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Escape from New York Blu-ray

United States
Blu-ray + DVD Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1981 | 99 min | Rated R | Aug 03, 2010

Escape from New York (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (37.96 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 3.0
French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)

English SDH, Spanish

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD)
DVD copy

Region A (locked)

List price: $24.99, Price history

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Movie rating
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Blu-ray rating
Video 3.5 of 53.5
Audio 3.9 of 53.9
Extras 0.3 of 50.3
Based on 21 user reviews

Movie appeal


Escape from New York


Escape from New York Blu-ray offers solid video and great audio in this enjoyable Blu-ray release

In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a prison which houses the world's most brutal inmates. And when the President of the United States crash lands inside, only one man can bring him back: Snake Plissken, a notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero who, in exchange for a full pardon, descends into the decayed city and wages a blistering war against the captors. But time is short: in 24 hours, an explosive charge planted inside Snake's body will end the mission -- and his life -- unless he succeeds.

For more about Escape from New York and the Escape from New York Blu-ray release, see Escape from New York Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.

Starring: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Season Hubley
Narrator: Jamie Lee Curtis
Director: John Carpenter

» See full cast & crew

Escape from New York Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Many an anxious fan jumped the gun and imported Optimum's U.K. Blu-ray release of Escape From New York, only to find that it was a lousy standard definition upconvert, laden with heavy edge enhancement and compression artifacts. I'm pleased to report, then, that this U.S. MGM edition is an all-new high definition transfer, one that looks better in every regard and proves to be a significant upgrade from prior DVD iterations. That said, this might not be the miraculous transformation you were expecting. It's helpful to remember that Escape From New York was a fairly low-budgeted film—especially for its scale—and was shot almost entirely at night. The film has always been dark, murky, and somewhat soft, and that's certainly what it is here. The U.K. release tried to remedy this by boosting the contrast, filtering the grain, and digitally heightening the sharpness, but the end result was an artificial-looking image with little resemblance to the film's theatrical origins.

MGM goes the opposite route, with a picture that seems to have received only minimal tweaking and consequently looks much more natural. This 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer, framed closely to the film's original 2.39:1 aspect ratio and placed on a dual-layer 50 GB disc, is easily the best Escape From New York has ever looked on home video. Color is more keenly balanced, flesh tones are less ruddy, and contrast is kept in check. Grain looks healthier this time around, and though some scenes still look quite noisy, at least there's no evidence of digital smearing or edge enhancement. Still, I can see some being displeased with this release for two reasons: 1.) the picture is very dim, so much so that many of the outdoor, nighttime scenes seem cast in a wash of grayish-black, and 2.) overall clarity is generally soft. There are moments where fine detail is apparent in facial and clothing textures, but most of the time the image looks slightly unresolved. While I can imagine the film looking sharper and more defined than it does here, my gut tells me that given the nature of the film—it's budget and shooting conditions—this is probably the best version of the film we're ever going to see.

Escape from New York Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

I can't say I have any real qualms about the film's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, which announces itself right off the bat with a surprisingly rich reproduction of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's synthesizer-heavy score. For as dated and—let's all admit it—cheesy as the music seems today, it certainly sounds excellent here, with a broad dynamic range, swelling presence, and percussion elements panned between multiple channels, giving each sound separation and definition. There are also some impressively fluid cross-channel movements, mostly related to the helicopters that criss-cross the sky frequently in the first act. The surround usage tapers off a bit during the middle of the film—where most of the action is rooted up front—but you will hear occasional ambience, like water lapping and various dystopian city sounds. Yes, some of the effects sound a bit weak—especially gunshots—but I wasn't really expecting much. The only potential complaint I have is that I had to boost the volume a few times to better understand the dialogue. Otherwise, Escape From New York sounds great.

Escape from New York: Other Editions

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Escape from New York Blu-ray, News and Updates

Escape from New York Remake Coming Up - March 18, 2013

Silver Pictures and StudioCanal have agreed to produce a remake of director John Carpenter's cult film Escape from New York. The film will be produced by Joel Silver and Andrew Rona and directed by Breck Eisner.

Four MGM Movies on Blu-ray in August - May 28, 2010

According to early retailer information, MGM Home Entertainment will release four catalog titles on August 3: the feature debut of the Coen brothers Blood Simple; the sports romance Bull Durham; the John Carpenter/Kurt Russell cult favorite Escape from New York; ...

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