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Mainstream - Midnight Express - Blu-ray

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Midnight Express Blu-ray
Brad Davis, Randy Quaid, John Hurt
Directed by Alan Parker
Originally released 1978
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2009
121 minutes

If you have seen Midnight Express, you certainly remember it. This is a violent, gritty jail drama. If you have not seen this Alan Parker film (Pink Floyd The Wall, Mississippi Burning) you have to see it if, that is, you have a strong stomach. Although flawed, it is a very good prison drama and greatly benefits from excellent supporting performances by an unrecognizable Randy Quaid and the always fascinating John Hurt.

Brad Davis plays Billy Hayes, a young American caught leaving early 70s Turkey with hashish taped to his body. He is sentenced to 4 years in prison and his lawyer promises good things can happen with his case for the right amount of money. Midnight Express basically keeps track of Hayes during his prison stay both when time seems to completely stop and during the encounters between him and the sadistic jail warden.

Midnight Express changes tack about halfway through because of a major development. This is but another instance of Parker changing the mood and tone of his movie.

Though this is a very good drama, it suffers from sometimes appearing to be an exercise in style and form than interested in storytelling. An example of that is the scenes in the asylum. The ending is also too quick considering the length of the story.

I doubt going Blu-ray for this movie is worth the extra money. The book presentation is nice with a text by Alan Parker on the making of.

Special features on Midnight Express Blu-ray are a commentary track with director Alan Parker, a making of, two featurettes (The Producers and The Finished Film), and a photo gallery. It also comes with BD Live for whatever good that does.


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