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Gangster Squad Blu-ray Review

gangster-squad-blu-ray-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 113 Mins
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
  • List Price: $29.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Sharing similarities with Brian De Palma’s The UntouchablesGangster Squad tells the story of Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), specifically in the year of 1949. Cohen is known for his ruthless tactics and is able to sweep all sorts of crimes under the rug, thanks larger in part to a majority of the LAPD being on his payroll. Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) wants to end this. Parker calls in Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin), instructing him to set up a small group of men who won’t make arrests – rather they’ll bring cold, hard justice to Cohen. Enter Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Golsing), Officer Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), famed Officer Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), and Officer Navidad Ramirez (Michael Pena.) It’s now up to these men to bring down Cohen, in a film that isn’t perfect, but sure is entertaining throughout – largely due to the solid performances by the stellar cast.

Gangster_2

I recall, back in January of this year, an ad ran for Gangster Squad. Immediately I was intrigued by the film, not just because of the cast, but also due to the physical story. Gangster films will always interest me, perhaps because of the themes of the underdog that lie within. Here we have a small group of cops working together to bring down one of the biggest crooks in the city – despite Cohen having the entire city (practically) on his payroll. Cast-wise, Ryan Gosling, especially after Drive and the recent, highly, highly excellent The Place Beyond The Pines, has really proved he’s one of the brightest stars in Hollywood. As in Josh Brolin (I personally loved his performance in Oliver Stone’s W.) Oh, and certainly I have nothing but utter praise for Emma Stone who, seemingly, can act in any film bringing a sense of both style and intelligence to her performances. Moreover though, it’s really themes like the underdog (even though they’re almost overused in films) that keep me coming back for more.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Gangster Squad blasts its way onto Blu-ray with a faithful 2:40:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer. Even though the initial moments of the film may be quite dark (making one wonder if detail clarity might be an issue,) the film’s detail is as strong as we’d expect from a day-and-date title from Warner. The film’s palette has a grayish tone to it, subtlety added in to capture the 1940s era themes. Clarity, as mentioned, impresses throughout. Particularly, facial close-ups result in both accurate contrast levels as well as fine texture detail. There’s also no notice of any anomalies like DNR, EE or any other issues. All in all, this is a consistently clean, quality transfer from Warner.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Gangster_4

This Blu-ray disc includes a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, one of which is excellent. Dialogue is expertly reproduced via the center channel, with zero instance of drop out (even with the large amount of action found here.) Speaking of action, the film’s numerous action moments create some of the better atmosphere I’ve heard in a 2013 release thus far. Its during these sequences that LFE hits dominantly, while the varying gunfire spread bullets all across the sound stage.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

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All included features are presented in High and Standard Definition:

  • Commentary with Director Ruben Fleischer
  • The Gangland Files – This feature serves as the film’s Picture-in-Picture, offering up a smaller screen with cast interviews, trivia and other bits of information on the film.
  • The Set-Up – This feature serves as the film’s ‘Focus Points’, offering up nearly 46 minutes of footage.
  • Rogues’ Gallery [SD] – This feature runs close to 47 minutes, essentially chronicling the life of Mickey Cohen.
  • Tough Guys With Style – A quick 5 minute reflection feature from the cast, recalling the 1940s feel of the film.
  • Deleted Scenes – 12 minutes worth of scenes (totaling 7 scenes) are shown.
  • UltraViolet – An UltraViolet Digital Copy is available for this release.
  • DVD – A DVD copy of the film has been included on a separate disc.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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With a stellar cast, a few excellent action moments, an all around fun film, and a faithful technical front on both sides, Warner’s Blu-ray for Gangster Squad comes well recommended.

Trailer

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com (Standard Release):
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Purchase Gangster Squad on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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Best Buy Exclusive:
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BestBuy.com (Standard Release):
Gangster Squad - Fullscreen AC3 Dolby - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Gangster Squad on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

 

 

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

 

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