THE ROCK  [Limited Edition SteelBook] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] Weapons Cocked! Targets Locked! Get Ready To Rock!
Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage join forces to advert unspeakable carnage as ‘THE ROCK’ explodes onto this Blu-ray Disc and co-starring Ed Harris. This “spectacular” thrill ride, will rock your world in this astonishing high definition format.
When a vengeful Ex-General Francis X. Hummel [Ed Harris] seizes control of Alcatraz Island and threatens to launch missiles loaded with deadly poison gas, only a young FBI chemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed [Nicolas Cage] and a notorious Federal prisoner John Patrick Mason [Sean Connery] have the skills to penetrate the impregnable fortress and take him down. Catch every instant of rapid-fire action in eye-popping 1080p, while the prenominal 5.1 48 kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio puts you smack dab in the middle of the mayhem. Prepare to experience the awesome power of Blu-ray High Definition!
Cast: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, David Morse, William Forsythe, Michael Biehn, Vanessa Marcil, John C. McGinley, Gregory Sporleder, Tony Todd, Bokeem Woodbine, Jim Maniaci, Greg Collins, Brendan Kelly, Steve Harris, Danny Nucci, Claire Forlani, Celeste Weaver, Todd Louiso, David Bowe, Raquel Krelle, Dennis Chalker, Marshall R. Teague, Duffy Gaver, Steve Decker, Joseph Hawes, Mike Mahrer, Carlos Sandoval, Rick Toms, Billy Devlin, Jack Yates, Juan A. Riojas, Joseph Patrick Kelly, Ingo Neuhaus, John Laughlin, Harry Humphries, John Nathan, Robert M. Anselmo, Jack Ford, Thomas J. Hageboeck, Dwight Hicks, Ralph Peduto, Robert C. Besgrove, Leonard McMahan, Anthony Guidera, Jim Caviezel, John Enos III, Stanley Anderson (uncredited), Richard Conti (uncredited), Raymond Cruz (uncredited), David Marshall Grant (uncredited), Matthew James Gulbranson (uncredited), Philip Baker Hall (uncredited), Michael Rose (uncredited), Theodore Carl Soderberg (uncredited), Jeronimo Spinx (uncredited) and Stuart Wilson (uncredited)
Director: Michael Bay
Producers: Barry H. Waldman, Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer, Kenny Bates, Louis A. Stroller, Sean Connery and William Stuart
Screenplay: David Weisberg, Douglas Cook and Mark Rosner
Composers: Hans Zimmer and Nick Glennie-Smith
Cinematography: John Schwartzman
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English: 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio and English: 5.1 LPCM Surround Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finish and Icelandic
Running Time: 136 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘The Rock’ is the summer blockbuster film of 1996's and the one and only first "traditional" action film that beat Mission Impossible's swiss-cheese-like storyline hands down. There's some wry and tongue in cheek humour, especially from Sean Connery in his heyday as James Bond amidst all the wreckage from car chases and missile strikes, and a few of the characters are allowed to break through their stereotypical boundaries. Not surprisingly, the energy level is high, and there's plenty of action, ranking this film alongside ‘Broken Arrow’ and ‘Executive Decision’ among the year's best high-adrenaline offerings.
Here, it's that a group of ex-Marines have stolen 15 VX gas rockets and are threatening to launch a lethal strike on the San Francisco Bay area if their demands aren't met. Led by war hero and living legend, Brigadier General Frank Hummel [Ed Harris], the crack platoon has holed up on Alcatraz, where they're holding 81 civilian’s hostage. The U.S. Government responds by sending a troop of Navy SEALs on a secret raid, using the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the island as their entranceway. Their guide is the only man ever to escape from the legendary Alcatraz prison: ex-SAS operative, John Mason [Sean Connery]. But also tagging along reluctantly in the party is FBI agent Stanley Goodspeed [Nicolas Cage], an admitted "chemical superfreak" who has the knowledge and experience to defuse the 15 VX gas rockets.
All of the cast are first rate and Nicolas Cage, doesn't really excel as an action hero, but he's a good enough performer to forge a likable character. Ed Harris portrays a surprisingly sympathetic bad guy. Unlike most villains in this sort of action packed film, Hummel isn't greedy or mad, just plain angry. He's championing a cause, in where he states, "this isn't about terrorism, it's about justice," and feels that drastic action is the only way to get people to listen to him. The other good actors are David Morse, who is Hummel's right-hand man. John Spencer portrays the FBI director, Michael Biehn is the SEAL team leader, and Vanessa Marcil is Goodspeed's pregnant fiancée, who has been placed out of harm's way, for her own safety.
