Review: King of New York UHD Special Edition Blu-ray
UHD 4K Blu-ray: King of New York (1990)
King of New York, often described as a noir (mmm I don’t think so…) is a film very much of its time. The 90’s.
It tells the tale of Frank White (Christopher Walken) a drug lord, recently released from what appears to be a long stretch in prison into the arms of his crew. Boasting the most incredible 90s cast (Walken, David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito, Janet Julian, Joey Chin) and a soundtrack that is pure 90s hiphoppityhop club music (am I black enough for you?). Its long been one of those ‘Oh yeah I’ve heard of it, but never SEEN it’ sort of films.
Well good news, Arrow Films have released the most glorious 4K edition of this true classic of cinema.
Forget the plot, it’s a crime story with a twist. Bad guy wants to use his drug money to ‘do good’ while blowing away the competition. But this is an Abel Ferrara film. No? okay – a list of films you must now go and watch by him Ms 45 – Fear City –Bad Lieutenant ahh yes! Now you know! Okay I’ll finish with The Addiction.
King of New York is as amped up as Harvey Keitel on coke shooting his car radio, the gangsters are larger than life and day glowingly violent. But the heart of the film is Walken, and although he always gives the goods, THIS is his pièce de résistance. Always other worldly, here he is angelic yet oppressively menacing, his large eyes unblinking, sexy yet horrific. No one else could play Frank White and he elevates this movie from solid thriller to unmissable classic.
The other star of this film is New York itself, my god this film is beautiful to look at and the new 4K restoration zings off the TV in muted primary colours, the lights of Times Square are eternal and it plonks you firmly in this other world of 30 years ago, the fashion, the music, and the sights.
The sound is crisp and crystal clear, the ‘jive’ language, guns cracking, the loud club music, it places you right there, even Walken’s skin has a palpable translucent sheen.
As usual Arrow give good extras, the interview with Ferrara about the making of the film is great as is the feature length French made film (I did wonder if he was drunk for some of it, but no, it’s his personality). The really great extras are the two commentaries, which are chock full of gossipy (my fave) details about the film. The multi person commentary is also really funny.
A must buy for any film fan.
4K ULTRA HD SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- New 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Abel Ferrara and cinematographer Bojan Bazelli
- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- LPCM original stereo and remixed DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio options
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio commentary by director Abel Ferrara
- Audio commentary with composer Joe Delia, producer Mary Kane, casting director Randy Sabusawa and editor Anthony Redman
- Interview with director Abel Ferrara
- Interview with producer Augusto Caminito
- Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty, a documentary on the director from the French TV show Cinéastes de notre temps
- A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara, a documentary looking back at the director’s career, including interviews with his key collaborators
- Original theatrical trailers and TV spots
- Image gallery
- Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet containing essays on the film by Iain Sinclair and Abel Ferrara biographer Brad Stevens.