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The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day(2009)
The MacManus brothers have been in deep hiding with their father, Il Duce. When word comes that a beloved priest has been killed by the mob, the brothers return and mount a violent and bloody crusade to bring justice to those responsible.
For more about The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day and the The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray release, see the The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 19, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly, Clifton Collins, Jr., Julie Benz, Peter Fonda
Director: Troy Duffy
» See full cast & crew
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray Review
This movie is wicked bad.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 19, 2010
This isn't rocket surgery.
They say good things come to those who wait. The "thing" is the sequel to the immensely popular cult classic The Boondock Saints, and "those" are its legions of fans eager for more from Writer/Director Troy Duffy, the man behind the original picture that made him something of a minor legend of filmdom. Unfortunately, The Boondock Saints II: All Saint's Day proves that, for once, anyway, truisms aren't always true. An excessively vulgar, poorly acted, lazily scripted, and altogether obnoxiously overlong movie-watching experience, this long-awaited sequel fails to live up to its predecessor in every way imaginable, and worse yet, it offers nothing that makes it a worthwhile picture in its own right. It's hard to classify everything that goes wrong in All Saints Day. The film is a sloth that moves about twice as slow as the second hand on an audience member's wristwatch, its action scenes are repetitive and few and far between, its dialogue unnatural and forced, its old characters a shell of their former selves, its new characters not at all memorable, and its structure haphazard and confused. The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is the perfect movie for zoning out; there's nothing here that's at all important, and the movie seems to play on a loop with only an occasional sprinkling of a new element to allow one part to stand out from another.
Brothers-turned-vigilantes Conner and Murphy MacManus (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus, reprising their roles from The Boondock Saints) have left the United States to lead a far simpler life in Ireland with their father Noah (Billy Connolly, also reprising his role). When word reaches the brothers that an innocent priest has been gunned down by a Saints copycat assassin in Boston, they cut their hair, trim their beards, and pick up their trademark Beretta pistols once again for some good old fashioned revenge. On the boat back to the States, they meet Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr., Sunshine Cleaning), a Mexican fan of the Saints' work who convinces them that he needs to become part of their team. The brothers-plus-one leave a swath of violence in their wake as they track down a killer that's believed to have murdered the priest as a ploy to get the brothers back on Western shores. On the case is FBI agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz, Rambo) who must not only work the crime scenes but reel in a trio of misfit local detectives, including the clueless Greenly (Bob Marley, another actor reprising his role from The Boondock Saints).
It's not that The Boondock Saints is the end-all, be-all of motion pictures, but it's a solid genre entry that's deserving of much of the praise it receives for its unique take on the classic tale of vigilantism, its collection of inspired performances, and many quotable lines. Director Troy Duffy burst out of the gate with a film that's rightfully remembered as a solid picture and an exceptional first effort, but his follow-up ten years after the fact never once captures even a hint of the same magic that made his debut film a winner. Both films emphasize style over substance, but All Saints Day goes a step further, eliminating substance from the equation completely in favor of a seemingly unintentional assault of flashy visuals and poorly-conceived and dreadfully-delivered chic dialogue that Duffy seems hellbent on shaping into the next Pulp Fiction (or The Boondock Saints, for that matter), but fails miserably in the process. The result is a movie that's disturbingly forced to the point that there's simply no fun to be had in this go-round. Duffy's latest effort tries far too hard to be hip, happening, and cool; it recycles the same jokes over and over again, both material that worked before but doesn't now, as well as new recurring gags that are only good for exercising the eyes with the old "roll back into the head" maneuver. Indeed, All Saints Day obscures whatever plot there is with its barrage of stale and unfunny material that even manages to lessen the series' trademark action-as-ballet sequences. Indeed, All Saints Day quickly devolves into a two-hour romp of nothing that's as boring as it is inconsequential.
