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God's Pocket

4.2 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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(Sep 09, 2014)
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Editorial Reviews

After Mickey Scarpato's (Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his final film roles) stepson Leon (Caleb Landry Jones, Antiviral), is killed in a construction accident, Mickey quickly tries to bury the bad news along with the body. But even in the gritty, blue-collar neighborhood of God's Pocket, PA, no secret can stay hidden forever. When a local columnist (Richard Jenkins, The Cabin in the Woods) comes sniffing around for the truth, Mickey quickly finds himself stuck in a life-and-death struggle compounded by a body he can't bury, a wife he can't please, and a debt he can't pay. Featuring a top-tier cast including John Turturro and Christina Hendricks, acclaimed actor John Slattery s (Mad Men) impressive directorial debut God s Pocket is a winning dark comedy that marks the emergence of an inspired directorial presence.


Special Features:
Commentary, Deleted Scenes, TV Spot, Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks
  • Directors: John Slattery
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: September 9, 2014
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00L22H2TM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,249 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"God's Pocket" (2014 release; 90 min.) brings the story of a fictitious working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia called God's Pocket. As the movie opens, we see people gather for a funeral but we really don't know whose funeral or who is who. Then the screen announces "Three Days Earlier' and we get to know Mickey and Jeanie Scarpato (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christina Hendricks, respectively) and Jeanie's son from an earlier marriage Keon. Turns out Leon is a jerk and a bully and when he threatens a old black guy at work, the black guys ends up knocking him off with a baseball bat. When the police arrive, everyone says it was an unfortunate construction accident. Jeanie doesn't buy it. Meanwhile Mickey has to figure out a way to pay for the funeral. In a parallel story, we get to know Richard Shellburn (played by Richard Jenkins), an aging (and alcoholic) columnist for the Daily Times. At this point we are barely 20 min. into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the directing debut of actor John Slattery (a/k/a Roger Sterling in Mad Men). The film is an adaptation of the early 1980s book of the same name by Peter Dexter. Co-writers Slattery and Alex Metcalf decided to keep the late 70s/early 80s setting, which only adds to the gritty atmosphere in the movie. The movie is decidedly downbeat as pretty much everyone struggles with one serious problem or another. The acting performances are what carry this movie, though.
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1 Comment 24 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Two things drew me to indie "God's Pocket." (1) As one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's last roles, I wanted to show my support for a true original. And Hoffman puts his every man quality and broken down shuffle to good use in this slice-of-life portrait of urban despair. (2) I am a huge fan of Mad Men's John Slattery (Roger is one of TV's greatest creations! Why no EMMY love? 4 nominations and no wins). Slattery co-wrote the screenplay of "God's Pocket" and makes his feature film directorial debut. He was able to assemble a strong roster of character actors including Richard Jenkins, John Turturro and Christina Hendricks and each is able to rise to the somewhat difficult material. I suspect that "God's Pocket" will find plenty of supporters, but I won't be surprised if some are put off by this slight tale as well. No one is particularly likable in the film, which plays mostly as a black comedy, and I wasn't always sure what the intention was in the telling. Are we supposed to empathize to any degree or are we just supposed to revel in their misfortune? In the end, I embraced the movie's tone but I'm also not sure that it is as successful as it should be.

God's Pocket refers to a geographical area of Pennsylvania where the locals look after their own. This blue-collar community of day laborers, petty criminals, schemers and drunkards will be familiar to anyone that's ever seen a similar indie. In fact, it is a tad too familiar. Hoffman and Hendricks play a married couple who face an unexpected tragedy. I say tragedy, but really her obnoxious and unstable son (Caleb Landry Jones) gets what he deserves. As Hoffman tries to navigate financial difficulties (oftentimes with the help of pal Turturro), Hendricks struggles to understand what happened.
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Comment 6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)

From the product packaging: “After Mickey Scarpato’s stepson Leon is killed in a construction ‘accident,’ Mickey quickly tries to bury the bad news along with the body. But even in the gritty, blue-collar neighborhood of God’s Pocket, PA, no secret can stay hidden forever. When a local columnist comes sniffing around for the truth, Mickey quickly finds himself stuck in a life-and-death struggle compounded by a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay.”

To be fair, GOD’S POCKET received a bit more notoriety in the trades as it became one of the last films completed by actor Philip Seymour Hoffman before his untimely suicide. As a consequence, I have to wonder if some critics – merely by the stature of that reality – perhaps rated the film a bit more highly than they would’ve under other circumstances; I say that not because GOD’S POCKET is anywhere near a failure but only because I thought it was largely uneven. Tonally, the film bounces around a bit between a dark comedy (which it handled very well) and a more grittier heartfelt drama (which it didn’t do very well), so much so that Hoffman’s character of Scarpato ends up feeling more like an afterthought than he did a legitimate lead.

For instance, there’s never any overwhelming rhyme or reason attributed to the fact of his disillusionment with life and love.
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Comment 6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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