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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.


DONNIE BRASCO ($40) features Al Pacino’s finest performance in years. In DONNIE BRASCO Pacino portrays Lefty, a middle management hood with absolutely no prospects of rising in the organization. Johnny Depp is an FBI agent who has gone undercover as petty crook Donnie Brasco. Lefty takes a liking to Donnie and takes him under his wing, teaching him about the organization. Unfortunately, the young FBI agent remains undercover for too long and begins to go native. Donnie also starts to care too much for his benefactor Lefty. Johnny Depp is great as the FBI agent, and with DONNIE BRASCO, Depp effortlessly makes transition to commercial movie star. DONNIE BRASCO is the best gangster movie to be produced in quite some time, and is certain to entertain fans of the genre. The cast of DONNIE BRASCO also features Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo and Anne Heche.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has given DONNIE BRASCO a terrific Letterboxed transfer, which restores most of the film’s 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The transfer is sharp and well defined, with dark sequences reproducing without much film grain. Colors appear natural and have respectable saturation. The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack has a solid mix, with good atmosphere and directional effects. The Sony DADC pressing was quite good, with only an occasional speckle. DONNIE BRASCO is solid entertainment and well worth acquiring.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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