4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2004
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
In this director approved Criterion Collection release, we are treated to some excellent materials.
The film follows the story of Francis Hummel (Ed Harris), a retired marine who takes hostages on Alcatraz island. His demand is that the families of soldiers killed in covert operations be given compensation. He treatens to launch VX nerve gas into the city of San Francisco if his demands are not met. A navy SEAL team is sent in to neutralize the threat. Helping out is Stanley Goodspeed (Nicholas Cage), a chemical weapons expert, and John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery), the only man to have escaped from Alcatraz.
The film has great acting and there are some good laughs in the film also. There are many action packed scenes including a car chase through the streets of San Francisco and the cars are often airborne when they go on the hills.
The Criterion DVD has many special features and is on a deouble disc set.
Disc 1 contains the movie with optional audio commentary by Director Michael Bay, Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Technical advisor Harry Humphries, and actors Nicholas Cage and Ed Harris.
Disc 2 contains a theatrical trailer and TV spots, a video interview with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a blooper reel, a special about the film's premiere on Alcatraz, scenes from a TV special "Secrets of Alcatraz" that contains interviews with actual former inmates and a history of the island from Native American times to modern times.
There is a special "Dos and Don'ts of Hollywood Gunplay" with the film's technical advisor Harry Humpries and Marshall Teague. This specail contains depictions of errors made in action films regarding the use of guns it emphasises saftey and common mistakes including gun drawing techniques that don't "work" such as the "gangster grab" or the "wyatt earp pull".
There are also 2 features on the films special effects. One is on the dive sequence and the other is on other effects, like the cable car crash. There are also storyboards, production stills and drawings.
This is a must biy for fans of the movie as well a fans of the Criterion Collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2007
i loved this movie,mainly because of the spectacular action
sequences.this is definitely an action packed pop corn flick.there is
also a list of huge names in this one.first,we have Sean Connery,who is
usual very good in any movie.then there's Nic Cage,also great as an
action hero.Ed Harris also stars,and is impressive.David Morse is also
in the cast,and as always is understated yet brilliant.rounding out the
cast,we have William Forsythe,and Michael Biehn,two fine but under.
rated and under used actors.so there's lots of star power in this
movie,which is great.and their is also a pretty good story.but what
really propels this movie is the action.yes there are some sequences
that defy reality,but in this case that didn't bother me.i think mainly
because of all the great actors and the fairly strong story(for this
genre,anyway).basically,this is a fun, thrilling movie,with a bit of
depth.i give "The Rock" a 4.5/5
on August 20, 2003
Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage face incredible odds in the action-packed hit "The Rock". A rogue US general and his team seize control of Alcatraz and threaten the city of San Francisco with poison gas rockets. Now the lives of millions rest in the hands of a FBI chemical weapons specialist (Nicolas Cage) and a former Alcatraz escapee (Sean Connery). "The Rock" is a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat spectacle from start to finish. Director Michael Bay has gain success with such films as "Armageddon" and "Bad Boys" but "The Rock" still remains as the director's finest work. Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage have great onscreen chemistry and further drive the film's story. Director Michael Bay stages amazing action sequences including a fierce car chase within the streets of San Francisco.
If you weren't impress with the previous release then upgrade to "The Rock - Criterion Collection". The movie is presented in enhanced widescreen format. The DVD contains a stunning and flawless picture quality with vibrant color and sharpness. The Dolby Digital sound is certainly impressive and offers more aggresive surround effects than the DTS audio track. This 2-Disc Criterion Edition features audio commentaries by cast and crew, FX and action scenes featurettes, outtakes, trailers and the movie's premiere on Alcatraz. "The Rock" is non-stop fun and this Criterion Collection DVD earns an "A".
on September 24, 2002
This is a great movie. I'd recommend the movie to any lover of Sean Connery, Nick Cage, Ed Harris, or action movies. Any type of movie for that matter. Sean Connery seems made for this role, a bitter British agent improsoned for life without trial. His cynisism and great quips make this movie a joy to watch. He constantly will snap back to Nick Cage with a wonderful little quote, my favorite being "Loser's whine about doing their best..... Nick Cage also gives a great performance, and he seems almost made for the role as a reluctant chemical engeneer thrust into an environment he doesn't understand with a man he doesn't trust or know. The movie plays Cage off of Connery, and the result is great dialouge mixed with awesome action sequences. Ed Harris plays the angered general who doesn't want his men, killed in top secret missions with him, to have their families go uncompinsated. You get a great view at his inner torments of wanting his goals to be completed, however, he doesn't want to be responsible for the deaths of many people in San Fransisco. The movie's action and acting is superb, and it is one of my favorite movies. I'd definatly recommend it.
on July 31, 2002
Mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer ("Con Air", "Bad Company") and director Michael Bay ("Pearl Harbor", "Armageddon") bring you this awesome action thriller. The lineup of stars is fit to please all: Sean Connery (yeah, yeah, the first 007), Nicholas Cage ("Face Off", "Con Air"), Ed Harris ("The Abyss", "A Beautiful Mind"). Also available are some of my personal favorite, yet lesser known, actors: Michael Biehn ("Terminator", "The Abyss"), David Morse ("Bait"), Tony Todd ("Candyman"), and William Forsythe ("Out For Justice", "Firestorm").
It all starts when a misguided general (Harris, in what is possibly his best role ever)breaks into a military compound--without seriously hurting any of the guars--and steals fifteen rockets of VX gas. This stuff is bad; as Cage's character later puts it: "It's one of those things we wish we could dis-invent."
The general then takes over Alcatraz Island, taking hostage the tourists. He aims the rockets at San Fransisco, and makes his demands to the Pentagon.
