Blu-ray Review “Gangster Squad”

gangstersquadActors: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone
Directors: Ruben Fleischer
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: April 23, 2013
Running Time:

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I am not the biggest fan of gangster films. My all-times favorites have been always been “Goodfellas” and “Casino” but besides those, I never really dig this genre. “Gangster Squad” is a movie with a great talented cast but suffers from a weak script and the same-old, same-ole gangster approach. Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Emma Stone all are good in the film but their performances suffer from being stuck in a box and not able to perform outside of it. This film was affected by the Colorado shooting last summer and was forced to re-cut the a shootout scene that took place in a movie theater. I feel that it was a smart move to re-shoot. If you like Gangster films, you might really enjoy this film but otherwise it feels like to be done already and nothing new here.

Official Premise: Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and – if he has his way – every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop – except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.

Whether “Gangster Squad” is good or not, it still packs a fantastic Blu-ray presentation. Warner Brothers delivers a two-disc combo pack set with a Blu-ray and DVD of the film. There are also two digital copies included, Ultraviolet and iTunes. I personally always prefer the digital streaming copy since you don’t have to use your own storage space on your device. The 1080p transfer is very sharp and work well with the tone of the film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track works well with every gunshot and explosion. I also thought that Steve Jablonsky’s score really got presented very well.

The special features are pretty good as well. There is an audio commentary track from director Ruben Fleischer. It is not my favorite commentary track ever but does have some good info. “The Gangland Files” is a Picture-in-Picture overlay during the film that gives interviews and facts about the film. “Focus Points: The Set-Up” is a collection of fifteen behind-the-scenes featurettes which add up to abut 45 minutes together. There are seven deleted Scenes with an introduction from the director. “Rogues Gallery: Mickey Cohen” is a documentary about the famous gangster. “Then and Now Locations” is a collection of photos from locations. Lastly, “Tough Guys with Style” is a short piece with the cast about the production.

“Gangster Squad” available on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and Digital Download 4/23

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