Criterion gives proper DVD treatment to The Rock.
kenshiro26 | United States | 02/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Buena Vista released The Rock as a movie-only edition back in 1998 and anyone who knows their DVD must have been less-than enthusiastic about the release (this reviewer included), and hoped that someday the film would be revisted with a special edition release. Fortunately, that day has come! This new Criterion DVD release features a 2.35:1 matted widescreen presentation, anamorphically enhanced for 16x9 televisions, something which was sorely missed from the Buena Vista disc. This disc also has a new Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix, which is a remixed track of the original 5.1 mix on the Buena Vista disc, which was rather good, this track just improves on it. Criterion, doesn't stop there though, a DTS 5.1 surround mix has been added for your sonic pleasure. And for a film such as this, both audio surround tracks are a welcome addition, especially the DTS track which was newly-remixed and digitally mastered specifically for this Criterion DVD.The area where this Criterion version really puts Buena Vista's to shame is in the special features department. Now for people who own the Criterion laserdisc of this film, these extra features might seem familiar. But for first-time viewers of the Criterion release of this film, you'll be very pleased with the extras you get here. Supplements abound on the second disc in this 2-DVD set, you'll have hours of enjoyment sifting through all of the extras presented in this package. The only gripe I have about this disc is the commentary track recorded for the film. Sean Connery is suprisingly absent from it. Which, for me at least is a disappointment. But that's only a minor gripe, this disc is one of the best Criterion has relased for a film on DVD. So throw out your old Buena Vista DVD/VHS/LD copies of The Rock, and get this Criterion DVD. I highly recommend it, especially if your a fan of this film."
Great transfer to Blu-Ray!
Nicodimus | Hanover, PA USA | 01/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More than likely, you already know whether you like this movie or not. The
question you may be asking is "If I own the DVD, is it worth upgrading to
the BD version?" I'm happy to report that this is a great transfer, and is
a major upgrade from the DVD version, assuming that you have a audio/video
system that can allow you to see and hear the difference. The picture is
far more detailed than the DVD version, and the uncompressed PCM audio
track is fantastic. Kudos to Disney for doing an excellent job on this one.
Darth-Jeyl review The Rock-Criterion Collection
darth-jeyl | Asheville, NC USA | 03/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hey, Darth-Jeyl here, about to review the Rock-CC (Criterion Collection). When I first saw the Rock back in 1996, it immediately became one of my favorite action movies of that year. It was for me, so rare to see an action film that was so focused on its story, character development, and at the same time be very entertaining. The story was good, the characters believable, the acting was solid, the soundtrack was powerful, and the directing was excellent. When the film was introduced to DVD for the first time in 1997, it left a lot to be desired. The DVD transfer for the film came straight from the Laser Disc version, and was non-anamorphic (Not enhanced for widescreen TV's). The DVD was also featureless, carrying only the teaser trailer for the film. The only good thing about the DVD was it's 5.1 Dolby Digital surround track. Four years later, when I heard about a Criterion version of the film coming out to DVD, I had low hopes. Why? Let me explain. This is the second time Michael Bay has released one of his films from Criterion. The first movie he launched from Criterion was Armageddon. Though the DVD featured a lot of extras, a 5.1 Dolby surround, and a new digital transfer, the video wasn't Anamorphic. That was a big disappointment, since the other DVD version of the film wasn't anamorphic either. So, when I heard that Michael Bay was re-releasing the Rock as a 2 disc Criterion edition, I thought it was going to be like the Armageddon Criterion Edition. Now that I got the DVD, let's move on to the full review.Story: When a highly decorated, retired Marine General (Ed Harris) and his army seize a stockpile of chemical weapons, and take over Alcatraz (aka The Rock), he demands Restitution to the families of the soldiers that died in covert operations. If the payment is refused, he will launch the chemical weapons at the heart of San Francisco. As the Pentagon debates on how to handle the situation, they decide to send an elite Navy Seal team to go into Alcatraz, disarm the weapons, and take the island. Since the power of the chemical weapons is extreme, they