Pride and Glory (2008) - 2-Disc Special Edition

Genre(s): Crime / Drama
New Line || R - 130 minutes - $34.98 || January 27, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-01-31


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Writer(s): Gavin O'Connor & Gregory O'Connor & Robert Hines (story), Joe Carnahan & Gavin O'Connor (screenplay)
Cast: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich, Jennifer Ehle, Lake Bell


Theatrical Release Date: October 24, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Source of Pride: The Making of "Pride and Glory"
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

One of the more disappointing movies of this early 21st century (OK, maybe I'm overstating it), Pride and Glory wastes a talented cast and produces a meandering cop drama that never picks up any steam, even towards its “suspenseful” and “dramatic” conclusion. Exactly what was director/co-writer Gavin O’Connor doing with this story? You have a great cast put together and it still doesn’t come together? No wonder, this was originally filmed back in 2006 and sat on the shelves before Warner picked it up for release. What a shame.

Pride and Glory is about the Tierney family, a classic cop family. Ray (Edward Norton) is a detective still trying to get over a controversial investigation, one that broke his marriage up, years earlier; Francis Tierney Jr. (Noah Emmerich) is a police captain overseeing a squad which includes brother-in-law and hot shot Jimmy Eagan (Colin Farrell); and completing this cop dynasty is chief of police is Francis Sr. (Jon Voight). Jimmy is married to Megan (Lake Bell), Francis Sr.’s daughter, has two beautiful kids oh, and dabbles in drug activities and gang-like violence while in uniform.

This film has a couple problems going against it:

For one thing, outside of the talented cast, there really isn’t anything unique about the story. We’ve seen it before with We Own the Night, another underperformed cop drama with talent, and even elements of Martin Scorsese’s brilliant The Departed. The story was written by Gavin (who also directed) and Greg (producer) O’Connor and Robert Hopes with some help by Joe Carnahan (Narc). Obviously given Hollywood’s propensity to adapt (or give a sequel to) anything and everything, originality is at a premium, so my qualm isn’t really with that Pride and Glory borrows from other cop dramas but that it adds nothing new to the genre. The story certainly has plenty of clichés but they are easily disguised due to the phenomenal cast.

This is an exceptional cast and although they are probably the only reason it would be worth watching this film, I also felt director Gavin O’Connor who also helmed the sentimental -- but good -- Miracle establishes an interesting gritty dark tone, seemed to have problems with setting up tension. O’Connor shows that no matter how great a cast you have including one of the great actors of this general with Edward Norton, if you can’t establish some sort of momentum even the most well written screenplays will result in an oblique feature.

What does work and the only reason you would want to sit through Pride and Glory is even despite a disappointing story, it’s not exactly terrible either. This is very much middle-down-the-road kind of movie, neither fantastic nor awful. And of course with Edward Norton — an actor I’d watch sit in an empty room spouting whatever came to his mind for 3 hours —, Colin Farrell, Noah Emmerich and Jon Voight, this cast makes it much easier to sit through the film’s 130-minute running time.

In the end, Pride and Glory is an exercise in wasted potential. You have an incredible ensemble cast and acceptable direction, the script lets everyone down. I didn’t find the movie to an un-worthy adventure but I guess I’d advice to lower your expectations. But even for an average cop drama, you can’t go wrong to at least give it a chance next time you stop by Blockbuster.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There are a few releases for Pride and Glory: a single-disc barebones DVD, two-disc special edition DVD and a 2-disc special edition Blu-ray. Given the lackluster box office performance ($15m domestic gross), it’s not surprising we don’t get many special features, but couldn’t Warner have fit it on the first disc?

But on disc two is a comprehensive documentary Source of Pride: The Making of “Pride and Glory” (67:03). The solo feature is a fascinating behind-the-scenes struggle of filming Pride and Glory. It’s pretty honest account on various elements from the writer/director trying to come up with an ending in the middle of shooting to bouncing ideas from Edward Norton. Many members of the cast and crew provide insights about the film, including Norton but suspiciously missing is costar Colin Farrell. I barely even remember seeing any behind-the-scenes footage of him.

If there had been more features on this set like deleted scenes or a great commentary, I would’ve easily given this a 4.5/5.

There is also a digital copy you can use on your portable device (expiration date: 01/27/10).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85 AR) and looks OK given the director’s grainy style choice, but I did notice on occasion some issues with DNR as well as pixilation, an element I’m beginning to become accustomed to with Warner Brothers DVD releases. Black levels aren’t too great but the colors are washed out to serve the director’s visual style.

Pride and Glory comes with a serviceable Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is actually decent as far as DVD releases go. Dialogue is fairly clear coming from the center channel but I didn’t notice too much going on with the rear speakers. Also, it seems the subwoofer got a little heavy, so much I had to turn it down a little, but all in all this is a fine audio track especially since there isn’t much in the way of action.



.::OVERALL::.

Pride and Glory, if anything, was an exercise in underachievement. When you have a terrific cast led by one of this generation’s greatest actors in Edward Norton, a man who gives great performances in films he didn’t even want to be in (see: The Italian Job), it’s unfortunate the film could not come together in terms of the story. The big problem Pride and Glory has is it does not distinguish itself from other cop dramas and thus little reason to even sit through 2+ hours. That being said, if you like Norton or Farrell, at least give this a rent, it’s certainly not an awful film.