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Getaway (Blu-ray Review)

Plain and simple…this review is going to suck.  It’s not because I hated the movie or anything like that.  It’s because this review is going to p1$$ off a lot of people and completely contradict everything that’s sane and which makes sense in this universe according to the gospel that is, Rotten Tomatoes.  I know this and I completely understand this.  That’s why I’m issuing the following disclaimer to anyone brave enough to read the below Blu-ray review.  If you never go against the grain, have any opinion of your own contrary to popular consensus or are just a hateful person in general who likes to cause unnecessary drama, PLEASE I want you to stop reading this now.  Be forewarned that I’m taking away everyone’s First Amendment rights here because I will NOT entertain or harbor any comments of hate or ill-sentiments against this movie below.  Like Ghost Rider and Lords of Salem is to some of our writers here, Getaway is to me…a totally guilty pleasure that I have not felt since the days of watching Megan Fox come out of the lake in Jennifer’s Body.  As far as this review is concerned I could care less about the universal pan on this movie.  I know, admit and count myself among the decisive 3% of the Rotten Tomatoes population in regards to this feature and I’m not interested in your opinions at all.  I have a job to do and that job is providing and unbiased review of Getaway on Blu-ray.  So if you’re still with me, let’s get racing!  If not, I’ll see you later.  You’re going to need a big V8 engine to keep up with me in this high-octane review!

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Film 

Here’s the plain and simple truth…as a Mustang lover and high speed junkie I enjoyed the hell out of this film for what it’s worth.  What’s the story?  Who cares?!  Why is Selena Gomez such a bad actress?  Who cares?!  Who is the Voice and why are these events even happening?  Again…WHO CARES?!

So I guess you’re probably asking what do I care about at all in this film?  I mean I must care about something if I decided upon a middle of the road score for this feature, right?  Correct!  For me…it’s all about the car…a Shelby GT500 Mustang Super Snake.  Despite being a huge fan of Eleanor, the famous 1967 Shelby Cobra Mustang in Gone in 60 Seconds, I’m sorry, she has nothing on this Snake (one of the most beautiful muscle cars I have ever laid eyes on).  You can erase Jon Voight, Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez’s names from the flick’s one-sheet theatrical poster and simply put starring “blankety-blank” as the Super Snake and you have your star billing there, at least for me.

Let’s step away for a few seconds from my fantasies and talk some factoids, okay?  Getaway was directed by Courtney Solomon from a script written by Gregg Maxwell Parker and Sean Finegan.  Historically speaking, it’s the last Dark Castle Entertainment flick to be released by Warner Bros., as Universal has now taken over.  And let’s make no mistake here, Getaway is NOT a remake of the 1972 film The Getaway.  If you can call our Getaway here a story, it’s an original one albeit.

Now we that we have all those cards out on the table, let’s talk about plot.  Or should I say what plot?!  All I know is this.  Former race car driver Brent Magna (Hawke) arrives home to find his place ransacked and his wife missing.  He then receives a call from a mysterious man (Voight) who instructs him to steal the star of our show, the Super Snake.  He is then given instructions and he is told that if he does not follow those instructions to a tee (mounted video cameras capture his every move) or gets caught by the police his wife will die.  What follows is a blur of non-stop action, choppy editing (think the Bourne films with cars) and enough “really’s” to make it feel like you are watching a Cleveland Browns game.  There is no conceivable or logical rhyme or reason for what is happening onscreen.  It’s just a mishmash of fast driving, frantic car chases, bad dialogue and monstrous engine revs (I had to change my pants multiple times).  And we have not even talked about Selena Gomez yet either.  Should we even waste the time?  Nah!

So if the movie is this bad, then why did I give it such a borderline high score?  Well, one thing is for sure…I went into this with absolutely zero expectations.  I even had my reservations about reviewing this one as I knew I would not get that precious time back.  Once upon a time this August, I even had free passes to see this film on my birthday and like a pansy I passed because of all the numerous negative Nancy reviews out there.  And now I’m kicking myself because I should have seen this feature for the same very reason I love it today…for the Super Snake!  It was the most beautiful stallion I have ever seen and man did it go through hell.  If it wasn’t for the later moments of body damage in the film I would have sworn it was invincible/indestructible.

Do you remember a foreign film put out by Sony last year called The Raid: Redemption?  While the plot was very light, the movie was a non-stop action ride, never minding the lunacy of it all.  Well, take that light plot of Raid’s and maybe dumb it down ever more while also adding more non-stop action and that’s what you have with Getaway.  It’s nothing tangible in sense, and may even lower IQ watching it, but if you can let it…it can take you for a one hell of a ride.  And what I like most about Getaway, as unbelievable as it is, is the stunt work.  There’s no CG or fake explosions.  This sh1t is real folks.  Stand back because this one-of-a-kind car is the real deal performing actual stunts.  Do not try this at home.  And why the setting of Bulgaria?  Why not?!!  I’m sure that had something to do with keeping these unbelievable stunts down to a premium of only 18 million dollars here.  And while it’s a shame that Getaway didn’t at least break even at the box office, I’m still very much happy with the finished product I have in hand despite what all the naysayers say.  Call it a guilty pleasure.  Call it stupidity.  Call it what you want.  I’m a fan of Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8’s) and this was an adrenaline thrill ride no matter how bad Selena Gomez was or how credible the subject matter was.  I had a blast with this from the moment I hit play and I’m looking forward very much to being thrusted back in my viewing chair once again with this high-octane boosted Blu-ray release.

