The acclaimed HBO crime series The Night Of is headed to Blu-ray and DVD on October 18. The eight episode project, created by Oscar winning writer Steven Zaillian and Oscar nominated scribe and novelist Richard Price (The Color of Money, Clockers), is headlined by Riz Ahmed and John Turturro (he worked with Price on Clockers).
“The Drop” is a crime drama that’s blessed with a Grade A pedigree. The screenplay was penned by “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone” scribe Dennis Lehane, who based his script on his short story “Animal Rescue.” The film’s director, Michaël R. Rosmak, gained his share of acclaim for the 2011 film “Bullhead.” Coming out September 19th, this Brooklyn set drama stars late actor James Gandolfini, Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and “Bullhead” actor Matthias Schoenaerts.
Hardy, who will also be seen in the April release “Locke,” plays Bob Saginowski, a sad sack bartender who aids local criminals with their various money drops. His boss and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) was once a feared man in the underworld (at least that’s what he says), and after a robbery compromises their livelihood, Marv dips his feet into shady waters once again.
Gandolfini, best known as a conflicted mob boss on “The Sopranos,” excelled at playing criminals who long for their past glories. He recently inhabited such a role in “Killing Them Softly,” starring as an assassin named Mickey who, after being paid on a corrupt company’s dime, boozes his way to oblivion and fails to get the job done.
“The Drop” trailer portrays Marv as a guy who’s tired of being pushed around, and like Mickey, may is too nostalgic for his own good. Unlike Mickey, Marv is ready for a little action. Since I haven’t read Lehane’s short story, I have no idea how this all plays out.
With talented, top of the line talent, “The Drop” is one of my must see films this year. Seeing Hardy, who critics often liken to a modern day Marlon Brando, mixing it up with Gandolfini is one of the many reasons why “The Drop” should deliver the goods.
Director Nicole Holofcenter’s storytelling passions lie within the intricate relationships of complex people who, in essence, are just trying to get through the day with a bit happiness. So it was great to see Enough Said receive its share of Critics Choice nominations, and James Gandolfini was named Best Supporting Actor by the Boston Society of Film Critics (Holofcenter also received the BSFC award for Best Screenplay).
Enough Said (PG-13, 93 minutes) centers on a masseuse named Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) who becomes enamored with Albert (Gandolfini), a fellow divorce who’s blessed with a great combination of dry wit and kindness. Their gradual coupling is thrown for a curve after Eva discovers a narcissistic but well meaning client (frequent Holofcenter collaborator Catherine Keener) is Albert’s ex-wife. Toni Collette also stars as Sarah, Eva’s best friend whose chemistry with her hubby (Ben Falcone) comes from a highly argumentative place. Eve Hewson, the daughter of Bono, also is featured as Albert’s daughter Tess.
As in her previous works Friends with Money and Please Give, Enough Said illustrates how seemingly disparate individuals eventually stumble upon real, human connection. Holofcenter refuses to paint her characters in broad strokes, instead relying on life’s small moments for a subtle mixture of comedy and resonance.
My only complaint regarding the Enough Said Blu-ray is the disc comes with just several featurettes and a trailer. They do give a slight peek into Holofcenter’s working world, but an in-depth commentary from the filmmaker and its cast would have been welcome. Still, that’s a small price to pay since the film stands on its own merits, and at least fans can digitally download the movie on their respective device.
One of my favorite Enough Said exchanges takes place during the movie’s first act, as Eva attends a party and meets a new contact (Keener).