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The Mob Box
DVD disk
01.10.2006 By: Matt Hosack
The Mob Box order
Director:
Various

Actors:
Various

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Extras:
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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Iíll tell you what itís about. Itís about having some balls and enjoying some good old fashioned American and British? violence. Three classic gangster films and an amazing documentary come together in this mob box set.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
DONNIE BRASCO Ė What can I say about a gangster picture that features both Al Pacino and Johnny Depp in their element - itís pure cinema gold. If you havenít seen it, youíre really missing out on a great story with a lot of character. Add Michael Madsen and some tough moral choices and you have one of the best undercover mob films of all time. Oh, and it takes place in the 70ís so expect the cool clothes, music, and feel of this gritty time. This alone, is a must own.

BUGSY Ė You either like Warren Beatty or you donít. I can usually dig him in these type pictures like DICK TRACY and BONNIE AND CLYDE. I had never seen BUGSY and it ended up being a decent gangster flick. The hitch of this movie shows Benjamin Siegel and his romance with Virginia Hill (Anette Bening). Along the way, he takes Hollywood by storm, envisions Las Vegas out of nothing, and plans to assassinate Mussolini because he can. Thatís badass. The powerhouse performances by Beatty, Elliot Gould, Ben Kingsley, and Harvey Keitel are worth the trip.

SNATCH Ė Guy Ritchieís surprise hit is included here, for what purpose Iím not sure. The film is great in itís own right though and remains one of my favorites. Ritchieís signature editing and musical styles add to the handpicked ensemble cast; all of which revolve around a single diamond. This movie bleeds cool.

AMERICAN GANGSTER Ė Wonderful! I would say this extensive documentary on Americaís most intriguing gangsters is worth picking this set up for. SNATCHís own Dennis Farina narrates tales of Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, Charlie Luciano, and more. Rarely seen photographs, newsreels, and footage are all put together with flare.
THE EXTRAS
DONNIE BRASCO comes with some decent extras. Thereís Directorís Commentary with Mike Newell, which is a lot of fun as Newell sounds like a reader on Mystery Science Theater. It really gives me a warm feeling to know that a director cares as much for his movie as I do. Newell guides us through several Deleted Scenes with an introduction and commentary, which are pretty fun to watch. Thereís a scene where Pacino is walking a lion Ė Ďnuff said! Seven minutes of EPK makes up the Standard Featurette. Exclusive Featurette ďDonnie Brasco: Out From the ShadowsĒ is awesome featuring the real Donnie and crew talking about the real experiences and making the film. Thereís also some Trailers. Still thereís nothing new here thatís not already on the standalone edition.

I was confused why SNATCH made it into this set, but even more confused why they took out a whole discís worth of special features. All thatís left besides the movie is a Branching version that muddled with the filmís already perfect pacing. Finally, Director & Producer Audio Commentary is available which is also decent with some interesting trivia thrown out by Vaughn and Ritchie.

Wrapping things up, this Mob Box comes with a slick booklet that outlines all four films, complete with cast and crew interviews, production photographs, Awards lists, and more. Shoot, you may even learn something about the history of gangster films.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
With the box setís low price and three great films, you canít go wrong. Donít forget that the original documentary THE AMERICAN GANGSTER which is worth the price alone. My only gripes would be that there are no new special features on any of these films and as good as SNATCH is, it seems a bit out of place to be here. If you donít own these films, this is a no brainer! Run to the store, Mr. Depp demands it.
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