2nd Disclaimer: I am NOT stupid and I don’t believe for one minute that this film constitutes a “great” film, but we all have these little ones that we secretly love for the fun factor and this one’s mine…hence the middle of the road film score.  Anyone that can’t comprehend that feeling and affinity I have towards this film…I’m really sorry.

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Video 

Warner Bros. drives Getaway onto the Blu-ray format with a scene-by-scene changing AVC MPEG-4 video encode framed in a race day widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio presentation.  I say scene-by-scene because things are constantly changing here.  One minute we’re inside the car, and the next we’re out.  One minute police cars are chasing us and the next we’re seeing the asphalt and road from the Super Snake’s point of view.  Other moments The Voice is looking in on us through the mounted video cameras inside the Snake’s cockpit.  Whatever your flavor or best point of view is, things look really good here (and I’m not just talking about the car).  Because this film is mostly neutral and shot in a cooler color contrast, the black levels are very crucial here and I’m happy to report they don’t disappoint.  Things are clear and sharp when they want to be (as long as you don’t expect that 3-D pop throughout).  As you can hopefully tell, this is very much an intentional way of storytelling as you see the paper thin plot unfold all around you from every possible which way.  I do have to say, the gearhead in me absolutely loved when we saw the road from the Mustang’s point of view.  It was like playing a video game.  There are no artifacts, blemishes or noise in the print to talk about so we’re safe there.  Say what you want about the film, but I would be willing to bet 97% of the population would agree that the video presentation looks rather swell here.

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Audio 

Say what you want about this film.  Whether you think it is rubbish or road kill, there’s no denying that whether or not you like the series of events unfolding onscreen, this one’s got a surround track that will blow you away and have you blasting off just like you were in the cockpit of the Super Snake thanks to Warner Bros. and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track they drop on us.  You feel every clutch pedal press/depress, shift of the gears, roar of the Stang and screech of the tires.  It’s all captured and preserved here in all its glory for us muscle car gearheads to truly enjoy and relish over.  Every rev had me at hello here.  The growl of that Super Stang gave me multiple orgasms.  I know, I know.  I’m messed up.  However, I told you above…I live for these kind of cars.  Now I don’t have rich parents like one of our main characters does or ever know how I could afford one of these, but a boy can dream and enjoy this onscreen lunacy, right?  I won’t waste anymore of your time here.  You already know this is spectacular because it has the Warner Bros. name on it.  They have been hitting home runs all year long with their new releases.  What makes you think this one would be any different?  You’re immersed here in the onscreen environment and all you need to do is try and find a way to enjoy the ride…if that’s possible for you.  The dialog, as dumb as it is sometimes, is all loud and clear.  I’m in love with this audio surround track and if you can get past the film, I think you would be too!  Selectable via the main menu are Dolby Digital 5.1 surround tracks for French and Spanish as well as subtitles in those two languages and of course for English too.  Fasten your seat belts!  It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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Extras 

Besides the redemption code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy, there are only five really brief and really repetitive featurettes to be found here on this Blu-ray release.  Let’s cut the chase and talk about the action here.  You get it?  I said the chase…because it’s a car chase flick.  LOL.  Alright, never mind…that was dumb, I agree.

  • Behind The Scenes: Crash Cam (HD, 1:12) – This one talks about the fact that there are 18-42 cameras every take to capture a 360-degree point of view.  Pretty impressive, huh?!
  • Behind The Scenes: Destroying a Custom Shelby (HD, 1:06) – This one talks about how they worked with Shelby to create this car.  Selena Gomez also chimes in to exclaim how great a driver Ethan Hawke really is.
  • Behind The Scenes: Metal and Asphalt (HD, 1:09) – The film’s director, Courtney Solomon, talks about how they used zero CG in the car stunts and how everything is real.  He says they went through 130 cars and we also get treated to a quick behind-the-scenes look at one of the stunts.
  • Behind The Scenes: Selena Gomez – On Set (HD, 1:19) – Ethan chimes in about Selena’s role while she dishes about why she likes Getaway so much because it’s a simple film.
  • Behind The Scenes: The Train Station (HD, 1:03) – There’s a lot of repetition in this one as we touch upon the fact that once again there is no CG and these are real explosions that were rigged.  I know you all probably hate this film, but this scene is truly amazing to me.  When I saw it during the movie I thought it had to be fake…not the case at all!

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Summary 

If you made it this far in my review, congratulations.  I’m not going to “spin my wheels” anymore and make excuses for having fun with this title and liking it despite its major story, editing and acting flaws.  This one can be enjoyed with just the right mindset.  I’m living proof of that and whether you believe it or not, that’s why you have the ultimate choice in the matter.  You can choose to buy it, rent it or skip it completely.  The choice is yours.  You may not have freedom of speech here, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stick it to you and say you have to rush out and buy it today.  I’m just not going to do it.  The 3% of the Rotten Tomatoes family know who they are and hopefully they’ll rise up and represent Getaway on the Blu-ray format.  With near reference video and impeccable audio, this one’s a keeper for me and I’m happy to add it as number 535 in my ever-growing Blu-ray collection.  Until next time…stay safe on those roads!

Getaway was released today in retail stores everywhere.  If interested, you can pick it up here.

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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