The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=157361&d=1257440987
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

92






Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 106 minutes
Genre: Action, Suspense, Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/French/Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Catalan: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Starring: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán, John Turturro, James Gandolfini
Directed by: Tony Scott
Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams
Written by: Brian Helgeland (screenplay), John Godey (novel)
Region Code: Free

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 3, 2009







"Now you can chalk another victim up to NYC."



Film Synopsis:

Walter Garber (Washington) is a New York City subway dispatcher whose ordinary day is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway train. Ryder (Travolta), the criminal mastermind behind the hijacking and leader of a highly-armed gang of four, threatens to execute the train’s passengers unless a large ransom is paid within one hour. As the tension mounts beneath his feet, Garber employs his vast knowledge of the subway system in a battle to outwit Ryder and save the hostages. But there’s one riddle Garber can’t solve: even if the thieves get the money, how can they possibly escape?





My Take:

I am glad I haven't seen the original because it's too hard to have an open-mind when watching a remake. From what I saw, there isn't one reason to update this story. It's a completely typical hostage/ransom movie with nothing that stands out. I mean, shouldn't I care about these hostages? Shouldn't I care about what makes these bad guys tick or at least have some fear of them? Nope, I just didn't care. And that's where this new screenplay from Brian Helgeland fails, I felt nothing. All this despite the fact that the movie had top-notch big budget production and acting highlighted by what you'd expect from Washington and Travolta (sporting a neck tattoo and look that was laughable). To be fair, Director Tony Scott did a great job with what he had to work with because without these guys, this mostly dialogue driven, two location thriller would have really missed the mark. The biggest let down was the missing sense of urgency. I would think threatening to kill a hostage a every minute past an hour ransom deadline should feel pretty urgent, don't you?







Parental Guide:

Violence and Language






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 90



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699



Video: 94


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is presented on Blu-ray disc from SONY featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio.

While I was not overly impressed with the movie, I was thrilled looking and listening to it sitting on my couch. This release is what hi-def is about, I would call it reference material. The shadow detail in the subway tunnels and the definition on the actors face's were superb. The natural skin tones and color were all spot on. There was the occasional (but natural) film grain, nothing that intruded on the window like view this encode delivered.

The lossless DTS-Master audio track was dynamic, crisp and when called for really shook the room. The movie was dialogue driven and never I struggled to hear a word. The subway cars, occasional car crash and helicopter rumble created a nice contrast and really jumped out low frequency-wise. The movie also made a nice use of the rear channels creating depth and ambiance to the 2 locations (inside the subway car and the MTA control center). Technically this disk is a winner.

Sorry CIH guys, the subtitles do go below the 2.40:1 frame. This will not be an issue unless you need subtitles as there is only one language spoken.

Bonus Features:


  • Commentary with Director Tony Scott

  • Commentary with Writer Brian Helgeland and Producer Todd Black

  • (HD)No Time to Lose: The Making of Pelham 123

  • (HD)The Third Rail: New York Underground

  • (HD) Marketing Pelham

  • (BD-Live) cineChat

  • From the Top Down: Stylizing Character

  • Digital Copy


attachment.php?attachmentid=157362&d=1257440987



Final Thoughts:

The talent that worked on this project saved this borderline mediocre movie and made the Pelham 123 train worth a ride. Even with great actors, a prominent director and well regarded source material, the movie some how falls flat. However, I can recommend giving it a spin based on the quality of the audio and video transfer...just please don't expect a great movie.








attachment.php?attachmentid=157497&d=1257542613







Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 10:56 AM
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Thanks for the review, Lee. Seems to pretty much be in line with what I've heard others say.

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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post #3 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 11:29 AM
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Whoa, I didn't notice we had a new reviewer! Nice job on the first review I've seen of yours, Lee. I agree with pretty much everything you said in the review.

I'm glad I rented this, but I would've been disappointed to spend the money at a theater, or if I purchased this one.

