What an interesting choice for a film project by the usually likeable Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson.
That would be director Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain, which is headed to the home entertainment market place on Aug. 27 courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution.
The ARR for the DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack (with UltraViolet) product offerings works out to 123 days and the box office take was $49.3 million.
The Pain & Gain script is based more or less — with the appropriate filmmaking licenses taken for dramatic and storytelling purposes — on the crimes committed by the infamous “Sun Gym Gang” of the Miami area (circa 1994 - 1995). Details of their violent activities were chronicled in newspaper accounts prepared by Peter Collins right around the time of their sentencing — two ended up on death row.
So who ended up on death row (where they sit today)? That would be giving away the main plot elements, but let us just say that the Sun Gym Gang consisted of Mark Wahlberg’s character, Daniel Lugo, the character played by Dwayne Johnson (character named Paul Doyle) and the third member of the gang, Adrian Doorbal is portrayed by Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Million Dollar Baby, etc.).
Two of these three were sentenced to death and the third turned on his partners-in-crime in exchange for a lighter sentence — did eight years of a 15-year jolt.
The trio, with some accomplices, hit upon the scheme of kidnapping and extorting unsavory “businessmen” in the area. To these bodybuilding knuckleheads — all of which had previous criminal records — it seemed like a pretty good plan. Shakedown high profile wheelers and dealers, who would, they reasoned, be reluctant to go to the police because of their own criminal activity.
With that kind of a set-up you quickly realize that there are no likeable characters — hence the interesting choice of a film project by Wahlberg and Johnson. That aside, Pain & Gain nevertheless turns out to be a fascinating film to watch … simply because it is plucked from real life events that are both frightening and downright bizarre.
Also on the release docket from Paramount this week is the Dennis Quaid/Michael Chiklis ‘60s era Las Vegas crime series titled simply Vegas. On Sept. 17 look for the five-disc collection titled Vegas: The DVD Edition, which features all 21 episodes of this short-lived series that was loosely based on the exploits of legendary Sheriff Ralph Lamb.
Since the Las Vegas of the period portrayed in the series is long gone, extensive use of CGI and clever set designs delivered both the look and “feel” of the city, especially the classic Fremont Street casinos in the old downtown area. Bonus features include production featurettes and deleted scenes.
And speaking of Las Vegas, Sept. 17 is also the street date for the six-disc DVD set of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Thirteenth Season — all 22 episodes featuring Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue, with long-standing series regulars, George Eads, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda and Robert David Hall.
The following week, Sept. 24, Paramount has both Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season (a seven-disc selection) and South Park: The Complete Sixteenth Season (three-disc set) ready for release as Blu-ray and DVD product offerings.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report