Blu-Ray Review: King of New York

There are few actors working in Hollywood today who are as instantly recognisable and steadfastly loved as Christopher Walken. Whilst he’s had a remarkably diverse and rich career, which includes starring in such eclectic films as Hairspray, The Deer Hunter and A View to a Kill, he’s become known for a rather terrifying screen presence. A persona which he employs so effectively in True Romance, Pulp Fiction and most notably his starring role in Abel Ferrara’s King of New York.

After being released from prison, Frank White (Walken) is eager to make up for lost time. Along with Jimmy (Laurence Fishburne), Test Tube (Steve Buscemi) and the rest of his gang, he’s determined to take over the city. Frank sets about eliminating the competition and positioning himself to become the next mayor. However, detectives Bishop (Victor Argo), Flanigan (Wesley Snipes) and Gilley (David Caruso) are determined to stop him.

King of New York sees Walken in full pomp. Supported by an all-star cast, he chews up every scene he’s in. Ferrara turns the dial up to 11. Each shot is imbued with a kind of manic chaos which envelops the whole film. This hyper-realistic approach makes the film feel overly-fantastical, and whilst the violence is stark, at times, it never feels uncomfortable. King of New York is a muscular and kinetic filmmaking at its best.    

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

King of New York is released on Blu-Ray, 4K UHD and DVD by Arrow Video on 16 November.

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