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King of New York (SE)
DVD disk
Oct 6, 2004 By: JaneBlo
King of New York (SE) order
Director:
Abel Ferrara

Actors:
Christopher Walken
David Caruso
Laurence Fishburne

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Newly released from prison, gangster and drug lord Frank White (Walken) is anxious to get back to his old ways again so he meets up with his old gang and does exactly what he does best: make trouble. The police have had enough of him and decide to get him once and for all, no matter what it takes. Well, it takes a lot as this bone-chilling and stylish mob saga unfolds before our eyes in all its bloody glory. Originally released in 1990.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I have to start out by stating that I think Christopher Walken is simply the bees knees and ranks as my favorite actor ever. As Frank White, the ultra powerful New York City drug czar, he plays a brooding, angry, dangerous and violent criminal who scares the shit out of everyone with only the look in his eyes...and also because he then kills them. It suits Walken to play these types of roles, although he is equally brilliant in his comedic roles as weve all seen whenever he makes a well-appreciated appearance on Saturday Night Live, for example. That said, the supporting cast in this film is nothing to sniff at either: Wesley Snipes and David Caruso (good guys) are fantastic here and so is Larry Fishburne as the most integral part of Walkens gang of merry gangsters and killers.

Casting aside, the mood of this film is dark and gloomy, to which the musical score matches perfectly, as it also is melancholy and dark. There is not much light in this film, and many night scenes set the tone perfectly. The theme of this film required this darkness, metaphorically speaking as well as physically. I liked the gloomy music, it fit the deserted streets of New York City night scenes very well. I especially loved these gorgeous New York City night shots because I have always loved Manhattan at night, it is magical. Any film filmed in New York at night and starring Mr. Walken is all right with me. As far as the story line goes, it flows smoothly, keeps you guessing and fully entertained for almost two hours. There were even a few very suspenseful moments in the film where I caught myself holding my breath in anticipation of what was to occur next, of who was going to get killed now. My favorite Walken line from this film has got to be, I never killed anybody who didnt deserve it. Well said and so true. A very atmospheric film, filmed beautifully in a beautiful city. I would even go so far as to say that the city of New York is as crucial to this film as any cast member.
THE EXTRAS
A short film about the long career of Abel Ferrara: This is way too long, around 45 minutes, and quite boring. We see many of Ferraras colleagues and friends in the business talk about him and his movies in a slow, dry manner that could only interest a true, avid fan of the mans. Everything from his personality to his film style is discussed ad nauseum.

The Adventures of Schoolly D: Snowboarder A Portrait of Schoolly D, the Father of Gangsta Rap, and the Inspiration behind King of New York. This segment is educational and cool, I really enjoyed it. There is a lot of rap music in this film, and it was thoughtful of the makers of the DVD set to include a piece on the inspiration behind the film, Schoolly D. An insightful portrait of the man who many see as the Father of Gangsta Rap.

A Schoolly D Music Video: Very cool feature, good to see his work up close.

Audio Commentary with director Abel Ferrara: Mr. Ferrara shares his stories about the film and its making with us in a mumbled, jumbled and expletive-filled commentary that, many like me, will find annoying and not fun. A boring commentary if I ever heard one.

Audio commentary with producer Mary Kane, editor Anthony Redman, composer Joe Delia and associate producer Randy Sabusawa: Better than the Ferrara commentary, without a doubt, but still not the most exciting feature here. Includes many little known facts about the film, and no swearing here unlike the previous commentary track.

Also, TV Spots and a cool theatrical trailer of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This dark, realistic portrayal of a slice of the gritty underbelly of New York, and some of its seediest characters is gripping, exciting and loaded with much violence and blood. If thats your cup of tea, I urge you to rent or buy this DVD for your own sake. If you loved AT CLOSE RANGE (also starring Walken as an evil guy) and are a fan of gangster films, then you should also have this film in your collection. The extra features do add a certain extra element to this set, but I would not purchase it for them as it is the film that carries this DVD set.
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