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(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
There is no question that producer/director Tony Scott knows how to make action films with exciting practical effects, leaving the CGI stuff for the other guys. Films like Man on Fire, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 and Domino all contained a good bit of action, even of they weren’t great films.
Unstoppable falls into that same category for me – great action sequences, but not much else. If you want to know what Unstoppable is like, think of Speed without the bad guys or the cheekiness from Keanu. There’s a runaway train towing dangerous chemicals heading for heavily populated areas and it has no breaks. No one has been able to stop it. Meanwhile, Frank (Denzel Washington) and rookie Will (Chris Pine), who got the job because of his uncle, are on a training run and just manage to get out of the way of the runaway engine that could. But, it looks like they may be the last resort for stopping the killer train. You can probably guess the rest.
It’s brainless action set on autopilot and you’ve probably seen it all before, but if you love action flicks, you’ll get a big adrenalin rush from this hyperactive film.
The 2.40:1 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement of Unstoppable has deep blacks and good shadow delineation, but the gritty, heavy grain structure often verges on video noise and doesn’t exactly make for a reference quality HD transfer.
One cannot argue against this excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that absolutely rattles and booms with every explosion. Those trains screech and scream down the rails and every speaker is used to its fullest advantage, while dialogue is clear is balanced nicely in the mix.
There are two audio features, including the director’s commentary and a script development audio feature. Additionally, there are a good amount of HD video featurettes that take viewers behind the scenes of the film’s production.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Audio Commentary with Director Tony Scott
- Tracking the Story: Unstoppable Script Development
- The Fastest Track: Unleashing Unstoppable (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:29.41)
- Derailed: Anatomy of a Scene (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:10.01) – Behind the scenes of the filming of the train derailment sequence from Unstoppable.
- Hanging off the Train: Stunt Work (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:14.25) – A look at the stunt work in Unstoppable.
- On the Rails with the Director and Cast (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:13.25) – A roundtable discussion on set with the director and cast about working on the film.
- Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
- Live Extras:
- Live Lookup — Search actors and crew from the film on IMDb
- Exclusive: Feeling the Heat – Unstoppable Pyrotechnics (HD)
- Digital Copy
The Definitive Word
All aboard! This train is off the rails with non-stop action, and not much else, but the wild soundtrack and acceptable video transfer will provide a fun home theatre experience worthy of a rental.