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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Troy Duffy
Cast:
Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly, Clifton Collins Jr., Julie Benz, Peter Fonda
Writing Credits:
Troy Duffy (and story), Taylor Duffy (story)

Synopsis:
From Troy Duffy, writer and director of The Boondock Saints, comes the much anticipated sequel to the tough, stylized cutting edge saga of the MacManus brothers (Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flanery). The two have been in deep hiding with their father, Il Duce (Billy Connolly), in the quiet valleys of Ireland, far removed from their former vigilante lives. When word comes that a beloved priest has been killed by sinister forces from deep within the mob, the brothers return to Boston to mount a violent and bloody crusade to bring justice to those responsible. With a new partner in crime (Clifton Collins Jr.) and a sexy FBI operative (Julie Benz) hot on their trail ... the Saints are back!

Box Office:
Budget
$8 million.
Opening Weekend
$427.919 thousand on 105 screens.
Domestic Gross
$10.244 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Portuguese
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 117 min.
Price: $34.95
Release Date: 3/9/2010

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Troy Duffy and Actors Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus and Billy Connolly
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Troy Duffy and Actor Willem Dafoe
• “Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• “Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited” Featurette
• “The Cast Confesses: Secrets from the Set” Featurette
• “Inside the Vault: The Weapons” Featurette
• “The Boondock Saints Hit Comic-Con” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 8, 2010)

Back when I reviewed The Boondock Saints in 2006, I mentioned my astonishment that the 1999 flick – proud earner of a whopping $25,000 theatrically – had become some sort of cult classic. I had never even heard of the movie until that 2006 DVD emerged, but apparently the film garnered a reasonable amount of love on video.

Enough love to produce a sequel after 10 years. 2009’s The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day didn’t exactly sizzle at the box office, but its $10 million gross makes it look like Avatar compared to its predecessor. Will it be enough to generate a third chapter? Dunno, but since the original made almost no money, the sequel’s low gross wouldn’t appear to be a significant hurdle.

Saints Day brings back much of the talent from the first movie. Since then, vigilante “heroes” Conner (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy McManus (Norman Reedus) have been holed up in Ireland with their father, paid assassin Il Duce (Billy Connolly). The pastoral life comes to an end when they learn that someone murdered a Catholic priest named Father Douglas McKinney (Dwayne McLean) back in Boston.

This prompts the McManus boys to return to their former violent ways. Even though the murder appears to be a plan to draw them out of retirement – and thus a trap - they head back to Boston to find the killer. FBI Special Agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz) comes onto the case and works with a trio of Beantown cops who acted as Saints accomplices of sorts back in the day. We follow the boys’ attempts to right wrongs along with a mix of complications.

Is a mess of a movie less of a mess because it’s an enjoyable mess? No, but the entertainment factor helps mitigate the disorganization of the thing.

And make no mistake: as a narrative, Saints Day provides a complete wreck. I’d like to say some of this was intentional, but I can’t find a reason to justify the spastic storytelling. The film jumps from situations to characters with alacrity and rarely makes a lick of sense.

Indeed, I’m not sure someone actually edited the movie. I think writer/director Troy Duffy just dumped all the footage in a pile, hacked at it with a machete and spliced together the results. Yes, that’s an overstatement, and I don’t mean to insult the filmmakers, as the film isn’t quite that disjointed. It simply fails to make a lot of sense much of the time; maybe I should blame the script, but the editing does the tale no favors.

Though the film jumps all over the place, it does remain fairly entertaining. I don’t want to call it a movie that requires the viewer to shut off his brain, but that probably helps. The more you think about the story and situations, the less interesting the flick becomes.

At its best, though, Saints Day provides a reasonable amount of bloody entertainment. I especially like the sequences that show the plans of the McManus boys and the actual results. The Saints get such a reputation as stellar assassins that it’s fun to see how their schemes really come to fruition; the shootings are never as awesome as planned, and that gives the flick a nice human feel.

Most of the film’s pleasures emerge during its first half, as the tale’s flaws really start to emerge across the second hour. For the initial 60 minutes or so, we go along for the ride, incoherence be damned. As the plot thickens, though, and becomes more serious, the film loses some of its charm. It goes down a moderate Godfather II path and loses a lot of steam. The second half doesn’t truly negate the first, but it makes an already messy tale even less coherent.

Still, even with its various flaws, I think Saints Day has something going for it. I doubt it’ll do much to attract a new audience to the franchise, but it should succeed for fans of the original.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B+

The Boondock Saints appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No real issues cropped up here.

Sharpness seemed good. A few wide shots appeared slightly soft, but those were exceptions to the rule. The majority of the movie offered nice clarity and delineation. Jagged edges and shimmering caused no concerns, and edge haloes remained absent. Except for one intentionally flawed sequence, print defects were absent; we never saw any unplanned marks or problems.

Like its predecessor, the flick featured a surprisingly natural palette, as it didn’t display the stylized tones I expected from this sort of effort. The hues were accurate and dynamic. Blacks also seemed dark and firm, while low-light shots demonstrated good clarity and delineation. Only the minor examples of softness knocked my grade down to a “B+”.

For a big shoot-em-up, Saints Day came with a somewhat lackluster DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. While not subdued, it didn’t seem as active and involving as expected. Action scenes boasted decent pizzazz, but they didn’t use the various speakers as impressively as I thought they should. Music featured nice stereo imaging, and the many violent sequences blasted at us in a positive manner; the latter simply weren’t as lively as anticipated.

