DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Geremy Jasper
Danielle Macdonald, Cathy Moriarty, Bridgett Everett
Writing Credits:
Geremy Jasper

Aspiring rapper Patricia Dombrowski fights an unlikely quest for glory in her downtrodden New Jersey hometown.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 11/7/2017
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Geremy Jasper
• “A Slice of Cake$” Featurette
• Music Videos
• Promotional Featurettes
• Gallery
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Patti Cake$ [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 8, 2017)

Going all the way back to the Beastie Boys, the occasional white male rapper has found a popular audience – but successful white female rappers? That’s a narrower field, one that seems to consist of Iggy Azalea and no one else.

2017’s Patti Cake$ offers a fictional tale of a white woman who aspires to fame as a rapper. Jersey girl Patricia Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald) lives with her slutty mother Barb (Bridget Everett) and hobbled grandmother “Nana” (Cathy Moriarty) as the clan struggles to keep afloat financially.

Patti dreams of fame, though, and goes by the rap name “Killa P”. Along with her supportive pal Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay) and self-proclaimed anarchist “Basterd” (Mamoudou Athie), she battles against the odds to become a musical success.

Given that Macdonald looks like a less glamorous Rebel Wilson, one might expect Cake$ to take a broad comedic approach to its material. Heck, that would seem probably even with a more attractive protagonist, but Macdonald’s physical appearance feels like a recipe for wacky laughs.

We do get some of those, but not in the mocking, parodic manner I anticipated. Rather than emulate Spinal Tap, Cake$ instead gives off more of a Rocky vibe, as it follows the path of the working class underdog.

I appreciate that choice, as the other route would’ve been way too simplistic and crass. Sure, Rebel Wilson has built a career via her identity as the “funny fat girl”, but that’s not what you’d call a great role model. As such, I like the way Cake$ avoids laughing at Patti – while it alludes to her weight, it does so in a way to make the critics look bad and doesn’t join in the “fun”.

The film also ensures that Patti fights back against these assaults. Patti could easily become just another sad, lonely, powerless chubby girl, but instead, she offers enough strength and independence to stand above the crowd.

Aspirational positivity aside, does Cake$ offer much? Yeah – to a degree. While the film follows a few cliché paths, it still manages enough charm to keep the viewer with it.

A lot of that comes from Macdonald herself, as she creates a likable lead. She avoids pleas for the audience to love or pity her while she feels realistic and natural, factors that make her a compelling subject for the story.

Despite its well-worn “rise of the underdog” narrative, Cake$ manages to avoid most of the usual clichés. It may document Patti’s attempt to escape her go-nowhere life, it doesn’t indulge in a lot of the standard gooey sentiment, a factor that gives it more impact.

On the negative side, Cake$ probably runs too long. No, 109 minutes doesn’t make it the second coming of Gone With the Wind, but the running time taxes the natural flow of the material and makes the tale drag at times.

Despite that, Cake$ succeeds more than it falters. An admirably rich underdog story, the movie gives us a good character piece.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Patti Cake$ appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a more than acceptable presentation.

Overall sharpness came across fairly well. Interiors tended toward mild softness, but the image demonstrated delineation that seemed fine most of the time.

I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering. Both edge haloes and print flaws also remained absent.

The palette tended toward a teal tint much of the time, though club interiors came with heavy colored lighting. These elements worked pretty well, though they could seem a bit dense.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows seemed acceptable. Again, interiors were a minor weak link, as they appeared a little murky, but they weren’t bad most of the time. For a low-budget indie film, the image worked fine.

Similar thoughts greeted the film’s decent DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. As expected, music offered the greatest breadth, as various songs broadened to the side and rear speakers in a lively manner.

In addition, club or studio scenes used the various channels in an active way to spread out the music, and effects added a bit of pep. These oriented toward general environmental information, but they added life to the mix.

Audio quality remained solid, with dialogue that seemed natural and concise. Effects came across as accurate and realistic as well.

As noted, music played the most prominent role, and those components delivered fairly lively material. The songs and score boasted nice range and depth. This all added up to a reasonably satisfying soundtrack for a character drama.

The Blu-ray brings us a few extras, and we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Geremy Jasper. He offers a running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots, cast and performances, story, characters and influences, sets and locations, music, editing and deleted scenes, cinematography, and related elements.

Overall, Jasper provides a pretty solid commentary. He covers a nice array of topics and does so in a fairly engaging manner. Though never great, the track remains informative and useful.

A featurette called A Slice of Cake$ runs 21 minutes, 28 seconds and offers notes from Jasper, producers Noah Stahl and Michael Gottwald, 2nd AC Charlie Miller, and actors Danielle Macdonald, Sahr Ngaujah, Kirk Knight, Siddharth Dhananjay and Mamoudou Athie.

“Slice” discusses the project’s roots and story/characters, cast and performances, music, and sets/locations. We get a decent level of information here, and ample footage from the set elevates the show.

Next comes a music video for “Patti $ea$on”. It’s an amusingly low-budget affair that’s fun to watch.

We also find a lyric video for “Thick N Thin”. It largely combines movie footage with animated song lyrics, all of which make it mildly interesting at best.

Under Promotional Featurettes, we find four clips: “Making the Music” (1:45), “Danielle As Patti” (1:24), “Geremy” (1:48) and “Jersey Women” (2:04). Across these, we hear from Jasper, Macdonald, Ngaujah, Athie, Dhananjay, associate producer Skyler “Skyzoo” Taylor, Jasper’s mother Lois, and actors Cathy Moriarty and Bridget Everett.

The snippets give us notes about music, cast/performances, and Jasper’s impact on the shoot. A few nuggets emerge but these pieces focus on selling the movie.

The disc opens with ads for Wilson, Step and . No trailer for Cake$ appears here.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Cake$. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

One look at the film’s heavyset heroine would lead a viewer to expect broad comedy from Patti Cake$. Instead, it delivers a likable character drama that works because it lacks cheap emotion. The Blu-ray brings us generally good picture and audio along with a decent selection of supplements. While it may not innovate in its genre, Cake$ still turns into a winning tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main