But the real standout tour de force is, of course, is Sean Connery, Enter Connery as John Patrick Mason, a former British intelligence agent (shades of James Bond) who has been imprisoned for 30 years without a trial for stealing the private files of J. Edgar Hoover. John escaped from Alcatraz in 1962, for just long enough to father a daughter before his recapture. Like the general's beloved covert who is a total natural in the film and of course having lost none of his charisma with age, the veteran actor puts to use his mastery of mixing humour and action. Just like James Bond, Mason does all his shooting and battling with tongue in cheek. Along the way, he develops a nice rapport with Goodspeed, and of course you get chemistry with these two actors clicking together in the best "buddy movie" fashion.
‘The Rock' has a brilliant running time that really makes you savoir all of the characters in the film and any shorter time would have been a mistake and in doing so it gives you lots of scope to get under the skin of the character-building material of the actors and of course the script benefiting from getting to know the actors characters. ‘The Rock’ represents the ultimate loud, fast-paced night's worth of entertainment of roller-coaster excitement. There are all the expected shoot-outs, explosions, and death-defying stunts. Director Michael Bay of ‘Bad Boys’ doesn't break new ground, but he displays his command of the genre by keeping the familiar from becoming boring.
The humour and the heart come in watching Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage go at each other and form a relationship while ducking bullets and bombs on Alcatraz. "I drive a Volvo — a beige one," says Stanley, using his nerd status as an excuse for being a klutz commando. Stanley wants John to cut him some slack for doing his best. "Losers always whine about their best," says the impatient John, who wants to let it rip with full out, no excuses and makes mayhem, especially with Don Simpson films, it's surely no accident. ‘The Rock' has two protagonists, one a dangerously skittering comet, the other a grounded realist trying to hold course are Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer in a nutshell.
Producers Jerry Bruckheimer and the late Don Simpson have a highly-successful resume that includes ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Crimson Tide.’ ‘The Rock’ will add more lustre and excitement to that reputation. Since ‘Twister’ and ‘Mission Impossible’ and have definitely lost all of their tremendous momentum, to be totally tedious and boring at the same time, and ‘The Rock’ is poised to storm past them all. With Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, and a host of awesome action sequences, this is the kind of breath-stealing all year round entertainment that audiences crave for and you will not be disappointed. ‘The Rock’ is a fitting wild-ride finale for the team of Simpson and Bruckheimer. It's a popcorn-movie deluxe. ‘The Rock’ is exhausting in its own right and that's just one of several convincing reasons to see purchase this awesome Blu-ray disc.
Blu-ray Video Quality – This Blu-ray edition of 'The Rock' blows its standard inferior NTSC DVD counterparts out of the water 100%, especially The Criterion Collection DVD. With a stunning awesome 1080p encoded image, that will knock you for six. Equally stunning is the magnificent 2.35:1 aspect ratio that makes the screen come alive, and shows of the action pack film to its full potential. The Colours are very alive and rich and the skin tones remain nicely graduated regardless of a scene's lighting, especially with the dark scenes in the underground tunnels of Alcatraz. Better still, is the impeccable details, with sharp textures, crisp on-screen text, and crystal clear background elements throughout most of the film. I can inform any fan of this film that the picture quality will please fans 100% and will easily impress quite a few newcomers along the way.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – 'The Rock' features two stunning audio tracks, which consist of a 5.1 Dolby Digital and a totally awesome aggressive LPCM 5.1 Surround track (48 kHz/16-Bit/4.6 Mbps) that does a totally awesome excellent job in handling the film's dense soundscape, and especially when you view scenes like in downtown San Francisco or in the underground tunnels of Alcatraz, and you'll notice a complete 360 degree sound field that involves you in what is going on in the film, especially when you experience some action going on or when the rockets are fired, this where the real soundscape comes alive, creating a real sense of movement and space. But what also helps to create a total ambiance in sound and vision is the wonderful powerful music score composed by Hans Zimmer.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras: Supplements originally produced by The Criterion Collection.
Special Feature: Movie Showcase  [1080p] 2.35:1] [1:40 / 0:55 / 1:04] What you get is instant access to the filmmaker’s most cinematic moments of ‘The Rock’ and showcases the ultimate in high definition picture and sound.
Theatrical Trailer  [480i] [1.33:1] [1:48] This is the Original Theatrical Teaser Trailer for ‘The Rock.’
Theatrical Trailer  [480i] [1.33:1] [3:10] This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for ‘The Rock.’
TV Spots  [480i] [1.33:1] [2:38] Here you get to view 4 separate TV advertisements for ‘The Rock,’ that were broadcast on American Television.
Special Feature: The Rock World Première on Alcatraz  [480i] [1.33:1] [1:54] This special documentary sees all people involved with the film arriving on the Island of Alcatraz to view ‘The Rock’ for the first time and you get to see all the difficult logistics of getting all the equipment onto the island to show the film to all the assembled guests. Contributors include Dick Cook [President of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and Marketing]; Bob Gault [Director of Walt Disney Attractions and Entertainment Special Projects Operations]; Kevin Rosenberg [Chief Projection Engineer] and Brian O’Neal [General Superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area] [Courtesy of Film Trailers Channel].
