The Boondock Saints
Fox Home Entertainment -
1999 - 110
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If you were to take a survey of ten of your friends, my guess would be that two or three of them will have heard of this movie. Unfortunate timing is what prevented The Boondock Saints from being widely released at the box office. Final production ended less than a month before the tragic shootings at Columbine, and destined this film to become a DVD cult classic as opposed to a box office smash. I guess we´┐Żll have to wait to see if Boondock II: All Saints Day materializes to find out what the box office draw will be.
This film takes place in a very Catholic, very Irish portion of South Boston. The film starts on the most Irish of all days: St. Patrick´┐Żs Day. After a bar fight with members of the Russian mob, our two protagonists Connor and Murphy McManus (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) are confronted the next morning by the same Russian thugs. After an intense fighting sequence--and the resulting death of the Russians--we meet FBI Agent Paul Smecker (played to perfection by Willem Dafoe). Agent Smecker is the very animated, very interesting character that is in charge of solving the murder.
After the run in with the Russians, the McManus brothers decide they´┐Żve done more good than harm, and turn themselves into religious vigilantes bent on killing all the ´┐Żbad guys´┐Ż in Boston. After knocking over a couple of key targets, they start to realize that they are pretty good at this line of work. But killing dozens of bad guys is hard work, so they team up with David Della Rocco (played by aptly named actor David Della Rocco). The trio continues their spree by knocking off Russian and Italian mobsters throughout the city.
While this film seems gruesome, it is actually not just a bullet-fest, but a truly brilliant film about the conflicts of religion vs. law. In following the trail of dead bodies, Dafoe´┐Żs character begins to relate to what ´┐Żthe Saints´┐Ż are doing, and finds himself understanding--though not quite condoning--their behavior. This amazingly clever performance by Willem Dafoe, combined with interesting editing (reminiscent of Memento), and a smart, funny screenplay, make The Boondock Saints a movie that will not disappoint.
The video is probably the only portion of this DVD that takes a bullet painfully in the stomach. The first let down is the fact that the transfer is non-anamorphic. Though the DVD is a little older, I don´┐Żt think that excuses it from conforming what has become the standard for video presentation. Colors overall are average, as are flesh tones. Contrast is a little off, and some of the darker scenes start to bleed off into obscurity. Though not what I would consider a gaping wound, the video on this film does suffer some blood loss when compared to all of the top-notch releases available on the format.
Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, The Boondock Saints will not let down the audiophile in your house. The surround speakers give the music an eerie feel, and are used in the gunfight scenes for bullet casings and ricochets. The subwoofer rattles with each gunshot, and is used extensively throughout the soundtrack. With the exception of some occasional muffling, the audio is clear and consistent throughout. There are no additional audio tracks, and only two subtitle choices.
I have to mention this is the first interesting director´┐Żs commentary I have ever listened to. Most of the time, fifteen agonizing minutes is enough, but for The Boondock Saints, I watched more than half of the movie with the director´┐Żs commentary turned on. There are also eight deleted/extended scenes, the theatrical trailer, two outtakes, and filmographies for the director and cast. The menus and transitions are also noteworthy. This disc is not loaded with extra features, but they are still impressive for an independent film.
The Boondock Saints is a very entertaining film that is probably one of my top ten favorite films. With a combination of action, humor, amazing acting, and clever editing, it is sure to be one of your favorites, too. Go buy it right now, really.
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