The curious sight of a kilted Samuel L Jackson taking Liverpool's underworld to task is the main attraction of an otherwise bland DVD release for "The 51st State".
Picture Just what we needed - another film that makes Britain look like a dreary crap hole. It's nicely transferred to disc, though.
Sound For once you may actually have to turn your subwoofer down, for both the Dolby and DTS 5.1 mixes on this DVD are like untamed bass beasts. The DTS version handles the depth of the sound better, but both tracks boast good effects.
Audio Commentary Co-producer Mark Aldridge and writer Stel Pavlou get together for a spot of chit-chat that's mildly interesting in parts, but suffers from a lack of direction and preparation.
Making of Featurette There are no big surprises in this piece about the making of the movie. Stel reveals he based a lot of the characters on people he knew at college, although sadly doesn't elaborate on whether his fellow students were in fact studying drug dealing and gangsterism. Samuel L Jackson discusses why he came on board for the film, while director Ronny Yu's reason for doing this project was solely because he'd get to work with Jackson.
Interviews In this section you'll find short interviews with Samuel L Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, and Ronny Yu. Most of the material here has been used in the previous 'making of' featurette, which just leaves dull snippets, apart from Jackson talking about finishing "Star Wars" and then coming onto "The 51st State".
Production Featurettes There are four featurettes here, and all of them belong in the bin. Ricky Tomlinson offers his thoughts on being a Scouser, the script supervisor is revealed as a man apparently on the edge, and we get shots of people wondering who Stel Pavlou is. Worst of the lot is actor Michael Stark in a mugging frenzy at the camera, as he's showcased in "Portrait of a Thespian". Every moment with that man in this featurette is an unfunny one. Watch at your peril.
Additional Extra Features A photo gallery and a trailer conclude a DVD that's well worth owning if you like the film for picture and sound quality, but entirely forgettable for the extra features. That said, the 3D animated menus are quite stylish, even if the content underneath isn't.
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 and Dolby 2.0
Technical Features: Scene selection, animated menus, and English captions for the hearing impaired.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.