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Robert De Niro, at least in the last few years, is often better than the material he has to work with. Case in point: City by the Sea, an average film based on a true story. As a whole, the DVD doesn't fare much better. High marks, though, go to Warner for a top notch transfer. The 2.35:1 anamorphic image (yes, there is a separate pan-and-scan version) is as good as any new theatrical print. Detail is excellent and so are the muted, yet distinguishable colors. The darker scenes also come across very well, never showing any signs of breakdown. The sound, while there are no real complaints, isn't outstanding in any way. This 5.1 Dolby Digital track is basically centered up front, with some selective use of the surrounds and appropriate bass. Though it's not something to get excited about, at least the dialogue is clear, as well as the sound effects. As for supplements, they don't add up to a lot. Yes, there is a scene-specific commentary from screenwriter Ken Hixon and producer Matthew Baer, but it's full of silent gaps, and when they do talk, it's focus is on characters and less on the actual making of the film. A commentary from director Michael Caton-Jones would have been a welcome addition to counterpoint this track. What Caton-Jones does offer is an eight-minute discussion of the filmmaking process. It's certainly interesting, but with such a short time, he never has a chance to go into great detail. Beyond this is the standard cast and crew filmographies and the theatrical trailer.
Feature-length commentary by writer Ken Hixon and producer Matthew Baer
Six words about filmmaking with Michael CAton-Jones