet seen the film, you'll understand as you watch it, as those gathering the news become a huge part of the problem, adding to the danger.


    I did an interesting experiment with this film. Last week I viewed a DVD screener with audio is simple 2 track matrix. This evening I compared it to the uncompressed multi-track, and the difference, especially in the placement of specific audio is incredible. The folks who created these tracks have done an amazing job, as the weight and speed is fully perceptible in the audio.


    Here are two interesting places to visit for some background:


    http://designingsound.tv/sound-editor-mark-p-stoeckinger-interview/


    http://www.studiodaily.com/filmandvideo/projects/Sound-Effects-Editor-Mark-Stoeckinger-on-Unstoppable_12923.html


    Unstoppable is a terrific Blu-ray, with audio that kicks it out of the park. Need the dust removed from your speakers? Here's the solution.


    Recommended.


    RAH
     
  2. Jonny P

    Jonny P Supporting Actor

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    In certain respects, this film serves as a "companion piece" to Tony Scott's redux of the subway thriller "The Taking of Pelham 123" (Scott is sort of going through his "mass transit" period)...


    The beauty of "Unstoppable" is its simplicity. It is a movie boiled down to its essence -- but as a viewer you don't feel cheated or short changed by the story. You feel the sense of urgency as you watch.

    Just picked this up on blu-ray today. Can't wait to watch it again.
     
  3. JoshB

    JoshB Supporting Actor

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    I agree 100%. The sound design for this film was amazing, and worthy, IMO, of the Oscar nomination Mark Stoeckinger received for Sound Effects Editing (he was previously nominated for his work on the most recent Star Trek and one of my all-time favorite films, Face/Off). I was sure this would sound great on a home theater, but its new reference material.



    Add to that the editing (by long time Scott collaborator Chris Lebenzon), and first rate cinematography, and its an action film that stands apart from the rest.


    A good portion of this filmed was shot in and around my hometown of Allegany and Olean, NY. Much of the towns and scenery very much remind me of home, so I'm not sure if thats what kept me involved with the character and the action but it certainly didn't hurt.


    One of Tony Scott's best films since Enemy of the State and great work by both Denzel and Chris Pine.
     
  4. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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    Thanks for the links. There is some interesting stuff there. Here is another short profile of the sound:


    http://soundworkscollection.com/unstoppable


    I'm looking forward to checking this one out since I didn't get around to seeing it when it was in theaters.
     
  5. Finn

    Finn Insider
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    Hi Robert,

    Thank you. I particularly appreciate the following...


    Unstoppable is a terrific Blu-ray, with audio that kicks it out of the park. Need the dust removed from your speakers? Here's the solution.


     
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Thanks, Robert, I'm glad you enjoyed the film.


    I'm a sucker for runaway vehicle flicks and this one ranks right up there with the best of them, including the king of them all Speed.


    I actually liked the character development, that is to say that I came to care about what they had to say and how they were as people, Denzel and Chris Pine worked well together and formed a real feeling of camaraderie as the situation grew more and more dire to the point where you really rooted them on as they raced to stop the steel behemoth.


    I also can't say enough about the fact that most of the on-screen action you see was done for real, in-camera with little CGI used, we just don't see enough of that these days and it ups the reality ante that much more. I don't think I would have liked the film as much as I do if Scott tried to cheat and create CGI trains blowing up in front of phony looking green screen backgrounds.


    The audio, my my my the audio, don't have a Jackhammer? No sweat, just set your subwoofer on the concrete you want busted up and throw this movie in lol.
     
  7. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Very good Blu-ray, very flawed movie. RAH's post may be the first and last time anyone refers to this cliche, one-dimensional movie as "intelligent".


    And someone needs to tell Tony Scott that lots of rack focus, crappy camera angles and edits don't make a movie exciting. This movie's such a visual mess that it makes the work of Michael Bay look staid and restrained...
     
  8. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    Loved the movie, and I'm no fan of Tony Scott, who's on his best behavior here.
     
  9. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Curious to know what you mean by "best behavior":...
     
  10. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    No GIANT LETTERS floating across the screen, for one thing.


    For another it's a very focused 98 minutes--and 98 minutes is always a plus with these stories. It's entirely possible that Scott was diving into his trick bag again but I didn't notice--he wasn't announcing himself, or putting quotes around every would-be flourish. It's a simple, suspenseful yarn--how are they gonna stop that train?--and Washington, who cat-naps in the lesser Scotts (like the disastrous PELHMAN 1-2-3 remake) was awake at the switch this time.
     
  11. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Funny - I actually liked "Pelham" enough to ignore Scott's ADD sense of visuals, and I thought Washington was understated and convincing in it. Couldn't do it here - all the rack focus and swirling cameras drove me up the wall. The guy treats the whole movie like it's one 98-minute climax, so the action has no impact...
     
  12. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I agree Unstoppable will give your speakers a good workout but the title of a much better movie kept flashing across tv screens throughout the film. :)
     

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