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Escape From New York (1981)

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NOTE: All three commentaries are only available on the April 2015 Shout! Factory Collector's Edition Blu-ray. The Special Edition DVD had the Carpenter/Russel and Hill/Alves commentaries, and the laserdisc release had the Carpenter/Russell track. The earlier DVD release and the 2010 MGM Blu-ray did not have any commentary tracks.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell Rating:8.3/10 (50 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by TommyT on June 8th, 2004:Find all reviews by TommyT
Carpenter & Russell are always fun when they do a commentary together. Loads of insight.
Reviewed by stuartbannerman on October 25th, 2004:Find all reviews by stuartbannerman
Kurt & John are always great on the commenteries. In fact John Carpenter and anyone are good listening.
The ONLY gripe if i had to select one would be that this commentery is years old and was taken from the Laserdisc. Still worth a listen though.
Reviewed by The Cubist on March 8th, 2005:Find all reviews by The Cubist
This is the one fans will enjoy the most. They joke and banter with each other like old friends and it is this relaxed, conversational tone that really makes this track such an enjoyable listen. Russell recalls having trouble getting into the New York City premiere because security didnít recognize him and so he had to pay his way to get in! Carpenter tends to describe what is being shown which is annoying at times but Russell keeps him on track with personal observations that spark dialogue between the two men.
Reviewed by UncleJohn on January 26th, 2007:Find all reviews by UncleJohn
Highly entertaining. Carpenter and Russell make a great pair. They make you wish you were setting with them as they laugh and joke. Lots of informative discussion and comments about settings, locations, actors reactions, etc. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by aph86 on July 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by aph86
Very informative and funny. Typical Carpenter/Russell commentary. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Pineapples101 on January 3rd, 2013:Find all reviews by Pineapples101
One of the all time great commentary tracks.
The now legendary Carpenter / Russell camaraderie is at it's strongest on this track. Like two old pals sat around a camp fire reminiscing about the old days. If I had one complaint, it's that the film is too short and so therefor the track is too short, I could have listened to these two all day long.

A great track. One of my all time favorites; and one that I can return to again and again.
Highly recommended.
Reviewed by sedna on August 30th, 2013:Find all reviews by sedna
Very screen-specific, balanced well in telling production anecdotes about a given scene and divulging information about the shoot. Carpenter specifically loves to point out the "panaglide" shots that are so much his trademark.

Highly recommended.
Reviewed by grimjack on January 1st, 2024:Find all reviews by grimjack
Interesting and informative. A little dry, with a lot of talk about how they made the film 15 years ago, and how so few people understand how different the times were. Reagan was president yet, and the hostages were still in Iran. The studio feared it would be disrespectful to show the president captured.

1997 seemed so far away, and they are recording the commentary in 1996. Nobody was betting on Kurt Russell doing an action film. And they intended to play him not as a good guy, but a bad guy forced to act like a good guy to save his life.

The film had an amazingly low $5 million dollar budget, but looked like a lot more, partially due to James Cameron being the special effects expert. And you can see how he copied some of the lighting techniques for Terminator.

They marveled at how some shots came out as well as they did. And pointed out when stuntmen did a great job. And how the wrestler at the end really did not understand how movie fights were non-contact unlike fake wrestling.
Commentary 2: Producer Debra Hill and production designer Joe Alves Rating:5.8/10 (23 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on March 8th, 2005:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Their track focuses on production anecdotes and how the special effects of the film were achieved. Hill points out that a young James Cameron worked on the many of the filmís special effects. She also talks at length about making such an ambitious film on a low budget and the way they cut their costs down. For example, there is only one shot in the film that was actually done in New York City (the obvious shot of the Statue of Liberty) while the majority of principal photography was done in St. Louis and Los Angeles.
Reviewed by Pineapples101 on January 3rd, 2013:Find all reviews by Pineapples101
A good solid commentary and a good accompaniment to the less serious and less technical Carpenter / Russell track.
There's a lot to be learnt from this track. Hill and Alves make a good combination, much better than Hill with Carpenter on The Fog, which I felt was a bit of a let down. Joe Alves should do more tracks, it's a shame Spielberg doesn't go for audio commentaries as I would have loved to have heard Alves talk more about Close Encounters and Jaws, both of which he touches on here.
Commentary 3: Director of photographer Dean Cundey and actor Adrienne Barbeau Rating: no votes yetLogin to vote or review
Reviewed by Whispered on March 29th, 2017:Find all reviews by Whispered
Lovely to hear the lovely Barbeau discussing her ex-husband; I wish Cundey discussed more technical matters.

Unfortunately, while Scream Factory puts out excellent Collector's Edition, they tend to screw up volume levels on their commentary tracks; on that front, this one is the most egregious, as the track dips halfway through enough that I had to PUMP by volume up to 45 (it's normally around 20). They should've recalled/fixed this problem.