Special Feature: Navy Seals On The Range  [1080i] [1.33:1] [5:54] This first video special shows a group of current and former SEALs conducting firearms training at a Gunsight-type school. The opening title of this particular segment says: "Ex-Navy SEAL Harry Humphries' company, Global Studies Group, Inc., employs former and active Navy SEALs to instruct novices and professionals in proper gun handling. He invited us to tape a typical class on 18th December, 1996". There are also interviews with two active SEALs who were in ‘The Rock’ film.
Special Feature: Hollywood Humphries & Teague  [1080i] [1.33:1] [8:17] In this second follow up video special we again meet Harry Humphries and actor Marshall R. Teague demonstrating typical Hollywood screw ups with guns, especially relating to typical gangster-style shooting, entering rooms, etc., in films, compared with the proper way to handle firearms. What we see is different aspects of how to use the gun properly and each section is entitled with The “Gangster” pull; The “Wyatt Earp” pull; Entering a room; Running with the weapon and Drawing from the belt. Overall, there's nothing earth-shattering in the features. But what is refreshing to see something like this on anything that comes out of Hollywood.
Special Feature: The Dive Sequence  [480i] [1.33:1] [7:45] With this particular documentary, we get lots of explanations on how they did all the underwater sequences in ‘The Rock’ film, especially with the Navy SEALs arriving at the Island of Alcatraz. You also get to see the making of small models that will eventually get used in some trick photography. You also eventually get to see the marionette puppets in action, plus you see how they add on the bubbles effects that you see in the actual film. Narrated by Hoyt Yeatman [Senior Visual Effects Supervisor at Dream Quest Images].
Special Feature: Action Effects: Movie Magic  [480i] [1.33:1] [7:55] This a Documentary Series from The Discovery Channel dealing with every aspect of special effects in films, from low-budget make-up to multi-million-dollar computer-generated graphics. The clear presentation includes descriptions of the creation and technical problems of the effects, and interviews with effects technicians, directors, stars and other crew. Each episode deals with one topic, effect or technician, concentrating on one or more current or recent films. With this particular documentary, we go behind-the-scenes, looking at the making of ‘The Rock’ . But especially we get contributions from the likes of Michael Bay [Director]; Hoyt Yeatman [Visual Effects Supervisor]; Rae Griffith [Visual Effects Producer]; Dan DeLeeuw [Digital Effects Supervisor] and John Murrah [3-D Artist]. Narrated by Neil Ross.
Special Feature: Outtakes  [480i] [1.33:1] [8:50] What you get to view is eight separate mistakes in filming. Be warned, as you will see Ed Harris appear in most of the outtakes, and at times you see him really lose his temper and sure knows how to use a few expletives.
Special Feature: Secrets of Alcatraz  [480i] [1.33:1] [14:38] With our Host Doug McConnell we get a History documentary and tour of the famed prison from its days as a military fort to its use by Native American protesters in the 1970's and includes interviews with former inmates and families of prison officials who lived on the island. We find out that the first humans to make some foundation were the Aboriginal people in the San Francisco Bay. Then the Spaniards 200 years later discovered Alcatraz in 1775. The in the 1850s was a totally different place, especially in California with the “Gold Rush.” Then the State of California decided it needed a lighthouse in the San Francisco bay, because of all the fishermen and their boats in the area. The in 1852 the army built the fortress that eventually got turned into a prison and life was very grip for the inmates. But in 1933 the army closed it down, because it was too expensive to run, but then in1934 it was designated as an official prison. But of course it became notorious for the famous escapees in 1962, who were Frank Lee Morris and the Anglian Brothers, which was of course immortalised in the Clint Eastwood film ‘Escape From Alcatraz.’ Then in 1963 the Attorney General Robert Kennedy closed it down, as it was not fit for humans, but in a cold November morning in 1969, a group of Native American Indians occupied the island, but 9 months later they were all evacuated of the island, because someone daughter was killed. At that point the documentary ends abruptly, but despite this, it is quite a nice little documentary and you learn a lot about the history of the Island of Alcatraz.
