The Movie: 7.8/10
I liked this movie. There, I’m done…oh, you probably want more. Well, I liked this movie for a few reasons. I am a fan of Ben Affleck, so that’s a bonus, but there are lots of things about this story I was interested in. It’s a good movie experience with its brooding leading man and the complications he comes across in his crime riddle 1930’s America. It’s not a new story by any means, gangsters during prohibition doesn’t make it sounds intriguing for me, but it’s so well made that aspect becomes less important. The characters are pretty well fleshed out for the most part. Our broody leading dude is Affleck and he’s got problems. He fought in WWI and now is disillusioned, so he won’t be working for or dying for anyone in his lifetime. He wants to make his own rules, but you know that already from the trailers:)
The women in the life of our not-wanna-be-thug shape him into the man he becomes, but it’s not always a love story. He meets one dangerous woman who will just get him in trouble because she’s an opportunist. He meets one dangerous woman because he falls in love with her ability to make him a better man. And, he meets a young woman who is dangerous because she’s just a person trying to figure out how to live this life and he learns about compassion from knowing her. It’s well written, if not a bit literary sometimes, but in a good way.
The directing is good, music good, styling good, sets good, stunts good, it’s all good, and more than good cumulatively. I thoroughly enjoyed this slight twist on the gang buster movie idea, a man who would be the same level of crazy and deadly as any other mob dude of the 30’s, but who truly has other aspects to his personality, to the choices he makes, to the events that play out around him. It’s all just high quality and makes for that kind of movie watching that gets me bundled up in my blanket with a bowl of popcorn and going along for the ride.
- Commentary With Ben Affleck, Robert Richardson and Jess Gonchor
- Angels WIth Dirty Faces: The Women Of Live By Night (8 Minutes) – A look at the ladies of the movie who are honestly what holds this together.
- The Men Of Live By Night (8 Minutes) – The tough men are examined.
- Live By Night’s Prolific Author (7 Minutes) – Based on the book of the same name this featurette interviews the author and Ben Affleck’s screenplay.
- In Close-Up: Creating A ClassIc Car Chase (8 Minutes) – You would think a car chase with cars that have a top speed of 30mph would be boring, think again.
- Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary (16 Minutes) – Several deleted scenes including a totally different opening.
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art: 4/10
I don’t like the cover of this movie box at all. He’s just sitting there with a gun in his hand which makes him seem more menacing than he came across in the movie, at least not in that Dick Tracy kind of way. I wouldn’t have it as a poster.
Audio & Video: 8/10
live By Night was shot by Oscar winner Robert Richardson (JFK, The Aviator and Hugo) and looks incredible from start to finish. Warner’s sun drenched warm looking 1080p AVC transfer is fantastic and for once they filled the entire disc with data. I was very impressed with the look of this film, I am not sure if green screen CGI trickery was used at all but it is never evident and that is a bonus these days.
Live By Night contains a Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Both are suitably impressive but the Atmos track with its overhead track is where it excels. The movie is full of gunshots and they literally come from everywhere when the action gets heavy. This is a great sounding and looking Blu-ray from Warner I am impressed.
Overall Score 7.8/10