EDIT: Looks like your first review here. Congrats! Look forward to seeing more reviews here.


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post #4 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 11:45 AM
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Good job Lee on your first review. I want to rent this one so this review helped.

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post #5 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 11:49 AM
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I'm just glad we're getting away from the cartoons.
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My buddy, wife and I just watched this last night and while it wasn't earth-shattering, we all agreed it was a good way to kill 90 minutes. Was it predictable? Of course it was. You have a subway car, bad guy and hostages. How many ways can this go? As in all movies, a good guy is going to get shot, cops are going to screw up, the bad guy's... well, you'll have to watch it. Pretty typical, but we thought the drama and tension was good and worth the time. Add to that Travolta, Denzel and a number of other stars made everything worth it.
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post #7 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 12:36 PM
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Greetings,

Great job Lee. I saw this one theatrically and it didn't hold up when compared with the original.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensmith48 View Post

I'm just glad we're getting away from the cartoons.

Yeah, I can appreciate that. We should be good for a while with Forrest gump, Star Trek, The Rocky Collection, Galaxy quest and others coming up soon..


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post #8 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 01:05 PM
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Good job Lee!

Nice equipment list.

Joe
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post #9 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensmith48 View Post

I'm just glad we're getting away from the cartoons.

What's wrong, don't like Pixar and DreamWorks???

Alcohol. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.
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post #10 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 01:20 PM
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I watched this last night and it was ok. It would have been nice to have a few surprises and not be so predictable. IMO, it didn't need to be remade.

Alcohol. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.
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post #11 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 01:55 PM
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Nice review Lee. I was hoping you would submit a review soon. I agree with what you have to say although I liked the film a tad better than you did. Very nice review.
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post #12 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 02:43 PM
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Glad you're on board Lee. Nice review--awesome gear as well! I passed over the blu-ray twice this week--but next time I think i'll pick it up. I'm the type of guy that can sit through a movie with a weak plot, as long as it's Audio and Visual Presentation is excellent! Thanks Lee.

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post #13 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 03:29 PM
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nice review, lee!
guess i'll rent first, maybe buy later.

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post #14 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 04:50 PM
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I thought it was a pretty decent movie, I liked it.

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post #15 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words guys!
I have 2 more coming up- Spread and Aliens in the Attic.

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post #16 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 07:57 PM
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Good to know regarding the subtitles for CIH

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post #17 of 40 Old 11-06-2009, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hometheatergeek View Post

Good job Lee on your first review. I want to rent this one so this review helped.

I second the motion!

Nice Stuff!
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Nice review! You might have mentioned James Gandolfini's wonderful performance as a cheerfully sleazy mayor. Mayor Soprano is the only one who figures the motive of John Travolta's bad guy behaviour. He also has some very funny lines. It's a fun movie with some nice modern touches to add to the original plotline. Then again, with most movies I find the glass is usually half full. Even in a dreadful movie year like this one.
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Idiotic Movie of the Year Award goes to... Pelham 123

Watched it tonight.

Idiotic premise. Another stupid Hollywood remake.

This is what makes it plain old dumb:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The idea of hijacking a NY subway, relying on the media to convince the stock market it is a terrorist attack, and watching the DOW drop 700 pts within an hour (and gold skyrocketing like missile), collecting over $300,000,000 in less than an hour and then flagging a cab to escape is utterly preposterous and insulting.


Hollywood looks at the average viewer and assumes his IQ is the same as his shoe size. Likely they are right but I still get pissed at movies like this!

Idiotic, ridiculous cinema!! (but nice picture and sound).


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There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #20 of 40 Old 11-07-2009, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Idiotic Movie of the Year Award goes to... Pelham 123

Watched it tonight.

Idiotic premise. Another stupid Hollywood remake.