Special Feature: Jerry Bruckheimer Interview  [480i] [1.33:1] [16:06] here we get to hear intimate details about Jerry Bruckheimer’s life and ambitions. Jerry talks about his early years when he was a child and when he got hold of a camera, he was very keen on photography. But once he started going to Saturday Morning Pictures, he was hooked on films in general and was determined to get a foot hold into the film industry. His first memories of going to the cinema that influenced him a great deal later in life and the films he specifically mentions are ‘Mr. Roberts;’ ‘Doctor Zhivago;’ ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Bridge On The River Kwai,’ which he classes as his favourite film. He feels films should match the visuals, with the combination of a good story, and that is why jerry admired the director David Lean and that is what Jerry tries to do with all his films. He mentions all the films that started his career, which includes ‘American Gigolo’ ; ‘Flashdance’  and of course ‘Top Gun’  which he tells he had a lot of support from the military. His next project was ‘The Rock’  and was eager to bring in Sean Connery, who he felt gave a pivotal aspect to the film. He also talks about the difficult logistics of bringing all the equipment to the Island of Alcatraz, where they had 10 miles worth of electrical cable and lots of trailer helicoptered in for all the actors and staff, and he tells us the weather was so unpredictable, and there was lot of hold ups. This is quite a nice little intimate special interview and to actually get to hear Jerry Bruckheimer was great, especially hearing all of his views and intimate aspect of his life and well worth a view.
Blu-ray Promotional Advert  [1080p] [2.35:1] This is to promote certain Blu-ray Titles, which includes ‘Gone in 60 Seconds;’ ‘Flightplan;’ ‘Pearl Harbor;’ ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ + Blu-Scape. They inform us that it is “Beyond High Definition.” Please Note: When the Blu-ray disc loads up, the Promotional Advert automatically plays and you cannot go straight to the Menu or play the film.
Finally, 'The Rock' is a totally awesome entertaining action packed film that really prioritises the characters and story which combines totally a rarity in action films these days. This Blu-ray edition of the film features a remarkable stunning 1080p video transfer, an awesome booming 5.1 LPCM Surround audio track, and a nice collection of supplements ported from The Criterion Collection NTSC DVD. So to totally honest and blunt, toss your inferior NTSC DVD copy and pick this awesome Blu-ray disc up post haste, as it will satisfy all your hopes and desires in an action film that will make you feel exhausted by the time the credits roll up the screen. But best of all, purchasing this Limited Edition SteelBook is an even bigger incentive in purchasing this Blu-ray, as it is just sensational addition to your Limited Edition SteelBook Collection. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
on April 12, 2002
The Rock Dvd was the first disc I bought when I finally purchased a DVD player 4 years ago.It was my favorite movie at that time and it still remains so.Unfortunately the disc didn't include ANY extras at all and the picture transfer and sound quality were below average.Last year,when I heard that The Rock was getting a Criterion release it so much deserved,this was one of the best DVD news I ever got.
General Hummel (Ed Harris)is highly frustrated because many soldiers under his command died in secret operations and they didn't get the treatment they deserved from the government.Hummel is determined to change that,and when all else fails, with the help of ex-marines,he seizes control of Alcatraz Prison,which is now a tourist attraction,and threatens to launch chemical weapons on San Fransisco unless his demands are met.The government decides to infiltrate the island with marines,and they also need the help of FBI biochemist Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage),who is more of a science man than an action man.However,nobody knows much about Alcatraz's infrastructure and the maze of tunnels below the rock,and the only person who owns that kind of information is the only person who has ever been able to escape from there,John Mason (Sean Connery),a man who has been held in prison for many years without trial,and we don't know why.Goodspeed,Mason and the marines team up to enter the rock,neutralize the chemical weapons and release the hostages.As the movie progresses,we also learn more about Mason,his past,why he was in prison and who he is.
The Rock is one of the best action movies ever,if not the best.The primary reason is I think the presence of 3 great actors,who take their characters seriously,which sets the movie apart from the competition.Ed Harris plays General Hummel beautifully,we can never be sure whether he will actually "do it",Sean Connery is Sean Connery as usual and Mason character will remind many people of another character Connery is so famous for,and finally Nic Cage,in maybe his first great action movie,portays an original and often funny character.Director Michael Bay's fast cutting techniques and visual stylization is a nice fit for this kind of film,although many people don't take him as a serious director.The script seems composed of parts from many other movies we have seen before,but still,The Rock somehow manages to be interesting.The original score by Hans Zimmer is genuinely magnicifent and is one of the other reasons why the Rock is sensational.
The Dvd extras are a handful and I don't think you will be disappointed.There is a commentary by Michael Bay,Cage,producer Bruckheimer and Ed Harris.It is a bit dull and I wish it included Connery as well.The other extras are special effect analysis,the history of Alcatraz,world premiere and some outtakes and deleted extended scenes.What sets the criterion edition apart from the previous version is the anomorphic digital transfer,and the picture&sound quality.If you want the Rock as a part of your collection,Criterion edition is the right one for you.
If you are into action movies,I can not think of a reason why you shouldn't like The Rock.And even if you already own the previous dvd edition,you definitely should consider buying this one too..