Backdraft: Anniversary Edition

DVD Reviews | Oct 22nd, 2006

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Starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert Deniro, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De mornay, Donald Sutherland, Jason Gedrick
Written By: Gregory Widen
Directed By: Ron Howard
Studio: Universal
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15 years has passed since this firefighting action-drama has been released and now Universal is celebrating the release of the film with a brand new 15th anniversary edition of the film. Starring Kurt Russel, and William Baldwin play two Chicago brothers who are firefighters who are out to stop a string of fires caused by an arsonist. Backdraft has an excellent cast, along with great special and pyrotechnic effects, and has since led the way for other popular dramas like Rescue Me. Backdraft is still is exciting as it was back in 1991.

The McCaffrey’s come from a long line of firefighters within their family. Years before they were to ever become a fireman, little Brian McCaffrey (Baldwin) went along for a ride with the men and witnessed his father’s death in a nasty explosion. Not sure why they would want to continue in a dangerous career like their father, both boys join a Chicago fire house. Older brother, Stephen already has made a name for himself and has continued the legacy of the McCaffrey’s when Brian joins the house as a rookie. What troubles the city of Chicago is what appears to be an arsonist out to destroy many buildings and homes, along with Chicago’s own. Even though Brian had his heart set on being a full fledge firemen, he’s recruited to join Donald ‘Shadow’ Rimgale (Deniro) for the Fire Departments Arson I’vestigation team. After really getting into the investigations with Shadow, Brian starts to realize he’s close to solving the cases and may have to get back into actually helping his firehouse with the fires.

Ron Howard, director of many great films during the last 15 years like Apollo 13, Willow, and The Da Vinci Code, really provides the viewer with an excellent look into the life of a firefighter. From the firehouse, or the intense training, to the different obstacles and fires they face each night, the men of a fire department know their life could end just like that. Not to mention Howard surrounds himself with a great crew that provide some stunning visuals and awesome pyrotechnics that really provide some realism to what firemen see.

With the new edition of the DVD, a whole 2nd disc is provided with great extras including several featurettes, deleted scenes, and a brand new introduction from Ron Howard. I really enjoyed Bringing together the team which focuses on bringing in actors that were great and believable as firemen, some actually being part of firehouses like Jack McGee. Jack McGee before others knew him from Backdraft and more recently Rescue Me, was a firefighter for over ten years. Casting was well done as it provided men that looked like firefighters and not some Hollywood fake. The extras also provided an inside look at how the effects were done, and the stunts involving them.

Backdraft still holds up over time and is just as excited as it was 15 years ago. Kurt Russell, William Baldwin and Robert Deniro round out a great cast, with an interesting story, visual and pyrotechnic effects, and an exciting score by Hans Zimmer with some nice tunes from Bruce Hornsby. Backdraft has led the way for many great hero movies and television series.

-Ron Howard Introduction
-Deleted Scenes
-Igniting the Story
-Director Ron Howard, Producer Brian Grazer and Others Discuss the Evolution of the Film From Script to Screen.
-Bringing Together the Team
-From the Casting Room to Firefighter Clinics, See How Director Ron Howard Brought Together a Talented Team of Actors and Real-Life Firefighters
-The Explosive Stunts: Filmmakers Reveal the State-of-the-Art technology and Heroic Stunts that Created the Explosive Action of the Film.
-Creating the Villain: The Fire See How an Overwhelmingly Talented Team of Special Effects Creators and Stunt Coordinators Worked Together to Bring the Fire to Life.
-Real-Life Firemen, Real-Life Stories: Get an Insider’s Perspective on what it Takes to be a Firefighter in this Round-Table Discussion with the Crew of Station 73, Santa Clarita

-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
-SPANISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
-FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo

-Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: First day, bar fight, showdown at the burning building
Rating: R
Running Time: 138 minutes
Extras Rating:
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