‘Knockaround’ flick makes a decent DVD
The premise behind “Knockaround Guys” can best be summed up in a quote from notorious “Goodfella” Henry Hill:“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”
The film focuses on four young men with distinct connections to some of New York’s most notoriously powerful mob bosses. The plot revolves around the group’s quintessential desire to prove that they have what it takes to make it in the “family.”
After years and countless attempts to legitimize and distance himself from the family name and business, Matty (Berry Pepper) decides he wants to be part of the organization. Matty is given a challenging assignment that goes horribly wrong. With the help of his friends, Matty attempts to doctor the situation.
The film’s cast provides a nice balance between old- and new-school Hollywood, as screen giants Dennis Hopper and John Malkovich portray mob royalty. The guys whose fathers are “nothing more than errand boys,” are Pepper, Seth Green, Vin Diesel and Andrew Davoli.
The film’s directors explain “Knockaround Guys” as a mob movie the audience is already familiar and comfortable with in one of the DVD’s bonus features.
However, once settled into the familiar genre pattern, the film takes a motivated change in direction to highlight a side of the mafia that has never been exposed, allowing it to become a unique addition to the mobster genre.
The DVD comes with many features including an audio commentary by the directors, deleted/altered scenes, theatrical trailers, both wide- and full-screen versions of the feature, as well as some unique CD-ROM features.
One of the highlights is the audio commentary provided by the film’s directors, Brian Koppelman and David Levien. What makes the commentary so enjoyable is the enthusiasm of the first-time filmmakers. They seem truly excited to be talking about their movie and explaining their creative process.
The other highlight of the DVD is part of the CD-ROM portion of the disk, containing a script-to-screen feature. There is also the option of viewing the screenplay while simultaneously watching the film, allowing the viewers to gain insight into the filmmaking and screenwriting processes.
The only major criticism of the DVD is some of the extra features are not available if viewing the disk on a computer, and not available if viewing the film through a standard DVD player.
Although the DVD has some flaws, and may not be as elaborate as others, it has some great features and is worth renting.
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