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.
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
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 March 24, 2001
Hey, Darth-Jeyl here, about to review the Rock-CC (Criterion Collection).
When I first saw the Rock back in 1996, it immediately became one of my favorite action movies of that year. It was for me, so rare to see an action film that was so focused on its story, character development, and at the same time be very entertaining. The story was good, the characters believable, the acting was solid, the soundtrack was powerful, and the directing was excellent. When the film was introduced to DVD for the first time in 1997, it left a lot to be desired. The DVD transfer for the film came straight from the Laser Disc version, and was non-anamorphic (Not enhanced for widescreen TV's). The DVD was also featureless, carrying only the teaser trailer for the film. The only good thing about the DVD was it's 5.1 Dolby Digital surround track. Four years later, when I heard about a Criterion version of the film coming out to DVD, I had low hopes. Why? Let me explain. This is the second time Michael Bay has released one of his films from Criterion. The first movie he launched from Criterion was Armageddon. Though the DVD featured a lot of extras, a 5.1 Dolby surround, and a new digital transfer, the video wasn't Anamorphic. That was a big disappointment, since the other DVD version of the film wasn't anamorphic either. So, when I heard that Michael Bay was re-releasing the Rock as a 2 disc Criterion edition, I thought it was going to be like the Armageddon Criterion Edition. Now that I got the DVD, let's move on to the full review.
Story: When a highly decorated, retired Marine General (Ed Harris) and his army seize a stockpile of chemical weapons, and take over Alcatraz (aka The Rock), he demands Restitution to the families of the soldiers that died in covert operations. If the payment is refused, he will launch the chemical weapons at the heart of San Francisco. As the Pentagon debates on how to handle the situation, they decide to send an elite Navy Seal team to go into Alcatraz, disarm the weapons, and take the island. Since the power of the chemical weapons is extreme, they bring in an FBI Chemical Expert, Stanley Goodspeed(Nicolas Cage) to help them with the disarmament. The problem, how do you get into Alcatraz? Since all known experts on the island are dead, they bring in a former Alcatraz prisoner John Mason(Sean Connery) who once escaped Alcatraz, to assist the team on getting in. Thanks to Mason's knowledge, the team makes it into the island undetected. However, after walking in to an unsuspected trap, everyone on the team except Mason and Goodspeed are killed. Now, it's up to a chemical freak who has never seen combat, and a former prisoner who hasn't seen combat for over 30 years, to carry out the mission alone. Their problem? They've got 20 professionally trained killer marines on the hunt for them, 15 deadly chemical weapons to defuse, the entire population of San Francisco to save, and only 15 hours to complete the mission.
Disc 1-The Movie: The Rock on Disc 1, is presented in it's original aspect ratio 2.35:1 in an anamorphic transfer. Which means it's ENHANCED! Not only that, but it's also got a new digital transfer that looks absolutely gorgeous. There are hardly any signs of grain, the colors look very solid, and the letterbox framing is very accurate. This is one of the best transfers Criterion has ever released for a film. For the audio side, we get 4 audio tracks. A Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround sound tracks, a 2.0 Dolby surround, and a Commentary Track. To sum up the audio for ya, if you have a 5.1 Dolby or DTS setup, it will destroy your home. From the beginning of the film, the surround sound action is nearly constant. If you want to see what the audio is really made of, go to chapter 11(Car Chase), and crank up the audio. The Commentary track for The Rock features Director Michael Bay, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, actors Nicolas cage and Ed Harris, and technical advisor (and ex-Navy SEAL) Harry Humphries. Please keep in mind that this is not a group commentary. This is one of those commentaries where each participant recorded their portion separately and were than edited together. I know a lot of people who despise these types of tracks, but for this particular one, it really works. Each participant has something very useful to say about almost every scene in the movie. If you really want to know a lot more about the Rock, check out this track, it's actually the best part of the whole set in my opinion.
Disc 2-The Features: For the second disc, we get an average amount of features that are common on almost every 2 disc set. There is a lengthy interview with Jerry Bruckhimer that I found quite nice, an analysis of the dive sequence which is really cool(All those swimmers were puppets!), a movie magic episode on the film's special effects, a really nice documentary about the dos and don'ts of Hollywood gunplay, a documentary on Alcatraz itself which covers almost every aspect of the island's history, promotional material such as trailers, TV spots, and The Rock world premiere on the Alcatraz island itself, and a bunch of story boards and production drawings.
Final Comments: Well, this disc was a pleasure to get. I can finally watch the Rock as it was originally intended on my 16x9 television. I'm glad Criterion did all the right stuff with this DVD.
Goods: Great movie, good acting, Excellent Transfer, Great sound, wonderful commentary track, nice extras, and ENHANCED!
Bads: Though the second disc has many extras, some of them have almost nothing to do with the movie. Many people might find some of the extras pointless.
Darth-Jeyls rating: 8 out of 10
on March 11, 2001
If your a fan of The Rock then this is the ultimate DVD collection to own. I own the original DVD release as well and that version just can't compare! The lack of true 16x9 enchancements really show through. The Criterion version contains a complete digital transfered widescreen enchanced for 16x9 edition! The quality is outstanding, really looking 100% better in 16x9 mode on a WEGA tv.
The new version also includes a DTS soundtrack (also has DD 5.1) something that was missed in the original release. I feel DTS is superior to DD 5.1 and when I always purchase the DTS versions for my collection. There is also a 2nd DVD full of extras including outtakes, documentaries, interviews, storyboards, and more. There is also audio commentary by Bay, Bruckheimer, Cage and Ed Harris on the first DVD.
If your a fan of The Rock or other movies by Michael Bay/Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer you owe it to yourself to pick this version up!
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.