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Magic City – The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray Review)

Magic City  - The Complete Second Season - www.whysoblu.comIke Evans risks everything in a life and death battle to rid his Miramar Playa Hotel of the mob and Ben “The Butcher” Diamond. Ike’s dangerous plan to defeat Ben takes Ike from Havana’s glamorous casinos to dealings with a new devil – Ben’s boss in the Chicago Outfit. Ike’s wife Vera gets a second chance at her former dancing glory, while sons Stevie and Danny drift farther from Ike – Stevie toward the power and rewards of Ben’s dark world, Danny into the moral righteousness of State’s Attorney Jack Klein. Changes in Castro’s Cuba ripple to the shores of Miami Beach, and a new world order begins to tear the Evans family apart. Even if Ike’s long-shot gamble to take back his hotel succeeds, will the price of victory be too high?  

Magic City - The Complete Second Season

Series      

Magic City is back with its second and final season. Sad face. This season picks up shortly after the events of season one where we have Ike Evans (Jeffery Dean Morgan) and the Evans family (mainly Ike), trying to keep the luxurious Miramar Hotel up and running and away from the sight of Miami’s most notorious underworld figure Ben “The Butcher” Diamond (Danny Huston). Season two throws in various subplots from the first season that was brewing involving his closest confidant and Miramar manager Victor Lazaro. That particular subplot involves Lazaro retrieving the body of his wife from Cuba amidst all the drama that is developing there.

In addition to that Cuban problem, Ike wants to make a deal with the Cuban government and open and run some hotels on the island but it also causes a rift with his supporters on the mainland. To say that Ike has hands full would be a total understatement. Back in the home life both of his continue to be estranged from him as one works for law enforcement and the other is trying to get out on his while being almost mentor by Ben Diamond. Vera Evans (Olga Kurylenko) has a second shot at being a dancer, so that becomes her primary focus while trying to the juggle her familial responsibilities. She’ll do everything she can to keep the family together.

Ben Diamond, on the other hand, is like a great white shark that just can’t wait to dig his teeth into Ike and his operation. This comes to a head when his boss Sy Berman (James Caan) sends for him and lets him know who is the real boss. I like Caan’s character and the correlation between the mobs, casinos, hotels and the hierarchy/chain of command and how far down the rabbit hole it goes. Caan lays it down and comes of just a tad bit scarier than Diamond. Diamond is still the butcher and his explosive brutality comes into play more often here than it did in the first season.

The foreshadowing of his two sons, who are leading two very different lives, one in law and the other crime, seem to almost predict that at some point down the road one will be his rival and the other will try to take him down. Those seeds have been planted and could have led to some great things for future season but we’ll never know.

Now you may be wondering why the complete second season of Magic City is getting a slightly lower grade than season one did. Simple. The fact that show was canceled turned it into a bit of a rushed affair. There are only 8 episodes per season and this thing hits the fast forward button almost immediately. There are several subplots that get touched upon and are never heard or seen from again. Talk about a major buzz kill.

I did like how for every action and reaction Ike was privy to he always had this attitude of “I’m a successful business man and this is what successful business men do.” It wasn’t even a facade. Ike is technically a criminal but not a typical one. He believed that anything he ever did was for the good of his family and business and what he did behind the scenes, the shady stuff, was a means to an end.  It was very exciting to Ike and Ben Diamond butt heads and it was also exciting to see Ben Diamond get chewed out by Sy Berman.

Magic City wraps up a bit too tidy (canceling a show midway through does that to a show) for my tastes but the quality and production of the show never downgrades in quality. The acting is top notch as is the production design. You can feel the heat and you can taste the mojitos.

Magic City - The Complete Second Season - www.whysoblu.com

Video  

Magic City – The Complete Second Season is presented in 1.78:1. The color wheel on this show continues to reign supreme and the Blu-ray accentuates it even more. From everyones classy and flashy wardrobe, to the lush scenery, the show just pops on the Blu-ray format. Flesh tones are natural with just a touch of gold to them. This is Miami after all. Black levels are stable, colors are bright, and sharpness is kept in check. I did notice a couples scenes that had just a dab of noise to them but that got sorted out very quickly. This second season of Magic City looks gooooood!

Magic City - The Complete Second Season - www.whysoblu.com

Audio  

Magic City – The Complete Second Season is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Dialogue is as smooth as Ike’s designer suits. The scenes containing action and gunfire really light up the soundstage as does some of the more grand musical numbers. It makes one want to make a mojito while watching the sights, and in this case, the sounds. This TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack compliments the video presentation quite well.

Magic City - The Complete Second Season - www.whysoblu.com

Extras     

Magic City – The Complete Second Season has nothing of substance in the special features department except for one of those featurettes that started at about 30 minutes (or less) and was chopped up into smaller vignettes. Most of it is fluff and self congratulatory nonsense that adds next to nothing to the overall Magic City experience. They did this with the last season and I’m still blown away that they used a whole disc for less than half an hour of bonus material. Oh well.

  • The Gamble For Havana 
  • The Criminal Element
  • Tales From The Underbelly
  • Magic City Style
  • The Music That Makes Magic

Magic City - The Complete Second Season - www.whysoblu.com

 

Summary 

I hate that this was to be the last season of such a great show but that’s how it goes in show business.  The Blu-ray has great technical specs but extremely lackluster special features that will make you groan at their scarcity. Magic City – The Complete Second Season did not end the way it should have – but the set itself is strong enough that I’m sure if you were already a fan you’ll still continue to be one. We have two seasons worth on Blu-ray, so I will definitely toast to that. Cheers!

 

 

 

Order Magic City – The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray!

Magic City - The Complete Second Season - www.whysoblu.com

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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