Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2010 // 165 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // February 27th, 2010
He took the impossible and made it possible.
As part of a series launched by Brett Ratner, The Shooter Series: F. Gary Gray focuses on the work of yet another director who kicked off his career in the world of music videos and then gradually worked his way into feature filmmaking. F. Gary Gray's credits include films such as Friday, The Italian Job, and more recently Law Abiding Citizen; this DVD gives viewers a better insight into how this man got to where he is today.
The main piece on this disc is an hour-long documentary titled "Doing the Impossible," which offers a solid overview of Gray's work as a music video director and Hollywood filmmaker. The featurette explores how he got into the field and created a series of surprising videos that captured urban living in America, and introduced audiences around the world to an innovative style and a new concept of portraying musicians and their hit songs.
Whether it was Ice Cube's "It was a good day," TLC's "Waterfalls" or Dr. Dre and Ice Cube's "Natural Born Killaz," Gray always made sure his music videos had a cinematic quality to them fans would certainly appreciate. The documentary also examines his work as a director on films such as Friday and Set It Off. Artists and actors such as Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, Sean Combs, Ice Cube, and Outkast all talk about what it was like working with Gray and what exactly brought him to the top.
Apart from the documentary, which also features Gray himself, this DVD includes 16 music videos, such as Outkast's "Ms. Jackson" and Cypress Hill's "When the ship goes down." Also included are trailers for Gray's movies, a short piece about his efforts to give back to the community, and finally, a 30-minute behind-the-scenes featurette for Law Abiding Citizen, which stars Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx. This is basically a collection of shorter featurettes he used to promote the film online before it's release.
Fans of these great music videos and people interested in learning more about the work of F. Gary Gray will certainly enjoy this second edition of The Shooter Series, but while it's packed with a solid dose of good content, I personally would have loved to see more behind-the-scenes material. Gray has directed seven feature films so far, yet this set only includes a more detailed making-of for his most recent one. More material would have definitely boosted the overall quality of the disc's content.
There's not much to say about the picture and sound quality, but the documentary and music videos look sharp enough, though this varies based on the age of the footage. I was less impressed by the look and style of the Law Abiding Citizen behind-the-scenes featurette.
The Shooter Series: F. Gary Gray certainly keeps its promise. It retraces Gray's career in a clean, entertaining and informative way, and includes a bunch of classic music videos for us to enjoy. That's all that matters, right?
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 165 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* IMDb: F. Gary Gray