The Fugitive (20th Anniversary Edition) escapes onto blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.78:1 encode. Compared with the completely flawed 2008 BD-25 MPEG-2 (bit-rate at 20.96 Mbps) blu ray release, this new 20th Anniversary Edition is a major step up, and justly placed on a BD-50 disc (with bit-rate 25.29 Mpbs). First of all, there was no distracting use of DNR and edge enhancement, with a natural layer of grain present. The detail is impressive, both in the many closeups of Ford and Jones, and in larger crowd scenes, such as the chaotic chase in the lobby of the Daley Center and the St. Patrick's Day parade. The debris that once littered the film is now absent. All specs and lines caused by dirt and fibres have been removed. The jutter from the 2006 Blu-ray is also missing, with edges of objects now appearing natural and normal. The black levels, which crushed incessantly before, are now deep and rich. This transfer, while not demo-worthy, is vast improvement over its 2006 blu ray counterpart. (4/5)
Just as the video encoding was upgraded for the 20th Anniversary Edition, so was the audio quality. The old blu ray carried a standard 5.1 Dolby Digital track, but now we're blessed to have an impressive 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track to carry us through the film.
The opening credits kick off this great new remastered track. As title letters spin onto the screen and reveal flashlights in the background, the echoing scored tones proudly ring out through all channels loud and clear. James Newton Howard's score is probably the strongest part about this audio mix. Just like the music, sounds effects are also very well mixed. The roar of the water running through the dam sluices accompanies Gerard's chase of Kimble through the drain tunnels, and the police helicopter that pursues Kimble on the roof of the Hilton in the film's climactic sequence can be heard flying around the room. Dialogue is generally clear. The new "Thrill of the Chase" documentary contains a telling comparison of a scene played with and without the score. (4.5/5)
What is also so fascinating about watching The Fugitive 20 years after it was made is that it comes from a time before widespread CGI, when heroes were ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances, not the other way around. So many big-budget thrillers these days put their protagonists in such over-the-top jeopardy (swinging from flying helicopters, leaping out of exploding buildings in a single bounce, etc.) that they don't seem like flesh-and-blood human beings but superheroes. Watching The Fugitive is still so exciting because for the most part, that's really Ford up there on the screen in physical jeopardy - whether leaping out of the way of a speeding freight train (as you learn in this disc's included supplements) or breathlessly eluding his captors during a crowded St. Patrick's Day parade, this doesn't feel like a comic book - it feels real.
Sharply directed by Andrew Davis and filmed on location in Chicago, everything about The Fugitive works with a clockwork precision. It is one of the last remnants of a now-bygone era - the era of the real-world thriller, one that's exciting and involving and suspenseful not merely because of what the fantastical things its characters do, but who they are. I still have the original VHS tape, plus the 1993 Laser Disc, 2001 DVD and 2006 blu ray disc. Even if you have a repeat dipping history resembling mine (other example being Peter Pan, which I got soundly criticized for by my better half), I still highly recommend picking up this 20th Anniversary Edition. The new 1080p transfer is worlds better than the last edition's and the lossless audio mix is fantastic. All of the original features are included, as are two new Blu-ray exclusive special features. The price is also relatively cheap. This set is a Must-Own.
Finally, as per usual Amazon.ca tradition, reviews of the DVD or the 2006 blu ray are included in the section for this latest version. Please read the date of review carefully before you waste time reading unrelated reviews.
on August 18, 2007
this action/thriller/murder mystery is directed By Andrew Davis(Under
Siege)it is intended to be a Harrison Ford vehicle,but the movie is
really owned by tommy Lee Jones.Jones plays a U.S. Marshall on the
trail of a a high profile,respected doctor(Ford)who find himself
accused of the murder of his wife(Sela Ward).Jones brings some great
intensity to role,yet at the same time he manages to be understated.not
an easy task,but Jones is more than equal to the task.this movie is
based The series of the same name from the 60's,but how accurate It is
to its source material is anyones guess.obviously the film has been
updated for contemporary audiences.the movie is quite exciting and fast
paced,with some good suspenseful moments.there's also a few plot twists
to keep you guessing.i rather enjoyed it.for me,The Fugitive is a 4/5
Everyone remembers the 1963 series where Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen) goes running around in every episode just missing the criminal that killed his wife. He in turn is being chased by Lt. Philip Gerard (Barry Morse) who thinks Kimble did it and is a fugitive from the law. The whole thing was narrated by William Conrad.
