The King of Staten Island – Blu-ray Review

The King of Staten Island

Judd Apatow has built a career on creating films about broken people or loveable stoners. His latest creation, The King of Staten Island, is a culmination of all of the films that came before. This film is Apatow’s The Irishman. In other words, it’s an overly long and bloated film, but the performances on the screen are what ultimately save the film. The film stars Pete Davidson as Scott, a bratty stoner who is perfectly comfortable with living jobless at his mom’s place for the rest of his life. 

Yet what makes Scott such a perfect character for Davidson isn’t because of his usual brand of self-deprecating humor. Davidson is Scott because The King of Staten Island is essentially about Pete Davidson’s life. As a result, there’s a sense of humanity and honesty in Davidson’s performance. Davidson uses grief from the tragic death of his real-life father to deliver a complex character that you both love and hate. Scott is not exactly the most likable of characters due to his bratty and foolish behavior. However, once he reaches rock bottom about halfway through the film, Scott (and the film) start to change for the better. 

Throughout the film, Scott uses the grief from the death of his father as an excuse for his behavior. For the longest time, he’s never had a comforting father figure in his life. So when his relationship with Ray (Bill Burr) begins to thaw, The King of Staten Island becomes the heartfelt dramedy that Apatow loves to utilize in his films. Burr’s chemistry with Davidson is flawless, and their relationship is what ultimately gives Scott and the film its purpose. 

Overall, The King of Staten Island is another heartfelt and sweet dramedy from Judd Apatow. Yes, it takes a long time to get there, but once it finds its footing, the film takes off. The film won’t convert any Apatow haters, but the film will give his fans more of what they like here. 

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

The King of Staten Island - Marisa Tomei

Video

The King of Staten Island hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The image looks a bit flat due to the low contrast and high brightness. The high brightness raised the luminosity of the highlights. Unfortunately, it also negatively affects the black levels. The shadows are on the light shade of black — something that you can see in the pharmacy robbery scene. The colors have natural shading, and there’s not much overediting of the picture. There is some noticeable film grain, but the details are crystal clear. Overall, this is a clean looking picture.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

The King of Staten Island - Pete Davidson and Steve Buscemi

Audio

The King of Staten Island hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect The King of Staten Island‘s Dolby TrueHD track. Of course, the audio mix will not be a dynamic sounding mix — it’s a mix that’s very front-loaded. However, there is a good amount of immersion in this mix. It has several immersive sound placement that’s accurate and adds some depth to a scene. It’s something that you can hear when the film reaches the firehouse. There are also some atmospheric moments — especially during the ball game scene. The music in the film fills up the soundstage and envelops you. So, as you can imagine, the dialogue is clear and consistent. Overall, this is a nice, straightforward audio experience.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

The King of Staten Island - Bel Powley and Pete Davidson

Special Features

The King of Staten Island‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • Alternate Endings (Which Didn’t Work!)
    • Family Breakfast
    • Career Day
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Drive to Cemetery / Cemetery
    • Beach Walk
    • Zoots / Pepe Fight
    • Grounders Challenge
    • Scott at Work
    • Police at Richie’s House
    • Sound Machine
    • Ray Picks Up Kids from Gina’s House
    • Construction
    • Firefighters at Bar
  • Gag Reel
  • Line-O-Rama
  • The Kid from Staten Island
  • Judd Apatow’s Production Diaries
  • You’re Not My Dad: Working with Bill Burr
  • Margie Knows Best: Working with Marisa Tomei
  • Friends with Benefits: Working with Bel Powley
  • Sibling Rivalry: Working with Maude Apatow
  • Best Friends: Working with Ricky, Moises, & Lou
  • Papa: Working with Steve Buscemi
  • Friends of Firefighters: Stand-Up Benefit
  • Scott Davidson Tribute
  • Official Trailer
  • Who is Pete Davidson
  • The Firehouse
  • Pete’s Casting Recs
  • Pete’s “Poppy” (Grandpa)
  • Video Calls
    • Video Call #1: Pete Gets Judd to Release the Movie
    • Video Call #2: Pete Asks Judd Where the Trailer Is
    • Video Call #3: Judd and Pete Tell Bill Burr There’s No Premiere
    • Video Call #4: Judd and Pete on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Judd Apatow and Actor/Co-Writer Pete Davidson

The commentary between Judd Apatow and Pete Davidson sounds a little low quality, but that’s the nature of Skype’s audio quality. The feature commentary was recorded during quarantine, and Universal recorded it all through a Skype call. Although Davidson’s audio sounds clear, Judd Apatow’s audio doesn’t sound as clear. It could be due to his voice or because of Skype’s audio quality. Be that as it may, Apatow and Davidson tell some fun stories that happened during filming. The deleted scenes feature a lot of sweet moments for the main characters in the film. However, because the film is long enough as it is, it was for the best that these moments were left on the cutting room floor. The Gag Reel and Line-O-Rama are hilarious outtakes and alternate lines that weren’t in the movie. There was a lot of improv done in the movie, so it’s nice to see all of the possible lines in it.

There are a lot of featurettes in this release. Yet there are some repetitious segments within the featurettes the more you progress through the list. “The Kid from Staten Island” takes a look at Pete Davidson’s life and how it influenced the film’s story. It’s an honest and authentic documentary that will make you appreciate Pete Davidson and his willingness to open himself up for the world to see. “Production Diaries” is practically the behind-the-scenes featurette in this release. It’s a funny and personal look at the making of the film. The individual actor focused featurettes have Judd Apatow and the actors (except for Marisa Tomei and Steve Buscemi) talking about their respective characters.

The rest of the special features are promotional featurettes that were released online at some point. “Who is Pete Davidson” is an intimate look at Pete Davison from the words of the cast, crew, and his family. “The Firehouse” takes a look at the personal connection between firefighters and Pete Davidson. In “Casting Recs,” Judd Apatow breaks down the list of Pete Davidson’s friends that has parts in the film. “Pete’s ‘Poppy’” is a small behind-the-scenes feature that follows Pete’s grandfather, Stephen Davidson. “Video Calls” are promotional video calls that were done in quarantine to help promote the film. 

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms


Overall, The King of Staten Island is a personal and intimate story highlighted by Pete Davidson and Bill Burr’s performance. The video and audio are straightforward for a film such as this. There are a ton of special features, but there are some repetitious segments when you progress more and more down the list.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1598 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.