Action / Thriller


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June 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm



Chris Pine as Will
Rosario Dawson as Connie
Ethan Suplee as Dewey
720p 1080p
800.90 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 38 min
P/S 16 / 66
1.50 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 38 min
P/S 12 / 27

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by alerter 7 / 10

Trains, Denzel and Tony Scott, again? Yeah, but this one's so much better than that dreadful Pelham remake.

Unstoppable is a pulse-pounding runaway thrill ride with iron-sided save-the-day heroism on display courtesy of Washington, Pine and Dawson.

Spoil sports have been grousing that Unstoppable can't possibly be "inspired by true events." In fact, the runaway AWVR777 in Unstoppable is based on the real-life CSX8888 (crew) Y11615 incident that took place in 2001.

CSX8888 was a single engine pulling 47 cars, 22 of them loaded, for in-yard car switching. The Final Report on the CSX8888 incident is available on the Internet along with other accounts and documentation.

All six "gross errors" committed by the engineer responsible for CSX8888 are reproduced in Unstoppable, one of them being sugar coated with magic pixie dust, when the engine selector handle auto-magically pops out of "dynamic brake" and into "power" mode, with the throttle handle set to 8, the maximum setting.

The dynamic brake should never have been set during yard operations (gross error #4). Dynamic braking is optimal at speeds >=40MPH and it is ineffective at speeds <10MPH (except on AC locomotives, of which 8888 wasn't).

The independent brake of the locomotive was also set, which nullified the alerter switch system, which would have otherwise acted as a circuit breaker to the incorrect selector and throttle settings.

All six gross errors really happened and had to be made in the proper sequence in order to result in a powered runaway.

Two CSX employees chased CSX8888 in a private vehicle to a grade crossing, because they feared that its engineer had suffered an heart attack at the controls. The engineer had already stepped off the moving train back at the yard (gross error # 3). The CSX employees intercepted CSX8888, but were unable to board it.

The runaway CSX8888 did have hazardous cargo on board, variously reported as two cars of molten phenol acid (CNN) or molten sulfur (local Ohio news sources), the latter being less hazardous than the former, although both are toxic. The two hazmat cars were in the middle of the train and they were not considered to be at risk if the train had derailed. The hazmat cars were far enough in, for the surrounding terrain, that they should have remained on the track even if an engine derailment had succeeded.

CSX8888 had an average speed of 30-35MPH and may have been going as fast as 47MPH at one point. Four attempts were made at derailing CSX8888, three by diverting it through sidings and one by using a portable derail. CSX8888 dislodged the portable derail and threw it from the tracks. All attempts to derail CSX8888 failed.

CSX8888 was eventually stopped by a pursuit locomotive, running in reverse, CSX6462 (crew) Q63615. Avoiding a collision course, CSX6462 had to run in reverse, which blindsided the engineer during right hand turns. That required the conductor to setup at the rear of the locomotive, now the front, so that the conductor could spot for his engineer. The maximum unloaded speed rating for CSX6462 was 30MPH. It had to achieve speeds in excess of 50MPH to catch up with CSX8888. This meant that the conductor's end of CSX6462 swayed 18" from side-to-side at times. Had CSX6462 derailed, there would have been no way for the conductor to survive. Life and limb were definitely at risk.

CSX8888 was stopped without loss of life, limb and/or property.

When CSX6462 caught up with the runaway, it coupled from the rear and then the engineer applied CSX6462's dynamic brakes, to slow CSX8888 down, exercising great care not to break the train apart between the two locomotives. Once CSX8888 slowed to less than 11MPH, a prepositioned engineer was able to run alongside, board it and take control of CSX8888, bringing it to an orderly stop.

Almost all of these elements are incorporated into the story of Unstoppable, albeit in Tony Scott's ScottFree way. It's reality x2 and all of that's in the service of delivering a ripping yarn.

The same people complaining about Unstoppable probably swallowed everything Scott & Co served up in Top Gun without chewing.

Unstoppable does make a point of belaboring the fact that the hoses for the air brake system were never connected, but that happens to be SOP for in-yard flat car switching. You can't properly "kick" cars if their hoses are still connected. (That's my only beef.)

There are plenty of other things that never happened, or couldn't have happened, but none of that matters thanks to the acting talent on board.

Denzel Washington's Frank Barnes is a seasoned engineer and 28-year AWVR veteran who never shows any of is his inward concerns, whether they be about job security in downsizing times or worry for his two daughters working their way through college. Denzel's Barnes is all about the j-o-b and doing it right. Chris Pine's Will Colson is relatively new to the ranks of conductors. Rumor in the yard is that Colson's a beneficiary of union boss nepotism. Will's also got domestic problems at home that distract him from the job. This sets up professional tension when Barnes are Colson are paired to crew AWVR1206 for a routine run. Although Barnes has seniority, Colson's technically in charge. Pine & Washington have a lot of tension-cutting fun with this.