Well now we have the movie. This time we have a beginning middle and ending all in 161 minutes.
Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) and his wife Helen (Sela Ward) are the perfect couple. Then one night while he was working for some inexplicable reason a despicable person dispatches Helen. On her way to the netherworld she inadvertently says Richard on the 911 call. One thing leads to another and Kimble gets the blame. In the process of transporting him from one containment system to another the transport meets with a little accident; now Kimble is free to locate the real perpetrator. Now it is up to Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) to find and retrieve Kimble.
Now that we have covered the basic there is nowhere to begin to tell how great this movie is on many levels. The anticipation of the chase of Kimble to find the perpetrator (by the way he has only one arm) before Gerard catches him. We get close and have a few read herrings. Tommy Lee gets to keep his stoic look as he says things like "I don't care." And "I don't bargain."
Personaly I think that the Chicago police knew all along who the real bad guy was and was covering for him several times right up to the end. They went out of there way to paint Kimble as the bad guy. Detective Rosetti (Joseph F. Kosala) also tried to stop him from revealing the real perpetrator. Rosetti referring to Kimball even after the truth is revealed "He's going down. You won't help us, you stay the hell out!"
Everyone remembers the 1963 series where Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen) goes running around in every episode just missing the criminal that killed his wife. Lt. Philip Gerard (Barry Morse) who thinks Kimble did it and is a fugitive from the law in turn is chasing him. William Conrad narrated the whole thing.
Well now, we have the movie. This time we have a beginning middle and ending all in 161 minutes.
Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) and his wife Helen (Sela Ward) are the perfect couple. Then one night while he was working for some inexplicable reason a despicable person dispatches Helen. On her way to the netherworld, she inadvertently says Richard on the 911 call. One thing leads to another and Kimble gets the blame. In the process of transporting him from one containment system to another the transport meets with a little accident; now Kimble is free to find locate the real perpetrator. Now it is up to Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) to find and retrieve Kimble.
Now that we have covered, the basic there is not where to begin to tell how great this movie is on many levels. The anticipation of the chase of Kimble to find the perpetrator (by the way, he has only one arm) before Gerard catches him. We get close and have a few red herrings. Tommy Lee gets to keep his stoic look as he says things like "I don't care." And "I don't bargain."
Personally, I think that the Chicago police knew all along who the real bad guy was and was covering for him several times right up to the end. They went out of their way to paint Kimble as the bad guy. Detective Rosetti (Joseph F. Kosala) also tried to stop him from revealing the real perpetrator. Rosetti referring to Kimball even after the truth is revealed, "He's going down. You won't help us, you stay the hell out!"
on July 1, 2004
That is well known sentence from this action hit which put an Oscar in hands of Tommy Lee Jones. Somebody killed dr. Richard Kimble's (Ford) wife, but all clues are against him. After all, who can be stupid enough to say that - One arm man did it?! His escape after bus accident will be his second chance to proove his innocents. But, that will be damn hard. Especially because after him is federal marshal who "doesn't care" about anything, except to bring the fugitive back (by any costs). Kimble will discover that he was in strong net made of lies and conspiracy, and that his only way out is to find proofes to clear his name and bring killer in front of justice. Jones supposed to be a good guy, but you'll hate him all the movie (well, it's not his falt, he's just good actor). Harrison is great, older, but still in good shape. Since Indiana Jones, he never has better role than this. You'll be right next to him, trying to solve the puzzle, hoping that he will succeed to find who ruined his life. Excellent story, good locations and ideas. Definetly collection material.
on June 10, 2004
If I were stranded on a desert island and all I could have was my abysmally sparse movie collection, I would make sure "The Fugitive" was in it. Thankfully, it is. This is one of the most entertaining and engaging movies ever, far superior to a lot of movies playing these days. For the few of you who don't know the plot, I'll run it past you without spoiling much...
