Runaway Train/B+,B
MGM/1985/112/WS 1.85, PS 1.33

        Runaway Train is one of those underrated gems that seems to disappear in the blur of its own out of control vehicle. With a pedigree like the credit "Based on a Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa," movie hounds begin to salivate with anticipation, and in the hands of director Andrei Konchalovsky, the material is delivered full speed ahead.
     Hard case criminal Oscar "Manny"  Mannheim gets released from solitary after a three year fight and immediately sets in motion a plan to break out of Stonehaven Maximum Security Prison in the middle of Alaska. In short, sure strokes Runaway Train breaks Manny out accompanied by young Buck, another prisoner who idolizes him. Somehow they survive the frigid ice of Alaska and find their way onto a train, but something goes awry and the train vaults out of control, leaving the prisoners on board a train heading for destruction.
     Jon Voight is fantastic as Manny, a complex and twisted man, mean, intelligent, and surprising. Eric Roberts has his finest screen moments as Buck and John P. Ryan matches Manny's meanness measure for measure. Don't miss this daring ride through the white landscape of the snow-blinding Alaska wilderness.

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Jon Voight and Eric Roberts freezing.©MGM-UA

     Runaway Train has an intentionally de-saturated look and this is preserved on the DVD. Grain is part of the deal here, but this too is part of the look. The snowy weather and the racing train are a video challenge and the transfer and compression succeed in delivering a good picture. The DVD is presented in widescreen 1.85 and 1.33 Pan and Scan. The image is sharp and overall the DVD is an accurate representation of the artistic intent. The Dolby Digital 2 channel surround captures the frenzy of this wild movie ride and Trevor Jones' excellent score is clean and detailed.




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