bring in an FBI Chemical Expert, Stanley Goodspeed(Nicolas Cage) to help them with the disarmament. The problem, how do you get into Alcatraz? Since all known experts on the island are dead, they bring in a former Alcatraz prisoner John Mason(Sean Connery) who once escaped Alcatraz, to assist the team on getting in. Thanks to Mason's knowledge, the team makes it into the island undetected. However, after walking in to an unsuspected trap, everyone on the team except Mason and Goodspeed are killed. Now, it's up to a chemical freak who has never seen combat, and a former prisoner who hasn't seen combat for over 30 years, to carry out the mission alone. Their problem? They've got 20 professionally trained killer marines on the hunt for them, 15 deadly chemical weapons to defuse, the entire population of San Francisco to save, and only 15 hours to complete the mission.Disc 1-The Movie: The Rock on Disc 1, is presented in it's original aspect ratio 2.35:1 in an anamorphic transfer. Which means it's ENHANCED! Not only that, but it's also got a new digital transfer that looks absolutely gorgeous. There are hardly any signs of grain, the colors look very solid, and the letterbox framing is very accurate. This is one of the best transfers Criterion has ever released for a film. For the audio side, we get 4 audio tracks. A Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround sound tracks, a 2.0 Dolby surround, and a Commentary Track. To sum up the audio for ya, if you have a 5.1 Dolby or DTS setup, it will destroy your home. From the beginning of the film, the surround sound action is nearly constant. If you want to see what the audio is really made of, go to chapter 11(Car Chase), and crank up the audio. The Commentary track for The Rock features Director Michael Bay, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, actors Nicolas cage and Ed Harris, and technical advisor (and ex-Navy SEAL) Harry Humphries. Please keep in mind that this is not a group commentary. This is one of those commentaries where each participant recorded their portion separately and were than edited together. I know a lot of people who despise these types of tracks, but for this particular one, it really works. Each participant has something very useful to say about almost every scene in the movie. If you really want to know a lot more about the Rock, check out this track, it's actually the best part of the whole set in my opinion.Disc 2-The Features: For the second disc, we get an average amount of features that are common on almost every 2 disc set. There is a lengthy interview with Jerry Bruckhimer that I found quite nice, an analysis of the dive sequence which is really cool(All those swimmers were puppets!), a movie magic episode on the film's special effects, a really nice documentary about the dos and don'ts of Hollywood gunplay, a documentary on Alcatraz itself which covers almost every aspect of the island's history, promotional material such as trailers, TV spots, and The Rock world premiere on the Alcatraz island itself, and a bunch of story boards and production drawings.Final Comments: Well, this disc was a pleasure to get. I can finally watch the Rock as it was originally intended on my 16x9 television. I'm glad Criterion did all the right stuff with this DVD.Goods: Great movie, good acting, Excellent Transfer, Great sound, wonderful commentary track, nice extras, and ENHANCED!Bads: Though the second disc has many extras, some of them have almost nothing to do with the movie. Many people might find some of the extras pointless.Darth-Jeyls rating: 8 out of 10"
An Intelligent, Adrenaline-Pumped Thrill Ride!
Mr. Fellini | El Paso, Texas United States | 11/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Rock is one of the greatest of all action films. This is a movie that not only presents some incredible, if not stunning, action sequences, but also a smart plot and intelligent screenplay. This is a film that really works in it's genre to the fullest. Director Michael Bay is a master of this material and adds great style and vision to already excellent material. The screenplay by David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook and Mark Rosner has a touch of intrigue here, a touch of adrenaline there, a splash of rambo here, and the effect is great on the big screen. "The Rock" never slowes down but never gets dumb either. Elements taken from other films are lovingly polished to a gloss. Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery and Ed Harris all give convincing performances that ignite the screen along with everything else. "The Rock" also has some of the best of all action scenes. The chase scene through San Francisco is pure excitement and thrills and amazingly filmed. "The Rock" is intelligent, action-packed, and a wild, thrilling adrenaline-pumped ride that's also wonderfully stylish."