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Blu-ray: UNSTOPPABLE (2010)

This is one first rate Blu-ray. The MPEG-4 AVC 1080p picture captures Tony Scott's unique visual style wonderfully. The deeply saturated colors just pop. The red of the runaway train. The blue of the "good" locomotive. The yellow of Will's jacket. The inky blacks that dominated the highly contrasted image. Details are rich in closeups where pores stand out to wide shots where the fall foliage is defined even when the camera is racing by. Grain levels are not consistent, but I chalked that up to the varying cameras used. To find anything like aliasing or shaky edge definition, one has to be looking for it.

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This is one first rate Blu-ray. The MPEG-4 AVC 1080p picture captures Tony Scott's unique visual style wonderfully. The deeply saturated colors just pop. The red of the runaway train. The blue of the "good" locomotive. The yellow of Will's jacket. The inky blacks that dominated the highly contrasted image. Details are rich in closeups where pores stand out to wide shots where the fall foliage is defined even when the camera is racing by. Grain levels are not consistent, but I chalked that up to the varying cameras used. To find anything like aliasing or shaky edge definition, one has to be looking for it.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is one to show off the sound system with. The LFE track shakes the floor, literally, as the trains roar by. The directionality is perfect as trains, helicopters and trucks race across the entire entire soundscape. In the midst of the chaos, the dialogue is always crisp. There is a reason this film was nominated for an Oscar for Sound Editing.

For the special features, Scott provides an audio commentary where he discusses the challenges of filming such an action-packed film. He tackles his practical effects planning  and the responsibility he puts on himself to make sure everything is done safely.

In "Tracking the Story: Unstoppable Script Development," Scott and writer Mark Bomback go through the script discussing how it was developed from Bomback's first draft to the latter versions following their research trip to visit real train workers. Fascinating feature.

"The Fastest Track: Unleashing Unstoppable" is a comprehensive making-of doc that highlights the sheer immensity of creating a production of this size. Part of the complexity came from Scott's insistence to shoot as much in camera as possible. It was interesting to learn the film was the first ever to derail a train.  That said "Derailed: Anatomy of a Scene" goes into more detail on how they accomplished the derailing and jack knife.

"Hanging Off the Train: Stunt Work" is a featurette looking at the extensive stunt work from aerial landings on a moving train, leaps off and on a moving train and running across cars of a moving train.

"On the Rails with the Director and Cast" features Scott, Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, and Rosario Dawson talking about their part in the film. Dawson particularly found it thrilling to see how Scott made the most mundane exposition scene seem nail biting. Pine confesses that he usually skips past the action in a script when he's reading it, so he wasn't completely aware of everything that he might have to do until he was on-set.

The disc also features the theatrical trailer, sneak peaks and BD-Live features.

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Rick DeMott
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