Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded Blu-Ray Review
Billy Corben. A name that automatically clicked on in my head. So I looked him up and realized that he worked on one of the ESPN’s 30 FOR 30 documentaries I was really interested in watching, BROKE. It was a documentary that mainly used stock footage and interviews without too much in the way of direct narrative to guide us along. Details were displayed using basic infographic designs as people talked. Despite my excitement on such a very interesting subject, it seemed to lack depth and actual opinionated context. I felt like I was supposed to be shocked constantly by how these players were flying through money left and right (and at times I was). I bring this up because Corben’s first big documentary, COCAINE COWBOYS RELOADED, is a lengthier version of those very pieces, but instead of former million dollar athletes as it’s centerpiece, COCAINE COWBOYS RELOADED focuses on the men who developed and controlled the cocaine empire in 1970’s and 80’s Miami.
This is in no way a new movie. It was instead created back in 2006. This version is a bloated re-release on blu-ray. I say bloated because this movie just clocks in at over two and a half hours. I’m not quite sure what was added to the original, which was just under two hours, but I can definitely feel the fluff that was padded in around some of the more provocative moments. The fascinating working pieces of this film follow the formation of the drug empire preceded by everyone, from the man on the street to politicians, reaching out and putting their hands in the cocaine filled cookie jar. Of course we can’t expect too much politics when guns are involved. The movie manages to interlock the pieces of this movie with a splash of images featuring real murders and hit lists that never seem to end. Instead of a jaw-dropping shock, it feels more like a cheap filler to keep you entertained as it chugs along on fumes past the hour mark.
With a movie filled with lots of interviews, it’s really important to choose the right music and this appears to have gone to the dollar store. The music bed sounds like generic tense music, low sounding classical instruments and screeching electric guitars. It’s further made obvious from the constant looping of the elevator safe drum and bass mixed with synthesizers. This movie would have been a lot better with no soundtrack and allowing the words of provocative filth being spewed forth to jolt the audiences nerves.
If you’re channel surfing and generally stop on those dime a dozen murder-mysteries or true crime shows at midnight and find yourself watching them for cheap entertainment, then this movie is right up your alley. The historical value of a documentary like this is a bit of a coin flip. While it’s most interesting point is that much of the economic development seen in the Florida region was from cocaine, our evidence comes from former drug runners turned informants and a couple gents who could easily be considered the scum of the Earth. While the people are real, I just can’t take the face value of a former criminal with nothing to gain too seriously. So if you need a midnight time killer about one of the more notorious parts parts of drug crime in America, give this a watch, but make sure you got the 2006 copy and not this is long-winded clutter.
COCAINE COWYBOYS BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 1:78:1) This is HD? The digital transfer was obviously not applied to a lot of stock footage and old interviews. In fact I can’t find much in the way of clarity except some of the more gruesome crime scene photos which highlights where the director wanted to go with this one.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) As I’ve mentioned, a dull soundtrack, but there’s nothing wrong. All the audio levels are evenly matched and the music is never overpowering.
Deleted Scenes (13:52): I was hoping to mentally stretch my legs as soon as I clicked the double features, but when I only found deleted scenes, my mind went to sleep. All of the deleted scenes are generally one to two minute interview snippets. If these were left in, I would have found myself more frustrated than amused.
Movie Trailers from Magnolia Home Entertainment