Magic City: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Danny Huston, Olga Kurylenko, James Caan, Esai Morales
  • Format: Blu-ray, Box set, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • Release Date: November 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 411 minutes



            After the success of Mad Men, it was no surprise that suddenly there were a lot more period television series, such as the unsuccessful “Pan Am,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and now “Magic City.” This series takes place at the Miramar Playa Hotel in Miami Beach in 1959, making it feel like a cross between “Boardwalk Empire” and “Mad Men,” especially when criminal activity is what helps to keep the hotel alive during Castro’s occupation of Havana. Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is willing to do anything to keep his hotel safe from the hands of the Chicago mob.


            When Ike becomes involved with Ben “The Butcher” Diamond (Danny Huston), he changes the direction of his business for both him and his sons. The changes are small at first, but soon they are tangled up with a man whose name is a direct result of his vicious nature. Matters are made even worse when one of Ike’s sons begins an affair with the young and beautiful wife of “The Butcher,” leaving us to imagine what would happen should he get caught. The entire first season built up the reputation of this villain, and season two shows with painstaking drudgery that he is much more bark than bite. Danny Huston is frightening in the role, but the series drags story elements out far past being interesting or compelling, and eventually it becomes clear that “The Butcher” does not live up to his reputation.


             Magic City” uses the real-life events of the time and location and blends them into the storyline. The second season focuses on trouble in Havana and how it affects the locals in Miami, in between the sex-obsessed melodrama of the series. This season seems to move a bit faster than the first, but that is probably just because there are only eight episodes in season two. The saving grace of this season is the guest appearance by James Caan as a powerful Chicago mob boss.


            Season two on Blu-ray is fit onto three discs, with the third reserved exclusively for special features. There are five featurettes, many of which focus on the realism of the series, whether it is in the events, the costumes or the music.



    Entertainment Value: 6/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10

    Historical Significance: 5/10

    Disc Features: 7/10



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