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The Rock [Blu-ray]
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Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage join forces to avert unspeakable carnage as THE ROCK explodes onto Blu-ray Disc(R)! Co-starring Ed Harris, this "spectacular!" (NBC-TV) thrill ride will rock your world in this astonishing format. When a vengeful ex-general seizes control of Alcatraz Island and threatens to launch missiles loaded with deadly poison gas, only a young FBI chemical weapons expert and a notorious Federal prisoner have the skills to penetrate the impregnable fortress and take him down. Catch every instant of rapid-fire action in eye-popping 1080p, while the phenomenal 5.1 48 kHz, 16-bit uncompressed audio puts you smack dab in the middle of mayhem. Prepare to experience the awesome power of Blu-ray(TM) High Definition!
Between his high-octane debut, Bad Boys, and 1998's wannabe blockbuster Armageddon, hotshot director Michael Bay forged his dubious reputation with this crowd-pleasing action extravaganza. In it a psychotically disgruntled war hero (Ed Harris) seizes the island prison of Alcatraz and threatens to wage chemical warfare against nearby San Francisco unless the government publicly recognizes the men who were killed under Harris's top-secret command. Nicolas Cage plays the biochemist who teams up with the only man ever to have escaped from Alcatraz (Sean Connery) in an attempt to foil Harris's terrorist scheme. As one might expect, what follows is an action-packed barrage of bullets, bodies, and climactic confrontations, replete with enough plot contrivances to give even the most jaded action fan cause for alarm. It's a load of hooey, but the cast is obviously having a grand old time, and there's enough wit to make the recycled action sequences tolerable. If you're ordering this movie on Blu-ray, be careful with the volume knobs on your home-theater sound systems, because The Rock could cause partial hearing loss and structural damage to your home. --Jeff Shannon
- Aspect Ratio : 2.35:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7 x 5.5 x 0.25 inches; 2.08 Ounces
- Item model number : WD05368200BR
- Director : Michael Bay
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 16 minutes
- Release date : January 8, 2008
- Actors : Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, David Morse
- Dubbed: : French
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French
- Producers : Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Studio : Buena Vista Pictures
- ASIN : B000X418UE
- Writers : David Weisberg, Douglas Cook, Mark Rosner
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,059 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Part of which is down to the film's cast and, in particular, its trio of lead actors. Sean Connery was having something of a comeback in the 1990s, and the film is a prime example of that. He exudes presence from his first scene nearly a half-hour into the film (despite his top billing) right up to his final shot. Whether he's making quips ala James Bond (perhaps appropriately enough as his character of Mason is a former British agent) or taking on antagonists half his age while being a reluctant father figure to Nicholas Cage's character, Connery is watchable throughout.
As are the other two members of the leading trio. The Rock seems to be the film that established Nicholas Cage as a bit of an action star, and it is here that his quirky but reluctant hero persona works best. That might be down to how well the thrown together relationship between his character of FBI chemical weapons specialist Goodspeed and Connery's Mason works. Rounding out the trio is Ed Harris' villain, Marine Corp Brigadier General Frank Hummel, the proverbial "good soldier" gone bad. What's fantastic about Harris' performance is that Hummel is in many ways sympathetic, a commanding officer who has seen too many men fight and die for their country without recognition. What he's after isn't some madcap take over the world scheme but a desperate, last-ditch attempt to have his men recognized but going about in a way that can only end tragically. Harris brings all these elements out in his performance, rounding off the lead cast with an underrated villain.
The supporting cast is strong as well, often featuring character actors. There's the late John Spencer, on the eve of success in The West Wing (a series created by uncredited Rock scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin), as the FBI director reluctant to bring an imprisoned Mason out into the world again but forced to watch as events unfold. William Forsythe and Michael Biehn both come across well in their roles as the FBI special-agent-in-charge and as the leader of a Navy SEAL team sent in alongside Mason and Goodspeed. The highlights of the supporting cast though lie in the men occupying the former prison alongside Harris' general from David Morse as his second in command Major Baxter as well as Tony Todd and Gregory Sporleder in stand out supporting roles where they offer a considerable amount of menace. They are just a few highlights from a strong cast.
Being a Bay film, it's a visually stunning action film. From the stealing of the nerve gas by Hummel's Marines to a destructive car chase across San Francisco, the film's first hour showcases kinetic action sequences alongside its exposition to keeps the viewer's attention glued to the screen. Once the film gets Mason and Goodspeed to Alcatraz in its second half, the film becomes a set of running battles involving the duo against the Marines. And yet, Bay proves he is just as capable of handling somber pieces such as the military funeral that helps form the opening credit sequence or the quieter scenes with Connery. Bay's direction, the cinematography of John Schwartzman, and the editing of Richard Francis-Bruce make The Rock an action spectacle.
One with a difference, however. What separates this film from virtually everything Bay has directed to date (and his many imitators) is its script. The Rock is an intelligently plotted thrill ride full of intriguing characters and plot twists from its well-realized lead characters to its conclusion with all the complications that ensue. It also helps that the film is full of witty dialogue from Mason's quips to many of the exchanges between Mason and Goodspeed. In a way, that the script is so good is a surprise given that a team of writers worked on it from the three credited writers (David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook, and Mark Rosner) to uncredited contributions from Aaron Sorkin in addition to favored Connery script doctors Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement. The result, however, is a better-written action flick than one might expect and the one example I can think of many hands producing a superb script.
The Rock then stands as perhaps the single best thing to come out of Bay's directorial career. It was here that he found the right recipe between casting, action, spectacle, humor, and plot. Maybe that's why, more than twenty years later, the film holds up as one of the best action films of the 1990s, as thrilling now as it was then.
