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Blu-ray/DVD review: “Broken City” needs mending

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Cashing in on the unstoppable trend of political and paranoia-fueled thrillers, yet failing to update its infrastructure to carry the weighted gaze of a now more savvy audience, “Broken City” is a collage of big names, big performances and big-time predictability.

And while City’s trinity of talent – most notably Wahlberg – enlivens every exchange with all their hock-worthy chops, the utter conventionalities of the ties that bind the film act as a formidable hock-blocker throughout. City is a maze of amazingly vague streets, walking a familiar beat previously trodden by earlier, and more intriguing thrillers. It’s certainly obvious where Hughes wants to take you, straight through the heart of noir with slick and seedy stops along the way…and he isn’t totally unsuccessful. But the sting of the sucker punch blunder here is felt more with speculations being marginally realized, rather than the swift and steady blows of an absolute knockout. The extras menu serves to strengthen this argument, as the most worthwhile feature, “Putting It All Together,” unreservedly chronicles Hughes and company’s relentless research into the genre itself, and the moving parts that make up the ‘anatomy of a thriller.’ So any doe-eyed defense the production may put forth arguing City’s less-than luster is quickly negated. The feature offers as much depth as it does disappointment, because while it’s clear that a tremendous amount of upfront time and effort went into the film, it’s disheartening to see that labor only realized in a disc supplement. A welcome but equally energetic alternate ending is also included, as are five deleted scenes and the film’s theatrical trailer. So with its anticipated taut trumped by tired, leaving instead a plot uninspired, “Broken City” was the goal, but a depth-refrained sprain is all that remains.

Studio Synopsis: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in this gripping crime thriller where everyone has a motive and no one can be trusted.   Seven years after being forced to resign as a New York police officer, private detective Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) takes on his toughest case yet: following the wife (Zeta-Jones) of the city’s hard-nosed mayor (Crowe), who’s convinced she’s cheating on him.  But by the time the mayor reveals his true intentions, Billy is already in too deep. Now, with his freedom — and quite possibly his life — on the line, Billy will risk it all in a desperate bid to expose the truth, and seek redemption in a city where second chances don’t come cheap.

blu ray dvd broken city geek 300x356 Blu ray/DVD review: Broken City needs mending Studio: 20Th Century Fox
Running Time: 159 minutes
Rating: R
Number of Disks: 2

Special Features:
- Alternate Ending
- Five Deleted / Extended Scenes
- Putting It All Together Documentary: A Behind-the-Scenes look including Cast Profiles, Anatomy of a Thriller, a “Black List” script and more
- Theatrical Trailer

Additional Resources:
Central Cast: Mark Wahlberg | Russell Crowe | Catherine Zeta-Jones | Jeffrey Wright | Barry Pepper | Kyle Chandler
Director: Allen Hughes
Central Writers: Brian Tucker
Theatrical Release: January 18, 2013
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: April 30, 2013
Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE
Get it at Amazon.com! (MSRP $39.99 – price will vary by retailer)

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