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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Maze: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward, Martin McCann, et al / Blu-ray / R / (2017) 2019 / Lightyear Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: 'Maze' is inspired by the true events of the infamous 1983 prison breakout of 38 IRA prisoners from HMP, which was to become the biggest prison escape in Europe since World War II.

Blu-ray Verdict: In what has since been described as "... an IRA/ Sinn Fein propaganda version of events in their attempt to rewrite history" 'Maze' seemingly skims over the fact that these criminals, when armed to the teeth with guns, knives and cudgels, terrorized unarmed prison staff, shot two of them, stabbed four, killing one officer and tortured at least 27 to the extent that many were permanently psychotically damaged by the trauma.

Ergo, not all you see in this just-released new Blu-ray of 'Maze' can be taken as the whole story.

For those not in the know, 'Maze' is an adaptation of the true story of the escape of IRA political prisoners from British captivity in Maze prison, Northern Ireland.

There's a thread of quiet tension about this film that's drawn ever tighter as the prisoners plans to escape intricately come together. At the same time there's a human tale on offer about the connection between people who on initial inspection appear to be on different sides of the bars.

The reality, of course, is everyone in Northern Ireland is in one way or another held prisoner by the larger conflict. This includes the warden and his family who has a friendship of sorts with the prison break mastermind Larry who is, in turn, obligated by his bonds with his fallen IRA comrades.

The acting in this film is understated but frankly quite excellent. Not for one moment was this film dull or boring and believe me, it could have been given the film takes place in the confines of the Maze prison.

That all said, it showcases the horrid depth of hate between the Loyalists and the IRA members and concentrates more on that hatred than the actual planning of the escape from the maximum security prison.

In closing, the cast were solid, the script raw and believable, and the acting on par for what one would expect from such a brutal exposure of real events. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the new Special Features of:

Director's Commentary
Bonus Film by Stephen Burke - '81'

'Maze: Special Edition' [Blu-ray] is out June 25th, 2019 via Lightyear Entertainment / MVD Visual.