:"VANISHING POINT" is one of those rare action films that holds up better than most films of even the past two decades, let alone one that is from the '70s! Barry Newman gives a surprisingly strong performance as "Kowalski," a Viet-Nam vet, whose trials and tribulations working as a racer and in law enforcement, seem to have equipped him with the skills necessary for him to meet his challenge in delivering a White Challenger across country, with his goal of San Francisco. As police pursue him, the media gets interested and a disc jockey, "Super Soul",(Cleavon Little) garners all his air-time to this lone driver, making him into as much a legend as an anti-hero. While the narrative which ensues suffers from plot-holes and lack of character development, this low-budget film has a terrific, gritty pace, and it makes up for a variety of flaws popping up sporadically throughout the film, including some scenario confrontations that feel redundant by the film's conclusion. "VANISHING POINT" is a terrifically entertaining film that will engage new, younger viewers, and, hey,...who doesn't like a 1970 Dodge Challenger?
FOX has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray. It's not ranking up there with the best from FOX, but for a film almost 40 years old, it looks pretty good. Colors, while never vibrant, are solid. Detail can be extremely impressive, especially in close-ups, but most of the time, the image is well rendered, and better than dvd, without much in the way of jump-off-the-screen depth. Contrast is impressive, with fine black and gray levels. It's a solid, better than dvd transfer.
FOX has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Although the remix has some engaging surround effects, we prefer the original mono mix, also provided. The dialogue suffers under the weight of music and effects in DTS, and that problem is non-existent in Mono. There's little in the way of bass, but all speakers kick in to enhance the action at just the right moments in the lossless mix.
FOX has offered some great extras here! In addition to the theatrical cut, a longer UK edition is included. Also, a commentary with the film's director, proving he's as bright and honest as he is entertaining. It's never dull! BonusView extras are also available in full 1080p, along with theatrical trailers for other FOX films.