Director Tony Scott never met a visual flourish he didn't overuse. The Taking of Pelham 123, his star-studded update of the 1974 thriller, frequently tramples Brian Helgeland's observant, timely adaptation of John Godey's novel about a subway hijacking with an Avid's worth of flashy cuts and slow-motion shots. Starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington, the 2009 Pelham lacks some of the grungy intensity of the 1974 original. Although Travolta's in Swordfish mode here, it's Washington's underplayed role that saps some of the energy. A enjoyable, cerebral trifle laced with contemporary angst, this train ride comes dangerously close to derailing. The Blu-ray features an exclusive digital copy, along with filmmaker commentary and a quartet of featurettes. (Sony, $39.95 Blu-ray; $28.96 DVD)
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:
-- Forrest Gump (Sapphire Series): One of the most beloved films of the '90s makes its Blu-ray debut, porting over the considerable number of bonus features that appeared on the "special collector's edition" DVD.
-- Watchmen (The Ultimate Cut): Whether it's the five-disc DVD set or the four-disc Blu-ray set, this mammoth iteration of director Zack Snyder's infrequently dazzling adaptation of the cult classic comic, which re-incorporates cut footage and elements from the separately released animated spin-off films, is geek nirvana.
-- Wings of Desire: Criterion Collection: Director Wim Wenders' lyrical meditation on life and the possibility of angels among us arrives on immaculate DVD and Blu-ray editions from the always-stellar Criterion Collection. Bonus features include commentary from Wenders and deleted scenes.