City by the Sea [WS] [DVD] [2002]

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.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4 out of 5 stars.
4.0
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

Special Features

  • Feature-length commentary by writer Ken Hixon and producer Matthew Baer
  • Six words about filmmaking with Michael CAton-Jones
  • Interactive menus
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/director/writer film highlights
  • Scene access
  • Languages: English & Français (dubbed in Quebec)
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

City by the Sea
A man struggling to come to terms with the sins of his father makes the terrible discovery that his own son has fallen into a life of crime in a drama based on a true story. Vincent LaMarca (Robert DeNiro) is a dedicated and well-respected New York City police detective who has gone to great lengths to distance himself from his past; four decades earlier, Vincent's father Angelo killed a young child, and since then Vincent has carried emotional scars from this incident that he refuses to show to the world. Vincent lives alone in a small apartment building, though he has nurtured a close if tentative relationship with his downstairs neighbor, Michelle (Frances McDormand). One day, Vincent and his partner, Reg Duffy (George Dzundza), are assigned to investigate a murder when the body of a young man is found dead in a dumpster. It turns out the body was that of a drug dealer, and the dealer's partner in crime, Spyder (William Forsythe), believes the killer was one of his regular customers -- a junkie would-be musician who calls himself Snake (Brian Tarantina). City By the Sea was adapted from a piece by journalist Mike McAlary which first appeared in Esquire magazine; the cast also includes Eliza Dushku and Anson Mount. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro - Detective Vincent LaMarca
  • Frances McDormand
    Frances McDormand - Michelle
  • James Franco
    James Franco - Joey LaMarca
  • Eliza Dushku
    Eliza Dushku - Gina
  • William Forsythe
    William Forsythe - Spyder

Overall Customer Rating

100%of customers recommend this product.

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