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

Film:


Extras:


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:


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:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 82


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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

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





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.














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
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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

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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.
 

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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
 

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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!!

 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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interesting review Ralph, thanks.


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

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD /forum/post/15863930


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,
 

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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.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts /forum/post/15864144


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........
 

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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
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen /forum/post/15862094


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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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,
 
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