or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews › Gangster Squad (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Gangster Squad (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
700
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
91





Studio and Year: Warner - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 113 minutes
Genre: Drama/Crime

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Michael Pena, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Nick Nolte
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Music by: Steve Jablomsky
Written by: William Beall based on the book “Gangster Squad” by Paul Lieberman
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 23, 2013







"No names. No badges. No mercy"


Film Synopsis:

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.


My Take:

The year is 1949 and the City of Angels is in the grip of ruthless gangster Mickey Cohen, a former boxer from New York who has found a niche for himself in the criminal underworld. Cohen and his gang have ensured their practices go “unnoticed” by having judges, politicians and members of law enforcement in their pocket. Tire of the rampant law breaking and rampant corruption LA Police Chief Bill Parker goes to the well and draws upon Sgt. John O’Mara, a WWII veteran with a hard edge and a penchant for getting the job done. Chief Parker’s message to O’Mara is to put together a group of trusted cops with the sole purpose of taking down Mickey Cohen by any means necessary.

Their job isn’t to make arrests…it’s to make war. As the city explodes in gunfire, the once neutral, Detective Sgt. Jerry Wooters is drawn into the fracas after witnessing the death of an innocent at the hands of Cohen’s thugs. With tensions rising and the violence escalating danger is around every corner. O’Mara and his team are making headway but need a break in order to snuff out Mickey and his minions. It comes in the elegant form of a red haired blue eyed beauty with a heart melting smile and the guts to stand up to the worst criminal Los Angeles had every seen.

Gangster Squad isn’t a perfect film but I enjoyed its stylish production and neo-noir themed narrative which is loosely based on actual events/people. The bygone era story is bereft of originality or stimulating characters but there is enough action/crime drama interplay that coincides with its solid pacing to keep the juices flowing. The cast is loaded with talent who lends support to the shallow script and make the film more entertaining than it might have otherwise been. The end result is a genre entry that offers style over substance by way of a mildly entertaining period piece that makes for a decent way to spend an evening.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong violence and 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.**


Audio: 94

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Gangster Squad comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.

This high definition video presentation looks great and features a distinctive visual aesthetic that utilizes a reserved chromatic palette which makes use of sepia tones and muted primaries. This along with the application of filtering/lighting provides the period style look the filmmakers were striving for. Certain sequences/elements make bolder use of color with noticeably deeper saturation. Contrast and brightness are well balanced which results in distortion free and satisfying image quality. Blacks appear deep and punchy but delineation in low level scenes can range from very good to average. Flesh tones are a bit on the bland side but retain enough complexional variety to avoid appearing lifeless. Close ups offer appreciable texture and subtle refinement. Wide angle shots, especially those shot in the natural light of day, have excellent depth, with sharp resolute definition quality that is rarely questionable. I didn’t notice any signs of compression or video related artifacts.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has extended dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, plays an intricate role in this involving and sometimes active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment makes for a notably enveloping surround experience. Low frequency effects can be intense as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the low level bass and dynamic impact during action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I thought the presentation was excellent and as a whole enhanced the enjoyment of the film.

Bonus Features:

  • Gangland Files – An interactive in-film experience that presents an in-depth look at the film and its production as described by the cast/crew as the film plays out. It includes trivia, facts, inside/behind the scenes information and more.

  • (HD) Focus Points (an independent option for viewing of the Gangland Files):
    1. The real story
    2. Josh Brolin on O’Mara
    3. One continuous long shot
    4. Fashion of the 40’s
    5. Ryan & Emma reunited
    6. Emma Stone on Grace
    7. The real Mickey Cohen
    8. Ryan Gosling on Wooters
    9. The real Gangster Squad
    10. The real locations
    11. Nick Nolte on Chief Parker
    12. Inside Slapsy Maxies
    13. Ryan & Emma on set
    14. Bringing back gangsters
    15. Park Plaza
  • (HD) Short feature: Then & Now locations – 8 minutes

  • Audio commentary with director Ruben Fleischer

  • Documentary: Rogues Gallery/Mickey Cohen (narrated by William Devane) – 46 minutes

  • (HD) Short Feature: Tough Guys – 5 minutes

  • (HD) 7 deleted scenes with director introduction

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy
700



Final Thoughts:

Gangster Squad isn’t a perfect film but I enjoyed its stylish production, talented cast, and neo-noir themed narrative which is loosely based on actual events/people. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video in a solid offering that features excellent high definition video, engaging lossless surround sound and a bountiful supplemental package that includes exclusive/interactive content. Gangster Squad won’t leave you talking about it long after its over but it makes for an entertaining way to spend an evening on movie night.




Here is the trailer:






attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 19
I'm sure the blue ray picture and audio are stunning. However, that doesn't save this film from being a floating turd. I kept watching the clock, waiting for it to end.
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by morbidcorpse View Post

a floating turd
that's too bad, you just deflated my excitement over this movie smile.gif
I had great expectations considering the great cast...........
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

that's too bad, you just deflated my excitement over this movie smile.gif
I had great expectations considering the great cast...........

Greetings,

My advice would be to give it a spin for yourself... wink.gif


Regards,
post #5 of 19
thanks Ralph, I think I will score the BluRay. I'm very curious, especially from a Los Angeles historic perspective.
post #6 of 19
I love the gangster genre and this has a great cast, but I am on the fence about purchasing as I have not seen a great review for it. I will definetly give it a rent and the audio score sounds very promising.
cheers
post #7 of 19
Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! This is a movie-movie and a lot of cinama fun. Great Blu-Ray quality. Josh Brolin is Burt Lancaster and Ryan Gosling is Kirk Douglas! Sean Penn is a perfect snake. Anybody who dosn't like this would rather argue than watch movies. Game over!
post #8 of 19
Anything with Emma Stone in it deserves at least one viewing. I'm in.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

  • (HD) 7 deleted scenes with director introduction
Ralph, as a response to the terrible 2012 shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the filmmakers/studio judiciously deleted a very big, very expensive scene of a mass shooting that took place inside Grauman's Chinese Theater, through the auditorium and then spilling out onto Hollywood Blvd. Hard to tell, but a tiny remnant of it might still be included at the 1:18 point in the linked trailer where the bad guys begin by shooting through the theater screen from behind and then, in the scene that wasn't included in the theatrical release, movie through the screen and continue shooting into the audience, eventually taking it out into the street.

The scene was huge and included shutting down blocks of Hollywood Blvd., redressing it for period, dozens of period cars up and down the street, costuming and wardrobe for more than a hundred extras, and taking over the Chinese Theater (on a weekend night, no less). So I wondered when they cut it if that scene was going to be included in the Blu-ray release either as a "Director's Cut" or in the bonus material. Is it among the deleted scenes? Do you know if the commentary or any of the other bonus features mention the scene, show clips of it or discuss the decision to cut it before theatrical release?

Thanks.
Edited by hitchfan - 4/18/13 at 3:38am
post #10 of 19
A great cast, yes! But it borders on Ocean's 11 type mediocrity. Just because you can score a half dozen big names and put them in a movie together, doesn't mean they'll have chemistry or that it will automatically have substance. For what it's worth, the acting isn't horrible, it's the script that's the problem. There is little to NO character development. You don't learn anything about anyone and therefor, it makes it hard for the viewer to become emotionally invested and care about or identify with any character in the film. There is no *getting lost* in the story because there is no stor. You don't forget you're watching a movie. The plot is non-existent. I could forgive some of this, if weren't for the fact that even many of the *action* scenes lacked excitement. So go on, enjoy poor movie making. The last decade, Hollywood has depended on you to keep them afloat!
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnvid View Post

Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! This is a movie-movie and a lot of cinama fun. Great Blu-Ray quality. Josh Brolin is Burt Lancaster and Ryan Gosling is Kirk Douglas! Sean Penn is a perfect snake. Anybody who dosn't like this would rather argue than watch movies. Game over!
A great cast, yes! But it borders on Ocean's 11 type mediocrity. Just because you can score a half dozen big names and put them in a movie together, doesn't mean they'll have chemistry or that it will automatically have substance. For what it's worth, the acting isn't horrible, it's the script that's the problem. There is little to NO character development. You don't learn anything about anyone and therefor, it makes it hard for the viewer to become emotionally invested and care about or identify with any character in the film. There is no *getting lost* in the story because there is no stor. You don't forget you're watching a movie. The plot is non-existent. I could forgive some of this, if weren't for the fact that even many of the *action* scenes lacked excitement. So go on, enjoy poor movie making. The last decade, Hollywood has depended on you to keep them afloat!
post #12 of 19
If I enjoy something, they can always depend on me.
post #13 of 19
I have not seen this film yet but plan to do so via Netfix in the future.

How does this film hold up compared to something like L.A. Confidential (which I enjoyed very much) as a period piece taking place in Los Angeles?
post #14 of 19
Just finished watching this movie.

I rate movies on a different personal basis which kinda goes something like this:

Turn it off
Watchable
Entertaining-but not worth owning
Good But not worth owning
Definite purchase(no timeline for this which means I am usually waiting to see it in the $5 rack)
Buy Immediately

I personally put this movie in the "Entertaining-but not worth owning" category. It was good fun with good cinematics but overal this is not a "mob movie"

This is an action movie set in the mob era so dont expect a deep story to it.

If you have Directv it is watch Gangster Squad and your next cinema movie is free so I think it is a win win situation there....which is how I watch most new movies now anyways.
post #15 of 19
This movie has finally hit our video stores so will definitely give it a spin tonight.
post #16 of 19
Watched this last night, I did not mind it. Not the best out there but still enjoyable to watch.
post #17 of 19
Just finished watching this with 5 other people and all enjoyed it a good bit. Don't understand the negativity towards the film from some....

There is no genre, pacing, etc. that pleases everybody. Whoever doesn't think this is a fun movie probably had no business watching it to begin with.
post #18 of 19
I saw this opening weekend in the theater & I thought it was fantastic. I was shocked when I went on rotten tomatoes and saw how low its rating was. I usually fall in line with the majority when it comes to my thoughts on movies. I would definitely recommend giving it a rental at least for anyone that hasn't seen it. And if you're a fan of mob movies I would recommend just buying it.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by morbidcorpse View Post

I'm sure the blue ray picture and audio are stunning. However, that doesn't save this film from being a floating turd. I kept watching the clock, waiting for it to end.


lol, Ralph's job as a movie reviewer is safe.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home

Gear mentioned in this thread:

AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews › Gangster Squad (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review