Drop Zone (1994) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Crime / Thriller
Lions Gate || R - 101 minutes - $19.99 || February 9, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-02-06


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: John Badham
Writer(s): Tony Griffin & Guy Manos & Peter Barsocchini, Peter Barsocchini and John Bishop (screenplay)
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Gary Busey, Yancy Butler, Michael Jeter


Theatrical Release Date: December 9, 1994


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot: U.S. Marshal Pete Nessip (WESLEY SNIPES) finds his career in hot water when the prisoner (the late MICHAEL JETER) he’s transporting parachutes out of a 747 and disappears safely into the night with his deadly cohorts (led by GARY BUSEY) in tow. While Nessip does his best to stop the bold escape, he can’t stop the force from suspending him. But even this isn’t enough to keep him out of action. Instead he does what he must to track down the cadre of techno-terrorists — even if it means skydiving from 30,000 feet in the air.

Drop Zone is the typical mid-90s action flick: average script – this one was co-written by, of all people, High School Musical series scribe Peter Barsocchini –, forgettable action sequences, a low budget and a (then) A-list actor willing to take the money to put his name on the poster.

Wesley Snipes did many of these types of action films in the early to mid 90s like Sugar Hill, Money Train, Murder at 1600 and even U.S. Marshals, although that was more a case of an unneeded sequel and he wasn’t the headliner. Some are better than others, but when you get to the nuts and bolts of each, they are all basically the same.

Drop Zone fits that description because even though it does hold some entertainment value and the aerial footage is pretty incredible, the film on the whole isn’t very memorable. A big part of the reason is you have utterly cardboard cutout characters with little or no background (they do try to give Nessip motivation with the murder of his brother), but you really don’t care about any of them.

Wesley Snipes, meanwhile, delivers his same old performance we’ve seen before and that’s perfectly suitable for the subject and character, but doesn’t help with giving the film any sort of uniqueness despite the fact the crimes use the sport of skydiving that not many other movies took advantage of.

The supporting cast is also unremarkable. Gary Busey basically carries on his same villainess part from Lethal Weapon, but I guess that makes him effective enough even if his character doesn’t allow him much to do as the ultimate motivation is nothing more than money. Then you have the casting of Yancey Butler, who was absolutely hot in the short-lived “Witchblade” series, is fairly bland in the primary female role.

On the other hand, with a plot like this, I guess not complicating things with character development or the villain’s motivation too much is a positive aspect for Drop Zone. If you enjoy the early to mid-90s action films, this might be right up your ally. Other than the aerial footage, the movie is fairly forgettable.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only feature is the theatrical trailer.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Drop Zone comes to Blu-ray with a 2.35 aspect ratio (changed from its original 2.39 AR) and in 1080p high-def and an AVC codec. Although the picture itself is fairly well detailed with some natural noise throughout and colors more vibrant than I had expected for a mid-range 1990s action, the video is also littered with some grain, dust and scratches from beginning to end. Also, during one scene/shot, there was a very noticeable purple line that appeared vertically on the right side of the screen. It disappeared with the next scene so it wasn’t on there for too long, but that is something that is unforgivable. On the other hand, I also wouldn’t expect Lionsgate to put that much money into giving a film like this a proper transfer.

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, for a 16 year old flick, is fairly immersive. There’s a good amount of range for this soundtrack from Hans Zimmer’s average score to loud action scenes and clear dialogue. Each channel gets used with dialogue for the center speaker and sound effects and score making use out of the front and rear channels. This isn’t going to blow your windows out or anything, but I was impressed enough.



.::OVERALL::.

Drop Zone might be the typical 1990s action movie (i.e. unremarkable), it still holds some entertainment value. As far as the Blu-ray goes, the video would’ve been a solid 4/5 if it wasn’t for the sheer amount of dust, scratches and that purple vertical line. No doubt this title will be a part of Wal Mart’s Blu-ray bargains shelves and that would be the time to pick it up.