The opening is a perfect example of what Bay likes. There’s a bunch of explosions and the U.S. military. Bruckheimer as well liked these types of big budget movies that went bang. There are other Bay trademarks like slow motion sequences and filters on the cameras to make everything in darker than normal hues.
Then a scene with Goodspeed and a colleague shows the kind of over the top action Bay was known for. Goodspeed and friend are inspecting a package when a doll starts shooting out gas and also contains a bomb. The gloves of the co-worker began eroding while Goodspeed is trying to disarm the device. The co-worker is told to inject himself so he doesn’t die but he refuses to do so, while a sprinkler system isn’t working. The bomb and gas should’ve been enough but the co-worker is for added tension but it’s unnecessary.
Despite Bay’s excesses The Rock is a fun movie to watch mostly because of Connery and Cage.
Now that I think about it, this might just be one of the best examples I could give of how a great cast and decent script means absolutely nothing if it's put into the hands of a bad director. What can I say, I'm just not a fan of Micheal Bay's style and it's something that's always glaring in his movies.
There's just a lot of "action" music (if you want to call it that) over a lot of scenes and plenty of questionable shaky camera shots and quick pans and zooms. I guess this is to make scenes seem more intense and exciting than they actually are but in my opinion it works against the quality. This guy just tries way too hard and it ends up seeming more fake because of it.
I gave The Rock 3 stars because despite the fact I feel it's more of a 2 star, I think it's one of those situations where plenty of people will like this movie but I just have high standards. I would recommend it to the average movie watcher.
When I got the DVD there were finger prints smudged all over it. I'm fine with getting a used copy for the slightly cheaper price, but could they have cleaned it before sending it out? Luckily, it was just finger prints I was able to just wipe them off. The DVD ended up playing fine.
The second issue I had with this particular format was that it it was in widescreen format for a standard format TV. It ended up having both black bars on the top and bottom, plus it was along each side, so the movie itself only filled the center portion of the screen.
For these two issues that I had I had to knock down this purchase review by two stars.
Top reviews from other countries
The Rock was originally released in 1996 and was directed by the previously mentioned Michael Bay. The film runs at around 135 minutes and was produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, also featuring a score composed by Hans Zimmer and Nick Glennie-Smith. There's a great all star cast including the legendary man's man, Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Michael Biehn and Ed Harris.
In the movie, Brigadier General Hummel (Harris) and his fellow soldiers take control of some deadly VX gas loaded rockets. They take control of Alcatraz prison and demands reparations for soldiers who fell under his command, whose families did not receive compensation due to the secrecy behind their missions. If the Government fails to comply, they plan to kill off San Francisco. Stanley Goodspeed (Cage) is recruited into disarming these rockets, finding himself in an unlikely duo with John Patrick Mason (Connery), an ex SAS soldier. The only man to have escaped Alcatraz and survived. Together they take on the disgruntled soldiers and try to save San Francisco from their doom.
The Rock is a very easy movie to watch. It panders directly towards action movie fans and has no subtlety in doing so. The film moves from one great action piece to another, strung together by some great witty dialogue and one liners. It's a very typical Bay film in that regard but that's certainly not a bad thing. This was Bay at his finest and the great pacing of the movie is a great example of that. You'll see a lot of his tropes through out, including a superb car chase, magnificent practical fiery explosions, some fun gun play and lots of military aircraft with a sunset back drop.
It's certainly a beautiful looking film and this remastered print on bluray really does it justice. It's a perfect crystal clear image with lots of striking detail, strong colours and detail in the shadows. The sound mix is also pretty good. It's a little on the quiet side, but once you crank that sucker up, it really comes to life. The gun fights, the pounding Zimmer sound track etc all sound great.
As far as action movies go, The Rock is by far one of the more underrated ones. The cast is great, the pacing is on point, the music fits the mood and the experience just whizzes by, even with its lengthy running time. If you don't have this movie in your action collection, you need to fix that immediately. Especially if you haven't seen the film before. I absolutely recommend picking it up.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2018
right to the film the film has as the baddie ed harris playing a general, a solider who fought 3 tours in vietnam, dessert storm and led his men into hundreds of black ops, he has become marginilised from his governemnt and army due to the fact when a black ops soldier is killed in action his men who gave their lives get no recognition medals and their loved ones are given no compensation just feeble reasons and causes of death, he has tried to change this but in the end desides his only course of action is to with non lethal force gain pocession of some chemical and biological weapons and take alcatraz island and prison along with the tourists on the island hostage and threaten san francisco with destruction by releasing the chemical weapons which would wipe out hundreds of thousand of civilians
then enters nick cage as a chemical weapons whiz the fbi's top chemical weapons chappie and sean connerys character james mason, a former sas man who the american government has imprisoned for thirty years with no recognition and no one knowing why or where he is imprisoned, he is bought in because he is the only man ever to have escaped from alcatraz when he was as he says a former guest of the island
now im not going to tell you anymore of what happens as i dont want to ruin the film but the entire film is action packed and has a emotional impact where you even feel sympathy for the baddie, ed harris and for his reasons for taking such action which goes against everything he has fought for all his life as a soldier
this is truly a great action flick which takes pride of place in my film collection and would be a good addition to yours too
Directed with vigour by Michael Bay, and featuring a talented cast who get right into the spirit of things, this is an enjoyable romp. With plenty of big stunts, gun fights, explosions, thrills and spills along the way it's big and loud and a lot of fun.
Presented in widescreen with a decent 5.1 surround sound, the only extra is a disposable commentary. However, this is a decent budget release of a great non-stop action thriller. Highly recommended.