Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
King of New York(1990)
In New York, crime gets done Frank's way - or it doesn't get done at all. Recently freed from prison, Frank White hooks up with his old crew to challenge his fellow drug lords. Each bloody battle aims at a piece of the high-priced action where being at the top of the chain can mean the difference between life and death. Unable to keep him behind bars, the cops declare war on him. Frank's answer-put a contract out on the cops.
For more about King of New York and the King of New York Blu-ray release, see King of New York Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on January 10, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, Victor Argo, Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito
Director: Abel Ferrara
» See full cast & crew
King of New York Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, January 10, 2013
Abel Ferrara's "King of New York" (1990) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of French distributors Carlotta Films. The supplemental features on the disc include an original trailer for the film; long video interview with director Abel Ferrara conducted by French film historian Nicole Brenez; and video interview with producer Augusto Caminito. In English, with optional French subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Abel Ferrara's King of New York tells two different stories. The first is the story most American critics who have written about the film address, possibly because it is the only one they recognized. It is about Frank White, a former drug lord who decides to wipe out the competition shortly after he is released from prison. Frank is a brutal but charming man who also wants to give something back to the city he loves.
The best Frank could come up with is a hospital in a poor neighborhood for which there isn't enough funding – he promises to pay its debts even though he does not have the money. Soon after, assisted by a group of black drug dealers, all former partners, Frank begins killing his competitors. He quickly builds an empire which he controls from a fancy suite at the Plaza Hotel.
A group of honest cops, however, decide to go after Frank and his partners. The cops are led by a tough old-timer (Victor Argo) who does not like the fact that Frank is essentially taking over the city. They try to put him behind bars but repeatedly fail. Eventually, they proceed to deal with him on their own. Frank and his men strike back.
The second story is a lot more interesting. It is about a city in transition, a changing culture, and new attitudes. There is something about the way Ferrara's camera always looks at New York City that gives his films a very unique atmosphere, one that essentially makes them worth seeing. In King of New York, one generation of criminals is replaced by another, old rules are ignored, and justice is redefined, while the city is undergoing a profound transformation. As much as this is a gangster film, it is also a period drama in which the main character is actually Ferrara's beloved city.
Another interesting aspect of the film is the fact that virtually all of the main characters in it are compromised. In other gangster films from the 90s there is always some sort of a positive curve, a moment where the bad guys get punished or cured. But not here - Frank and his partners and the men they face are stuck somewhere between good and bad, never trying to impress but looking to get results, no matter the price or the laws that must be broken. This is Ferrara's nihilistic reality, and a glimpse of what the 90s will eventually promote and encourage.
Ultimately, King of New York is a legit classic, a politically incorrect, unapologetically violent, and exceptionally stylish film that does not imitate the big genre films before it. It has its own identity and it is damn proud of it. The film is also directed by a man who knows absolutely everything there is to know about his beloved city, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, and loves showing it all, regardless of whether he is praised for it or dismissed as an amateur.
The cast is excellent. Walken carries the films as the ambitious gangster who understands that the time he has to accomplish his goals is probably limited. There are a couple of scenes with him that have become legendary for a good reason. There are great performances from some future stars as well, including Larry Fishburne, Steve Buscemi, Giancarlo Esposito, and Theresa Randle. The late Victor Argo also delivers a memorable performance.
Note: In 1991, King of New York was nominated for Best Cinematography Award (Bojan Bazelli) at the Independent Spirit Awards.
King of New York Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Abel Ferrara's King of New York arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Carlotta Films.
The high-definition transfer appears to have been sourced from the same master Arrow Video had access to when they prepared their Blu-ray release of King of New York in the United Kingdom. Unsurprisingly, there aren't any notable differences between the two releases. Excluding some extremely light noise that occasionally sneaks in, the presentation is indeed very pleasing. The overwhelming majority of the close-up boast very good depth, while clarity is excellent even during the nighttime sequences from the second half of the film (also including the footage with the heavy blue neon lights). Colors look natural and remain stable. There are no traces of excessive degraining and sharpening corrections. A few tiny flecks pop up here and there but are never distracting. Compression is also good. All in all, while there is some room for minor improvements, the presentation is indeed enormously satisfying. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
King of New York Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are three standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, and French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. For the record, Carlotta Films have provided optional French subtitles for the main feature.
Once again, I think that the English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is preferable. It is better balanced and generally the sound is better rounded. As I noted in our review of the UK release, I believe that some of the more obvious dynamic fluctuations on the elaborate 5.1 and 6.1 mixes exist because they simply struggle with the original Dolby SR audio (which years ago used Dolby's most advanced noise-reduction system). With that in mind, I again encourage you to experiment with both, but I personally prefer the two-channel lossless track.
King of New York Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
King of New York Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
This handsome release of Abel Ferrara's cult film King of New York from French distributors Carlotta Films uses a high-definition transfer that appears to have been sourced from the same master Arrow Video had access to when they prepared their Blu-ray release of the film in the United Kingdom. The film looks very good, very clearly the best it ever has. If you are a French speaker, I strongly recommend that you consider adding Carlotta Films' release to your collection. If you are an English-speaker, I urge you to consider Arrow Video's release as it has a better selection of supplemental features. RECOMMENDED.
King of New York: Other Editions
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to King of New York. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to King of New York in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
King of New York Blu-ray, News and Updates
No related news posts for King of New York Blu-ray yet.
King of New York Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
King of New York Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to King of New York Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.