Three years after the theatrical edition made its bow on Blu-ray, the director's cut of The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day was released today in a 2-disc edition that will be a Best Buy exclusive for the next several months before heading into general release. Although the shorter, leaner theatrical cut is arguably the better film, the director's cut adds an additional 27 minutes to what was already a good thing.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DTS, Other
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 2 Hr. 24 Min.(Director's Cut), 1 Hr. 57 Min. (Theatrical)
Package Includes: Blu-ray
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 07/16/2013
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is the follow-up to the uber-violent 1999 film starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and Willem Dafoe. The MacManus brothers (Flanery and Reedus) have left Boston behind following the end of the first film and are keeping a low profile in Ireland with their father, Il Duce(Billy Connolly). When the brothers hear that a copycat killer is making efforts in Boston to frame them and smear their good names, they return to bring their unique brand of justice to the responsible parties. A new ally (Clifton Collins, Jr.) joins up with the brothers to help them on their way. The brothers also find a new ally in FBI Special Agent Susan Bloom(Julie Benz) who is a protégé of Agent Smecker, played in the original by Dafoe. Judd Nelson plays the new head of the Yakevetta crime family, which has a bone to pick with the MacManus Brothers.
The Production Rating: 4/5
The original Boondock Saints, as well as this sequel, have acquired a cult following in the years since their original premiere. Writer/Director Troy Duffy returns here as writer and director of the sequel. At risk of offending fans of the original film, I found that film to be schizophrenic in tone; it could not decide if it was trying to be realistic and serious, or quirky, and it ended up being a little bit of both. Although the same could be said of this sequel, I enjoyed this film more than the original.
The Boondock Saints II succeeds where the original failed by not taking itself so seriously. The hardcore violence and other elements that marked the original film are fully present in this sequel, but by casting aside the first film’s pretensions of verisimilitude, this sequel succeeds in surpassing the original film for entertainment value.
This director's cut gives us more of a good thing with 27 minutes of footage integrated back into the film as well as some new special features. The theatrical cut is on one disc, and the special features included on that disc are the same special features included in the 2010 Blu-ray release, including the commentaries, although the menu has been updated to match the menu on the director's cut disc. The director's cut disc includes the commentaries, as well as some new special features.
Both cuts of the film are presented in 1080p high definition in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The picture quality and fine detail are excellent. Film grain is minor and there are no compression artifacts to mar the presentation. Edge enhancement and DNR do not appear to be notably present in any scenes. The transfer of the theatrical cut seems to be the same transfer of the 2010 Blu-ray version, which is fine since you do not fix what is not broken. The video quality of the director's cut is of the same high quality.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
The English 5.1 DTS-HD MA tracks make full use of every speakers with more than the average amount of deep bass. Directional audio is well employed and the ambient sounds make you feel like you are there, even when firearms are not blazing. This is reference or near reference quality audio.
Audio Rating: 4/5
New special features have been included with this 2-disc edition, and the special features from the 2010 disc have been ported over to this version. The commentaries are on both the theatrical and director's cut discs. The special features include all of the following:
Special Features Rating: 4/5
Feature Commentary: Writer/director Troy Duffy and stars Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and Billy Connolly provide an engaging feature length commentary.
Feature Commentary: Willem Dafoe collaborates with writer/director Troy Duffy on this alternate commentary track.
Deleted Scenes (2:38): This consists of 2 brief scenes.
Unprecented Access: Behind The Scenes Featurette (25:49): This is an interesting documentary about production of the film.
Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited (9:22): This feature appears to have been filmed on the set with Connolly and Duffy bantering back and forth.
The Cast Confesses: Secrets from the Set (7:13): Cast and crew provide brief comments on making the film.
Inside The Vault: The Weapons (8:28): Head Armorer Charles Taylor discusses the decisions made in selecting certain firearms for the film and demonstrates some of the hardware.
The Boondock Saints Hit Comic-Con (57:02): This featurette includes the full presentation from Comic Con International 2009 attended by Duffy, Flanery, Reedus, and Connolly.
The special features new to this edition include the following:
Back To Boondock (20:51): The filmmakers and cast give us a guide to preproduction on this sequel.
Saints Off Script (19:34): Behind the scenes footage of cast and crew during production.
A brief memorial to producer Chris Brinker is also included on the director's cut disc with footage of Brinker and Troy Duffy.
Some fans of the original film will inevitably be disappointed by The Boondock Saints II. This reviewer is not one of them, since I enjoyed this film much more than the original. This sequel succeeds in discarding the weak elements of the original film while retaining the parts that made the first film stand out. Willem Dafoe’s performance in the first film was terrific, and one wishes that his character had returned to play prominently in this film, however, I enjoyed this film in spite of that fact. The video and audio qualities of this 2-disc Blu-Ray edition are excellent, and both discs include a wealth of special features. If you like your action movies to be hardcore, then The Boondock Saints II Director's cut comes recommended as part of your video library.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewed By: Timothy E
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