This is what makes it plain old dumb:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The idea of hijacking a NY subway, relying on the media to convince the stock market it is a terrorist attack, and watching the DOW drop 700 pts within an hour (and gold skyrocketing like missile), collecting over $300,000,000 in less than an hour and then flagging a cab to escape is utterly preposterous and insulting.


Hollywood looks at the average viewer and assumes his IQ is the same as his shoe size. Likely they are right but I still get pissed at movies like this!

Idiotic, ridiculous cinema!! (but nice picture and sound).

Im sure there must be others that take the idiotic movie of the year title. Haven't seen either yet but what there saying about G.I. Joe it could be a close contender.

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post #21 of 40 Old 11-07-2009, 07:54 AM
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Thumbs up for your review.
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post #22 of 40 Old 11-07-2009, 05:06 PM
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The original is well worth watching. Superb acting by Walter Mathau and the rest of the cast.

Best,

Mike
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I find it exiting that the catalog titles are really starting to flow. I've got Wizard of Oz (the ultimate collection), the Alastair Sim version version of Christmas Carol at home with It's a Wonderful Life arriving on Monday. The one click deal with Amazon makes it easy, perhaps too easy.

On tap for tonight is the brand new BD: North by Northwest, one of my all time favorites. And Hitch never won an academy award for best director. Go figure.

So all the mentioned titles will be reviewed by our great Ralph and now Lee team?

Thanks,

Joe
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post #24 of 40 Old 11-07-2009, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Idiotic Movie of the Year Award goes to... Pelham 123

Watched it tonight.

Idiotic premise. Another stupid Hollywood remake.

This is what makes it plain old dumb:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The idea of hijacking a NY subway, relying on the media to convince the stock market it is a terrorist attack, and watching the DOW drop 700 pts within an hour (and gold skyrocketing like missile), collecting over $300,000,000 in less than an hour and then flagging a cab to escape is utterly preposterous and insulting.


Hollywood looks at the average viewer and assumes his IQ is the same as his shoe size. Likely they are right but I still get pissed at movies like this!

Idiotic, ridiculous cinema!! (but nice picture and sound).


I couldn't have said it better myself! So many HUGE plot holes in this stupid movie. I mean it wasn't that bad but the huge gaping plot holes that kept popping up just ruined alot of this movie. Also is it just me or does it seem like every movie Denzel Washington is in, it seems like he seems to use the same dialogue and lines from each of his movie? If you just played some of his lines from each of his movies with no visual clue you wouldn't be able to tell what movie its from. And why must he always have some sort of reference to him being good looking? Is it in his contract?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Im sure there must be others that take the idiotic movie of the year title. Haven't seen either yet but what there saying about G.I. Joe it could be a close contender.


GI Joe was pretty good if you keep in mind that its based off of an action figure cartoon show.

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post #26 of 40 Old 11-08-2009, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

GI Joe was pretty good if you keep in mind that its based off of an action figure cartoon show.

Exactly. I have not seen it either yet so will be looking forward in watching them this week.

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post #27 of 40 Old 11-08-2009, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Exactly. I have not seen it either yet so will be looking forward in watching them this week.

Nice review,Lee.Frank,I think you're gonna love this film as well as G.I.Joe.
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post #28 of 40 Old 11-09-2009, 06:39 AM
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94 on Video?!

HHmmm i've seen this movie in theatres and thought it was ok. Haven't seen the original but based on video and audio i might give this a spin.

Thanks Lee.

Cheers
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post #29 of 40 Old 11-09-2009, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
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Nice review,Lee.Frank,I think you're gonna love this film as well as G.I.Joe.

Will watch this tomorrow night.Seen G.I. Joe didnt mind it actually.

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post #30 of 40 Old 11-09-2009, 12:19 PM
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I enjoyed this flick until the I saw the poorly done final act! The antics at the end lof the film eft a bad taste in my mouth, however, I did enjoy most of the wordplay between Denzel and John throughout. Some of their interactions were quite entertaining...

Solid review!
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