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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded'
(Hitman Jorge 'Rivi' Ayala, et al / DVD / R / 2014 / Magnolia Home Entertainment)

Overview: In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago. 'Cocaine Cowboys' is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States. But it isn't the whole story!

DVD Verdict: 'Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded' is a thorough and intriguing look at how the illegal drug trade transformed the Florida coastline, and how a once-sleepy retirement community became a wealthy mecca fueled by billions of illegal dollars flowing through Miami. If you enjoyed Miami Vice or Scarface, this documentary sets the backdrop to how the city became such an important part of the trade flow between South America and the United States.

It profiles a number of major players and interviews many of the people who made tens of millions by playing their role. It highlights some of the key events that changed the approach of law enforcement against a backdrop of increasingly brutal violence used by the cartels. But it also showed how the growth of cocaine was really more like an east coast gold rush that was infinitely more profitable - and dangerous.

And one person it highlights, as well it should is the role that Girselda Blanco played in the whole event. She was not fictional like Tony Montana in 'Scarface' or Nino Brown in 'New Jack City.' She was a real life crime lord and vicious kingpin out of underworld lore. This DVD highlights the era and the part she played in it with real life interviews from gun thugs who worked for her and other dealers and smugglers that were active in those times. A very precise, detailed and thorough DVD, if you like true crime stuff this is a must to see.

Overall, this is a fascinating view of how drugs changed a city forever and offers some real surprises even if you thought you knew the history. [JB] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of Deleted Scenes.