Brasco" on DVD
A "Killer" Gangster
by Johnny Bray
All Lefty ever wanted was to move up in the crime world.
Stuck as merely a hitman for his entire mob career, Lefty Ruggiero (Al
Pacino) meets Donnie Brasco in a restaurant one day. From there, the two
form a friendship unlike any other.
Lefty mentors Donnie (Johnny Depp) on the ways of the mob, what to say,
and whose ass to kiss.
What he doesnt know, however, is that Donnie Brasco is really Joseph
Pistone, an FBI agent. Pistones job is to bring Lefty to justice
for all the whacks under his belt.
But Pistone gets a little too into it, and it begins to affect his personal
life. His kids wont talk to him, and his wife tells him she wants
a divorce. What was supposed to be a three-month job is now going on two
The film is based on a true story, and adapted from the book Donnie
Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia by Joseph D. Pistone.
Its an excellent movie with an excellent cast, especially the two
lead actors. Anne Heche, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby and James Russo co-star.
Donnie Brasco has everything a mob movie should have: action, suspense,
violence, as well as a lesson in the various meanings of fuhgittabottit.
It has some very powerful scenes that make you think (I hate when that
happens!). The final chapter, when Lefty gets sent for, is
especially effective. But then it moves into an unnecessary ending in
which Pistone is rewarded, and then you get one of those captions where
it tells you what happened after that. The problem with that lies in the
fact that we already know what happens.
If theyd just deleted that one scene and left it at that, it would
have been so much better. Instead, the power of Leftys final act
is greatly depreciated.
However, other than that, its a very good movie.
The special edition DVD is presented a widescreen version in the ratio
of 2.35:1, enhanced for 16x9 TV's, and the picture and sound quality are
exactly what youd expect from a DVD exceptional. The disc
is jam-packed with special features, such as a directors commentary
track, deleted scenes, theatrical trailers and talent files. there's also
a featurette, isolated musical score, production notes.
Donnie Brasco, from Columbia Tristar Home Video
get timing minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Anne Heche, Michael Madsen
Produced by Mark Johnson, Barry Levinson, Louis DiGiamo, Gail Mutrux
Written by Paul Attanasio, Directed by Mike Newell
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