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Review Escape from Absolom a.k.a. No Escape (1994) 4K Blu-ray: It should have been a classic!

genre: action, drama, science fiction

Escape from Absolom, is probably one of the best films in existence you never heard of. Back when I watched this for the first time, I for sure thought, that this was a blockbuster film, since it was one of the titles did quite well as a rental. And had the internet been where it is now, this definitely would have become a classic. Apparently, the film didn't do as well as it was expected too.

Now, it was very clear to me that there is more to this film than you are shown. The novel, The Penal Colony, which this film is based on, tells a tale about how The British government now runs island prison colonies to take dangerous offenders from its overcrowded mainland jails. In essence, the film depicts this, but skims on the details of how everything works and more important how it's perceived by the people. For multiple viewings, it certainly would have added more to learn more about the world, the people etc. Maybe, they could pick this up for television and make a show out of this. In any case, the film focuses on the action and adventure part, and I was on board for this the first few times I watched it. Last week, I decided to watch it again (after many years) more to check if this is one of those 4K titles worthy of purchasing. But I ended up getting immersed and engrossed just as much as the first time. 

So what about the image quality of the 4K transfer. It definitely looked good on the big screen. But it's not one that is going to wow you with vibrancy and crispiness. However, for it's theme and setting, it's quite fitting. The prison island is not a happy place. It really would have helped had they depicted the real world a little just to show or demonstrate the contrast. I do need to mention the black levels. Since vital parts of the film are in the dark, I was able to see what was going on and not once did I feel like that I was missing something. For that reason alone, I think the 4k Blu-ray will be worth the purchase. On top of that is the sound. It's amazing. I don't own a surround system. Not because I don't want to. But more, it wouldn't be practical in my flat. My neighbours wouldn't appreciate that. It's why I use headphones. They do a good job of mimicking surround sound if it's present. And it sure is present in this film. Especially in the forest scenes, the sound is incredibly effective. When the outsiders are on the hunt, they scream in such a way that will truly terrify you. This just proves that physical media of older films do add to an original viewing experience and that it is worth it to rewatch them. 

Escape from Absolom could be described as a Mad Max light. Some of the action definitely is raw and intense but believe it or not very plausible. I have to credit the cast for this, since they add a credibility you simply would not have got had they consisted of no name actors. Ray Liotta is very believable as a marine. Stuart Wilson is a good villain and both Lance Henriksen as Ernie Hudson play leaders who you would want to follow, especially when things get a little dire. I had fun watching this from start to finish. So do check this out, if you have never seen it before.

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