The story revolves around a Chicago surgeon named Dr. Richard Kimball (Harrison Ford) who is convicted of murdering his wife (Sela Ward). He pleads innocent, claiming that a one-armed man committed the heinous crime (the opening sequence, showing the murder in flashback style, is chillingly realistic). Well, no one believes the good doctor's alibi, and he is sentenced to death. However, after his prison bus crashes into a train, he escapes back to Chicago to find the murderer, while keeping away from US Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) and his team of deputies.
Having never seen the old TV series, this movie was nevertheless fantastic. The thrills just keep coming, as well as the tongue-in-cheek humor, courtesy of Tommy Lee Jones and Joe Pantoliano (as Cosmo, Sam's deputy), who really steal the show in a lot of scenes. The screenplay is obviously very sharp. The train-and-bus wreck will take your breath away, as will the waterfall sequence. Aside from these action scenes, it's great that this movie is shot in Chicago, one of the greatest cities in North America. Sorry, personal bias, I loved Chicago when I visited a couple years back. The acting is very well done, and the characters are very three-dimensional. Sometimes it feels like you're watching a modern "Les Miserables". Nice transition from action thriller to action-mystery as the film enters its second half. If you follow the plot, which is fairly easy to keep up with, the ending will shock you. All in all, "The Fugitive" is definitely worth the bang for your hard-earned buck. If you haven't seen this wonderful piece of movie-making, do so ASAP.
Quality-wise, the DVD is pretty good. Director Andrew Davis does a cool little documentary on how the train wreck was filmed.
on May 4, 2004
From the original STAR WARS trilogy to his INDIANA JONES movies and on to his Tom Clancy roles--and with a few offbeat roles like BLADE RUNNER thrown in!--Harrison Ford was the #1 movie star of the of the 1980s and 90s. But as Ford went from intergalactic hired gun to archaelogist and finally, the President, he made one movie that stamped him as ONE HELL OF AN ACTOR!!!--THE FUGITIVE!!!
It's the old David Janssen tv show brought to the big screen for the first time as Harrison Ford takes over Janssen's role as Dr. Richard Kimble, a man wrongly sentenced for the murder of his wife and who manages to escape from a prison bus when it collides with a train. Tommy Lee Jones costars in THE ROLE OF HIS LIFE as US Marshall Sam Gerard, obsessed with one thing:
GET RICHARD KIMBLE!!! But Harrison Ford on the run isn't easy to catch!
Director Andrew Davis does a great job directing--his UNDER SEIGE was good, too, but nothing like this!--with a terrific script and lots of action, and the Jerry Goldsmith music is almost as good as in the original PLANET OF THE APES!
THE FUGITIVE on tv was one of the best tv shows ever, but THE FUGITIVE movie is even better!
THE FUGITIVE IS HARRISON FORD'S BEST MOVIE!!!
on February 24, 2004
"The Fugitive" to me is my favorite movie starring Harrison Ford outside of either the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" trilogies. This movie to me showcased how an actor who was known by two movie series could branch out into totally new territory and "The Fugitive" is the best example of this. This is my favorite movie starring Harrison Ford outside the ID movies he starred in during the 1980s. I have never seen the original TV series so I'm not going to bother comparing that with the movie. Starring Harrison Ford as the surgeon Richard Kimble, and Tommy Lee Jones as Sam Gerard, these two actors were perfect for their roles as antagonistic good guys, both are on the side of good but are major rivals at heart, Kimble as a man on the run, and Gerard as the pursuer of him, unaware that the real killer of Kimble's wife is walking freely without trouble and actually has one arm (His other was presumably lost in an accident).
