Thursday, August 17, 2023

[Blu-ray Review] — Tulsa King: Season One

Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine Sylvester Stallone, a.k.a. Rocky Balboa, a.k.a. John Rambo, starring in a television series. It's no longer the 1980s, and action stars seem to be a thing of the past. Some of my favorite action heroes of the era are heading to the streaming world. (Yep, even Arnold Schwarzenegger has an action-comedy series on Netflix.)

In November 2022, Tulsa King, created by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone, 1883, 1923), debuted on Paramount+, starring Academy Award® nominee Sylvester Stallone as Dwight "The General" Manfredi. Dwight was in the New York mafia until he got sentenced to prison for 25 years. Now, an elderly man (if I remember correctly, the character is 75 years old) has finally back in the real world, and his first order of business is to rejoin the "family." 

Dwight is exiled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, by his boss to begin criminal enterprises. He steadily assembles a crew out of an odd cast of characters to help him develop a new criminal empire in a location that, through his yes, might as well be another planet after realizing that his mob family might not be acting in his best interests.

Stallone is part of a critically acclaimed ensemble cast that also includes Andrea Savage (I’m Sorry), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), Jay Will (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Max Casella (The Tender Bar), Domenick Lombardozzi (The Irishman), Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), A.C. Peterson (Superman & Lois) with Garrett Hedlund (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) and Dana Delany (Body of Proof).

The series is available for purchase on Blu-ray and DVD. Special Features includes six previously unseen featurettes totaling over 90 minutes of additional content where the actors and crew talk about the dynamics of the show's plot, setting, and working with Sylvester Stallone. Check out the contrasts between filming in Brooklyn and Tulsa, how costume design enhances the characters, organizing action-packed and safe stunts, and more.

Here's the list of the Special Features: 
  • Stranger in a Strange Land: Genesis 
  • Carpe D.M.: Stallone 
  • Mercy and Malice: The Cast 
  • Haberdashery: Costume Design 
  • Outthink Your Enemy: Stunts 
  • The Here and Now: On Location in Tulsa 
  • Behind the Story for every episode

Tulsa King is better than what the teasers and trailers made it out to be. Comedies haven't always been Stallone's strong suit, but he fits perfectly as Dwight "The General" Manfredi. Writers Taylor Sheridan and Terence Winter have created an interesting, nostalgic world with a clever comedic touch. Overall, as you can probably guess, I loved watching Tulsa King. ╌★★★★★

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