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Judd Apatow
Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr
Writing Credits:
Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson

Underachieving 20-something Scott deals with issues and tries to grow up.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 137 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 8/25/2020

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Judd Apatow and Writer/Actor Pete Davidson
• Alternate Endings
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Line-O-Rama
• “The Kid From Staten Island” Featurette
• “Judd Apatow’s Production Diaries”
• “You’re Not My Dad” Featurette
• “Margie Knows Best” Featurette
• “Friends With Benefits” Featurette
• “Sibling Rivalry” Featurette
• “Best Friends’ Featurette
• “Papa” Featurette
• “Friends of Firefighters” Stand-Up Benefit
• “Scott Davidson Tribute”
• Trailer
• “Who Is Pete Davidson?” Featurette
• “The Firehouse” Featurette
• “Pete’s Casting Recs” Featurette
• “Pete’s Poppy” Featurette
• Video Calls
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The King of Staten Island [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 23, 2020)

Best-known as a castmember on Saturday Night Live - and as Ariana Grande’s ex-boyfriend – Pete Davidson elevates to the lead role for 2020’s The King of Staten Island. Paired with noted director Judd Apatow, King provides a loosely autobiographical tale from Davidson.

Scott Carlin’s (Davidson) father worked as a firefighter, and he died when Scott was only seven years old. Unsurprisingly, that event devastated Scott and led him to become an underachieving 24-year-old with no concrete plans.

Though he desires a career as a tattoo artist, Scott lacks the ambition to put this into action. Instead, he still lives at home with his overworked nurse mother Margie (Marisa Tomei) and smokes weed with his buddies.

When Margie begins to date an outspoken firefighter named Ray Bishop (Bill Burr), Scott’s life starts to change – whether he wants it to or not. Confronted with a new reality, Scott deals with various issues.

Though I alluded to King as semi-autobiographical, I may have overstated that. To be certain, the film does reprise elements of Davidson’s life.

Most famously, Davidson’s father did work as a firefighter, and he died on 9/11 when Davidson was seven. Also, he grew up in Staten Island and like Scott, Davidson has a mix of physical and psychological concerns.

However, obviously Pete and Scott differ in terms of ambition. Davidson joined the SNL cast at 20, and no one achieves that level of success period – much less so young - without a whole lot of go-getting.

This means Davidson plays a modified version of himself, one who unsurprisingly fares better at the comedic moments. He gives Scott a deadpan take as a sarcastic stoner that straddles both of those tones and presents more than a few funny moments.

Dramatically, Davidson does less well, but not poorly. When the film engages in its more serious moments, he handles himself fine.

However, Davidson just seems a wee bit overmatched among the more established actors here like Tomei and Steve Buscemi. Still, Davidson offers a generally solid performance, so he may not excel but he doesn’t falter, either.

It probably helps that Apatow knows how to work with comedians, and he can wring the best out of performers. Among Apatow’s strengths, his ability to connect with his actors seems like it resides high on the list, as he allows them to show their best attributes while he largely negates flaws.

Of course, Apatow’s weaknesses remain the same as they’ve always been. Primarily, Apatow never knows when to call it a day, as most of his movies run way too long.

That turns into an issue with King, as a light mix of comedy and drama such as this works better at 100 minutes or so than its actual 137-minute running time. In this film’s case, we get some scenes that drag longer than necessary, and others that barely need to exist at all.

However, Apatow’s talents ensure that King goes down smoothly despite its bloated running time. Even though I recognized sequences that could’ve used trimming, the movie offers enough charm to allow me to largely ignore those concerns.

I will admit I’d like to see Apatow branch out in terms of subject matter, though. Ever since his feature debut with 2005’s 40-Year-Old Virgin, Apatow has specialized in movies about immature adults who need to grow up, and that theme holds true here.

Not that there’s anything wrong with this style of “coming of age” tale. I’d just like to see Apatow move to something different, as he’s done an awful lot of movies in this vein.

That said, I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. King can be predictable and it breaks no new ground, but it remains engaging, funny and entertaining, so I can’t complain too much about its weaknesses.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus A-

The King of Staten Island appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a generally positive presentation.

Sharpness appeared acceptable but not great. Softness was never a major concern, but I thought the movie didn’t always display particularly good detail. The movie tended to be reasonably concise and that was about it.

Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no concerns, and edge enhancement remained absent. A handful of small specks appeared. These remained minor but nonetheless popped up more than I’d expect of a brand-new movie.

In terms of colors, the flick went with a subdued set of tones. Hues opted for the usual teal and orange, without much beyond that. Within those parameters, the tones looked fine.

Blacks were dark and firm, while shadows appeared clear and well-developed. The image seemed generally good, but the slight softness and occasional print flaws made it a “B-“.

Did a character flick like King need a Dolby Atmos soundtrack? Nope – downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, it offered a functional effort and that was all.

Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of drama/comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day.

Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did little more than that. A few locations added some zip, and a firefighting scene used the channels acceptably well. That was about the extent of the soundscape, though.

In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural; I heard a little edginess at times but nothing serious.

Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate. There wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct.

The music came across as the best part of the track, as the songs and score were pretty lively and full. This was a decent reproduction of the material.

