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The Escapist [Import]

Brian Cox , Damian Lewis , Rupert Wyatt    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 22.04 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New definition for "Action" movie... April 19 2013
By NyiNya TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
"The Escapist" is Rupert Wyatt's directorial debut and he knocks it right out of the park. This is a complex film that could easily have b ecome another hackneyed jailhouse yarn--the characters are certainly familiar enough--or cheesy "busting out of the joint" action flick. It is neither, and the multi-layered plot reveals itself in such a way that we accept the denouement without feeling cheated or misled.

Wyatt, who also co-wrote the film, has the perfect star for his maiden voyage. Brian Cox always delivers a fine performance. He is low key and, like a chameleon, can morph himself--physically and spiritually--into whatever the role requires. In this case, he plays a tired old con who has been locked up for a long time with no hope of getting out. Frank Perry is a lifer resigned to his fate, he lives in a dull haze, keeping out of trouble, making no friend, making no enemies. When he learns that his daughter has become addicted to drugs and is dying, he shakes off his torpor, breaking out of his mental prison and concocting a plan to escape the physical one. So much in this film goes unsaid...we see by a stack of returned letters that she refuses contact with him, but we don't know why. There is no backstory here. We are observers of the moment. Despite their estrangement, he wants to find his little girl and save her.

The Amazon blurb for this fine film could not be more misleading. It describes Perry as "a tough lifer" who battles Rizza, the brutal prison kingpin. He's not tough, he's frightened. Rizza is played with chlling, dead-eyed itensity by Damian Lewis. Far from battling him, Perry is terrified in his presence...his hands shake and he avoids eye contact.

We never know what landed Perry in jail...his crime is never revealed.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and Stylish Film Worthy of Attention Nov. 8 2009
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
THE ESCAPIST, written by Daniel Hardy and Rupert Wyatt who also is the amazingly fine director, takes place almost entirely in a London prison. The main character is Frank (Brian Cox, in a brilliant turn) is a lifer who receives a note that his daughter is a junkie in dire straits and becomes obsessed with escaping prison to make amends with her. He gathers a strange, disparate group of fellow inmates to complete tasks in his carefully planned but exceptionally dangerous escape: Brodie (Liam Cunningham) has the brains, Viv Batista (Seu Jorge) has the drugs, Leny Drake (Joseph Fiennes) has the hands and cunning. In order to keep his escape plans secret he must overcomes the wiles of the prison inmate leader Rizza (Damian Lewis) whose sicko brother Tony (Steven Mackintosh) causes problems, including the physical abuse of a very young newcomer inmate Lacey (Dominic Cooper) whose loathing for Tony's endless advances drives him to the point of causing a major glitch in Frank's plan. But the escape plan proceeds and the film is a back and forth play between the planning and the actual process of the escape. Little is said in words in this film: most of the action comes for the faces and eye to eye encounters that drive the relentless attempt to escape to conclusion. And the ending will surprise every viewer, so cleverly has this story been prepared and told.

The acting is exceptional and the tenor of the film is greatly enhanced by the suspenseful cinematography by Philipp Blaubach. Benjamin Wallfisch provides some haunting, almost a cappella songs that heighten the intensity of the drama by commenting on it, and in other portions his musical score is the sort that maximizes the emotional aspect of the film rather than drawing attention to the music itself. This is far more than just another prison break film. This is a polished psychological thriller that deserves wide attention. Now, where is the DVD on Amazon.com? Surely it will appear soon. Grady Harp
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prison Drama With a Twist Jan. 28 2010
By The Movie Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"The Escapist" is a thriller about Frank Perry (Brian Cox), a tough lifer determined to bust out of a London penitentiary to see his terminally ill daughter before she dies. First, however, he'll have to assemble a hardcore crew, battle the brutal prison kingpin, and pull off a daring, suspenseful escape. Director Rupert Wyatt cuts back and forth between the escape in progress and the days leading up to it.
Prison films are not new, but "The Escapist" manages to make a familiar plot fresh thanks to well-written characterizations and a terrific performance by Brian Cox. The success or failure of a prison escape flick depends on whether we care about the characters, and Cox, along with Joseph Fiennes, Liam Cunningham, Dominic Cooper, Steven Mackintosh, and Damian Lewis, provide solid portrayals. The twist here is that the escape plot is motivated by a man longing to see his dying child one last time. Also, the film contains a climactic secret that is unexpected and actually works. There are no bonus extras in this bare-bones Widescreen release.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully realized jailbreak flick Jan. 13 2010
By K. Swanson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
4.2 stars

Rupert Wyatt scored big on this, his first feature film. He nails it as both writer and director; the characters are interesting and believable, the movie looks grimly gorgeous, and his time-shifting script pays off in the end in unexpected ways. He pulls fine performances from the entire cast, with Brian Cox leading the way. The music is also first-rate, always in tune with the director's intentions and often quite moving in its own right. It is in fact a very smart film in most every way; even the title takes on great resonance as the tale plays out.

I'm surprised there aren't more reviews of this here; it's a fine film, and maybe the best prison break movie since Shawshank. Give it time and I'm guessing The Escapist will become a true cult favorite, taking its deserved place just below such genre masterpieces as Papillon, Shawshank, and the Alcatraz films.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Blend of Two Genres Nov. 3 2011
By Eric Sanberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I like rubber reality movies. They give me something to wrap my head around and, when done well, offer up some great surprises. I also like prison escape movies and film history is replete with some great ones. Here the two are joined with some really nifty results.

Here's the scoop. Brian Cox is in prison. An old nasty prison at that. He gets word that his daughter has become a junkie. She's had two heart attacks and won't survive a third. He needs to escape and try to save her. He hooks up with a few of his prison mates and concocts an escape plan. So, of course, the question becomes: Will the plan work?

This is a way cool movie. They cross cut between the escape itself and various events leading up to it. Truth be told, the cross cutting and the heavy British accents left me a bit confused at times, but pretty much everything got straightened out by the end. The prison scenes depicted many of the same things seen in similar movies. Bad guys and really bad guys who will kill you if you step out of line. Prison guards who look the other way when bad stuff happens. Homosexuality and guys who procure stuff that isn't supposed to be inside a prison. These things aren't new but they're done very well here. The escape itself is good. It's clever but not sensational, so you believe it. The punchline blew me away. It made me want to see the movie again to see what hints they might have provided to lead up to the big surprise.

Brian Cox is his usual good self. Damian Lewis is great as an effeminate, brutal inmate who is pretty much the king of the hill. Joe Feinnes does a standup job as do all the other players. The production values are good but this is just an outstanding movie overall. It moves like a freight train with nary a dull moment. For my dollar it was more than worth the time I invested to watch it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Gem May 25 2012
By Susan A. Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Wow, what a great movie. Joseph Fiennes is sheer intensity, Dominic Cooper tugs at your heart-strings and Brian Cox is great as always. The scene between his character and ex-wife in the visiting room is absolute magic. This was the first time I ever saw Damian Lewis in a movie and boy, was I impressed. Shot in a real prison, you can feel the claustrophobia, and you can relate to the characters and their plight. Spoiler Alert***You will cry at the end, but it's worth it, so touching.*** I would highly recommend this movie. Enjoy!
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