Gotti Blu Ray Review (Lionsgate)
Gotti is a 2018 crime drama film directed by Kevin Connolly (Unhappily Ever After, Entourage, 30 for 30: Big Shot, & Gardener of Eden). It had 57 producers involved in the feature including star John Travolta, George Furla (Lone Survivor, 2 Guns, Escape Plan 1/2, End of Watch, Rambo, & The Amityville Horror), & Randall Emmett (Mile 22, Silence, Narc, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, & Righteous Kill). Joe Pesci & Lindsay Lohan were originally attached to the project. It was originally titled Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father. The Gotti family personally requested John Travolta for the role & he wore real life accessories from the mob boss in this. This biopic took eight years to develop after several directors (including Barry Levinson, Nick Cassavetes, Joe Johnston, & etc.), different cast members (including Al Pacino, Chazz Palminteri, & Ben Foster), & script changes. Lionsgate was the original distributor & production company but sold the film rights back to the producers two weeks before it’s scheduled release. It was picked up by Vertical Entertainment & MoviePass Ventures. Gotti premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
The rise & fall of Gambino crime family mob boss John “The Teflon Don” Gotti (played by: John Travolta from Pulp Fiction, Get Shory, Face/Off, The Punisher, & Welcome Back, Kotter) told by his son John Gotti Jr. (played by: Spencer Rocco Lofranco from King Cobra, Unbroken, Jamesy Boy, & At Middleton). It shows Gotti going from solider to capo to the boss from all his hard work & dedication to the mafia. On March 18, 1980, Gotti’s youngest son Frank Gotti was run over & killed. Grieving with his wife Victoria (played by: Kelly Preston from 10 to Midnight, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, Christine, Nothing to Lose, & Jerry Maguire) & their family, he decides to get revenge for this shocking tragedy. Gotti is upset when his mentor underboss Neil Dellacroce (played by: Stacy Keach from American History X, Mike Hammer. Prison Break, Escape from L.A., & Up in Smoke) is passed over as the don for business man Paul Castellano (played by: Donald John Volpenhein from The Kill Point).
Gotti gets tired of Castellano & plans to change mob history forever. He sets up a hit with his associates Angelo Ruggiero (played by: Pruitt Taylor Vince from Angel Heart, Wild at Heat, Jacob’s Ladder, Heavy, & Identity), Sammy Gravano (played by: William DeMeo from The Sopranos, Analyze That, Boss of Bosses, & Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn), Bobby Boriello (played by: Leo Rossi from Halloween 2, Relentless Trilogy, Maniac Cop 1/2, & Analyze This), & Frank DeCicco (played by: Chris Mulkey from Twin Peaks, The Hidden, Dreamscape, & Jack’s Back). He becomes the next boss of Gambino crime family after taking out Castellano. The government keeps trying to convict the mobster for crimes but he gets away clean each time. His son John Gotti Jr. joins his other family as a member of the mob. Sammy “The Bull” Gravano”, one of Gotti’s most trusted enforcers turns his back on him & rats him out leading to his arrest after avoiding the law so many times before. John Gotti Jr. takes over for his father but he doesn’t like this new role. Gotti dies in prison years later & the mafia has never been the same since!!!!
I’ve always been a huge fan of true crime & fascinated by the John Gotti story so I was pretty excited when this project was first announced. I actually liked the fact this film was a little different than all the other previous productions that featured John Gotti. None of them really covered his son joining the mafia & taking over so that was refreshing to see. As expected, this has all the major events from the Gotti history but I feel like it could have had a little more focus on his younger days at the beginning. It didn’t really go there except for the kidnapping incident in 73. John Travolta gives his best performance in a long time in this! Besides the television show American Crime Story, he’s been doing nothing but direct to video stuff for the last 6 years so the movie industry hasn’t been kind to him lately. He made a come back once before so it can easily happen again. Gotti features a solid supporting group of actors for the most part but it also suffers from a few major roles being horribly miscast. It really hurt the overall film with a few of these casting decisions, I am not sure what the motivation was for some of them because they honestly don’t make any sense. It had a nice flow & pace to it so there’s never a dull moment here. It manages to explore the life of John Gotti with nothing but entertainment. The 1996 TV film Gotti is still the best material when it comes to overall quality & a more detailed version of The Teflon Don’s life but this newer vision was better than expected. It has it’s issues but I still really enjoyed it & I RECOMMEND it especially for John Gotti, John Travolta, Stacy Keach, & Mafia/Mob fans!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Lionsgate! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks stunning on blu ray! The cinematography captures the 70s & 80s in New York. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is very clean & the soundtrack sounds great here! It features all kinds of familiar songs & it fits the vibe of the film perfect. It also has English SDH subtitles. The disc is bare bones but it has a Digital code & a slipcover included. It’s available everywhere this Tuesday, check it out!!!!