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-   -   The Boondock Saints (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/187-official-avs-foruma-blu-ray-disc-reviews/1122002-boondock-saints-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review.html)

Ralph Potts 02-19-2009 09:13 AM

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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

82






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 110 Minutes
Genre: Action/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus, David Della Rocco, Billy Connolly
Written & Directed by: Troy Duffy
Music by: Jeff Danna
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 10, 2009







"Brothers. Killers. Saints"



Film Synopsis:

Irish brothers Connor and Murphy MacManus live and work in South Boston. After killing a Russian mobster in self-defense, the brothers believe they have found their calling from God ridding the earth of human evil. So they set out to complete their divine deed by ridding the streets of gangsters, criminals and lowlifes; and as the body count rises, the brothers become local heroes (deemed the “Boondock Saints”) even as the police are on their trail. By risking their lives for their beliefs of Veritas (truth) and Aequitas (justice), the vigilante brothers take the law into their own hands…until they are pursued by unorthodox FBI agent Paul Smecker who follows their trail of bloodshed, but admits that the boys are doing exactly what he has always secretly wished to happen.




My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=134005&d=1235063264

Prior to this review I had never seen The Boondock Saints. I found it to be a somewhat unusual film that had plenty of action but very little substance. I was under the impression from the opening segment in the church that the MacManus Brothers were two guys who were already under the belief that they were on a mission from god. When the fight breaks out with the Russians in the bar I was a little surprised to learn afterward that this wasn’t the case. There was much that went unexplained relative to their background and training because Connor and Murphy were clearly proficient with weapons and guerilla tactics. Some of the things they did were pretty far left of center and I just rolled my eyes on several occasions, one of which was the toilet dropping and roof top leaping scene. While I could appreciate their “calling” to wipe out criminals I questioned the scene that took place in the peep show viewing room which involved two guys who had nothing to do with the intended target. I enjoyed the constant banter between FBI Agent Smecker (Dafoe) and the local detectives. Smecker was a pretty strange character that seemed to run hot and cold from an investigatory perspective. His initial interview with Connor and Murphy made no sense nor did its eventual outcome.

The Italian mob portrayed in this movie, were a bunch of boobs that were lead by Yakavetta (Carlo Rota) who was supposedly a made guy. I don’t consider myself an expert on the inner workings of organized crime but I am pretty positive that a nitwit like “Funny man” (Della Rocco) would not be trusted with the kind of information that could lead to the takedown of a made guy. Carlo Rota is from Great Britain and his attempts at sounding Italian were purely an exercise in futility. The use of an Irishman to carry out contracts for the Italian mob, didn’t ring true either and just added to film’s convenience factor. I like Billy Connolly but had a hard time seeing him in the part of the II Duce. The script felt one dimensional in that its goal was to setup the next violent exchange rather than development of a better rounded story. I did enjoy how aspects of it were told via flashbacks and the action based elements were decent. I thought that the three main characters were played well by Dafoe, Flannery and Reedus. As a complete package this film just didn’t have enough foundation to make it truly gratifying.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong violence, language and sexual content.




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)

Audio: 82



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 82


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692
attachment.php?attachmentid=134003&d=1235063264

The Boondock Saints comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 mbps.

This high definition video presentation looked good for a catalogue release title of a film that is nearly ten years old. Images were resolved with appreciable detail that revealed plenty of discernible texture during closer camera shots. The exterior pans of the Boston Cityscapes were fairly sharp with stable resolution that allowed the physical structure of most objects in backgrounds to be visible. The film does not use an extensive color palette and with the exception of red, colors are not overly vibrant or vivid. They are cleanly rendered and I never found my attention to be negatively drawn to them. Fleshtones are on the warm side but natural in depicted. Grain is apparent and appears in fine, even layers that give the video a film like quality. White and black levels are appropriatly balanced which provides punchy whites and deep, stable blacks.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack was quite good and featured lively dynamics, clearly articulated dialogue, and plenty of surround activity. The film’s music was spread over the entire system and sounded excellent. Bass was palpably present as it highlighted the music’s hard edged rhythms. Primary focus on the instrumentation was delivered by the front three channels with ambient extension mixed to the surround speakers. The action based segments contained a blend of atmospheric and discrete sounds that combine music, flying bullets, and multi-directional panning effects that created an active 360 degree soundfield. Gunshots were enhanced by high level detail, punchy dynamics and weighty bass response that resonated well into the room which augmented its impact. I thought it sounded great.



Bonus Features:


  • Feature commentary with Director Troy Duffy

  • Audio commentary with Billy Connolly

  • 7 Deleted scenes

  • Outtakes – 1 ½ minutes

  • The Boondock Saints script - Pictorial

  • Theatrical trailer

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=134004&d=1235063264



Final Thoughts:

The Boondock Saints for me was a film that had a good idea that was wasn’t executed well. It would be unfair to say that I disliked it because I thought that it had likeable characters and plenty of action to propel it along. The problem lies in the story itself which isn’t cohesive enough to make it binding. Its high definition presentation from Fox Blu-ray is a good one that offers equally proficient audio/video quality and the same bonus supplements from the latest DVD release. Fans can feel confident in adding this disc to their collection.








