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The Running Man [Blu-ray]

3.9 out of 5 stars 422 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The year is 2019. Television is now ruling people’s lives. The most popular "audience participation” game show is "The Running Man”-- where convicts can win pardons instead of ”parting gifts” by defeating murderous henchmen known as "stalkers.” The stalkers haven’t had much of a challenge lately...until Ben Richards (Schwarzenegger) comes along. Wrongly convicted of slaughtering 1500 innocent people, Richards is the next contestant to fight for his life...and his freedom. When ”Running Man” host Damon Killian (Dawson) says, "Come on down!”, be prepared to pay with your life! But Ben Richards isn’t going down without a fight. Off Richards goes into the burned-out sections of Los Angeles to face four of Killian’s ace stalkers: Subzero, wielding his razor-sharp hockey sticks; Buzzsaw, the mechanical motorcycle- riding slasher; Dynamo, practicing his deadly electric shock treatment; and Fireball with his mighty flame-throwing arsenal. Now, the entire country is glued to the tube in a heart-pounding "sudden death” battle!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Kerry Brennan, Edward Bunker, Sidney Chankin
  • Directors: Paul Michael Glaser
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002XUBDZ6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,384 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Running Man [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on August 16, 2002
Format: DVD
In this wry and entertaining take on a world gone crazy, where corporate rulers routinely engage popular sport activities to distill public anger and frustration and to try to distract common people from civic unrest, we find perpetual everyman Arnold Schwarzenegger caught in the vise-grip of official lies when he escapes from maximum security prison only to be caught and selected as the latest "contestant" (read `intended victim' here) for the overwhelmingly popular television program called, appropriately enough, "Running Man". The point of the game is for the contestant to survive being hunted down by a sewerful of villains while trying to make his way through a nightmarish maze. The villains are a bit campy, ranging from an outrageously garbed electric man who dispatches virtual lightning bolts to fry his prey out of existence to a chainsaw freak who attempts to hack his victims to death while riding his motorcycle.
Yet the action sequences more than make up for the sometimes-silly dialogue. The supporting cast is composed of veterans like Richard Dawson as the venomous game-show host and producer, who manipulates every aspect of the game to reach the storyline he has laid out. There are also a lot of cameos here, from Mick Fleetwood as a revolutionary to Jessie "The Body" Ventura as a sports commentator to Jim Brown as one of the slayers. The special effects are well done, and the action sequences provide plenty of vicarious violence for the moviegoer. Of course, Arnie has a waft of throwaway one-liners, and we know we are in the hands of experience when he tells Dawson the "he'll be back". Dawson, of course, not knowing whom he is dealing with, blows off the threat.
But the moviegoer knows Arnie will be back, and that he will win the day.
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Format: DVD
You know the movie, so I'll cut to the details of this particular release...

The newly-remastered picture is so much clearer and more vivid than the original release and the DTS soundtrack is an awesome addition. After having heard it, I would've bought it for the DTS, alone. Who knew that a 17-year-old, stereo movie could be remastered to DTS quality and 6.1 surround so well (including very targeted use of the rear channels).

The extras are another story, as many people have stated. The "Lockdown on Main Street" is a thoroughly one-sided political statement. Regardless of anyone's beliefs, it doesn't belong on an action movie DVD. It feels like execs at Artisan were determined to put this documentary out there and picked "The Running Man" from their upcoming catalog as the best suitor.

The "Game Theory" documentary is just a piece in which creators and participants of early reality TV shows pat themselves on the back for their popularity. Perhaps fans of Survivor and other early reality TV will find it interesting, but I didn't.

In summary, the new remastering of the movie is "special," but nothing else on either of the discs is. As someone else said, buy it for the movie. It really is one of the best remastering jobs that I've ever seen (or heard).
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By A Customer on August 3, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Efficient action movie vehicle for Schwarzenegger, starring as a framed convicted killer who becomes one of the contestants in sick television game show. He's pursued across a devastated Los Angeles in the year 2019 by trained hitmen. Stephen King's novel with its echoes of The Most Dangerous Game, provides an effective framework for Arnie's tough-guy act, and director Glaser expertly orchestrates the state-of-the-art special effects, nasty violence and unpleasant humor.
All I've forgotten is the Girl. All movies like this need a Girl, whose function is to be pulled helplessly behind the hero as he attempts his escape. By casting Maria Conchita Alonso in the role, the filmmakers got more than they bargained for; she remains one of Hollywood's undaunted high spirits, a nice comic counterfoil for Schwarzenegger.
The movie's problem is that all of the action scenes are versions of the same scenario. TV host Dawson introduces a killer and his trademark weapons (electical shock, fire, chain saws, etc.) and then Schwarzenegger faces him in battle. The one element in the movie that is not standard and that does have some energy is the TV show itself, with Dawson's performance as the egotistical, sleaze-bag host.
Playing a character who always seems three-quarters drunk, Dawson chain-smokes his way through backstage planning sessions and then pops up in front of the cameras as a cauldron of false jollity. Working the audience, milking the laughs and the tears, he is not really much different than most genuine game show hosts - and that's the movie's private joke.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
There have been a few movies criticizing or commenting on reality TV shows such as the recent The Hunger Games or the interesting Jim Carrey film, The Truman Show.

Originally written as a Stephen King novel, this film could be considered the granddaddy of reality TV movies.

The Justice Department has an Entertainment Division where they send hardened criminals to participate in the Running Man TV series, hosted by Killian (Richard Dawson, an actual TV host at the time of filming). They send dissidents to participate and they often end up killed by Stalkers while the audiences cheer on and make bets on the outcome.

This dystopian view is quite amazing. The special effects are however reminiscent of Logan's Run in their cheesiness. Still, Arnold getting himself trapped and yet winning against the stalkers, the evil undercurrent that the show gives us, under the watchful eye of Dawson's character, and finally the struggle for freedom against an oppressive government (a bit heavy handedly) makes for some interesting yet thought-provoking moments.

The DVD I had also includes the reality of governments taking over and usurping freedoms, specifically an attack on the Patriot's Act right after 9/11. This piece is quite one-sided and if you're not a believer on conspiracy theories, you can skip this one.

Part of the two-part DVD is a short on the reality show and how it's "here to stay" at least circa 1990s, with interviews by former Survivor stars and how the director of Running Man relates his film to present time reality TV.

Bottom Line: It's a fun film to watch! However the political and opinionated features may be off-putting. Modern reality TV as of 2012 is less pervasive from what I've seen.
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