Rosario Dawson plays Connie Hooper, a rail control supervisor, who has got to plow through considerable BS, not only to find out what's going on with double-engine AWVR777, but also to figure out how best to deal with it, once it's determined that 777 is a fully powered runaway. Even after "corporate" cuts Connie out of the CBA/CYA loop, Dawson makes us believe that Connie is going to do the right thing, no matter what.

Kevin Corrigan deserves special mention for his turn as FRAMPE Inspector Werner. He convincingly supplies crucial factoids needed to solve the problem of 777, with a Spock-like just-in-time manner.

That's Entertainment!

Reviewed by Gordon-11 5 / 10

An unstoppable ride

This film is about the attempts to stop an unmanned train full of dangerous chemicals travelling at high speed, endangering the lives of thousands of people living along the tracks.

"Unstoppable" gets right to the point, action already starts ten minutes into the film. After that, the thrills get better and better. As a result, the film keeps you glued to the screen with increasing intensity.

Early on in the film, I wondered if there was enough to fill the screen time, but there was actually enough to make it action packed, without slow, pacing scenes to interrupt the action. "Unstoppable" is a good action film, relatively free from blood and violence which is rather rare for an action film these days.

Reviewed by moviexclusive 7 / 10

Tony Scott's high-octane action keeps the film relentlessly intense and gripping from start to finish

If you've read the synopsis above, you pretty much know the long and short of Tony Scott's "Unstoppable". Based on the real-life story of an unmanned train that went careening down the tracks in Ohio after a railroad employee failed to set the air brakes while switching tracks, this dramatization of that little incident amps up the thrills for a white-knuckle 100-minute non-stop roller-coaster ride- just think of it as an adrenaline shot that pretty much grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go from start to finish.

The setup is plain and simple- on one end of the track is rookie conductor Will Colson (Chris Pine), paired with veteran railroad engineer Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) on his first day of work. Frank and Will each have their own share of family problems and each bear their own reservations of the other- so there's a fair bit of tension between the two of them as they begin their shift, especially since Will is seen as the company's new blood employed to replace the older workers (including Frank) who have one by one been forced to retire.

Then on the other end of the track, some bumbling employee gets off a train in an attempt to switch tracks, puts the stick in throttle and sends the massive locomotive whizzing down rural Pennsylvania towards the more heavily populated areas. Corporate- represented by Kevin Dunn's VP of operations- and local ground operations- represented by Rosario Dawson's rail commander- can't agree how to stop it, the former as usual weighing the options in terms of dollars and cents on the stock market.

It is only halfway through the film that Frank and Will cross paths with said locomotive nicknamed "The Beast" and come out with a plan to link their engine to the back to it and gun it in the opposite direction. Tony Scott spends the first half of the film doing two things- one, emphasising the working-class backgrounds of Frank and Will; and two, laying out bare the peril of the situation. Both are deftly played for the nail-biting finish, which is guaranteed to leave you wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

By portraying Frank and Will's as everyday men with real concerns over livelihood and family, Scott and "Die Hard 4.0" writer Mark Bomback make the point loud and clear later on that that real-life heroes are really just ordinary men who do extraordinary acts of courage in the face of danger and calamity. Indeed, though it is apparent that both Frank and Will are the heroes of the story, playing down the chest-thumping heroics of their act proves to be a wise choice in painting them as regular people who rose to the occasion to save the lives of thousands, including their families and loved ones.

Scott instead stresses the magnitude of the occasion in repeated failed attempts at halting "The Beast", each and every attempt highlighting the destructive force of the locomotive at that weight and at that speed. Choosing to film the high-octane action sequences in a more straightforward realistic manner than his usual flashy visual style (i.e. jump cuts, shaky camera, zooms and colour-correction) also lends the proceedings an authentic and an altogether genuinely riveting feel, further underlining the gravity of their heroic act. Special mention goes to the sound design of the film, which in a proper theatre with good sound system will set the hall rumbling with the sound of the locomotive.

Because much of the focus of the film is on "The Beast", more screen time seems to be dedicated to the train than to our two lead actors, Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. Still, the ever-reliable Denzel Washington delivers a low-key but no less commanding performance as the dutiful railroad worker Frank. He also shares a nice buddy chemistry with Chris, and it's interesting to watch how the initial tension between the two gives way to mutual cooperation, understanding and finally respect.

Unfolding at a breathless pace, Tony Scott makes the most of a simple premise to deliver a relentlessly exciting action movie that plays like "Speed" on tracks. It wastes no time in getting to the meat of the action, and doesn't once let up right until the end of the thrill ride. In between, you get the story of two men, folks like you and I, who display an outstanding act of heroism when faced with imminent danger. Precisely because they are so relatable, "Unstoppable" becomes so much more gripping, and you'd be advised that this high-octane action movie is just the adrenaline fix you need for the week.

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