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Pride and Prejudice (Restored Edition) (DVD Review)

Content Grade: A
Extras Grade: B

Specs:
US Release Date: 27 April 2010
Not Rated

Picture & Sound:
Working directly from original negatives, cutting edge technology has been used to create a picture that has been color-enhanced and completely digitally restored.  The result is a hi-def picture that is cleaner and richer than ever before.  Continue reading

April 24, 2010 Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (DVD Review)

Content Grade: B
Extras Grade: B

US Release Date: 9 March 2010
Rated R

It’s been ten years since we last saw The Saints.  Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) have disappeared from the public eye and are living the quiet life on a sheep farm in Ireland with their father (Billy Connolly) when they receive word that a priest has been brutally murdered in Boston.  Moreover, the priest has been posed in death and pennies placed over his eyes.  Someone is calling the boys out.  The only problem with the plan, their Da says, is that it worked.

Back in Boston, there are some familiar faces and some new ones.  Detectives Greenly (Bob Marley), Duffy (Brian Mahoney), and Dolly (David Ferry) are back on the case, unsure of where they’ll stand if their involvement in the courtroom climax of The Saints’ last spree were to leak.  They’ve got a new FBI lead on the case, too: Special Agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz), a woman handed the torch by the late Agent Smecker (Willem Defoe).  When the boys arrive back in town, they’ve also got a new recruit: Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr.), a scrappy Mexican who’s also a big fan.

If you’re not a fan of the first film, THE BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY isn’t going to pull out a wealth of new tricks to try to change your mind.  Fans will find a lot to love, and it’s apparent in every frame that this movie is meant for the fans.  The sequel mirrors the first film in much of its progression, ramping up the body count and cranking the film’s signature style up to 11.

Extras:

  • Commentary with Writer/Director Troy Duffy, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and Billy Connolly
  • Commentary with Writer/Director Troy Duffy and Willem Defoe
  • Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes – Wherein Clifton Collins Jr. compares Troy Duffy to Fellini.  I kid you not.
  • Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited
  • Merchandise/Games
  • Previews: HARRY BROWN (red band), DEFENDOR, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS

March 14, 2010 Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Troy Duffy Talks ALL SAINTS DAY (Interview)

I have been a big fan of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS ever since I caught the flick on TV somewhere close to a decade ago.  Whether it was Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus in secondhand peacoats (and second-rate Irish accents) or Willem Defoe‘s fey FBI agent or the unapologetically gratuitous violence or just the infinitely quotable script, it became one of those movies that I could watch whenever, for no reason.  And I’m not the only one.  In the past ten years, the film has reached a cult status and its sequel is a testament largely due to the faith of the fans.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to send a few brief questions to Troy Duffy and let him answer them at his leisure in anticipation of the release of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY, on DVD Tuesday, March 9, 2010.

The Film Brat: It’s been quite a journey from the first film to the sequel.  What has been the best part of that journey?

Troy Duffy: Actually making them.  That’s the most exciting thing for us.  We get to all be together, like kids in a candy store.

The Film Brat: You’ve added some great actors to your cast.  Can you talk a little bit about the casting process, particularly Julie Benz and Clifton Collins Jr.?

Troy Duffy: Julie just rocked her audition, and I saw that she was far more stunning than on “DEXTER”.  I felt a newness from her.  Someone I could show the world a different side of.  Cliffy, on the other hand, has been a friend of ours for more than a decade.  I wrote the role specifically for him.

The Film Brat: Love the open ending.  Should fans look forward to a holy trinity?

Troy Duffy: Got some ideas bopping around in there.  I would like to do some of my other scripts that I’ve written first.  But I got a good feeling about a potential three.

The Film Brat: Speaking of fans, what’s your reaction to the enormous fan base and their support?

Troy Duffy: Awe.  Not getting a theatrical [release] the first time around made it so the fans have to find it on their own.  Now it is personal to them.  Everywhere we go, fans come up and show us their BOONDOCK tattoos, tell us how they found it.  They know all the lines and every single frame of this film.  Makes you feel like you’re on cloud nine.

The Film Brat: Can you talk about any other projects you have on the horizon?

Troy Duffy: I am considering going out with one of two projects I have written.  The first is THE GOOD KING, a comedy black as a starless night at the bottom of the ocean.  Buddy picture set in the 1500′s.  The other is called THE BLOOD SPOON COUNCIL, a serial killer thriller.  (I’m a crime TV junky.)

The Film Brat: So, really, which MacManus brother was born first?  Any clues?

If you haven’t seen the extras on the first film’s DVD, you can check out the answer to that question here.  (Warning: It’s from an “unrated” release, and there’s both language and nudity.)  Troy’s answer was still the same as it would have been in the film 10 years ago, except this scene was deleted.  And I walked right into that one.  (Was hoping for a different clue, but ah well.)


March 8, 2010 Posted by | Interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Glee, Vol. 1: Road to Sectionals (DVD Review)

Content Grade: B+
Extras Grade: B

US Release Date: 29 December 2009
Not Rated

When the pilot episode premiered months before the show’s actual season would get underway – scheduled to coincide with the “AMERICAN IDOL” finale and pull in what studio execs may have assumed would be its core audience – it was unclear whether “GLEE” would be the musical dramedy that could succeed where others couldn’t.  (“VIVA LAUGHLIN” or “COP ROCK”, anyone?)  But a bajillion* downloads of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and 13 episodes later, and it seems creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy (“NIP/TUCK”) has found the magic formula.

“GLEE” follows a misfit group of high school kids who come together when high school Spanish teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) takes the reins of the defunct glee club.  The musical numbers (ranging from classic rock to hip-hop to country to Broadway and back again) are slickly produced, but not overly so; and I dare you to not have one song or another stuck in a giddy loop in your head after watching just one episode.  But it’s the broad strokes and the slowly revealed intricate details of the cast of characters that keeps you coming back and, most importantly, takes the song bursts past gimmick and plants them firmly into the category of storytelling device. Continue reading

February 14, 2010 Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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