We get a good collection of extras here, and we start with an audio commentary from writer/director Judd Apatow and writer/director Pete Davidson. Connected via Skype, both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters and autobiographical elements, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing, and related domains.

Mainly due to the awkwardness of their Skype link, the commentary can feel a bit clunky at times, and it doesn’t flow as well as one would hope. Still, Apatow and Davidson cover a pretty good array of topics, and they do so with humor, so this becomes a fairly informative and enjoyable discussion.

Two Alternate Endings appear: “Family Breakfast” (1:25) and “Career Day” (2:25). The former shows how Ray integrated Margie’s family, and “Day” follows up on Scott’s connection to kids.

The disc dubs these “Alternate Endings (Which Didn’t Work)” and that seems accurate. Both feel like they’re from a different movie, so they’re fun to see but they wouldn’t have fit the flick.

10 Deleted Scenes span a total of 15 minutes, 34 seconds. Some focus on secondary characters, while others show more between Scott and Ray as well as the firefighters. None of these needed to be in the movie – which already runs too long – but they give us some enjoyable material.

A Gag Reel goes for five minutes, 53 seconds. Some of these provide the usual goofs and giggles, but we get enough alternate lines to make the set worth a look.

A staple of Apatow Blu-rays, Line-O-Rama offers more unused dialogue. This compilation lasts four minutes, 37 seconds and boasts a bunch of funny moments.

The Kid From Staten Island fills 19 minutes, four seconds and delivers notes from Apatow, Davidson, Pete’s mom Amy Davidson, Pete’s sister Casey Davidson, retired firefighter/actor John Sorrentino, Pete’s grandfather Stephen Davidson, and actors Bel Powley, Derek Gaines, and Bill Burr.

“Kid” looks at elements of Pete’s life represented in the movie and other character-related elements of the movie. I like the glimpses of Davidson’s biography and this becomes a useful overview.

Next we get Judd Apatow’s Production Diaries, a 31-minute, 44-second collection of shots from the set. These come with Apatow’s commentary about how the flick progresses. Some other cast/crew chat occasionally, but we mainly hear from Apatow.

That format works fine, as he brings us good observations from the shoot. Nothing here makes the “Diaries” great, but they become a fun look at the movie.

The next six featurettes follow the same template and fall under the banner Working With. In these, we focus on actors Bill Burr (4:42), Marisa Tomei (3:21), Bel Powley (3:54), Maude Apatow (4:35), Ricky Velez, Moises Arias, & Lou Wilson (3:56), and Steve Buscemi (2:51).

Across these, we hear from Apatow, Burr, Pete Davidson, Amy Davidson, Velez, Powley, Casey Davidson, Arias, Wilson, co-writer Dave Sirus, technical advisor Terence Quinn, and actor Maude Apatow.

As expected, the clips examine cast and characters. They can feel fluffy, but they come with decent notes.

Friends of Firefighters Stand-Up Benefit goes for six minutes, 19 seconds and provides excerpts from a benefit concert that featured Apatow, Pete Davidson, Burr, Velez and Lynne Koplitz. It offers some funny material.

We focus on Pete’s dad in a Scott Davidson Tribute. It runs five minutes, 28 seconds and brings notes from Judd Apatow, Sorrentino, Amy Davidson, Sirus, Velez, Casey Davidson, grandparents Linda and Stephen Davidson, and friends/co-workers James McAlevey and Ray Thomas.

As expected, we get memories of Pete’s dad here. It becomes a warm remembrance.

Who Is Pete Davidson? spans three minutes, 27 seconds and involves Casey Davidson, Judd Apatow, Amy Davidson, Stephen Davidson, Pete Davidson, and Powley. The show provides basics about the film and Pete, so expect a fairly promotional piece.

With The Firehouse, we get a three-minute, 17-second reel that includes Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson, Burr, Quinn and Sorrentino.

We find some notes about the depiction of the firefighter-related scenes. Though intended to sell the movie, it comes with some decent notes.

Pete’s Casting Recs lasts two minutes, 56 seconds and delivers info from Pete Davidson, Velez, Sirus, Judd Apatow, Burr, Gaines, and Amy Davidson. Mainly this tells us how much people like Pete, so don’t expect substance.

Next comes Pete’s “Poppy”, a one-minute, 51-second clip with Stephen Davidson, Judd Apatow, and Pete Davidson. It’s a look at Pete’s grandpa, and it attempts to promote the film. The same clips appear elsewhere on the disc, so you can skip it.

In addition to the film’s red-band trailer, we finish with four Video Calls. These occupy a total of 20 minutes, 45 seconds and offer unusual promotional elements.

All four offer video chats among various participants. The first two bring Pete Davidson and Judd Apatow together, while the third adds Bill Burr. The fourth pairs Judd and Pete as guests with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

The first three offer the most amusement, as they sell the flick in quirky conversations. The Fallon reel fares less well, mainly because it’s the most conventional, and also because Fallon kisses so much butt. Enjoy the first three and skip the Fallon clip.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of King. It includes the commentary, the deleted scenes, the alternate endings and the gag reel, but it lacks all the other extras.

As Judd Apatow’s umpteenth “immature adult grows up” movie, I should feel bored with The King of Staten Island. However, the film brings enough warmth, wit and charm to make it an enjoyable experience. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio as well as a big roster of bonus materials. Apatow fans will like this tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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