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City State [DVD]

Philip Jackson , Jonathan Pryce , Olaf de Fleur Johannesson    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £2.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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City State [DVD] + Black's Game [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Philip Jackson, Jonathan Pryce, Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Sigurður Sigurjónsson
  • Directors: Olaf de Fleur Johannesson
  • Writers: Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, Hrafnkell Stefánsson
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Nov 2012
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008HEFIOE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,668 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Hell bent on his mission and determined to protect his family, he gets caught up in a world of warring crime syndicates, drugs, corrupt police and prostitution that quickly spirals out of control with devastating consequences Starring Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Tomorrow Never Dies), City State is a violent and thrilling tale of a city brought to its knees by the underworld.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If the Long Good Friday happened in Iceland 29 Jun 2013
By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Ignore the title and marketing blurb for this film; they're largely irrelevant to the plot and atmosphere. There is no 'city brought to its knees.' It's not a Hollywood-style car chase, running, shouting and shooting movie, but instead plays to the strengths of mature, unflinching Nordic noir.

Set in modern-day Iceland, the plot revolves around a dominant crimelord who's trying to retire and sell his 'business'. When he over-reacts to the theft of some drugs, he falls foul of an Eastern European mafia family whose brutal methods and youthful savagery threaten to overwhelm his experience and stature.
Parallel plot threads explore and interweave the stories of a corrupt, dissolute older detective (who has fallen in love with a whore) and a brittle but violently determined female SWAT officer (who is also romantically entangled with the wrong person); a fairly hapless wannabe mafia lieutenant (who, similarly, has chosen his bedmate unwisely) into the narrative.
Jonathan Pryce pops up in a small part as an English gangster; beautifully played but not on screen for long. The star of the film is undoubtedly the Serbian mechanic whose righteous revenge drives the whole story forward to its predictable (but still satisfying) conclusion.
City State was produced with miniscule resources, and perhaps that shows in the plotting. It sets several interesting balls rolling but wraps things up a little lazily at the end. The result is that it creates several extremely memorable characters and they tend to overshadow the story. However, the film-makers certainly used what budget they had creatively and effectively - the photography is stylish without being pretentious: it's tautly atmospheric and grimly realistic in its depiction of the several intense violent encounters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Segej is a Serbian immigrant to Iceland where he works at an auto shop. This is actually a front for all round bad guy Ingolfur who likes dealing in recreational narcotics when he isn't acting the pimp or being boorish. After some products go missing on Sergejs's watch Ingolfur decides he is to blame and gives him a bit of a going over in front of his pregnant wife.

Well she over reacts and has a miscarriage. So consumed with grief and revenge he decides to assuage his enmity on his erstwhile employer, and gets his Serbian crew together to take over the rackets once and for all. We also have uber crime Lord Gunnar who is in cahoots with the police but is trying to retire and Andrea a very, very bad cop who is prepared to do more than bend the rules to get to the bottom of the wholes sorry mess. You just know that bad things are going to happen and they do rather quickly.

This is quite a brutal story with plenty of violence and some good performances. The story is told in an episodic fashion that helps bring the various strands together. The issues around prostitution are alluded to but only briefly and the violence is done only where appropriate based on the context of the action, so all pretty good. The riot cop dudes on the cover are only in this for a short piece and Jonathan Pryce spends about the same amount of limited, on screen time too, in case you are a fan.

The big problem is knowing who the good guys are, they are all nasty to varying degrees which does not help build up very much in the empathy bank for the grieving Sergej or his conspirators. That in one way is a good thing as no one is all `good' really but belated attempts at eliciting sympathy seem a bit pointless in the overall plot of the film, so could have been left out.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so affair of crime-land competition. 8 Dec 2012
By godzilla78 VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Just to clear two things up - the cover with the riot police is very misleading as they only appear in one brief scene and Jonathan Pryce only has about 5 minutes of screen time in total.

The film is set in Iceland's dark underbelly of corruption, prostitution and violence. It starts off quite well, characters are introduced and gradually drawn together through a series of events. However the film soon begins to lose the spark from the beginning as the violence increases as the story falters.

It all begins with a crooked drug deal involving a small group of Serbians who vow revenge on the local crime boss. The same crime boss (the excellent Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson) has just had a recent health scare and is looking to sell up his business rackets (Pryce being a prospective buyer in his two short scenes) but unfortunately for him, the Serbs are taking this personally and don't wish to negotiate. Add to the mix a corrupt and cowardly police officer stuck in the middle, a cop out for revenge on Ingvar Eggert and cops ready to fight fire with fire. All entangled in a turf war between the locals and a new threat.

A bright start which falters when the film starts to move away from the characters and more towards an all too familiar conclusion with films of this genre.
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