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Courtney Solomon
Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig, Paul Freeman, Bruce Payne, Ivailo Geraskov
Writing Credits:
Sean Finegan, Gregg Maxwell Parker

Get in. Get out. Getaway.

The chase is on in this modern spin on the pulse-pounding action thriller. Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke plays a burned-out race car driver thrust into a perilous mission behind the wheel after his wife is kidnapped. Forced to follow the orders of an unseen, mysterious assailant (Academy Award winner Jon Voight) who is monitoring his every move, the driver must rely on a young hacker (Selena Gomez) in this high-octane thriller from Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment.

Box Office:
$18 million.
Opening Weekend
$5.606 million on 2130 screens.
Domestic Gross
$10.494 million.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 11/26/2013

• “Crash Cams” Featurette
• “Destroying a Custom Shelby” Featurette
• “Metal and Asphalt” Featurette
• “Selena Gomez: On Set” Featurette
• “The Train Station” Featurette
• Preview


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

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Getaway [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 25, 2013)

For the final release of Ethan Hawke’s three 2013 films, we go to the action flick Getaway. Brent Magna (Hawke) returns home to a trashed abode and his wife Leanne (Rebecca Budig) nowhere to be found. He immediately receives a phone call that tells him someone kidnapped his wife.

As dictated by the mystery caller (Jon Voight), former racecar driver Magna needs to steal a tricked-out Shelby Super Snake and take it on special missions if he wants to save Leanne. This sends him on a series of frantic high-speed treks through the streets – and eventually brings the car’s young owner (Selena Gomez) along for the wild ride.

Best known for sensitive character films such as Before Sunrise and Dead Poets Society, is Hawke attempting a “genre-change” decades into his career? Of his three 2013 films, only Before Midnight - the second sequel to Sunrise - follows Hawke’s usual path. In addition to the action-oriented Getaway, Hawke starred in The Purge, a violent “siege” movie somewhat reminiscent of Straw Dogs.

Though it almost shares a title with a 1972 Steve McQueen flick, Getaway reminds me more of another vehicle-based action film: 1994’s Speed. Both place heroes at the whims of madmen who phone with their demands – demands that regularly put hundreds of passers-by at risk. Heck, Getaway even steals a few gimmicks straight from Speed.

I could also argue that Getaway borrows heavily from 1995’s Die Hard With a Vengeance, though with more inadvertent mayhem. That film features a nutbag who calls the hero and forces him to race against time to satisfy a bunch of situations.

While I’m not wild about the film’s overtly derivative nature, I won’t discount Getaway solely because it lacks originality. Instead, I’ll discount Getaway because it fails to portray even the most rudimentary sense of excitement, though it tries really, really hard to dazzle us.

By “tries really, really hard”, I mean that Getaway comes with some of the most frenetic editing I’ve ever seen, as the film rarely stays with one shot for more than a fraction of a second. Even simple conversation scenes come saddled with rapid-fire cutting, and it becomes a big distraction.

Getaway also frames most of the action in tight shots. Every once in a while, it’ll go wider, but usually we watch the cars from intimate vantage points. This becomes another problem, as we rarely feel like we have a good sense of the situations. Everything comes from such a claustrophobic POV that we don’t have a clear impression of what’s happening.

I guess the filmmakers think the tight framing and super-quick editing will add excitement to the proceedings, but the opposite result ensues. The movie becomes so obsessed with visual overload that it completely loses any sense of true adventure.

So that leaves us with 90 minutes of nearly non-stop action and mayhem that delivers virtually no actual thrills. If Getaway worked harder to tell a story and deliver a coherent narrative, it might’ve been exciting, but as it stands, the movie turns into an overwrought annoyance.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio A-/ Bonus D

Getaway appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the image looked fine.

The film used a variety of sources, some of which came from lower-resolution in-car cameras, so those choices affected sharpness. Most of the movie seemed accurate and concise, but occasionally it went semi-soft. Though that was unavoidable due to cinematographic decisions, it still left us with some lapses in definition. I noticed no issues with shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent; a few of the cameras left us with mild jaggies, though. Print flaws failed to materialize.

In terms of colors, Getaway veered toward a chilly palette, with an emphasis on blues. Some other hues – mainly amber – cropped up at times, but this remained a restricted set of tones. Within the production design, they seemed appropriate.

Blacks looked dark and tight, and shadows showed generally good delineation; some of the car shots could be a little dense, but not a substantial degree. A few aspects of the image sagged, but this was usually a good presentation.

No qualms greeted my reaction to the thrilling DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Getaway. Almost literally from start to finish, the movie packed in action, with an obvious emphasis on car stunts. Those allowed vehicles to zip about the room and fill out the spectrum in a vivid manner. The various elements zoomed across all five speakers and allowed the mix to engage and involve us on a consistent basis.

Audio quality also seemed positive. Effects were accurate and dynamic, with clear highs and warm lows. Dialogue sounded distinctive and natural, while music showed good range and impact. Everything here worked well and this became a strong soundtrack.

In terms of extras, the disc includes five brief featurettes. These include “Crash Cams” (1:12), “Destroying a Custom Shelby” (1:06), “Metal and Asphalt” (1:09), “Selena Gomez: On Set” (1:19) and “The Train Station” (1:03). Across these, we hear from director Courtney Solomon, director of photography Yaron Levy, co-writer Sean Finegan, stunt double Steve Percini, executive producer Joel Silver, and actors Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez.

We learn about action and stunts, camerawork, the movie’s star vehicle, cast and characters. With a total of less than six minutes over five programs, one shouldn’t expect anything more than promotional material. A couple of minor nuggets emerge, but these clips exist to sell the movie and nothing more.

The disc opens with an ad for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. No trailer for Getaway shows up here.

Viewers who hope to find a classic car-based thriller from Getaway will leave disappointed. Derivative and frenetic, the movie throws constant action at us but fails to package the material in a watchable, exciting manner, as it bogs down due to its hyperactive machinations. The Blu-ray comes with excellent audio and good visuals but lacks substantial supplements. Action fans can do much better than this frantic clunker.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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