Donnie Brasco

Featured In Issue 122, July/August 2007

WSR Score
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Mike Newell
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Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM 24/48 5.1
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Based on the book by Joseph D. Pistone with Richard Woodley, Donnie Brasco features Johnny Depp as an FBI agent who takes on the persona of gangster Donnie Brasco and maneuvers his way deep into the mafia chain of command, with the help of Lefty Ruggiero (Pacino). As he tries desperately to keep the balance with his real-life family, Donnie realizes he is not only crossing the line between federal agent and criminal, but is also leading Lefty to a death sentence.

Special features include the 24-minute Donnie Brasco: Out From The Shadows featurette, the seven-minute original featurette, a three-minute photo montage, and previews. There are also up-front ads.

The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc looks fantastic, with impressive detail and depth of field. Black levels are deep and contrast is balanced well. Colors are slightly muted compared to other high-definition releases, but they do set the mood for the timeframe well. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is a new encoding compared to the previously released DVDs, but the added LFE channel is not used very frequently. The mix is limited in its effectiveness, with little use of the surround channels, but the front stage is amply wide at times. Vocals sound natural, but the noise floor is relatively high. The Blu-ray Disc's uncompressed linear PCM 5.1-channel soundtrack improves upon the fidelity, and the noise floor is noticeably lower than in the DVD. Still, the sonics can sound slightly dated. (Danny Richelieu)