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Stephen Smith
on Feb 11, 2011 at 11:28:46 pm

I watched Unstoppable at the dollar theater and enjoyed it. The fire alarm went off near the end of the movie and I had to temporally leave the theater while the movie kept playing. Even after that big distraction I still liked it, so I figure that means the movie was good. It has a 86% on Rotten Tomatoes so I'm not alone in this opinion. Of course I think I could listen to Denzel Washington read out of the yellow pages and still enjoy it...I really think he is a fantastic actor.

The director went for a "real" feel to the film and I was surprised that I didn't see cars getting smashed to pieces in every intersection. Instead you have a build of tension as the situation gets more and more out of control. I loved the energy that the film had. It is most definitely worth a buck at the redbox.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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Scott Roberts
Re: Unstoppable
on Feb 17, 2011 at 4:01:30 pm

I was very intrigued when Unstoppable came out in theaters because of its 86% Rotten Tomatoes score, but I resisted seeing it in theaters and decided to wait until it became a rental. It finally got released this week, so I downloaded it on Playstation Network and watched it last night.

I'm a little conflicted overall about the film. On one hand, the action scenes were pretty good, actually really good. Very entertaining. I liked the tension they build up for how the train was going to handle that big curve where everyone assumes it will derail. The pure train scenes, where it's just no nonsense train action were the film's strong points.

On the other hand, I think they went a little overboard with piling on problems. Field trip of kids on a different train, redneck not paying attention crashing into horse trailer thus putting it (gasp) ON THE TRACKS!, and I'm not sure we really needed to go so deep about Denzel and Chris Pine's marital statuses. I know it's not good to say a movie needs less character development, but they could have made them seem human without having to give them 2 minute long buddy sequences where they are casually talking to each other on a speeding train about almost nothing of value.

And looking back, I actually don't like that they became buddies during this. It probably would have been more tense if they had to stop this train, and they didn't really like each other. There was no real villain in this movie. Unless you count the shady businessman at headquarters, but he didn't really do anything impactful, people just kept ignoring his commands. He's a guy on a phone, what's he gonna do?

Denzel was another part of the film I liked. Mainly, though, because I found it comical that he was able to act 3/4 of the movie while essentially just sitting down, and still be entertaining. It looked like he was having fun with it.

But I guess my biggest problem is just when it gets into the logistics of it all. Especially with the ending. I won't say how it ends, but it seems like a resolution that could have been implemented far before it ever became a problem. I mean, the great thing about trying to stop a runaway train is that you know where it's going to go. Like, you know where it's going to go for hundreds of miles. They can plan things in anticipation of where it's going to be. But instead they have cop cars driving along side of it at high speeds, like it's a chase scene or something.

But you can essentially throw all that aside. This IS a good popcorn flick. I wouldn't go into a runaway train movie directed by Tony Scott expecting logic to be a key component. But once it kicks in, it definitely is entertaining. I might have overpaid with my $5 Playstation Network download, but I agree with Stephen, it's totally worth a $1 Redbox rental. At its core, it's pretty fun.

Also, on a related note, there is a mildly funny SNL sketch from earlier this season spoofing the trailer to Unstoppable. I think it's worth watching if only for Jay Pharaoh's comical Denzel Washington impression. And for the record, I love Scarlett Johansson, but I could have done without her part in this video.

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