Green Book Blu Ray Review (Universal)
Green Book is a 2018 drama film co-written, produced, & directed by Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary, & Shallow Hal). The feature is named after “The Negro Motorist Green Book” by Victor Hugo Green. It’s inspired by the true story of a tour of the Deep South by Jamaican American classical & jazz pianist Don Shirley. It was co-written & produced by Tony Vallelonga’s son Nick. Viggo Mortensen gained an additional 40 to 50 lbs for the role. It has won 50 awards including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, & Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. The budget was $23 million & it has grossed $191.2 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
New York City bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (played by: Viggo Mortensen from The Lord of the Rings franchise, A History of Violence, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, & Eastern Promises) is searching for new employment while the Copacabana nightclub is shut down for awhile. He is invited to an interview with “Doc” Don Shirley (played by: Mahershala Ali from True Detective, Luke Cage, House of Cards, & Predators), an African American pianist who is looking for a driver for his eight week concert tour through the Midwest & Deep South. Don likes how Tony carries himself plus he had been recommended by more than a few people in the area. Don’s record label gives Tony a copy of the Green Book, a guide for African-American travelers to find motels, restaurants, & filling stations that would serve them. At first, the two men don’t get along & it becomes a little awkward. The unlikely duo keeps it professional & do their jobs every night. As the tour progresses, Tony is amazed by Don’s talent on on the piano & enjoys his music. He starts to notice how others treat him & he defends his boss against their racism. Don gets in trouble at a bar & Tony saves him. The two mean start to bond & Don helps Tony write letters to his wife Dolores (played by: Linda Cardellini from Scooby Doo franchise, Freaks and Geeks, Daddy’s Home 1/2, & Avengers: Age of Ultron) while he’s on the road. They both help each other in bad situations with the police, they end up being friends as the tour finishes!!!!
Peter Farrelly directed a drama film? You are probably scratching your head & asking that same exact question right now. He made one of the best drama debuts of all time with Green Book. You would have never knew he came from a slapstick over the top comedy background after seeing this. I was very impressed with his directing & writing for this production because he was definitely stepping out of his normal territory with this project. He proved that he could do any genre with this. I always liked the real life Tony Lip on The Sopranos, I didn’t realize he did all this before becoming an actor. Viggo Mortensen & Mahershala Ali had amazing chemistry, they really boosted the overall production value for this road trip feature. Both delivered some of their best work in their entire careers in Green Book. It shows two unlikely people becoming friends after time & standing up for each other in bad situations. It had a small cast but it featured very strong characters. Linda Cardellini really shined in all her scenes, I always liked her. She added that extra emotion that this drama needed, it made you more invested into their journey. It had a nice balance of comedy & drama, it dealt real situations that were rough back in the day. I am glad things have changed since then, it was beyond difficult to travel for certain people & this movie shows what happens when you are not welcome. It definitely deserved best picture at the Oscars. This is some of the best acting from 2018, it has a good flow to it & it never slows down. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (2.00:1) transfer really shines especially since it’s a road picture so it features a huge variety of locations. It has a variety of audio options which include English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, & French: DTS 5.1 on the disc. It’s a dialogue driven production so I am here to report that it’s top notch in that department & the music sounds amazing also. It’s the true highlight when it comes to the sound for this release! Everything has a nice boost to it, it’s almost like seeing it in the theater. It has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Universal on this blu ray! “Virtuoso Performances” is a little over 4 minutes. It has interviews with Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, & various members from the production. They chat about the film. They talk about the real life people. They mention putting together the cast for it. They bring up the great chemistry between the two leads. It shows various clips from the film. “An Unforgettable Friendship” is a little over 5 minutes. It has interviews with Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, & various members from the production. They talk about putting this together from the real life letters & recordings from Tony Lip. The real Don Shirley didn’t want this made until he passed away. They chat about the actual people that inspired this feature. They bring up the changes from spending so much time together & bonding from it. Two completely different people becoming friends after going through some situations. “Going Beyond the Green Book” is a little over 4 minutes. It has interviews with Peter Farrelly, Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, & others. It goes into detail about “The Negro Motorist Green Book” by Victor Hugo Green. It tells the story of it, how it was created, & it goes over how important it was during the time. They chat about how it didn’t matter how famous or respected you were for some places across the country. It made it easier to travel in certain spots & helped people find the right help. It also includes a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right now including in several different formats like 4K & DVD, CHECK IT OUT!!!!