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



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


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: June 14, 2011

"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 handsuntil 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:

My first experience with The Boondock Saints came when I reviewed it on Blu-ray Disc back in 2009. There were aspects of the film that I enjoyed but in the end it failed to resonate with me. This Truth & Justice Edition includes both the theatrical version and director's cut (which essentially have the same runtime with the theatrical version being five seconds shorter) so I thought I would give it another shot. After watching it my perspective unfortunately hasn't changed. Here are my comments from that original review:

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: 84

  • 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.

Comparing this audio/video presentation (both versions) to the original Blu-ray release yields no significant differences in the quality of the video or lossless surround mix. My overall impression is favorable and consistent with my original review although I have bumped up the audio rating slightly. Here are my thoughts from 2009:

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 appropriately 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:

  • Theatrical version & Unrated Director's Cut

  • Feature commentary with Director Troy Duffy

  • Audio commentary with Billy Connolly

  • (HD) *Exclusive* New Feature: Boondock Saints the Film the phenomenon - A 29 minute retrospective discussion that features Troy Duffy, Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus and David Della Rocco offering thoughts and reflections on the film/production.
  • 7 Deleted scenes

  • Outtakes - 1 ½ minutes

  • Theatrical trailer

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc

Final Thoughts:

The Boondock Saints is a film that has a decent concept that isn't executed to the fullest. It would be unfair to say that I dislike it because I think that its likeable characters and engaging action propel it along. The problem lies in the story itself which isn't cohesive enough to make it binding. Like the 2009 Blu-ray release its high definition presentation from 20th Century Fox is a good one that offers equally rewarding audio/video quality. In addition to the bonus material included from the earlier release this Truth & Justice Edition offers both the theatrical version and director's cut plus the all new The Boondock Saints: The film the phenomenon feature and a Digital Copy. For those who already own the original release the decision to upgrade will depend on your interest in seeing the director's cut (which changes little in my opinion), the new features, and digital copy. If you don't already own it and are considering a purchase this is the one to get.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

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Premium Member
890 Posts
Hi Ralph. As usual I concur with your overall rating and assessment. I DID enjoy the movie, but with a somewhat larger-than-normal suspension of disbelief required. Of course, that's the whole point of a movie.

I thought the acting was better than the script deserved, and the premise was interesting....just not completely thought through. In short, I tink this could have been a better movie, but could have been a lot worse, too.
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