The Rock, Blu-ray (1996)

by | Jan 7, 2008 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

The Rock, Blu-ray (1996)

Starring: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris
Don Simpson & Jerry Bruckheimer Production
Studio: Buena Vista 53682
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9 widescreen, 1080p HD
Audio: English Uncompressed PCM 5.1,  English/French/Spanish DD 5.1, DD 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: Audio commentary by director Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer, Actors Nicholas Cage and Ed Harris; Rock World Premiere; Navy SEALs on the Range; Hollywood: Humphries & Teague; Special Effects for the Dive; Action Effects: Movie Magic; Outtakes; Secrets of Alcatraz; Jerry Bruckheimer Interview; Theatrical trailers; TV Spots; Movie Showcase
Length: 136 minutes
Rating: ****

You can be sure that any action movie in which Jerry Bruckheimer is involved is going to have plenty of rapid-fire action and lots of explosions. FBI chemical weapons expert Cage has to join with the notorious supposed criminal kept under wraps for 30 years without a trial, played by Connery. Years earlier he had been the only prisoner to escape from Alcatraz and thus his expertise was required to launch a secret invasion of the island which is being held by a group of angry marines led by Ed Harris. They want one million apiece for the families of all the marines who died in secret operations and were never honored for them. If the government doesn’t meet their demand by a certain deadline, they will launch at San Francisco missles they stole from a military depot which are filled with the deadliest nerve gas in existence.

The plot keeps you on the edge of your seat, the car chase by Cage of Connery in a Hummer thru San Francisco’s streets makes the chase in Bullit look like a leisurely drive around the block, and the acting is good enough – especially Connery.  When the SF cable car blows up (not clear why it blows up) it rises up about three stories; not very believable but great action. I didn’t think there was any reason for the cruel and bloody massacre of the SEALs; they could have narrowed it down to Cage and Connery saving the day and San Francisco by just imprisoning the SEALs. Both the visual and audio action is cranked up a step or two with the hi-def and hi-res format. While some of the extras are not really worth watching, the Bruckheimer interview was interesting and the analysis of the models and animation of the SEALs showed the tremendous and detailed work that goes into a film of this sort. The primer on the handling of pistols in movies vs. professional law-enforcement practice will have you watching action movies more closely in future to pick out the silly and dangerous (to the shooter) menuvers often shown.

 – John Sunier