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Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

goonstopher 02-19-2009 09:19 AM

23 Attachment(s)
This movie is a personal favorite.

It has some killer one liners and is funny in a absurd way. It's not meant to be a cinematic masterpiece but if you can appreciate the pure idiocy and charm of its charecters then it is enjoyable.

JDLIVE 02-19-2009 09:29 AM

Watched this one the other night, hadn't seen it before. Dafoe's performance was interesting, I suppose. I have to agree with Ralph's review, not one I'll add to my library or Netflix queue again.

goonstopher 02-19-2009 09:35 AM

23 Attachment(s)
Even as a fan I probably won't upgrade to the blu ray version. I got the dvd with fight club in one package for 7.50 so I am set with it in my collection

TurboTalon 02-19-2009 09:40 AM

I love this movie!

goonstopher 02-19-2009 09:42 AM

23 Attachment(s)
So now we've got a big guy theory and a serial crusher theory. Top-notch police work

sharkcohen 02-19-2009 10:20 AM

I have never been able to finish this movie. I have never understood its appeal.

bmplockmonster 02-19-2009 10:32 AM

i loved this movie but i must agree w/ the review.the story could have been better.also i am not usually a fan of action movies becouse they can be ridiculous.

cuco33 02-19-2009 10:36 AM

I LOVE this movie. Buddy of mine 'perma' borrowed my special edition DVD version but I think this is one copy I'm going to buy ASAP

bgillyjcu 02-19-2009 10:42 AM

This is a 4.5 star (dot) movie at least! One of my favorites movies. About 9 years ago we found this on VHS at blockbuster just looking for something different to watch that we have never heard of. WOW were we all impressed! This has been a favorite of mine ever since that day. This movie has a ton of substance...watch it a couple more times and you will know what I'm talking about!!

I cannot believe you gave it only 2.5 stars (dots)....You are usually so spot on!!


VXXJesterXXV 02-19-2009 12:48 PM

This is a hit or miss movie for a lot of people. I got turned on to it a couple years ago and loved it. I can't really explain it, I know the movie lacks in some regards but I just can't be bothered to care. The characters are fun, the action is good, and the humor hits the mark most of the time. Overall just a personal favorite, but one I can understand others not liking as much as I do.

repete66211 02-19-2009 01:05 PM

There was a lot of potential with this movie and Willem Defoe is interesting in everything he does, but the Boondock Saints really, really sucked. Cute and quirky parading as deep and interesting. Shoehorned, bad dialog and I'm not even talking about the guy that made it. I wonder which restaurant Duffy's washing dishes in.

WestCoastD 02-19-2009 01:48 PM

interesting review Ralph, thanks.

Just curious, are you planning, or have you ever, provided any reviews of "live' concert videos?

Ralph Potts 02-19-2009 02:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

interesting review Ralph, thanks.

Just curious, are you planning, or have you ever, provided any reviews of "live' concert videos?

Greetings,

I will if they are sent to me. I covered Live from Abbey Road: season one, although this really isn't a concert...

Here is the link:

Live from Abbey Road: season one review

Cheers,

TyrantII 02-19-2009 04:47 PM

Like reservoir dogs, it's a hit or miss. You love it, or you hate it.

Personally I love it, and added it to my collection today.

WestCoastD 02-19-2009 05:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

I will if they are sent to me. I covered Live from Abbey Road: season one, although this really isn't a concert...

great! I think this is one of the best music-oriented video's produced. I have watched this over-and-over. Thanks........

jvcjbl 02-19-2009 06:29 PM

IMO one of the greatest movies out there. I bought this at opening (granted I work there) but this was a movie that I have owned on every major format. One of the all time classics

StanDaMan 02-19-2009 07:11 PM

This movie is just FANTASTIC! I actually ordered this two days ago. mmm The Cat scene is by far the best.

guerillaw 02-20-2009 12:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

I have never been able to finish this movie. I have never understood its appeal.

The bad:
First off, nearly every movie has flaws. Even the godfather has some things you could quibble with. Pulp Fiction also has some serious issues. No move is perfect, the question is whether the good can outweigh the bad. If the good can outweigh the bad, and break new ground or create icons, then you have a classic - even with flaws. For a random example, look at Ferris Beuller's Day Off. Classic? yes. Flawless? No.
I would agree with the critiques so far. Several implausibilities, too many "convenience" plot points, dafoe goes unacceptably over the top in one scene and I could go on.

The good:
This movie has the iconic gay genius detective. Feel free to throw out another. I will wait. Agent Smecker is a singular character who delivers amazing lines after amazing lines. Were you listening to the dialogue?
His mockery of the other cops is priceless. "I am an expert in -name-yology" The serial crusher theory line from above. The line "well start the ass-kissing with you!" The character is badass right from the point where he introduces himself by flashing his badge and saying, thats who the f*** I am." he owns the screen.
This movie has amazing action sequences. The fight they get into which climaxes in the "I am not the rope-toting Charlie Bronson wanna-be that is getting is f****ng lost!" Is a hilarious set-up that then jolts the viewer in to a great shootout sequence. To top it off, when they mess with their friend who arrives after the scene the movie shifts seamlessly back to being hilarious.
This movie also deals head on with the vigilante theme. Few other films (although clearly others do as well, just pointing out it is not overtread ground) really take the characters all the way to the extreme and leave raw for the audience the question of whether an eye for an eye is justice. The films ending incorporates the "real" citizens of boston perfectly to drive this point home.
This movie has one-liners and punch-lines galore. The chekov line. anything said by the bartender who mixes cliches and had turrets. The shocked " you mean he was one guy with 6 guns and he was a senior freakin' citizen?" line. The self aware racist joke rocco tells. the "I'll tip her" line.

