Arguably, with the exception of “THE BAD LIEUTENANT,
”Director Abel Ferrara’s only other really good film, “THE KING OF NEW YORK,”
has been remastered by LIONS GATE. Christopher Walken gives an incredible
performance as a crimelord, whom upon his release from prison jumps back into
what he knows best. He’s certainly rehabilitated, thinking first and foremost
about “payback,” which he
exerts with ruthless glee. While taking out his rivals, he must also contend with a police unit focused on bringing him down by any and all means. If the fact that some of these police are willing to
break the law to get him, is supposed to make Walken’s character appear less bad, it doesn’t work. It’s hard not to root for him to be blown away. But, instead, as in one particularly chilling scene, it’s
the law that ends up getting blown apart. Ferrara also aims for his character to be more appealing by donating some of his ill-gotten funds to finance hospital wings. In the end, however, there’s little
doubt that many of his newly created addicts will end up there!
LIONS GATE has preserved the film’s original 1.85:1
aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. It’s a fine transfer and greatly improved
over the previously available version. Colors and contrast are well
defined, and there’s none of the abundant grain so abundant before.
LIONS GATE has provided both a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
and 2.0 mix. While surround use is still too reserved, there are plenty of
directional effects between front speakers. Dialogue is always
intelligible and free from distortion.
This release offers 2 discs, with the same transfer
appearing in its whole on both discs. However, Disc 1 offers running
commentaries, and a lengthy documentary about the filmmaker. Disc 2 offers
ADVENTURES OF SCHOOLY D: SNOWBOARDER,” an extended interview with the man responsible for the film’s rap elements. A music video and tv spots are also included.