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The Iceman Blu-ray Review

The Iceman Blu-ray

Michael Shannon and Chris Evans carry “The Iceman.”

“The Iceman” (which is based on the real life hitman Richard Kuklinski) chronicles the life of Richard Kuklinski from his days as a lowly porn lab worker to a cold hearted mafia hitman. We also get a look at his homelife with his wife and children (none of whom knew about his real job).

As you can see from the short synopsis above, there’s really not much to “The Iceman” at all and therein lies the problem. The film is too straight forward and it never offers anything new to the gangster/hitman/seedy underworld genres. Throughout the entire running time, it seems like director Ariel Vromen just wants to emulate films like “Goodfellas” instead. On top of that, the film never fully explores Richard Kuklinski. Considering the amount of material that exists about him both in novel and documentary form, there had to have been more to this angry killer. We know he had a brother in jail, but that plotline was barely covered here. It’s a shame too as I felt like that would have been an interesting angle for the writers and director to explore.

On the plus side, the film boasts an all-star cast featuring Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, James Franco, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Robert Davi, Stephen Dorff, and even David Schwimmer as a mustached  mob boss cronie (yes, really). While the ensemble cast is fine, it is Michael Shannon and Chris Evans that stand out here. Rising star Michael Shannon (last seen as Zod in “Man of Steel”) gives an uber creepy performance as Kuklinski. He certainly goes above and beyond what the script laid out for him which is the sign of a great performer. Chris Evans, best known for being Captain America and Johnny Storm/Human Torch, is completely unrecognizable as a crazy long haired ice cream man/freelance killer. He completely disappears into this role and it made me eager to see what else he can do outside of the comic book movie realm.

Video/Audio:

The film, which is presented in 1.78:1 1080p, has a great transfer. The hi-def print even handles the darker scenes magnificently well.

Whether there’s a quiet scene or a scene involving a violent shooting, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track delivers.

The only extras Millennium Entertainment trailers, a featurette titled “The Iceman” Behind The Scenes (which is self-explanatory) and another featurette titled “The Making Of The Iceman” which contains information about casting, stories about the production and lots of comments from director Ariel Vromen.

Summary: I really wish “The Iceman” had been less about Kuklinski’s business and more about him. Still, the movie is worth a gander if for no other reason than to see Evans and Shannon at work.

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August 30, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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