Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

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Product Overview

Armed men hijack a new york city subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom and turn an ordinary day's work for dispatcher walter garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.


Studio Sony
SKU 211901882
UPC 043396253391
UPC 14 00043396253391
Format DVD
Release Date 2/17/2015
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.78:1
Name Washington,Denzel
Link Search Link
ReviewSource Rolling Stone
Review Internet buzz pre-slimed this New York subway-hijack thriller as a douched-up reboot of the 1974 original. Since I revere the first movie, especially the hangdog genius of Walter Matthau as transit cop Zachary Garber, I sympathized. Then I saw The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and the sucker grabbed me from the minute Denzel Washington, basically in the Matthau role, came on as train dispatcher Walter Garber. That's right: Walter! One hell of a classy name-check, if you ask me...And that's it for comparisons. The new, post-9/11 Pelham packs its own heat. This movie hits you like 600 volts from a sparking third rail. Damn straight it's electrifying. Director Tony Scott (bravo True Romance and Crimson Tide, boo Domino) keeps the suspense on high sizzle. And screenwriter Brian Helgeland (bravo L.A. Confidential and Mystic River, boo The Postman), doing a freestyle adaptation of John Godey's novel, takes the time to anchor the thrills to character...Scott possesses the same expertise. He gets the best from the actors, including James Gandolfini as a wealthy mayor (any guesses?). The only letdown comes in Scott's handling of the passengers, who remain frustratingly generic. What counts is it's pressure-cooker cinema, heightened by gritty on-location camerawork from Tobias Schliessler that makes you feel the speed, danger and dirt in your bones. As the movie hurtles to its finish line, with a foot chase less startling than the original's simple sneeze, Travolta and Washington never miss a step. With no scenes together until the climax, they use their voices, their teasing humor and the secret rage of their characters to pump bruised humanity into an action epic that just wants to rock and roll. It's a first-class ride. All aboard.
Reviewer Peter Travers
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review There's not much wrong with Tony Scott's The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, except that there's not much really right about it. Nobody gets terrifically worked up, except the special-effects people. Oh, John Travolta is angry and Denzel Washington is determined, but you don't sense passion in the performances. They're about behaving, not evoking...Since time immemorial, Vehicular Disaster Epics have depended on colorful and easily remembered secondary passengers: Nuns with guitars, middle-aged women with swimming medals, a pregnant woman about to go into labor, etc. This time, the passengers on the Pelham line disappoint. There's a nice woman who's worried about her child, and an ex-Army Ranger who comes to her aid. That's about it. Few of the juicy ethnic stereotypes of the original...In fact, the whole film is less juicy. The 1974 version took place in a realistic, well-worn New York City. This version occupies a denatured action-movie landscape, with no time for local color and a transit system control room that humbles Mission Control. That also may explain the film's lack of time to establish the supporting characters, even Travolta's partners. These sleek modern actioners don't give the audience credit for much patience and curiosity. One star or the other has to be on the screen in almost every scene. The relentless pace can't be slowed for much dialogue, especially for supporting characters. It all has to be mindless, implausible action...Say what you will about the special effects of the 1970s, at least I was convinced I was looking at a real train. Think this through with me: Once you buy into the fact that the train is there, the train becomes a given. You're thinking, ohmigod, what's going to happen to the train? With modern CGI, there are scenes where a real train is obviously not on the screen, at least not in real time and space, and you're thinking, ohmigod, real trains can't go that fast...And when cars crash, cars should crash. They shouldn't behave like pinballs.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource San Francisco Chronicle
Review Every movie involves two realities, the one onscreen and the one in the theater, and the interplay between the two is sometimes dynamic. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 has all the usual virtues of a good action suspense drama, but it lacks that extra something - that context, that vital interchange - that made the original The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 such a memorable experience in 1974...Despite some odd choices on the part of the filmmakers, this remake works out better than one might expect. For example, picture John Travolta playing a mentally unbalanced, emotionally erratic homicidal maniac. Then go to Pelham and be surprised. Travolta does not go into his charming bag of tricks. He doesn't smile or laugh (or even scowl like the guy in Pulp Fiction). In fact, on three occasions, I had to remind myself that this was Travolta. He takes a baseline pretty-good movie and, through sheer conviction, makes it a little better than that...So does Denzel Washington. He plays the transit officer manning the controls for that sector of the New York subway system, who's the first to make contact with the hijacker (Travolta). Washington lends the character a specifically New York type of working man's diffidence - he's a regular guy way over his head, forced to improvise - and we watch him grow, not in confidence but in moral authority. This is strong, convincing character work...Screenwriter Brian Helgeland had the concept to turn Pelham into an elaborate two-person dance between the hijacker and the transit worker, with the idea being that these guys, despite their differences, aren't so far apart. Helgeland's idea of hero and villain both inhabiting a moral gray area seems like a relic from the relativist 1990s, and isn't an ideal match for this material. Yet there's no denying that this is a good writer, working with a good director and two inspired charismatic actors, and together they come up with something interesting and compelling, on its own terms...Pelham might even be cause for enthusiasm if there weren't a better movie, with that exact same title, already available everywhere.
Reviewer Mick LaSalle
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, Subtitled, French, Dubbed & Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile Washington and Travolta making formidable adversaries
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News A fast and relentless hostage thriller that never stops.
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly Scott gets into the zip and rush of urban energy with an enthusiasm bordering on hilarity.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone It's a first-class ride. All aboard.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine It's a first-class ride. All aboard.

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