'The Making Of The Mob: New York' [Blu-ray]
(Ray Liotta, Joe Mantegna, Drea de Matteo, Charles Luciano, Meyer Lansky II, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray / NR / 2015 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Overview: Narrated by Emmy® Award-winning actor Ray Liotta, 'The Making of The Mob: New York' is an eight-part series that begins in 1905 and spans over 50 years to trace the rise of Charles Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, and other notorious New York gangsters.
Blu ray Verdict: 'The Making of the Mob: New York' is an entertaining, but not entirely accurate portrayal of the rise of prominent mob figures Lucky Luciano and Myer Lansky in early 20th century New York. That said, it's interesting tale that employs acting, as opposed to utilizing a documentary format. Ray Liotta is a great choice for narrator, with his gravelly, New York accent and gangster film pedigree.
The approach, however, does take dramatic license and there are some historical inaccuracies that means this series is part fact, part fiction. There is little to suggest, for example, Lucky Luciano was dining with Joe Masseria at the time of his execution. The role of Nucky Johnson in the mob underworld of the time is not properly explained or placed in context either. Johnson was not a mobster but instead a corrupt politician.
From the very off, episode one of 'The Making of the Mob: New York' ("The Real Mob Shrink"), where we discover that Mob Boss Frank Costello had an unconventional solution for stress, this mini series delivers from all angles (quite literally!). Sure, you have to accept the limitations present throughout this series, and doing so ensures that, in most respects, 'The Making Of The Mob: New York' is an entertaining, colorful romp through early US gangster land.
The acting is of a good standard and the story is presented in an engaging and lively manner. All that said, I got a huge kick out of all the smoking the characters did. I mean, almost every seen someone has a cigarette in hand. My favorite characters were Lucky and Mere Lansky. The latter was known as the "Mob's Accountant." He was a major organized crime figure himself who, along with his associate, the aforementioned Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the National Crime Syndicate in the United States. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
Own it on Blu-ray October 20th, 2015!