gangsterland

The story of America’s most famous mobsters and their rise to power, GANGSTER LAND examines Al Capone’s ascension through the eyes of his second in command, “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn. Once an amateur boxer, McGurn is lured into the Italian mafia after the murder of his stepfather. Upon joining, he rises swiftly through the ranks along with friend and eventual boss, Capone. As the Italian mob becomes the most lucrative criminal organization in the country, tensions build with “Bugs” Moran and the Irish mob which ignites a brutal gang war culminating with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

gangsterlandbluStudio: Cinedigm
Year: 2017
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Run time: 100 minutes
Rating: R

Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 7.1
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD
Region: A

“Gangster Land” covers the grey area, being, for the most part, very factual and yet trying to romanticize at the same time. Jack McGurn is not a bad protagonist for this dramatic and sympathetic effort, as he really DID seem to be a good Italian boy who wanted to be a boxer until the Genna clan killed his stepfather. The film portrays this but leaves out the part that McGurn’s real father was also killed by gangsters back in Brooklyn as well. I mean, how much is a guy supposed take? They also left out that he was a childhood acquaintance of Baby Face Nelson. The romance with Lulu was, as well, a bit tainted by the cold reality of McGurns lethal nature and Lulu’s acceptance of that, but that’s actually pretty historically accurate. The mentality of the film is very much like an episode of the, “Untouchables” series of the 60s, and I don’t have a problem with that, actually.

Movie Quality: 8/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. ‘Gangster Land’ captures the pre-prohibition very well in high definition. I found this print to be rather eye pleasing with vibrant colors. Colors such as Blue’s, Brown’s, and Gray’s really dominate the screen. Fleshtones are very natural and accurate, considering that we see a few bare necessities throughout. Black levels are solid throughout. The image was also sharp with excellent details. The image is clean and pristine making this a very nice looking image.
Print Quality: 9/10

The audio is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. This is a film where the soundtrack sounds very good taking advantage of the entire soundfield with the various songs from the soundtrack played in the background. Then add the sounds from gun fire and action into the mix that really adds to the audio mix. Bass is rather deep; there is a nice dynamic range of sound across all speakers. Dialogue is very clear and well balanced through the center channel.
Audio Quality: 9/10

Special Features

  • None

Special Features: 0/10

Final Thoughts

‘Gangster Land’ is a pretty fair film that is quite entertaining with its suspense tone and direction. I applaud independent filmmakers who can make the most of what they have to work with, and this is a prime example of a movie with a limited budget utilizing a very talented cast and crew to produce a respectable finished product.
Overall Rating: 8/10