It all begins at Chicago Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago where Richard Kimble is a highly respect, world renowned surgeon who is skilled surgically grafting new artificial limbs to amputees. His life however is wrecked one night when his wife Helen Kimble is murdered by an intruder and Richard Kimble is arrested and convicted of the murder of his wife when in fact, it wasn't him. After a catastrophic bus crash kills several of his cellmates, Kimble escapes and tries to get back home, determined to hunt down the one who is truly responsible for his wife's murder. Kimble is being chased down by numerous law enforcement agents who are also determined to catch him and have him put to death but Kimble tirelessly pursues the man who is really responsible for his wife's murder and the destruction of his reputation. His chief pursuer U.S. Marshall Sam Gerard however is tirelessly hot in his trail and Kimble is always on the move. A lot of really surprising answers will be discovered during Kimble's pursuit of his wife's real killer and a very shocking truth will come up about the motives behind the murder. Kimble is hell bent on proving his innocence.
Almost everything that can be good about a movie especially a crime thriller comes together perfectly on "The Fugitive". The main characters Richard Kimble and Sam Gerard are absolutely incredible and show amazing depth and personality. One feels incredible sympathy for the falsely accused criminal Richard Kimble but also appalled at the Marshall's hell-bent pursuit of him when he's unaware or even cares of the target he's chasing isn't the one responsible. Chicago to me, was the perfect city for the movie to be filmed in, and the various places they go are sometimes out of the usual places and even go to places that most people don't ever see. I also love how both Kimble, and the U.S. Marshall officers figure out where Kimble really is and how Kimble himself outsmarts them every time. A lot of things really come to mind when seeing this film. When I first saw this a long time ago, it was a lot of fun with the non stop action but now I have come to realize that sometimes some of the most innocent people have been incarcerated for absolutely heinous crimes that were committed by others and even met their tragic end when the real criminals have gotten away with it even if the criminals do get apprehended in the end.
Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones are absolutely amazing in this movie and really brought their characters to life on here. Harrison Ford's role as Richard Kimble is absolutely powerful and moving and the numerous ways he gets places and defies his captors are just amazing, and even scary at times considering that serious real life criminals like drug dealers and serial killers and other felons use various means to defy the law. On the other hand, Tommy Lee Jones steals the stoplight....eh , I meant spotlight as the obsessive U.S. Marshall Sam Gerard as he is obsessively pursuing Kimble and bringing him in but also the two when speaking by phone are in fact helping to solve the real puzzle behind the crime that claimed Mrs. Kimble's life and pursue the real criminal whose behind it all. The other character worth mentioning is Dr. Nichols (The actor who plays him eludes me) as he brings some surprising answers especially towards the latter half of the movie. I also liked Joe Pantoliano as Gerard's sidekick Cosmo Renfro.
You must get this movie. "The Fugitive" is one of the most gripping, edge of your seat, action crime thrillers that has come out in the last 25 years, if not the most gripping. "Catch Me If You Can" tries to imitate the whole cat and mouse pursuit styles of this movie but while good, CMIYC pales in comparison because "The Fugitive" has such powerful drama, something missing from CMIYC. Don't get me wrong, CMIYC is good in it's own way but pales in comparison. The extras in this "Special Edition" aren't really all that much to write home about and are rather unimpressive and hardly warrant this being called a "Special Edition" and the extra content adds little if anything to an already excellent movie. If you have the older DVD that was available before the special edition came out, you aren't missing out on anything on the newer edition. Despite the unremarkable extras on the "Special Edition" DVD, this movie is definitely one to own as it's one of the best movies that Harrison Ford has starred in outside of the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" movies. I would also say the same for Tommy Lee Jones as he is at his absolute best on this movie.
on February 4, 2004
Fans of the original series and those not in the know loved this movie when it came out, seemingly so many years ago. It sparked a wave of nostalgia for the original series and re-runs of it were constant.
