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American Gangster Blu-ray

By Susanne Ault -- Video Business, 10/6/2008

Street: Oct. 14
Prebook: now
> Muted tone of Ridley Scott’s drug saga softens Blu-ray’s effects.

Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe bring their spectacular acting chops to American Gangster, but the film’s muted, grainy cinematography limits its Blu-ray bite. Director Ridley Scott wisely matches the film’s somber design to the story line’s setting, the heroin epidemic in ’70s New York, but that doesn’t yield many bright high-def visuals. Still, when Washington knocks off his enemies as drug lord Frank Lucas, the blood seems more sinister in Blu-ray. American Gangster Blu-ray interactivity, such as picture-in-picture commentary, is carried over from its past HD DVD release.

Shelf Talk: American Gangster should be a simple sell for Blu-ray owners, who are undoubtedly familiar with Scott’s impressive high-def catalog (Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven, Blade Runner).

Drama, color, R (mature themes, violence, language, drug use, sexual situations, nudity), 158 min., BD $29.99, reviewed on Sony BDP S300 on Samsung 37-inch HDTV with HDMI connection
Extras: picture-in-picture commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, music videos
Director: Ridley Scott
First Run: W, Oct. 2007, $130 mil.


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