Enter Stanly Goodspeed (Cage), a biochemist working for the FBI. He's their best man; and he's just been called to action. His first job: to watch over inmate John Mason (Connery), a man who's been held without trial since the sixties when he was caught spying for the British government. Mason was once a prisoner of Alcatraz, and the only man to successfully escape. If he wants his freedom, he must lead a SEAL team--and the reluctant and all-to-human Goodspeed--into the heart of the prison to disable the rockets.
What follows is a heart-stopping movie filled with enough suspense to leave you awake for hours afterward, letting your heartbeat slow down. Bruckheimer and Bay know what they're doing here; so does the wonderful cast. Buy "The Rock" today...and it'll rock YOU for a long, long time.
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..
on March 5, 2002
Jerry Bruckheimer might have made some bad movies in the last couple of years (Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, I'm looking at you!), but he and Don Simpson, along with director Michael Bay, teamed for one of the best action movies I've ever seen.
Nicolas Cage is simply outstanding as Stanley Goodspeed, the FBI agent who is thrown into the hostage situation. Rather than play the role like your typical action hero, Cage chose to make Goodspeed an Everyman. While it's a little cliche, I haven't seen it done much better than in The Rock. He reacts the way most people would to his first dive, his first dead body, etc.
Ed Harris is also excellent as General Hummel, who is not the typical bad guy. He really is more of a tragic figure and comes across that way on screen. Hummel doesn't want to kill people, but he knows it's the best way to get what he wants.
But the best part of this movie is the chemistry between Cage and Sean Connery. Up until the very end, you never know whether he and Connery are really on the same team. But the interplay between the two is spectacular. From the car chase to the final moments on Alcatraz, the two go back and forth like they were married. They might seem like they hate each other, but you can see the mutual respect building.
The action scenes are also incredible, helped in part by the outstanding soundtrack. The adrenaline runs high as Connery tears up San Francisco in a humvee, a massive gunfight takes place in the shower room of Alcatraz, and Goodspeed tries to disarm the rockets before the Air Force bombs the prison.
The extras in the Criterion Collection aren't great, although there are some really interesting ones. The piece on Hollywood gunplay is really cool. Otherwise, the other extras include footage from the premier and the trailers, which probably could have been fit on one DVD. But the movie more than makes up for the lack of extras.
Overall, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves action. The sharp script and outstanding action sequences make a great movie.
on June 9, 2001
THE ROCK is the story of General Hummell (Harris) who steals four V-X poison gas rockets, holds his command at Alcatraz Island with 81 hostages, and threatens the government, that he will launch them to San Francisco if his demands aren't met. Now ex-Alcatraz escapee (Connery) leads an army headed by Commander Anderson (Michael Biehn) and an F.B.I. Chemical Weapons expert (Nicolas Cage) into THE ROCK.
"This is one of my top favorite movies! THE ROCK is one of the coolest action movies around! Film making team MICHAEL BAY and JERRY BRUCKHEIMER make the best movies including: ARMAGEDDON and PEARL HARBOR! Nicolas Cage is awesome, and is hilarious as well as Sean Connery! This movie deserved BEST PICTURE in '96 at the Academy Awards! BOTTOM LINE: This movie is superb! It is a non-stop action packed thrill ride of sheer adventure- one of the biggest actioners ever made- if you liked Nicolas Cage in GONE IN 60 SECONDS, FACE/OFF and CON AIR, and if you liked SEAN CONNERY as James Bond- then you will love THE ROCK- especially if you're a big-time action fan! See this movie ASAP! It is awesome"- MJV & the Movies
on May 31, 2001
This DVD is superb! The transfer is brilliant, the extra's are amazing, and the film is one of the best action movies ever made! The Film: The plot of the movie is as follows. A Marine General (Ed Harris) steals some chemical weapons and takes the old prison of Alcatraz as his base of operations. He trains the weapons on San Fransisco, and tells the government that he wants money to be given to the families of the Marines killed under his command. The government turns to an FBI chemical specialist (Nicolas Cage), an imprisoned ex-SAS soldier (Sean Connery) and a team of Navy SEALs (led by Michael Biehn) to get rid of the threat. Needless to say, there are a lot of explosions and gun battles during the course of the assault on Alcatraz.
The Extras: The extras on this edition are brilliant! The best feature is The Do's and Don'ts of HollyWood Gunplay, hosted by Harry Humphries and Marshall Teague (he plays one of the SEALs in the movie). It shows some of the mistakes made in films during gun sequences, and how dangerous these can be. Other extras include a brilliant documentary about the prison itself, and some great info about the special effects in the movie.
All in All, a great buy, and one of the best DVD's available!
on May 17, 2001
A General and a group of patriotic Marines feeling betrayed by their own government have taken over Alcatraz Island and threaten to launch missiles filled with poison gas on San Francisco if their demands are not met. Who's to save the day? A FBI chemical "super freak" with no combat experience (Nicholas Cage) and a retired British Intelligence Agent (Sean Connery) who was a prisoner in Alcatraz. Both must use their wits in order to survive the wrath of the General and the trigger-happy Marines who are loyal to him. Pretty excellent movie from the stealing of the missiles, to the chase in San Francisco and to the fact when Stanley Goodspeed and John Mason find out that they must fight to the end in order to save San Francisco, Alcatraz, and their own lives. Why is it that this movie is good? It has all the elements of an action movie.
One star for gripping story. One star for excellent sound and visuals. One star for action other than huge gunfights like the Matrix or aerial situations such as Air Force One. One star for a different type of hero: A scared chemical expert and an aged man who still got his combat skills! One star for the ending (I won't tell you. You'll have to see it!)
5 stars is my rating and there is no good reason why you cannot rate this movie one star.