In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a walled prison where brutal prisoners roam. After the US president crash-lands inside, war hero Snake Plissken has 24 hours to bring him back.
I like movies that are aware of what they are selling... without [any] greater aspirations than to make people laugh and that's it.
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It’s not bad or unwatchable but despite the amplitude of the spectacle, the end result is underwhelming.
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A terrific literary drama and character piece that shows how the process of creating art can be seen differently by those doing it and those looking at it from the outside.
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I had not seen this film in several years but decided it was worth another look. Of course it is now outdated in so many instances but it is interesting to see how the writers perceived what New York City would be like in 1997 from the perspective of 1981. A whole lot of imagination went into that script. But then again, we are talking about the very creative and talented John Carpenter. It was sad to see that the Twin Towers were still standing. No one in 1981 would have ever thought that they would be the site of an American tragedy twenty years later. Kurt Russell was excellent as Snake Plisken, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau equally good as the Brain and Maggie. I always enjoy seeing Ernest Borgnine and he didn't disappoint as Cabbie. I have always said that Manhattan can be a zoo, but a maximum security prison? Very creative, Mr. Carpenter, I also enjoyed the soundtrack!
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Snake Plissken is known as one of the most iconic sci-fi characters in film history, but why? Kurt Russell is a fine actor in just about everything he does, but Escape From New York never gives him anything to do besides hold a gun which he uses maybe once the entire film? It's safe to say I wasn't impressed with this film.Manhattan is now a security prison for criminals of all variety and after the President crash lands in the middle of the city, Plissken is hired to rescue him. Apparently Plissken is like the boogeyman for these Manhattan criminals, since they all know who he is but didn't seem to know he actually existed or where he's been. The weirdest part, however, is we never get to see him to anything of value. Even in criminals past references, they never mentioned anything specifically which would warrant him a spot to save the President.It's one thing if the film embraces its silliness and makes all of the dialogue, action, and performances cheesy, but they don't. The tone is never truly set. On one hand, you have Plissken taking on dozens of criminals who look like they are wearing Mad Max cosplay, but then you have the issue of the President's life being on the line. Those are two opposing tones butting heads, and you never get a grasp on the type of film John Carpenter wants to make. I think Carpenter is a masterful director, but Escape From New York felt kind of like a cheap side project for him. Though, I will say Carpenter's original score made for this film is brilliant.I think a lot of my frustration comes from the fact that this film was made close to 40 years ago, and therefore, there's plenty of dated qualities to it. CGI was young in 1981, and it shows. That and the green screen effects were difficult to watch. Of course, these aren't necessarily the film's fault, but sometimes the reach shouldn't exceed the grasp by that much of a margin. It's not the fault of the film, but I've seen plenty that are better since. Donald Pleasance doesn't get much to do, and neither does anybody in a supporting role. And most of all, I just didn't care for any of the characters or the story they were in.+Great score-Why is Plissken so revered?-Dated4.2/10
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This movie could make your head explode, literally. New York City has become a big penal colony where the works of the worst are being watched by machine gunned guards. They build a society of their own based on their own traits, murder and mayhem. All is going smoothly until the President's plane goes down in this mess and he needs to be rescued. A guy named Snake, played by Kurt Russell, is sent in to quickly rescue POTUS. With his eye patch and disheveled look, he fits in right away. He has all the necessary qualities to do the job, but he has a serious time line. He will die if he does not complete his task within a prescribed time. It's a pretty idiotic premise, I guess. Why such a short time? The star of this show is the world created by Carpenter and his people. The nouveau prison is really interesting to look at. There is an overriding blackness to the whole thing. Russell's smirking Snake is also pretty good.
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You've probably heard of Snake Plissken, right? You know, that guy with the eye-patch. Solid Snake? From Metal Gear Solid? Yeah, basically the same guy. This particular bloke is the protagonist of Escape From New York, one of the classic 80's action films I mentioned in my Turbo Kid review (click it, you know you want to). It's set 16 years in the future, the far-out year of 1997 – weird to think that I wasn't born then – in a USA that saw a 400% increase in crime-rate and so had Manhattan made into effectively a massive prison, where criminals who enter are there for life, in the society that they have built.Snake Plissken happens to be a convicted bank robber, and is sent to the giant prison for life for his crime. However, when the President crash lands in the heart of the island, Snake is sent in (as a former war hero) to bring him back in time for an important TV conference. That's all the story is, really. A simple one, but one that works, if only just because it throws Snake into the perfectly designed ghetto streets of New York. There is a sinister and dark undertone flowing through the ruined streets, as many urban dwellers run around in flashy and cave-man like outfits like a mixture between costumes in Streets of Rage and Golden Axe. These features coupled with flashing street lights and an electronic Mega Drive beat-em-up soundtrack make for a perfectly cheesy and overblown 80's techno aesthetic. There is a constant 8- bit beat throughout the movie, giving it a tempo that really works. I wonder where Streets of Rage got its influence?Nonetheless, the tempo is too slow, because there is a 22 HOUR TIME LIMIT, so of course Snake's gonna take his time! There is too much of him just strolling around, and people sitting around, and people just generally doing things around — slowly. The soundtrack isn't quite used to full effect, either, because the film is often just too quiet for my liking. Gun shots N that don't have the effect they could have, too, because they're so muffled. I guess this might be effected by the time it was made, but still, I'm sure I've heard better sound editing in films of its time.More importantly, Snake Plissken is a douche. I know that's kind of meant to be his thing, but still, and he's definitely a dude, but he could be a little less annoying and growly. He doesn't show off his fighting skills enough, either, which leads into another problem of the film. For a film with such a simple premise, a lot of action would really help the movie drive along. There just isn't enough of it. There are some great moments, and whenever there is a bit of fisticuffs, it's great fun, but it simply doesn't happen enough. It's partly made up for with its cool atmosphere, but Escape From New York can be a little boring.Most of the rest of the cast of characters ain't at all perfect, to boot. 'Brain' is a boring ass smart guy who doesn't seem all that smart. Maggie is just there for the boobs, let's face it. And Cabbie is just annoying and badly acted. The Duke knows what he's doing though. He's the big dawg. Just a shame he has about 10 minutes of screen time to his name. His right-hand man with the crazy hair is a big victim of lack of screen time, because he only gets about 5 minutes, which is a huge shame, because he's one of the only interesting characters in the whole thing.Regardless, the film's whole shtick is pretty cool, and the world creation is on point. Also, the camera-work is pretty good, with some surprisingly ambitious shots.Although Escape From New York has a spot-on and flashy 80's aesthetic and some good moments, it falls fairly flat with paper thin characters (along with some underused characters) and the fact it's just too darn slow and quiet.Mildy disappointing but never a slog – decent(ish) fun.