I loved Escape from New York as a kid. It was the first R-rated movie I ever saw. I own it on Blu-ray and decided to re-watch it.
The opening sequence describes the situation with an uncredited narration by Jamie Lee Curtis…
In 1988 the crime rate in the United States rises 400%. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A 50-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline across the Harlem River and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States police force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don’t come out.
It doesn’t sound so far fetched anymore: create a place for people that do not want police.
I love John Carpenter’s synth soundtrack. Opening track here.
I did not know there was an alternate opening to the movie. This opening shows Snake getting busted for robbing the Bank of the United States…the crime that sent him to New York Maximum Security Prison. You can see that they have created “USART,” a subway that covers all of the USA (looks like it is the BART station in Berkeley to me). I like the original opening better with the focus on New York as a prison.
I watched the credits and noticed something new to me: James Cameron (Terminator, Aliens, Titanic) is listed as doing special effects and matte artwork.
This movie is dumb. But I have to admit I laughed out loud several times. Looking at the trailer, I thought Lauren Lapkus was trying too hard. After watching the movie, I thought she was hilarious. She makes this movie work.
You know the music (Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah), but have you seen the movie Song of the South? Probably not. The movie has not been released to home video in the US out of fear of accusations of racism. It has been released to home video in European and Asian markets though. I bought a non-US DVD and watched it last night for the first time.
The mixture live action and animation is well done. It is hard to believe this was done in 1946. The music is great. Story was a little slow. I did not see any racism. I am glad I got to finally see it so I can have my own opinion about it.
Even though “The Hunt” came out in theaters less than a month ago, it is streaming now $20. I watched it last night. I was afraid at first it was going to be overly political…it isn’t. It was a fun film to watch with some surprises.
The Black Cauldron is a Disney animated movie that is hard to find. I was interested in seeing it after I read it was the first Disney animated movie to receive a PG rating and use computer generated imagery. It is not available on Disney+ nor will it be. It is not available for streaming. It is not available to rent. It is not available on Blu-ray.
It is available on DVD. I bought that so I could see it.
And…it sucks. It looks like TV-quality animation. It was boring. The characters were awful (think Jar-Jar).