DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Definitive Guide To: The Mob
Definitive Guide To: The Mob
A&E Video // Unrated // July 16, 2013
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Matthew Malouf | posted August 7, 2013 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Film:

Coming out alive from a life of mafia seems like a next to impossible task. For Michael Franzese, however, that task was accomplished... he just may be the luckiest man in the world. He not only made a name for himself in the mob, but also his post-mob life. Franzese is a former New York mobster with the Colombo crime family who was heavily involved in the gasoline tax rackets in the 1980's. Since then, he has publicly renounced organized crime. He has found much success with publishing a novel and becoming a motivational speaker (quite a change of pace from mob life). I've always been more than fascinated with anything mob related. So this mob documentary seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out a story I was unfamiliar with. Does this make my passing grade? Read on.

Through interviews with Michael and a few other experts on the subject, this documentary covers the intricacies on the inner workings of the mob. A great deal is explained of the various ranks of the organization. The culture and rules of mob life are divulged in just how one can move up and make money as well as handle matters with the law. We hear a bit about the infamous sit down. Part of what is great about this documentary is that it lacks biases. It never tries to glamorize life in the mafia nor does it pass judgement on Franzese.

Most of the documentary focuses on Michael's first-hand experience with being in the mob. We hear much of the gasoline scandal of the 1980's. It started off simple by avoiding the tax gas stations had to pay for gasoline. When the government got wise to their act, they started charging tax directly on the product instead of the stations. This only helped the mafia. They could just scrape the tax off of the gasoline suppliers instead. It was quite an ingenious scheme. This made loads of money for both the mafia and Franzese. If this makes you wonder why Franzese would ever give up such a good life, that is all explained here and in great detail.

I have often wondered about the danger of mob life and this documentary only reaffirms those fears. Michael was involved in various close calls during his mob life. He gives a haunting recollection of a meeting in which he was moments away from being killed. Michael's father (who was also a mobster) wouldn't do a thing to help him. Franzese did do time in prison during the 80's. He is indicted on several racketeering, counterfeiting charges, in addition to his role in the gasoline scandal. It was in 1987 that he decided he had enough of the mob life. Michael Franzese would probably be dead today if not for his unpredictability. He constantly changed his routine to throw off any potential enemies that were out to get him. It's refreshing to see a story like this have a happy ending. Usually with these stories, there isn't a good ending. Death seems inevitable, but that's not the case here. Michael's story is inspiring, but also cautionary.

The DVD:

The Video: The 1.78:1 widescreen transfer is solid. Colors are detailed and accurate and the print used is free of dirt and other defects. We get various archival photos and clips, but they're integrated nicely. This transfer should please fans.

The Audio: We get a Dolby 5.1 track and a standard 2.0 track as well. I sampled the latter as well and both are quite fine. The rear channels don't get a lot of use, but when they do everything comes across nicely. Both tracks present the documentary well.

The Extras: Zilch, nothing here except for some trailers.

Final Thoughts:

The Definitive Guide to the Mob gives us a nice overview of life in the mafia. It shows the ups and downs and offers an honest look at what it takes to be in the mob. The 90 minute running time zipped by and held my interest. For those interested, it's worth your time.



Popular Reviews
1. Lolly-Madonna XXX (Warner Archive Collection)
2. Godzilla (2014)
3. Hannibal: Season Two
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics
5. Any Given Sunday: 15th Anniversary
6. Eraserhead
7. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
8. Chef
9. Arrow: Season 2
10. Gilligan's Planet: The Complete Series (Warner Archive Collection)


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use