Bottom Line:
The good outweighs the bad and absolutely breaks enough ground to take this film into classic territory. Now, if you go in expecting a goodfellas like mob characterization or a seamless intricate plot, you will be disappointed, but those are improper expectations. This is an action film that mixes in comedic and moralistic elements and delivers those three elements in an unforgettable way with lines, music, and sequences that stay with you.
4 out 5 star classic.

Ralph Potts 02-20-2009 01:49 AM

Greetings,

Thanks to all for sharing your input.

I plan on hanging on to this one and will spin it again in the future...


Regards,

guerillaw 02-20-2009 08:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Thanks to all for sharing your input.

I plan on hanging on to this one and will spin it again in the future...


Regards,

Good to hear it Ralph. My "defense" of the movie was certainly that, and no attack on you. Keep these excellent reviews coming, we all appreciate them. I never miss reading one and have gained much from that habit. Great weekend to all.

Ripeer 02-20-2009 12:00 PM

I got to throw in my "I love this movie"
I don't where my DVD is, think I"ll pick this up

JE3146 02-20-2009 12:20 PM

I've found in my experience, this movie doesn't grow on people till the 2nd time viewing.

Thanks for the review Ralph!

Stix2 02-20-2009 03:50 PM

This movie is a great one. Loved it and plan on upgrading it to blue ray!!

etcarroll 02-21-2009 08:51 AM

Not a bad flick, much like Resevoir Dogs.

Having been born and raised in S. Boston, I always have an affinity for movies that purport to be shot there. I had to back up and rewatch the opening scene of the 'fly-over' starting with the old Edison yard, then the City Point section of Southie, and finally Boston Harbor beyond. I played sand-lot football at the park in that shot over 30 years ago.

And having been a jail officer at the old Charles St. jail, closed now many years, imagine my shock when I saw it's interior used as the 'prison' Billy Connolly's character was released from.

Dafoe, as always, is great.

But an Italian hitman with an English accent - that was a continuity jolt if ever one was heard in a movie.

The biggest little error for me, I drove my son nuts pointing out this error, the reporter standing outside the bar where a shooting occurrs identifies herself as being on Commonwealth Ave, which is a main Boston thoroughfare. Behind her, black squirrels frolick in the grass. Black squirrels are found farther north of Boston. The movie is shot mostly in Toronto, so the reporter was actually in Toronto. That scene just killed me. Go figure.....

But I did love Dafoe.

ericeash 02-21-2009 10:02 AM

one of my favorites that i never bought on dvd, i mainly rent blu-ray, but this will be a buy!

papamishka 02-22-2009 03:25 AM

Actually I think there was supposed to be a sequel?

Desert Pilot 02-22-2009 04:59 PM

We love this movie. It's more of a "cult" movie because it never had commercial success. Then Blockbuster bought a bunch of them and made it their "pick" of the week. All of a sudden it became very popular. So popular that a sequel is being made (all the original cast except Dafoe).

There are certain scenes that are just priceless (ie, the cat splat on the wall and Dafoe in drag). The end credits are great because of the pro/con vigilante interviews. Sometimes, you just like a movie "because."

Sorry you didn't like it Ralph. Sometimes there are films where it doesn't add up. And yet, it has appeal. This is one of those films.

Marcus

Vicious1 02-23-2009 12:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pilot View Post

There are certain scenes that are just priceless (ie, the cat splat on the wall and Dafoe in drag).
Marcus

Speaking of the cat splat, you ever notice in the following scene in the apartment when Rocco returns, the boys have tried to cover up the "splat" with what looks like just a single picture/page ripped from a magazine slapped right into the middle of the splat, doing little to cover or hide it. HAHAHA

Ralph Potts 02-23-2009 04:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pilot View Post

We love this movie. It's more of a "cult" movie because it never had commercial success. Then Blockbuster bought a bunch of them and made it their "pick" of the week. All of a sudden it became very popular. So popular that a sequel is being made (all the original cast except Dafoe).

There are certain scenes that are just priceless (ie, the cat splat on the wall and Dafoe in drag). The end credits are great because of the pro/con vigilante interviews. Sometimes, you just like a movie "because."

Sorry you didn't like it Ralph. Sometimes there are films where it doesn't add up. And yet, it has appeal. This is one of those films.

Marcus

Greetings,

Marcus, I didn't dislike The Boondock Saints. I just didn't strike me as a really good movie. As I stated I am going to give it another go. A film like this is easily worthy of a revisit....

Cheers,


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