Donnie Brasco
  • Donnie Brasco
  • Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco

4.2 8
Director: Mike Newell

Cast: Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Michael Madsen

     
 

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Columbia TriStar has put together an impressive DVD edition of this Mob drama. The picture looks great, presented in an anamorphic widescreen format, preserving the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The sound, offered in Dolby Digital 5.0, is surprisingly effective, given the quiet tone of the film. The ambience of the city streets and social clubs comes across very clearly and is… See more details below

Overview

Columbia TriStar has put together an impressive DVD edition of this Mob drama. The picture looks great, presented in an anamorphic widescreen format, preserving the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The sound, offered in Dolby Digital 5.0, is surprisingly effective, given the quiet tone of the film. The ambience of the city streets and social clubs comes across very clearly and is well-defined. Viewers can browse through a handful of deleted scenes. While some are rightfully left on the cutting room floor, others (such as the expansion of the "pet lion" subplot) are very enjoyable and could have fit well into the final version. These scenes are offered with an optional commentary from director Mike Newell, who also provides a feature-length commentary track. This is less impressive, as Newell spends more time watching the film than talking about it. The disc is redeemed, however, by a featurette entitled "Donnie Brasco: Out From the Shadows," which in addition to showing a great deal of behind-the-scenes footage, includes interviews with real-life FBI agent Joe Pistone, who is played by Depp in the film. Pistone provides a great look at the real people that inspired the movie and allows the viewer to better appreciate the performances. Also included is the original promotional featurette. This is little more than an extended trailer, but has some behind-the-scenes shots that are worth looking at. Lastly, the viewer gets a photo gallery, talent files, and trailers (for Donnie Brasco and similarly themed films). For those who missed Donnie Brasco during its theatrical run, this DVD gives offers a second chance.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Johnny Depp plays an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates the New York Mafia in this real-life crime thriller based on the memoirs of racket buster Joseph Pistone. It's Depp's least quirky starring role to date, and he's surprisingly effective in it. Donnie Brasco paints a realistic, uncompromising picture of mob life not unlike Martin Scorsese's Good Fellas, although Mike Newell's direction avoids stark melodrama and injects humanity into the mobsters whenever possible. His approach is justified by the remarkable work of Al Pacino, whose portrayal of a minor soldier overshadows Depp's generally subtle acting in the lead. Pacino is utterly convincing as a none-too-bright thug who values camaraderie and loyalty, and more than a few viewers will empathize with him. Anne Heche, given limited screen time, is also effective as Donnie's long-suffering wife, who fears for her husband's safety as he becomes deeply involved with the mobsters. Well scripted, with fine actors interpreting colorfully drawn characters, Donnie Brasco makes a welcome addition to the gangster-movie canon. The Special Edition DVD is loaded with extras that include theatrical trailers, deleted scenes, an isolated music score, a weblink and an exclusive featurette entitled "Donnie Brasco: Out From the Shadows."
All Movie Guide
Focusing on the nuts-and-bolts world of an everyday mobster and the undercover cop with whom he forms a doomed camaraderie, Donnie Brasco achieves an accessible mix of entertainment and reality. Director Mike Newell was previously best-known for the romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), and he admirably switches gears without losing his knack for character-driven storytelling. Johnny Depp proves his versatility in the lead role of a family-man cop whose made-up mobster alter ego gains him acceptance in The Family; opposite him, Al Pacino crafts a fascinating, world-weary gangster, distinct from the mobsters he's played in the past. His Lefty is a far cry from the slick, bright Michael Corleone, but the character eventually comes to the similar realization that life among wise guys doesn't always translate into a life of wise decisions.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/07/2000
UPC:
0043396052727
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround]
Time:
2:07:00

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video; Widescreen presentation; Audio: English 5.0 [Dolby Digital] and English, French, Spanish 2-channel [Dolby Surround]; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Director's commentary; Exclusive featurette: "Donnie Brasco: Out From the Shadows"; Original featurette; Deleted scenes; Isolated music score; Theatrical trailers ; Web link; Talent files; Interactive menus; Production notes; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp Donnie Brasco/Joe Pistone
Al Pacino Lefty Ruggiero
Michael Madsen Sonny Black
Bruno Kirby Nicky
James Russo Paulie
Anne Heche Maggie Pistone
Robert Miano Sonny Red
Brian Tarantina Bruno
Gerry Becker Dean Blandford
Zeljko Ivanek Tim Curley
Paul Giamatti FBI Worker
Zach Grenier Dr. Berger

Technical Credits
Mike Newell Director
Paul Attanasio Screenwriter
Aude Bronson-Howard Costumes/Costume Designer
Donald Graham Burt Production Designer
Patrick Doyle Songwriter
Louis Di Giaimo Casting,Producer
Brett Goldstein Casting
Alan Greenspan Executive Producer
Jon Gregory Editor
Mark Johnson Producer
Barry Levinson Producer
Tod A. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Patrick McCormick Executive Producer
Gail Mutrux Producer
Leslie Pope Set Decoration/Design
Joseph P. Reidy Asst. Director
David C. Robinson Costumes/Costume Designer
Jefferson Sage Art Director
Peter Sova Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Scene Selections.
0. Scene Selections.
1. Start. [3:25]
2. November 1978. [2:40]
3. Don & Lefty. [3:17]
4. 8 Grand. [2:12]
5. Under the dash. [3:35]
6. Rules. [1:16]
7. Wiseguys. [2:14]
8. Christmas. [10:48]
9. Silent treatment. [1:00]
10. "I got sent for." [5:58]
11. Invisible man. [5:36]
12. Dean. [1:46]
13. Japanese tradition. [3:18]
14. Florida. [5:25]
15. Richie Gazzo. [3:05]
16. Strung out. [6:27]
17. Fugeddaboudit. [1:18]
18. The Left Hand. [7:29]
19. Attorney punch-out. [1:30]
20. Joe's homecoming. [1:49]
21. Marriage counselor. [3:00]
22. At the hospital. [5:40]
23. Busted. [7:33]
24. A little stop. [10:42]
25. Contract on Bruno. [7:54]
26. Gun to his head. [4:42]
27. Terminated. [4:31]
28. Sent for. [8:09]

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