The Drop (Blu-ray)

January 26, 2015 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

It’s always sad to lose an actor, or anyone actually, before their time. I was watching the SAG awards last night and commented to myself how many outstanding actors we lost in 2014. James Gandolfini made a name for himself in the HBO series The Sopranos and went onto a burgeoning movie career thereafter. However when he died in June of 2013 we lost a great actor. At the risk of sounding insensitive, I do have to wonder exactly how many films he made before he died?  He was noted in critical acclaim in Enough Said with Julia Louis Dreyfuss and had some supporting parts in films like Zero Dark Thirty. Still, as time trudges forward it’s a bit eerie seeing someone come out with “new” films even though they died nearly two years prior. Still, I tried not to let that detract me from watching the film at hand, the farewell film of James Gandolifini.

We meet Bob (Tom Hardy), a seemingly decent but lonesome bartender in Brooklyn. He and his employer “Cousin” Marv (James Gandolfini) run it and Marv has ceded ownership of the establishment to Chechen mobsters. The primary purpose is to house illegal activities which have become rather routine.  However, as fate would have it, Bob finds himself seemingly in the middle of a robbery gone awry and is now caught in the midst of an investigation. Given the nature of the bar, Bob isn’t too keen on the cops digging around in his personal life.  And, of course, should the police dig too deep they’ll likely figure out the bar and its purpose. Does the future look bright for Bob and Marv or are they taking a long walk off a short pier?

Admittedly, seeing James Gandolfini in his final film role is an unsettling thing. He was a naturally talented actor, though a bit typecast as a “tough guy.”  I’m always a big fan of Tom Hardy and I do like the risks he takes with some of his roles.  I think the entire film is kind of “been there, done that” but that’s just me. Having seen thousands of films, there really aren’t too many that are totally unique and original. Still, with one of my favorite films being GoodFellas, I do enjoy the occasional gangster film.  The Drop is certainly a passable experience and a testament to Gandolfini as an actor.

Video: How’s it look?

It’s amazing, but just looking at the cover of the  Blu-ray, you can somewhat get a feel for how the movie might look.  And, yep, sure enough the 2.40:1 AVC HD image is dark, gritty and looks just about as I thought it would.  Being a new to Blu-ray release, we can expect that the colors will look good, the detail amazing and just about everything in between will look good as well.  It all does.   A fine layer of grain is present too, but it works well with the film.  A nice looking transfer.

Audio: How’s it sound?

This isn’t the type of movie that would pack that much of a punch on the audio front, but there are a few scenes when the DTS HD Master Audio really takes control.  There’s a car chase, a few bullets fired but the majority of the film is dialogue driven and has a very low key tone to it.  The front stage shoulders the burden of the soundtrack, while the surrounds do their part to keep up the ambiance in the back.  The LFE chime in a few times as well, but by and large this mix isn’t anything that’s memorable, but it’s good and solid.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Audio Commentary – Director Michaël Roskam and author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone) combine to form a pretty chatty track. I think they’ve got a little more invested in it and seem a bit over-enthusiastiac at times, but it’s still a nice track that fans will enjoy.
  • Deleted Scenes – Can be played with commentary by Roskam – they run just over six minutes.
  • Making of The Drop – Your typical feature with some talking heads about what drew them to the script and so forth.
  • Making Brooklyn Your Own – The Borough is explored as a cite for the filming and a bit more about the location.
  • Keep it Real – Lehane explains his desire to focus on what he refers to as “damaged people” in the film.
  • Character Profile: James Gandolfini – An all too brief piece on Gandolfini’s character in the movie.
  • Rocco the Dog – A look at the pit bull that appeared in the movie.

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