The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 2010 - Overture Films
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 132 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English PCM 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Richard Gere, Wesley Snipes
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Music by: Marcelo Zavros
Written by: Michael C. Martin
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 6, 2010
"This is War. This is Brooklyn."
Experience the volatile and deadly world of one of New York’s most dangerous precincts through the eyes of the men and women pledged to protect and serve. In this film, three conflicted New York City police officers are forever transformed by their involvement in a massive drug operation. With personal and work pressures bearing down on them, each man finds himself spiraling toward the same fatal crime scene and a shattering collision with destiny in this gripping crime drama from acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua.
I heard very little about 'Brooklyn's Finest' then it just seemed to fade away quickly; I was expecting the worst. Thankfully I was very surprised and really enjoyed it. After looking at the cast, artwork and tag-line, I was expecting a gritty drug-war action piece. What it delivered was a dark character study on three officers who are all at their breaking point.
Richard Gere plays Eddie, a cop who is numb from years on the force. He has one week until retirement and a pension and is playing it safe like he always has. He is laughed at by fellow officers, has a weak record and does just enough to get by. Gere was rock solid and really sold this character. Don Cheadle was pitch perfect as Tango, an undercover officer posing as a drug dealer who's lines are starting to blur. When the crime boss Caz (Wesley Snipes), that he has been covering for gets out of prison, Tango is asked to "betray" him. He is at a crossroads between his job as an officer and a friend, as Caz has saved his life before. Then there is Ethan Hawke as Sal, a rough around the edges narcotics officer who finds there isn't anything he wont do to get a better life for his pregnant wife and children. All three story arcs crescendo to a climactic ending at the BK housing Project in Brooklyn.
Director Antione Fuga (Training Day) kept the pacing of this 2 hour and 10 minute movie flowing so well that it felt much shorter. The story unfolded in a way that made me go from disliking these men to making me feel for and hurt with their characters. What really sold me was the films ability to challenge my morals and ethics. Is it OK to steal from the bad guys to provide for your family in desperation? What should the undercover officer do when a real friendship develops with one of his criminal friends? The movie is about finding the line, and when and if it is it OK to cross it. I suggest watching to find out for yourself.
Rated R for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
'Brooklyn's Finest' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 mbps and PCM 5.1 sound that has an constant bitrate of 6.91 mbps.
'Brooklyn's Finest' was almost one of the finest looking films I have seen on Blu-ray. Unfortunately a few roadblocks hurt its overall scoring. It went from super sharp and popping off the screen (look at how Will Patton's character is almost three dimensional in his first meeting with Don Cheadle) to a semi-soft look with a small loss of definition. Black levels seemed to be a wee bit inconstant as well. Some scenes had great shadow detail and a few other times seemed to exhibit some black crush. The colors were gritty and real, if slightly under saturated-- making it look like the story it was telling. It was a top-notch video presentation that you wont be disappointed with. The audio mix suited the film very well. At times it was open airy, utilizing the surrounds in an atmospherically understated real-world way. Other times the surrounds were gone, adding a bit of claustrophobia and loneliness to what these men were going through. There was no guttural reaching moments of LFE, nor were there many moments to really utilize it; but when some hip-hop or gunfire came into the mix, the dynamics of 'Brooklyn's Finest' sound design really shined.
- Audio Commentary with Director Antione Fugua
- (HD) Chaos and Conflict: The Life of a New Your Cop
- (HD) Boyz N The Real Hood
- (HD) An Eye for Detail: Director Featurette
- (HD) From the MTA to the WGA: Writer Featurette
- (HD) Deleted Scenes
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer
- Digital Copy
In a nutshell, I suggest this film as well as this Blu-ray presentation. Quality audio, video, acting, directing and screen-writing....what else can you ask for? Just don't expect and action flick, and be ready for a gritty introspective tale of morality and desperation set in one of the toughest precincts in the world. This release has a decent bit of extra features that were all enjoyable. I gave Director Antione Fugua's commentary a spin and found it quite informative but at times boring. I did enjoy all the featurettes, though. 'Brooklyn's Finest' is a rental definitely, and an easy 'collect' if you have seen it and dug it.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS35 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer