BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003620Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Cop Land
BLU-RAY disk
Nov 17, 2011 By: Mathew Plale
Cop Land order
Director:
James Magnold

Actors:
Sylvester Stallone
Harvey Keitel
Robert De Niro

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A handicapped sheriff (Stallone) weighs his admiration for the NYPD and the corruption that surrounds his neighborhood after a lieutenant (Keitel) is suspected of faking a fellow officer's suicide.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Garrison, New Jersey. A town populated by corruption and cops. Settled across the George Washington Bridge from New York City, its a hole where planting a gun in a couple of black guys car is standard operating procedure. So, too, is faking a cops suicide to prevent any lawsuits or bad media attention.

That triggers the conflict of Cop Land, written and directed by James Mangold. Sylvester Stallone stars as Freddy Heflin, a half-deaf sheriff whose shifts are spent breaking up alleyway fights between kids and settling neighborhood garbage disputes. He grew up admiring the men in blue, but his handicap kept him from crossing the bridge to the NYPD, where scumbags like Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel) are lauded.

Because so much falls on a deaf ear, Freddy is in awe of guys like that. And his naivety regarding Donlans nephews death is why he can be so easily played and swayed. Suspicious of Donlan, though, is investigator Moe Tilden (Robert De Niro), one of the few characters who hasnt seen the nephew (Michael Rappaport) about town and so cant do much but beg others to lend a hand.

With Stallone, De Niro, Keitel and Ray Liotta on the poster, Cop Land hosts something of a dream team of tough guys, and a lot of tension comes in their maneuvering and head butting. But only one of the men is put to good use. De Niro does his intimidating bit when its called for. Keitel does the same but with scarier eyes. And Liotta, as a fellow officer, is always on edge, like Henry Hill in the last portion of Goodfellas.

That leaves Stallone, the least likely to succeed. Heres a role that doesnt require him to grunt between each breath, and so the viewer expects him to stumble. But he doesnt. He is restrained and even smart in how he portrays Freddy as the idolizing never-was. Stallone, that meathead, can act if hes asked to.

Mangold intended Cop Land to be an urban western, with Stallone as the sole survivor in a worn-down town where no one can be trusted anymore. Thats developed nicely here. But little else is. Most of the story is all over the place (and, at times, completely illogical) and the characters are sloppy. How did they ever get badges?
THE EXTRAS
Audio commentary with writer/director James Mangold, producer Cathy Konrad, Sylvester Stallone, and Robert Patrick: Mangold leads the discussion here, with Konrad, Stallone and Patrick chiming in less frequently than the director. Theres a decent amount of production stories tossed around, but fans may want to skip to their favorite sequences.

Cop Land: The Making of an Urban Western (14:21): This standard promotional piece contains interviews (with Mangold, Stallone and more), on-set footage and clips to provide a broad overview of the making of Cop Land. Mangolds emphasis on the western aspect of Cop Land is a bit of a stretch, though.

Deleted Scenes: There are two here, which can be viewed with optional commentary: Car Chase and Profile.

Storyboard Comparison (1:59): The final shootout is looked at, with part of the sequence shown alongside production sketches.

Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The faces on the cover art of James Mangolds Cop Land may easily lure in the male crowd, but only one of them does the movie justice: Sylvester Stallone. The rest are pretty much wasted in this mediocre story of loyalty and corruption. Those who want to trade in their DVD copies will get passable video and really great audio, which is put to great use in the final shootout. A rental should suffice.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!