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A view on Blu-ray and DVD video by Leonard Norwitz

Boondock Saints II All Saints Day [Blu-ray]

 

(Troy Duffy, 2009)

 

 

 

 

 

Review by Leonard Norwitz

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Don Carmody/Chris Brinker

Blu-ray: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:57:31.044

Disc Size: 48,683,801,325 bytes

Feature Size: 31,828,027,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.87 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 30th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2821 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2821 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 2269 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2269 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Portuguese 2289 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2289 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Troy Duffy, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus & Billy Connelly

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Troy Duffy & Willem Dafoe

• Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes (25:30)

• Billy Connelly & Troy Duffy: Unedited (9:20)

• Inside the Vault: The Weapons (8:25)

• The Cast Confesses: Secrets from the Set (7:10)

• The Boondock Saints Hit Comic-Con (57:00)

• Deleted Scenes – SD/Ltbx (2:30)

• Movie IQ

• BDLive

• Trailers

 

 

The Film: 5
The original Boondog Saints movie, hails from 1999, also written and directed by Troy Duffy. It bombed at the box office and, famously, made millions on DVD – thus the sequel. Duffy was able to bring back Flanery & Reedus, the fighting fraternal twins, and Connelly as their "da", as well as Ferry, Mahoney and Marley as Detectives Dolly, Duffy and Greenly. Willem Dafoe's character, FBI Agent Paul Smecker, was laid to rest in the first movie. This time around, the FBI has sent Special Agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz), who seems to have a sixth sense about how crimes go down, which she recreates in her imagination with the help of her 4-inch Stilettos.

Joining Connor and Murphy (Sean Patrick Flanery & Norman Reedus) in the sequel is the sentimental Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr.), who can't get enough action any more than he can drive a fork lift in a straight line. Romeo makes absolutely clear that the sequel is a comedy, if the fake beards that the brothers sport as they tend sheep with rifles slung over their backs wasn't enough. Now that I think of it, nearly everyone in this cast of characters is played for laughs, even as they are spitting venom or being gunned down. Not least is Concezio Yakavetta (Judd Nelson), son of one of the gangsters dispatched by the saintly twins in the original movie, who tries to outmalaprop Samuel Goldwyn at every turn.

I felt the original movie to be a satire until about halfway into it when I thought Duffy was taking his material seriously for comfort – or maybe I was taking his effort too seriously. In All Saints Day his characters and the violence perpetrated in their names are about as cartoonish as you can get with live action figures. Some of the comedy works better than others. Collins' Romeo is always a riot; Benz is a scene-stealer, even when it's not clear what she's up to, which is probably why Duffy doesn't put her and Collins in the same frame very often. The script, which trumps up an excuse for the twins to return to Boston after ten years tending sheep in Ireland, makes little sense, but I suppose it's all just an excuse to smirk, crack wise, show off your tattoos, play with guns and do some gratuitous violence.

 

 

Image:8/9  NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The first number indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale. The second number places this image along the full range of DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Compared to the first movie, the sequel is darker in tone in terms of visuals, with some pretty nifty photography that the film hardly deserves, even if the action sequences are a mess. Contrast holds its own even when pushed beyond the edge for effect. Blacks are deep, if a little crushed at times, though shadows maintain detail in most scenes. Color is very good, indoors and out, popping nicely at times. I wasn't aware of transfer issues, DNR, edge-enhancement or ruinous artifacts.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music: 7/7
The DTS-HD MA 5.1, a mite better than Fox's mix for the original movie on Blu-ray finds a good balance between clarity and bang, with clean dialogue, even when muttered or shouted in mid-mayhem. The surrounds are involved and splashy, but not especially involving, nor as interested in precision of locational cues and pans as I've heard elsewhere, but it's aggressive as expected and quite serviceable.

 

Operations: 8
After a few forced, if skippable, previews, Sony settles down with one of the better menu designs I've seen in a while with readable windows that detail the extra features that require a minimum of scrolling. The chapter search has expandable thumbnails (I fail to see why this isn't S.O.P.) and a time line.

 

 

Extras: 7
Reedus and Flanery make up for their absence on the original's movie's commentary track with free-wheeling jabs and dodges that turns their commentary into a kind of laugh track much in the spirit of the movie. The more sober track – the one that intends to inform rather than assault – is the other one commandeered by Duffy with an assist from Willem Dafoe, who joins him about an hour into the movie. Charles Taylor acts as curator for the firepower used in the movie "Inside the Vault." The Cast Confessions have an off-the cuff feel to them; the conversation between Duffy and Connelly even more so.

 

 

Bottom line: 6
I truly didn't expect to enjoy this movie as much as I did, despite that it's really not very good. I say: Let's hear it for low expectations, and echo A.O. Scott's verdict: "See it drunk." A year from now, if I decide to watch this movie again, I can see myself saying: "What were you thinking!" Rent it first.

Leonard Norwitz
March 14th, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: I first noticed that some movies were actually "films" back around 1960 when I saw Seven Samurai (in the then popular truncated version), La Strada and The Third Man for the first time. American classics were a later and happy discovery.

My earliest teacher in Aesthetics was Alexander Sesonske, who encouraged the comparison of unlike objects. He opened my mind to the study of art in a broader sense, rather than of technique or the gratification of instantaneous events. My take on video, or audio for that matter – about which I feel more competent – is not particularly technical. Rather it is aesthetic, perceptual, psychological and strongly influenced by temporal considerations in much the same way as music. I hope you will find my musings entertaining and informative, fun, interactive and very much a work in progress.


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