Animal Kingdom:

The Complete First Season                 review Bobby Blakey

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

It is always interesting to see a hit film get the TV treatment and while few of them actually work, there are a few that manage to become something special. TNT has stepped into this market with bringing the critically acclaimed 2010 Australian movie Animal Kingdom to TV. For those that might have missed the first season, Warner Bros. is bringing it home just in time to prepare for the upcoming second season.

Animal Kingdom follows 17-year-old "J" Cody, who moves in with his freewheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town after his mother dies of an overdose. Headed by boot-tough matriarch "Smurf" Cody and her right-hand Baz, who runs the business and calls the shots, the clan also consists of Pope, the oldest and most dangerous of the Cody boys; Craig, the tough and fearless middle son; and Deran, the troubled, suspicious "baby" of the family. It isn't long before J is pulled into the family's life of indulgence and excess, but he soon discovers that it's all being funded by criminal activities. Joining the family comes with more danger and excitement than he might be ready to handle. The series stars Finn Cole, Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman, Shawn Hatosy, Ben Robson, and Jake Weary who all do a great job of bringing this dysfunctional family to violent life.

I was really surprised how well this translated into a series. Thankfully it was on a network like TNT or it might have fallen flat. This is a gritty hardcore crime drama that pulls no punches. Every character here is interesting in their own ways making for some great side stories that all come together into a bigger ongoing tale. There is this strange family dynamic between them all, but you never know which one is about to betray the other at any moment. The gritty look and feel of it works perfectly and it didn’t take more than one episode for me to get instantly sucked right in. They continue to bring the twists and turns right up until the last episode that leaves you craving more.

In addition to all 10 episodes of the first season this release also includes deleted scenes, and six featurettes that take you further behind the making of this violent family crime series. Grab your copy of Animal Kingdom: The Complete First Season available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and be sure to catch season two when it premieres on May 30th on TNT.

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