directed by Shane Meadows
United Kingdom 2004

 

God will forgive them. God will forgive them for what they have done, and he will allow them into heaven.

I can't.


Following the critical acclaimed “24/7”, the beautiful touching “A Room for Romeo Brass” and the dismissible “Once upon a Time in the Midlands”, Shane Meadows wrote this story of “revenge of the heart” with friend Paddy Considine (of “In America”). It is a pure elegy, a Greek tragedy, a moral tale of crime and punishment, set in the Derbyshire, and as all his films, it notes upon a touch of autobiography.

Growing up, Meadows became part of a skinhead gang, and as he tells us in the documentary, at 11 he was so entranced by violence, that his goals were to go to prison. However fate had it’s way and after witnessing uncontrolled pure violence first hand, he began to move away from the gang. It is this duality in man, this on one side ability to be horrible violent, on the other side compassionate, which is the centre of this stunning film.

Returning from a seven year stretch in the army, Richard (Paddy Considine) discovers that his simple-minded brother, Anthony (Toby Kebbell) has been (ab)used as a pet by the local gang leader Sonny (Gary Stretch). Richard thus openly declares war on those who participated, killing them one by one.

Without going into more details about the story, as it would ruin the conclusion, this is not a tale about vigilantism, but about “the revenge of the heart”. While we live in a civilised society, some crime are so horrible and so close personally, that our hearts take over our minds, and while most men won’t react upon it, Meadows here brings us a tale of a man who does.

Richard literary becomes an avenging angel, killing them off one by one, putting them thru the suffering they inflicted on his brother. The story echoes the moral structure of a Greek elegy, as this is not a tale about revenge, but about morality and punishment.

In all of Meadows films, there is an undercurrent of the same frustration which runs in the films of Ken Loach, but Meadows lacks the political statements. Instead, Meadows is sort of a working class humanist, and while he still needs polishing, in terms of skill, his voice is clear.

Paddy Considine may at first seem as an odd choice to play the lead, as one would assume a more macho character, but he quickly puts all doubts to the ground and emerges as the embodiment of Meadows motif, compassionate on the one side, ice cold on the other. A truly great performance.

With “Dead Man’s Shoes”, Meadows has made one of the best British films of recent years, a haunting elegy.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 20, 2004 (Edinburgh International Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

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Distribution

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:26:30
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.74 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English, 5.1 Dolby Digital English
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Shane Meadows, Paddy Considine and Mark Herbert
• In Shane's Shoes: Documentary (23:58)
• Graphic Novel animation (1:41)
• Deleted scenes (27:06)
• - Paddy and the kids (7:13)
• - The tyre sequence (2:02)
• - The first murder (3:10)
• - Parmesan cheese (6:07)
• - Alternative Ending (8:34)
• Short film: Northern Soul (26:03)
• Trailer (1:38)
• What you sitting on: Danger Mouse & Jemini music video (3:30)

DVD Release Date: March 21, 2005
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Chapters 16
 

 

 

 

 

Comments The transfer is flawless. While the image is a bit soft, there are basically no artefacts visible.

The sound comes both as a 2.0 Dolby Digital and a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. While the film is very center based, there are a few scenes where rears are noticed.

The DVD is packed with additional material.

First, a commentary track with director Shane Meadows, actor Paddy Considine and producer Mark Herbert. It is a very casual, very "matey", commentary track, ranging from serious discussions about the film to joking comments. Very entertaining and informative. I wonder how many beers they had during the session.

The programs start out with a nice very personal production featurette, where Shane Meadows talks about his background and the background for the film, then showing some behind the scenes footage and finishing off with the premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Then almost 30 minutes of deleted and alternative scenes, which allow us to see how a scene got tightend, by comparison. Great deleted footage.

Next comes Shane's 2004 mockumentary about a geek wanting to be a wrestler. Starring Toby Kebbell, who also plays Anthony in "Dead Man's Shoes", this is a quirky little short film, which really shows how fucked up Shane's humour is.

To round it all off, a music video by Danger Mouse and Jemini.

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 





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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

 

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