No issues with audio quality emerged. Speech was natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music appeared vivid and full, while effects presented good depth and power. Those elements showed nice reproduction and accuracy, with solid bass punch. Overall, the track was perfectly satisfactory; it just lacked the over-the-top factor a film like this could use.

As we move to the package’s extras, the disc features two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from writer/director Troy Duffy and actor Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus and Billy Connelly. They offer a running, screen-specific chat that gets into… well, not much of anything. At times they touch on cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and a few other production elements.

For the most part, however, the guys just joke around a whole bunch. This isn’t a particularly focused track, though the participants do become more on-task during the flick’s second half. Perhaps not coincidentally, this change of pace follows a break; I’d guess the commentary’s producers told the guys to shape up their act.

Not that we learn a whole lot more about the film in that span, as the focus remains jovial. And that’s not an awful thing; even though I get the feeling we’re subjected to many an inside joke, the nuttiness remains reasonably entertaining. It’s just not an informative chat, though, so don’t expect to learn many useful nuggets about the flick.

For the second commentary, we hear from writer/director Troy Duffy and actor Willem Dafoe. Dafoe doesn’t join Duffy until about halfway through the film, but he remains for the rest of the running, screen-specific track. During the initial hour, Duffy digs into the gap between the two Saints films and issues related to making a sequel, cast, characters and performances, story areas, sets and locations, and other production areas. When Dafoe joins the filmmaker, the conversation becomes more general and reflective. The pair discuss various thoughts about acting and movies.

For the first half, Duffy delves the subjects in a compelling way and makes this a radically more informative piece than the prior track. That one’s about laughs, while Duffy’s all business here. When Dafoe comes along, we lose that intense focus, but the track remains intriguing, as the pair deliver interesting thoughts about movie making. (Dafoe does seem irritated when 37-year-old Duffy has no idea who Warren Oates was.) Though it has a split personality, this commentary offers a lot of good info and keeps us consistently interested.

Two Deleted Scenes fill a total of two minutes, 38 seconds. These include “Detectives Mourn Greenly’s Death” (1:14) and “Romeo Plays Chess” (1:24). The first is self-explanatory – and a bit of a spoiler; it’s interesting for emotional reasons but would’ve slowed down the movie too much as it approached its climax. “Chess” gives us a little more of the Saints’ wacky sidekick. It’s another piece of unnecessary exposition.

A few featurettes follow. Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes runs 25 minutes, 49 seconds and provides notes from Duffy, Flanery, Reedus, Connolly, producers Chris Brinker and Don Carmody, and actors Clifton Collins, Jr., Julie Benz, Brian Mahoney, David Ferry, and Bob Marley. It looks at cast and performances, Duffy’s working style on the set, and general thoughts from the shoot.

During “Access”, the soundbites act to accentuate the shots from the set. Those become the main attraction here, as they offer a pretty nice glimpse of the production. Though the piece can be a little self-congratulatory at times, it combines comments and behind the scenes footage well enough to satisfy.

For the nine-minute, 22-second Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited. Those two chat about their first meeting, Connolly’s casting, and their interactions during the film shoots. Both are expansive, engaging personalities, so their discussion becomes amusing and enjoyable.

The Cast Confesses: Secrets from the Set goes for seven minutes, 13 seconds and offers comments from Reedus, Flanery, Connolly, Collins, Benz, and Marley. “Secrets” goes over character and performance areas. A lot of this is pretty fluffy, but we get a decent amount of interesting info, so the show merits a look.

Next comes Inside the Vault: The Weapons. It goes for eight minutes, 28 seconds and includes head armorer Charles Taylor as he leads us through a tour of the movie’s firearms. Taylor delivers a concise overview of the weapons.

Finally, The Boondock Saints Hit Comic-Con runs 57 minutes, two seconds. The panel discussion features Duffy, Flanery, Reedus, Collins, Benz and Connolly as they address the Comic-Con crowd. (David Della Rocco and original Saints actor Ron Jeremy also pop up late in the piece.) The convention occurred during post-production and acts as promotion for the film. It takes more than half the program to get to audience questions, and virtually all the pre-crowd moments just exist to puff up the movie.

Matters actually go downhill more when the fans get to ask questions. The first guy wants to know if there’ll be an autograph signing – and then another fan makes the same request a few minutes later! They’re rocket scientists compared to the sorority girl who wants to know about the Saints’ prayer; if she’s in college, it must be clown. The Comic-Con session is almost entirely promotional or inane, so don’t expect much from it.

A few ads open the disc. We get clips for The Damned United, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Moon and Zombieland. These also appear under Previews along with promos for Universal Soldier: Regeneration, Black Dynamite, H2: Halloween II, Snatch, Breaking Bad and The Da Vinci Code. No trailer for Saints Day shows up here.

After 10 years, fans of The Boondock Saints get a sequel: All Saints Day. Though it suffers from sloppy storytelling and doesn’t work as well as its predecessor, the second chapter comes with enough pleasures of its own to make it reasonably entertaining. The Blu-ray provides very good picture, generally positive audio and a mix of generally solid supplements. This becomes a solid release for a fairly enjoyable action flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main