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American Buffalo (Blu-ray)

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    mandymanslaughter
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  • American Buffalo (Blu-ray)



    Released by: Twilight Time
    Released on: May 12, 2015
    Director: Michael Corrente
    Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, Sean Nelson
    Year: 1996
    Purchase From Screen Archives

    The Movie:

    American Buffalo is a film directed by Michael Corrente and based on an acclaimed screenplay by David Mamet of the same title. Mamet adapted his own play for the big screen, which is reflected in how the film progresses and feels to the audience. The film is comedic while remaining dark and pensive, and without saying much it packs quite a punch. Twilight Times put out this limited edition (to 3000 copies) Blu-ray release.

    Don (Dennis Franz) is a shop-owner who has taken a young boy under his wing, Bob (Sean Nelson). The two have an almost father/son relationship, with Don giving Bob advice and helping him out with money and odd jobs. The pair is discussing one such job at the top of the movie when they run into Teach (Dustin Hoffman), who is in a rage in front of a diner across the street from Don's store. The three head over to the shop, and the remainder of the film takes place in that same locale.

    Teach catches a whiff of what Don and Bob are cooking up in regards to the mysterious job they hint at, and decides he wants in. After Bob leaves to get the trio breakfast, Teach moves in and gleans from Don that he recently sold a possibly rare coin to a man, and from there a scheme emerged. Teach talks, wheels, and deals himself in and Bob out. In the background of the movie are some characters we never meet, but catch a glimpse of via a poker game in the opening credits and in references throughout. These ghostly characters also play a role in exactly what is going to go down later that night.

    American Buffalo very much feels like a stage play, taking place (for the most part) in one single location and over one single day. It is very dialogue heavy and a lot of the meaning and happenings of the movie are up for interpretation, being very coded and vague. All three actors, with Hoffman being a standout, give great performances and deliver on the American gangster style that the film has. While at some points the conversation stalls into a circular pattern, it has a lot of profanity-laced charm and is highly effective as constituting the plot.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    American Buffalo is presented in a 1080p HD transfer in 1.85:1. The quality of the transfer is really good with few flaws. There are a few burns and flickers throughout, and the colors are a bit muted and pale. Most of the film takes place indoors with little transitional differences in the exterior scenes, but there is a lot of detail in the shop to look at. Although not dynamic, there is a wide range of colors throughout the movie. All in all, the picture quality supports the quality of the film itself.

    The film features a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix with an English subtitle option, which also gets the job done. There are some dynamic moments, notably heavy rain towards the end of the film, which show the depth of the mix throughout the movie. Dialogue is clear and well supported. No audible flaws were noticeable enough the report.

    This Blu-ray release features the original trailer, which is not in 1080p and calls attention to just how nice the HD transfer of the movie is. Also featured is a MGM trailer looking back over the years of its releases, an audio commentary with film historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman.

    Bottom Line:

    American Buffalo is a great film to see at least once, as it captures a certain style and commentary that is quintessentially, well, American. With only three actors and a jam-packed script, the film plays out nicely through the use of dialogue and character development. Its screenplay origins can be seen in its set design and structure, and adds to the charm of the film. With American Buffalo, Twilight Time has put out another limited release that is definitely worthy of snatching up.


    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















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