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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

God's Pocket [Blu-ray]


(John Slattery, 2014)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Shoestring Pictures

Video: Arrow Video



Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:28:27.041

Disc Size: 23,546,403,125 bytes

Feature Size: 22,061,543,424 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.77 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard UK thick Blu-ray case

Release date: January 12th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1735 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1735 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)






• Deleted Scenes (2:47)
Trailer (2:12) 





Description: A film by John Slattery, Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro and Eddie Marsan. Mickey (Philip Seymour-Hoffman) makes ends-meet by partaking in petty crime and gambling, with his friend Arthur (John Turturro), and then spending most of it in the local flea-pit bar before stumbling home to his long-suffering wife Jeanie (Christina Hendricks). When his mentally unstable step-son, Leon, is killed by a co-worker on a construction site - a crime that is quickly covered up and explained away as an 'accident', nobody in the depressed blue collar neighbourhood of God's Pocket is particularly sorry, except of course his own mother. Mickey tries to bury the bad news along with the body, but when Jeanie demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck in a struggle between a body he can't bury, a wife he can't please and a debt he can't pay.


When Mickey's stepson Leon is killed in a construction "accident," Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when the boy's mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck between a body he can't bury, a wife he can't please, and a debt he can't pay



The Film:

Actor-turned-film-maker John Slattery – the silver-fox ad director Roger Sterling from TV's Mad Men – makes a very accomplished directorial debut with a film featuring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final performances. It is a violent, deadpan seriocomic drama of wiseguys and stupid guys all up in each other's business; the story, tangled and clotted with its own loose ends, is set in a small east-coast town called God's Pocket in the early 80s, which Slattery represents with a subdued visual palette of chocolate browns, yellows and ochres.

Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE

In one of his final film roles, a typically rumpled and sympathetic Philip Seymour Hoffman anchors the black comedy “God’s Pocket.”

Making his directorial debut, “Mad Men” star John Slattery expertly navigates the Coen brothers’ terrain by shifting from the mordant to the gruesome in a tale of a community of lowlifes living in a blue-collar quarter of Philadelphia circa 1980.

Hoffman and Slattery’s “Mad Men” colleague Christina Hendricks play the parents of a loutish 23-year-old with a bad habit of threatening people with a straight razor. A fellow construction workers kills the kid for being a racist imbecile and general nuisance, but the workers close ranks by pretending an industrial accident is to blame, an explanation that the Hendricks character properly finds hard to believe.

Excerpt from The NY Post located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

God's Pocket gets a fairly strong single-layered transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Films.  It has a high bitrate but the film appearance is less-impressive with many dark-lit scenes (bars, bedrooms etc.). The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy black levels and occasional minor depth in the 2.39:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail in a few close-ups and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film God's Pocket. Pretty tame visually but no complaints.
















Audio :

The Arrow transfer is a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 1735 kbps. The film has a modest amount of aggression but the appealing score by Nathan Larson (Margin Call, The Messenger, Lilya 4-ever) supports the film well via the lossless. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Hardly anything - a couple of minutes of deleted scenes and a trailer. I guess there isn't much more to say.



Personally, I really liked God's Pocket as a gritty, lower-class drama and black comedy with great performances from Hoffman, Marsan, Turturro etc. and it's an engaging story. I'm surprised at the middling critical response. The, essentially, bare-bones Arrow Blu-ray is worthwhile to see the film. I recommended it. 

Gary Tooze

December 29th, 2014


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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