While Harrison Ford's persona has become a bit typecast in his recent movies, his take on Dr. Richard Kimble was spot on, channeling David Jansson's (sorry if that's spelled wrong) portrayal to the tee. Ford took the original character, expanded his "good guy" elements and created a character as memorable as the original.
Jansson's Fugitive was a smart man and used his smarts week to week, to face each new crisis. Ford does this well, stopping to diagnose a sick child and endangering his own freedom by saving a prison gaurd on the bus that was taking him toward his own execution. At the same time, he maintained his hell-bent determination to prove his innocence.
Jansson did "harried" very well in the series and there's one scene in the movie where we see Ford at a distance, walking down a street. Because it's dark and he's a ways away, it almost looks as though Jansson had come back from the dead to do the scene, it's that convincing.
This movie has, and will stand up to the test of time because of it's study of character, be it Kimble, or Jones's Girard. A definite must-see.
on January 23, 2004
I got The Fugitive when it first came out on video. I never saw the TV series the movie is based on, but Harrison Ford is convincing as convicted murderer Dr. Richard Kimble. After flashbacks of the scene of the murder of Richard's wife as well as Richard's trial, director Andrew Davis shows Richard boarding the prison bus. On his way to prison, Richard survives a spectacular bus-train collision which kills all of his fellow prisoners, and after escaping the crash, he is pursued by U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard(Tommy Lee Jones), who vows to hunt him down. While Sam is on his tail, Richard tries to lead Sam and Sam's fellow detectives to Sykes(Andreas Katsulas), the one-armed security guard who actually committed the murder. Richard is momentarily cornered at a waterfall, but when he is confronted by Sam, he shouts "I did not kill my wife!" and then jumps into the river. With everybody except for Sam thinking he might have drowned, Richard eludes his pursuers by hiding along the riverbank, going through small towns, removing his facial hair, and eventually making his way back to Chicago, where he practiced medicine. Along the way he crashes a St. Patrick's Day parade and a banquet, saves a young accident victim's life, and all the time tries to stay one step ahead of his pursuers by finding evidence that exonerates him, first by breaking into Sykes' office and then visiting former colleagues. Meanwhile, Sam interviews acquaintances and colleagues of Richard's, including, in addition to alleged hit man Sykes, Richard's medical colleague Chuck Nichols(Jeroen Krabbe). To make a long story short, Sykes, the one-armed man, is apprehended, and when Sam makes the climactic confrontation with Richard on the rooftop, he reveals that Chuck had borrowed Richard's car the night Richard's wife died(this was hinted at in the opening scenes) and that Sykes, the hit man, had been with Chuck when the latter went to Richard's home, even though Sykes denied knowing Richard when Sam interviewed him. In short, Richard is innocent. Watching the film, I got a sense of Richard's desperation as he flees his pursuers. At the same time, he emerges as a heroic figure as he puts all the pieces of the puzzle together. Harrison's portrayal of Richard is dramatic and believable. Tommy Lee Jones, however, steals the show as Sam, the U.S. Marshal. Initially a gruff cop who is convinced of his suspect's guilt, Sam eventually mellows as he reveals that the proof he has points to Richard's innocence. The plot seemed a little disjointed at times--I couldn't figure out at first how Richard's clues(the switched drug samples, his colleagues' interviews) matched up with Sam's(the photos taken from Sykes' office, for instance). It turns out--at least it's implied, however--that Richard's deceased wife might have been involved in one of the failed drug trials alluded to in the movie and that Chuck had arranged the murder to cover things up. There's a lot of good action, however, and the cast is stellar. I haven't seen a lot of movies starring either Harrison or Tommy Lee, but both their performances in The Fugitive are powerful. Sela Ward(of TV's "Sisters") has an understated but important role as Richard's wife, Helen, and Joe Pantoliano, who plays Sam's key investigator, provides some humorous moments. All in all, if you want action, suspense, and drama, The Fugitive has all of them.