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Theodore Melfi
Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Terrence Howard, Chris O'Dowd, Jaeden Lieberher
Writing Credits:
Theodore Melfi

A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$7,746,596 on 2,282 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 2/17/2015

• 12 Deleted Scenes
• “The Patron Saint of Comedy” Featurette
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; 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.


St. Vincent [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 15, 2015)

A quirky comedy with a stellar cast, 2014’s St. Vincent introduces us to Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murray), a Vietnam vet who lives in Brooklyn. Essentially an alcoholic degenerate, Vincent’s most intimate interactions come with Daka (Naomi Watts), a pregnant Russian stripper/prostitute.

Into this setting steps Maggie Bronstein (Melissa McCarthy), a recently divorced single mother who moves next door to Vincent with her adolescent son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Vincent and Maggie get off on the wrong foot, and a happy relationship looks unlikely.

Circumstances conspire to force them together, though. Vincent owes money due to gambling debts – funds he doesn’t possess - and Maggie needs someone to care for Oliver after school. This sets up an improbable friendship between the grumpy old man and his smart, sensitive young charge.

On the surface, Vincent could – and probably should – have offered a cloying, cutesy piece of work. We’ve seen stories of this sort many times, and the film wears its themes heavily on its sleeve.

Indeed, it does occasionally veer into that territory, as the movie’s self-conscious quirkiness can grate at times. It also follows less than exciting character paths, mainly when it offers the inevitable moments that “humanize” Vincent; honestly, he’s more fun as a basic reprobate, so his backstory softens the tale too much.

Heck, the “frontstory” gets fairly sappy as it goes. While it opens in a fairly caustic manner, Vincent becomes more melodramatic as it goes. The film pulls off some of this, but the emotional areas tend toward a drippier sense than I’d like.

Despite those pitfalls, two factors redeem Vincent. For one, writer/director Theodore Melfi’s script peppers the often-trite character moments with enough good comedy to lighten the load. While not a laughfest, the humor makes sure to puncture the story in a positive manner.

In addition, the cast adds a lot of pep to the proceedings. Indeed, the actors become easily the strongest aspect of the movie, as they ensure that even as sappy as Vincent tries to become, they keep it earthy and human. In particular, it’s nice to see McCarthy take on a character other than the brassy, loud-mouthed slobs she usually plays; Maggie becomes a semi-thankless role, but McCarthy handles it nicely.

Due to the borderline trite and cheesy nature of its character development, St. Vincent comes with its issues. However, it manages just enough strengths to become a mostly engaging and enjoyable tale.

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

St. Vincent appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. A little softness crept into the image at times, but not frequently. Instead, the movie almost always appeared nicely detailed and distinctive. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws were a non-factor, as this was a clean presentation.

In terms of colors, the movie went with generally warm palette that favored an amber tint. Some other tones appeared as well – such as the seemingly inevitable teal – but the golden feel dominated. The hues consistently seemed clear and concise within those parameters. Blacks were deep and firm, and shadows showed good smoothness. Overall, the picture appeared solid.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it worked pretty well. The audio tended to be somewhat restrained most of the time, but some sequences – such as those at bars or on the street – opened up the spectrum in a satisfying manner. Cars and other elements moved around the room, while other effects added a good sense of ambience.

Audio quality was perfectly acceptable. Speech showed nice clarity and naturalism, and music was reasonably distinctive and dynamic. Effects lacked much to stand out, but they appeared accurate, and they showed mild punch when necessary. All of this seemed good enough for a “B-“.

12 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 10 minutes, 44 seconds. In these, we see a lot more of Oliver’s bully and his backstory/development. We get a little more of some other supporting characters as well. A few nice moments emerge, but none of this material seems important.

The Patron Saint of Comedy lasts 19 minutes, 55 seconds and offers a Q&A from the Toronto International Film Festival. The panel includes writer/director Theodore Melfi, Scrooged writer Mitch Glazer, Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, and actors Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Jaeden Lieberher. We learn about the story’s inspirations, cast and performances, and aspects of Murray’s life/career. This acts as a tribute to Murray so anticipate a lot of praise, but we get some good stories along the way.

The disc opens with ads for Begin Again and The Sapphires. No trailer for St. Vincent appears here.

Despite more sentimentality than I’d like, St. Vincent keeps us engaged. Bolstered by a terrific cast, the movie entertains most of the time. The Blu-ray presents very good picture as well as positive audio and a few supplements. Expect some solid performances in this largely interesting character piece.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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