Vanishing Point (1971) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action
Fox || R - 99 minutes - $34.98 || February 24, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-03-26


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: 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: Richard C. Sarafian
Writer(s): Malcolm Hart (story), G. Cabrera Infante (screenplay)
Cast: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little


Theatrical Release Date: March 13, 1971


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Featurettes
  • Trivia Tracks
  • Interactive Features
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (Mono 1.0), French (Mono 1.0), Spanish (Mono 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

So, in an effort to try and describe the movie Vanishing Point as well as I possibly can, I went to the site that I normally go to for the character and cast names of everyone. In true form, the one time I actually need to use the site, the photos were blank for most of the characters. I have chosen to talk about the main character and describe a few of his adventures in the film, so if youíve seen this before you already know what to expect, if not, itís just one big giant car chase film with not a lot of action.

Kowalski (Barry Newman) is on the run from the police. In the opening scene, rather than stopping at the road block setup by him, he chooses to break on through it and continue his journey. Heís trying to get to San Francisco from Colorado in less than fifteen hours and no one he talks to thinks he can do it. So he breaks the barrier setup by the police and continues his journey across country by himself.

However, things get worse for him as when heís driving he alerts even more cops in the area, and manages to knock a few motorcycle officers off of their rides and into canyons. Note, this movie was made so long ago that all of the action scenes are horribly done and look about as real as a fake diamond. This ticks off the officers and now they want to bring him in for questioning among other things, but they find out they really canít since he hasnít done anything wrong. Well other than run a few officers off the road that is.

Kowalski is in trouble though, as he drives farther and farther to his destination, the cops catch on to his scheme and setup more and more roadblocks to prevent him from crossing over into state lines. That is, until he gets help from Super Soul (Sleavon Little), a radio DJ with a police scanner who aids him through his travels. With Soulís help, he avoids the police until he runs into the desert where his car breaks down and snakes are at his heels.

In a truly laughable scene, Kowalski gets help from someone in the desert who takes away the snakes and offers to aid him in his travels. Thatís not the funny part, the hilarious scene occurs when a helicopter is heard near the area and Kowalski is going to be in big trouble if the copter spots him. As the helicopter looms near, the duo decides to cover up the enormous car with shrubs from the desert to hide it from the copter. Somehow the shrubbery works and the helicopter passes over, thinking Kowalski has gone elsewhere. Can Kowalski make it to his destination? Will he meet more characters that help him in his car chase? Is this really supposed to be an action film?

I didnít enjoy this, at all. Sure, it is a cult hit for some reason, I donít know why, but itís not my type of movie. There is fairly little action in it, the acting is sub-par, and the script is brutal. Plus there is just way too many things that happen that arenít believable. A guy in a car runs two officers off the road and SWAT or something along those lines arenít called in? This is just too unbelievable to be entertaining, sorry.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary by Director Richard C. Sarafian: Thereís no easy way to put it, Sarafian is a rather dull commentator. While he tries his hardest to be informational, this track is one commentary that can be skipped, even if you enjoyed the film.

Finally, the filmís Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots can be viewed.

** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES **

Interactive 1970 Dodge Challenger: A short exclusive that gives you a 3-D look at the car from the film and customize it a bit. Car junkies will find it interesting, but since Iím not one, I didnít.

Virtual Dashboard: This is a rather weird special feature that allows you to view the movie from the dashboard of the car driven in the film. Itís odd though, since it appears the entire time and blocks most of the characters on screen. A neat idea, but it falls a bit short of its intended use.

Trivia Challenge: This is to be used after you watch the Trivia Track (Mentioned below!), and itís sort of a mini game that is fun. You are quizzed on various items such as movie questions as well as Ď70s questions (for those who remember them, it helps). Once again, a pretty cool feature but it falls below expectations since it gets boring after a few minutes.

Cars, Cops, and Culture Ď70s Trivia Track: Your standard trivia track that has trivia popping up the entire run of the movie.

Multiple Featurettes (28 minutes): A few surprises in the featurettes, including an interview with a famed musician who has now embarked on a solo career. This explains a little bit about the film and what the message of it was. Also included are more details about the car, for those car junkies to enjoy yet again.

BonusView: Your standard exclusive available from time to time. This has cast and crew popping up on screen to describe the scenes that are being shown on the screen. Itís insightful and a bit entertaining, so if you enjoyed the movie and want to watch it again then turn this feature on.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

As a film that was released in 1971, it has been restored to an almost acceptable level in terms of video quality. Colors look for the most part decent, but not outstanding. The issue doesnít deal with the color, but more with the contrast of the movie. Most of the movie is darker than it should be, and some scenes were a bit hard to see (as are older flicks). This problem plagued a decent part of the film, which wasnít pleasant at all. Grain and noise is also present but not in large amounts and didnít really deter my viewing of the film.

The newly remixed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track falls flat, to say the least. Surrounds were rarely actively engaged for the duration of the movie, and when they were it still sounded dull and lackluster. For a movie that is based on action scenes, there were fairly few times when my sub was engaged. Dialogue levels were decent but a bit inconsistent as the film progressed. I understand that this is an older flick and all, but this audio mix still needs a bit of work to make it passable.



.::OVERALL::.

I didnít enjoy the film at all, but there are a ton of extras that will keep fans of it happy for a while. The technical side is a bit disappointing, as the new audio mix isnít impressive and the video is below average, so judge accordingly. Unless you just have to own this one, I suggest a rental at best since odds are you wonít need to watch a long car chase movie like this again. Sorry, but this is one chase to skip out on watching.