Even the actors seem to realize that All Saints Day is a sequel pretty much in name only, and that the script calls for them to merely play caricatures of their former selves, or to have the new characters simply be caricatures of those figures from the first film that they're replacing. Yes, All Saints Day sometimes feels like one of those really bad Dance Flick or Meet the Spartans sort of cheap parodies that is this time setting its sights on The Boondock Saints. It's a strange sort of situation here, seeing a franchise self-destruct as quickly, messily, and painfully as it does with this film. It's bad enough to see and hear Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus bumbling around trying to do whatever it is that Duffy wanted to be done with this film, but the real sucker punch comes from Julie Benz and her terribly phony and harmlessly annoying Southern accent. She tries her hardest to channel Willem Dafoe's character from the first film while at the same time crafting her own unique personality, but neither one works either separately or in conjunction with one another. Every character both new and returning are overplayed and underdeveloped, with only Billy Connolly lending something of a calming and evenly-keeled performance amidst what's little more than a Boondock Saints-inspired circus act gone terribly awry.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day arrives on Blu-ray with an unremarkably solid 1080p, 2.35:1-framed transfer. The film is fairly drab and and a bit on the dark side, but that never hinders the level of fine detailing seen throughout the picture. Whether the opening overcast shots in Ireland or the rougher interiors that house the majority of the transfer, viewers will marvel at the realistic detail of everyday objects like woven sweaters, wooden crates, facial construction, and the like. The transfer's color palette isn't particularly vibrant but it does offer a solid rendering of every hue asked of it, no matter the filtering or lighting conditions employed in various scenes. Additionally, black levels are generally excellent, flesh tones retain a mostly neutral tone throughout, and no evidence of harmful tinkering in the transfer process is to be found. The print is expectedly free of dirt and blemish, save for a throwback-style sequence that's equal parts Grindhouse and Black Dynamite. Complimented by the retention of a fine layer of grain, The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day's transfer isn't going to wow seasoned Blu-ray watchers, but it's a solid experience through-and-through that makes for another fine example of Sony's high-quality handiwork.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day shoots up sound systems with a robust DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. While not a top-flight Action movie listen -- this one's a bit more reserved than some of the all-out sonic assaults found on discs like Terminator Salvation or District 9 -- All Saints Day delivers a heaping helping of sonic goodness from the first gunshot to the last. The film's trademark signature, obviously, comes from the prodigious shootouts that are littered about the film; the lighter reports of silenced Beretta pistols or the beastly bangs of a shotgun all deliver a shattering, hard-hitting cacophony of gunfire goodness that should bring a smile to every listeners' face, even when the movie itself fails to do so. All Saints Day's musical presentation is equally aggressive, with many of the tracks not only cranking out plenty of crisp and distinctive beats through the upper ranges, but also belting out a hefty low-end that adds even more pizzazz to this listening experience. Sony's DTS track also enjoys plenty of surround information. Action scenes are awash in back-channel information, and the track also yields a fair amount of atmospherics, distinctive effects, and musical support across the back two channels. Dialogue is generally clear and precise, though it can become lost under the more powerful action scenes and musical presentations. At the end of the day, The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day pounds out an upper-echelon but not quite reference-standard lossless soundtrack.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day delivers a quality selection of extras for this Blu-ray release, headlined by a pair of audio commentary tracks. The first features Writer/Director Troy Duffy and Actors Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and Billy Connolly. A fairly typical group commentary that manages to stay more off topic than on, the participants -- with plenty of adult language on tap -- talk about anything and everything, Boondock Saints related or not. A hyperactive, jovial, and barely coherent listen, fans of the talent might find a few giggles here, but those hoping for some tangible insight into the production need look elsewhere. Track two once again features Duffy, this time accompanied -- but not until partway through the track -- by Actor Willem Dafoe. A clearer and more coherent listen, Duffy begins by thanking the fans for making this film possible and goes on to talk about what makes a sequel good or bad, the film's plot, the various ideas that went into the story and the evolution from one film to the next, character traits and developments, his own personal approach to filmmaking as a writer/director, and much more. Dafoe's entry only helps this track and injects a bit of additional life into it just when it needs it. Of the two tracks, this is hands-down the better listen.
Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes (1080p, 25:49) offers a combination of raw behind-the-scenes footage and interview snippets with cast and crew who speak on the film, the acting, the characters, the process of shooting various scenes, and plenty more. Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited (1080p, 9:22) features the actor and the writer/director reminiscing about their Boondock Saints experiences. The Cast Confesses: Secrets From the Set (1080p, 7:13) takes a rapid-fire look at the world of The Boondock Saints with emphasis on the creation of the sequel, the new characters and tattoos as seen in the movie, and the camaraderie of the cast. Next up is Inside the Vault: The Weapons (1080p, 8:28), a piece featuring film armorer Charles Taylor showcasing the collection of firearms seen in both Boondock films. 'The Boondock Saints' Hit Comic-Con (1080i, 57:02) follows primary cast and crew members at the Comic-Con convention, with the bulk of the piece featuring a Q&A session with a room full of fans. Also included are two deleted scenes (480p, 2:38); BD-Live functionality; Sony's MovieIQ connectivity; and 1080p trailers for Black Dynamite, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, The Damned United, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Halloween II, "Breaking Bad," Snatch , Moon, Zombieland, and The Da Vinci Code.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Perhaps a sequel would have worked better when the original was still fresh in Writer/Director Troy Duffy's mind, but the ten-year layoff between films has yielded a picture in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day that just doesn't pass muster as a follow-up to one of the 1990's most audience-lauded cult classics. While the film retains some trademark Boondock action scenes, there's little else here of value. The characters are flat, the writing is horrendous, the pacing is lacking, and the film just tries far too hard to live up to its predecessor and ultimately falls flat on its face with practically every frame. Indeed, All Saints Day literally wears out its welcome before the first 15 or so minutes, and it's unfortunately one of the lesser movies of 2009 and one of the worst "most anticipated sequels" in generations. Nevertheless, fans can count on getting a great technical experience out of Sony's Blu-ray release. No surprise here, the studio has blessed the movie with a solid video presentation, a quality lossless soundtrack, and plenty of extras. Fans that have seen the film and want to purchase can lay their money down with confidence, but newcomers to All Saints Day -- even those familiar with the original The Boondock Saints -- should give this movie a rent before purchasing.
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The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - March 9th - March 9, 2010
Writer/director (and former bartender) Troy Duffy became a cult hero when The Boondock Saints was released, a film loved by fans for its intense action sequences, witty dialog, and an unforgettable performance by Willem Dafoe. Ten years later, Duffy released the ...
• The Boondock Saints II Announced and Detailed - January 21, 2010
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced 'The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day' for release on Blu-ray on March 9. This sequel to the cult crime movie 'The Boondock Saints' was made possible by the home video success of the first film. In it, the MacManus ...
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