The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Films - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 106 minutes
Genre: Drama, Crime
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Linda Cardellini, Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken
Directed by: Jonathan Hensleigh
Music by: Patrick Cassidy
Written by: Jonathan Hensleigh, Jeremy Walters & Rick Porrello (book "To Kill the Irishman")
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 14, 2011
"Based on the true story of Danny Greene the man the mob couldn't kill"
Over the summer of 1976, thirty-six bombs detonate in the heart of Cleveland while a turf war raged between Irish mobster Danny Greene and the Italian mafia. Based on a true story, KILL THE IRISHMAN chronicles Greene’s heroic rise from a tough Cleveland neighborhood to become an enforcer in the local mob and eventually a folk here who takes on the Italian mafia.
Based on the book “To Kill the Irishman: The War that Crippled the Mafia,” by Rick Porello, 'Kill The Irishman' is the true story of Danny Greene, the self-titled “Celtic Warrior” who rose to power in the ‘70s by taking over the Cleveland dock workers union, then eventually taking on the Italian mafia. Green is played by Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone), and his cohorts are Italian gangster John Nardi (Vincent D’Onofrio), loan shark Shondor Birns (Christopher Walken) and a detective, played by Val Kilmer. This excellent ensemble cast does a nice job with the films low production values and, at time, sophomoric dialogue. The unfortunate thing here is that it could have been a really good film, but the screenplay was a bit uninspired and the effects (the sparks before the explosion in Danny's car, for example) looked low-budget. Even though it felt pseudo-like a made-for-tv (except for the strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity), I found myself enjoying the lower budget look, thinking it fit the era, content and grittiness of the story. I also found myself drawn to Greene's charisma--this very same charisma, coupled with his self-confidence and a rouge attitude is what made people follow him, scared of him and gave him his status. When Danny stands off against the Italian mob, they put a hit out on him. He survives countless assassination attempts and kills off anyone who goes after him, creating the folklore of Danny Greene’s infamous invincibility.
Even with the films downfalls, Danny Greene’s character was strong enough to keep me intrigued. Before the movie I watched the extra feature "Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman", and it did help give the film a level of respect I might not have felt without seeing this hour long documentary first (I know its usually the other way around). If only it had a higher level of script and more fluid direction, people would be talking about 'Kill The Irishman'
Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Anchor Bay delivers a faithful transfer with its release of 'Kill The Irishman'. I saw no signs of compression or tinkering, details were strong, and overall, this was an above average HD release. Blacks were passable, but never inky and colors were natural and not too over-stated, fitting the mood well. Unfortunately the over-all look of the movie didn't lend to too much depth to the image, even though the look seemed right for the film. Being shot digitally, it never overcame its roots, never looking like a film. I am not a fan of that look and have seen some digitally shot movies that do look like film. I guess that must be a product of the lighting, cinematographer and post-production filters. The audio track was nice as well, but I did notice some volume issues where some things were too loud and others too soft. Thankfully dialogue never suffered from that, as it was mostly effects that were a bit wonky. The movies many explosions were never as dynamic and big as I hoped and things mostly stayed in the front sound-stage. Over-all it was passable, but nothing impressive here.
- (SD) Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman
- (HD) Trailer for Kill The Irishman
'Kill The Irishman' was not the best of the gangster genre, nor was it the worst. I found it to be a decent flick with some good performances, that was more enjoyable knowing it was a pretty accurate depiction of a true story. The hour long documentary "Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman" was a worth while companion to the movie and I would venture to say worth checking out before hand. I recommend before a rental before a purchase. Enjoy.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-X3 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Marantz AV7005 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 200 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Trio On-Wall (5.1)
Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Solitaire 10"
Very much enjoyed Ray Stevenson in this role, I thought he carried the movie very well with a pretty impressive cast of supporting actors.
And for the record, Danny Greene was not someone to mess with.
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