The King of Staten Island

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal;
Comedy;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language and drug use throughout, sexual content and some violence/bloody images.
Stars Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow, Steve Buscemi.

Even at an overlong two hours and 17 minutes, The King of Staten Island is a watchable enough comedy despite director Judd Apatow’s tendencies to overindulge in sentimentality. There are times the film seems almost like a character study, chronicling the story of a family continuing to cope with a tremendous loss a decade earlier, and turning into a personal and heartfelt tribute to firefighters.

The film is loosely based on the life of “Saturday Night Live” comedian Pete Davidson, who also stars in the film as Scott, a listless 20-something struggling to make something of his life. Davidson’s father was a firefighter killed during the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11 (his character of Scott is named for his father). In the film, Scott’s father is a firefighter who died in the line of duty years earlier when he and his sister were kids. Now, Scott’s sister is heading to college, while Scott has become a pothead who dreams of being a tattoo artist.

Eventually, Scott’s mother (Marisa Tomei) begins dating Ray (Bill Burr), who also is a firefighter, which upsets Scott, who thinks it’s disrespectful to the memory of his father.But working through his issues with Ray turns out to be cathartic for Scott (just as the making of the film would be somewhat cathartic for Davidson, he relates in the extras).

The film also drifts a bit from reality in the form of a romantic subplot involving Scott’s relationship with Kelsey (Bel Powley) a girl he grew up with, whereas in real life Davidson has plastered the tabloids plowing through several hotties of Hollywood.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Blu-ray includes a commentary with Davidson and Apatow, recorded in quarantine, in which they tell a lot of stories about the making of the film, and comparing it to the inspirations from Davidson’s own life.

It’s also interesting to note that even as the film runs long for a comedy, it could have been a lot longer. The Blu-ray and digital extras include more than 15 minutes of deleted scenes, plus a couple of alternate endings, a five-minute montage of alternate takes, and a six-minute gag reel.

More behind-the-scenes material is offered through several short featurettes, including a tribute to Davidson’s father.

Follow us on Instagram

The extras also include a trove of marketing materials, such as the trailer, and several video calls of Apatow and Davidson discussing how to release the film during the pandemic, including telling Burr there’s no premiere party, and promoting the movie on “The Tonight Show.”

‘Assassination Nation’ Coming to Digital and Disc Dec. 18 From Universal

The horror-thriller Assassination Nation will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere), Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Dec. 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The action-satire stars Odessa Young (The Daughter), Hari Nef (“Transparent”), Suki Waterhouse (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and singer Abra as four best friends living in a suburban town where chaos simmers under a façade of lies. High school senior Lily (Young) and her friends live in a world controlled by social media, filled with selfies, emojis, snaps and sexts. When their small town of Salem experiences a massive data hack outing citizens’ private information, the community descends into anarchy. When Lily becomes the target after being falsely blamed for the hack, her squad bands together to save themselves and survive a blood-soaked night.

The supporting cast includes Bella Thorne (Midnight Sun), Bill Skarsgard (IT), Joel McHale (“Community”) and Maude Apatow (“Girls”).

Bonus features on Blu-ray, DVD include deleted and extended scenes and a gag reel.