The Getaway - Unrated (1994/HD-DVD)
Picture: B+ Sound: C+ Extras: D Film: B-
Quentin Tarantino heard that Hollywood was going to remake Jim Thompson’s book The Getaway, he had high hopes it would
re-address the ending the hit 1972 film left up in the air without
examination. That hope was dashed for
him when he soon discovered the same Walter Hill screenplay was being utilized,
but the resulting film turned out to be better than expected and offered more
of an edge than was given credit for.
time, Alec Baldwin and then-wife Kim Basinger took over the Steve McQueen/Ali
McGraw roles as the married couple out to steal a fortune and leave the
country. Touted at the time for the nude
sex scenes they shared, now ironic for the unfortunately very public break-up
they are still sadly going through, it is the better of the two films they made
together and thanks to the directing of Roger Donaldson is one of the best
films either of them ever made.
was one of the sexiest stars of the time (in some ways, still is) and Baldwin
was peaking as a leading man and made The
Shadow at the same time, which also did not become the hit it should have
been. Nevertheless, he survived and is
now one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood as this arrives on
HD-DVD. Hopefully, that will lead to new
interest in this film.
McCoy was trickled out of serious money and became the scapegoat for the heist
that landed him in prison. Now, he wants
revenge in all kinds of ways and his wife may just help out. The cast is also impressive, including
another potent, cold, evil, dark performance by Michael Madsen (one of his best
ever), James Woods as another bad guy, David Morse, Richard Farnsworth, Philip
Seymour Hoffman and Jennifer Tilly in a performance that is not as easy as it
looks. They have chemistry, energy, mesh
well together and the film offers the right measures of action and suspense
worthy of the original.
the end titles song by Richard Marx was a bigger hit than the film, but the
film holds up very well. Donaldson just
finished another solid thriller, White
Sands (on a decent DVD, Warner needs to issue that gem in HD ASAP) and was
in the mode to do the best possible work.
Now, you can see for yourself.
VC-1 digital 2.35 X 1 High Definition image was shot by Peter Menzies, Jr., who
made his Director of Photography debut on White
Sands, shooting this in real anamorphic Panavision. The result is a very good looking film that
shames most thrillers now. Menzies
quickly moved onto the underrated third Die Hard film, where he broke ground
shooting in lesser Super 35. As for the
sound, it was a solid DTS theatrical release and in its exclusive 12” DTS
LaserDisc edition was demo material. It
was that good in theaters and home theaters, but something very wrong happened
on this HD-DVD.
in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 and higher-fidelity Dolby TrueHD, it is obvious the
original DTS sound master was not applied for the mixes present and the results
sound like a secondary Dolby 5.1 mix badly boosted. How this was ruined is inexplicable, but like
The Last Starfighter, Universal and
others using Dolby TrueHD should not offer higher fidelity tracks like that
unless they use the best possible materials.
The result is no better than the upgrade on the 1972 film!
top it all off, there are completely no extras.
Too bad, because it is a very interesting A-level action film and with
Donaldson moving on to hits and triumphs like Species and The World’s
Fastest Indian (reviewed elsewhere on this site), a new audio commentary
would have been nice. And to think
Baldwin and Basinger almost did Eyes
on the original Getaway, read our
HD-DVD review at this link:
- Nicholas Sheffo