I recently re-watched Cop Land (James Mangold, US, 1997). It's the by-product of new technology in the home entertainment market, in this case Blu-ray. You get to rewatch all your favourite films and see it in all it's HD glory and you get to spot those extras in the background you never could before, or see how obvious the make up was. I'm completely sold on it all though, I love good quality and pour over the reviews of new Blu-ray's to see if the film transfer has been cleaned from a new scan, or if it's just a dodgy transfer from when they made the DVD. For this reason, I cannot touch the Heat (Michael Mann, US, 1995) Blu-ray - it's meant to not be up to standard of other Blu-ray's and almost based on the same DVD version - so there's no point to it. Some Blu-ray's are just stunning, obviously new films shot on digital media or which are animated get the 'Glass Grade' from me - your Pixar's, your Avatar's, your Dark Knight's. But some old films look tremendous too, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Once upon a Time in the West - all have had the tender loving care they deserve, and it keep them up to date with new releases (and also allows the Studios to keep making money from them).
Anyway, this is a whole other post, back to Cop Land.
Cop Land is not the best film in the world, it's quite a small scale story but is nicely paced and well acted. You really root for Stallone too, something we're used to. It's interesting as someone who has visited New York & New Jersey - how each city perceives the other. There's a lot of that in The Sopranos too.
Its most stand out feature is the cast though, most of which seemed to work their way into The Sopranos. The producers managed to a get a stellar cast attached to it, from the A-List to character actors. It prompted me to announce this fact on twitter, which made me want to break down the cast in a blog post.
Just putting this out there:Pound for pound 'Copland' has the best cast in a film.This is your opener, blog to follow twitter.com/waddilover/sta…
— Robert Waddilove (@waddilover) February 9, 2012
So the main cast, which every sod knows:
Sylvester Stallone - Freddy Heflin Harvey Keitel - Ray Donlan Ray Liotta - Gary Figgis Robert De Niro - Moe Tilden
That's a hell of an opener, but it's the supporting cast where it gets crazy good. I'll add a random other film/tv show where you may recognise them from.
Peter Berg - Joey Randone The Last Seduction
Janeane Garofalo - Deputy Cindy Betts The Larry Sanders Show, The Sopranos
Robert Patrick - Jack Rucker Terminator II, Sopranos (Also one of the most under-rated actors - always different!)
Michael Rapaport - Murray Babitch Phoebe's boyfriend in Friends
Annabella Sciorra - Liz Randone Mainly Tony's mental goomah in Soproanos
Noah Emmerich - Deputy Bill Geisler The Truman Show
Cathy Moriarty - Rose Donlan Raging Bull (Yes, De Niro's 16 year old bride)
John Spencer - Leo Crasky Everybody's favourite Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry in The West Wing
Frank Vincent - PDA President Lassaro Do I have to say? Ok - Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, The Sopranos
Arthur J. Nascarella - Frank Lagonda The Sopranos
Edie Falco - Berta The Sopranos
John Doman - Lassaro's Aide The Wire
Deborah Harry - Delores Yes, that Debbie Harry - barely seen serving beers!
Frank Pellegrino - Mayor The great FBI chief in The Sopranos
John Ventimiglia - Officer V Artie from The Sopranos - Just in the background a couple of times!
Method Man - Shondel Yes, the rapper
Bruce Altman - Counselor Burt Kandel The Sopranos & Glengarry Glen Ross for bonus points
To further prove how plentiful their cast truly was, Tony Sirico - yes that's Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos - appears in the film only as a photograph! To highlight this again - he appears as A STILL IMAGE!
Tony Sirico - Toy Torillo
I don't think this cast can be beaten. I know Oceans Eleven has a great cast - but this canes it and is way cooler. I'd love to hear if there's better, but I somehow doubt it.