Down the Shore Blu-ray review

  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Release Date: April 9, 2013
  • Run Time: 93 minutes



    James Gandolfini has carried his career as an actor on his ability to appear tough. Sometimes this is played for comedic effect when his behavior is in contradiction with his demeanor, as was the case in Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly. Regardless, he always seems to carry himself as though he were willing to stand up to anyone. It is this expectation of the actor which makes his role in Down the Shore so surprising. Though he still has a bit of the usual Jersey attitude, Bailey (Gandolfini) is a man who is meeker and more broken down than any the actor has played before.


    Bailey runs a pathetically underperforming amusement park for small children on the Jersey shore. While in the middle of the dead winter season, Bailey is struck with the news of his sister’s death upon the arrival of her mysterious French husband (Edoardo Costa). The filmmaker deliberately prevents us from seeing enough about this stranger to know whether he is trustworthy or not, but Bailey is immediately suspicious. Despite the suspicion, the two go into business together running the kiddie amusement park, and soon the new brother-in-law becomes entangled in Bailey’s melodrama.


    This is a film about the characters and why they act the way they do, though some are made out to be villains without needing much of an explanation. Bailey has a past which makes him hold back from what he knows is right, including the unrequited love he has for an old childhood girlfriend and neighbor (Famke Janssen). In true independent film tradition, little happens besides conversations of a revelatory nature, but the performances are good and the direction is solid. Little about this film stands out from the mass of other small-town/dead town indi-dramas, but it is well made nonetheless.


    Entertainment Value: 3.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10

    Historical Significance: 3/10

    Disc Features: 1/10


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