Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

Even as a still photo this is in slow motion.

I have to admit I don’t really get the Boondock Saints. Haven’t seen it since it first hit video, but I remember it just being kind of a shitty Guy Ritchie/post-Tarantino wannabe tough guy movie. It just seemed delusionally confident about how cool it was. It probly had some good bits here or possibly there, but it mostly seemed to me like some guys saying unconvincing macho lines and then some techno music comes on and the camera rotates around. It’s like an applause sign lights up that just says “AWESOME!” on it and you’re supposed to take its word for it.

headoftheclassI mean jesus, the fuckin guy who replaced Howard Hesseman for the last season of Head of the Class is supposed to be cool because you give him sunglasses and guns? What the fuck is that? I’ll tell you what it is, it’s what dumb motherfuckers decided after they saw Travolta in PULP FICTION and thought they understood the magic formula. Yeah, yeah, it’s the guy who replaced Howard Hesseman on the last season of Head of the Class. But what if he was… a hitman? Am I blowing your mind? Am I reinventing the guy who replaced Howard Hesseman on the last season of Head of the Class? This is the ’90s, this is the New Crime Cinema, get with the program. Did I mention he can hold the guns sideways? Well he can. Now do you understand what I’m talking about?

Okay, I know, that’s strictly an American point of view. In his homeland Billy Connolly’s not known for the declining year of a cheesy ’80s sitcom, he’s known as a standup comedian. So it’s totally different. He’s not a sitcom teacher, he’s this guy:


See, he’s not Howard Hesseman. He’s Howie Mandel. Now he’s old and grey and bearded, he looks like a homeless guy dressed up as Neo, and that’s what the movie has to offer as the ultimate badass. Also, he has a huge tattoo of a butterfly on his hand. (or is that supposed to be a re-entry stamp?)

I don’t get it. Nothing against Connolly, he’s a likable actor, and maybe his standup is good. But this character is a good metaphor for the movie. He clearly thinks he looks cool as hell. He must know something we don’t?

I’ve seen worse action/crime movies than BOONDOCK SAINTS, but mostly I’ve seen better. So it almost seemed like some kind of vindication when I saw that documentary OVERNIGHT and found out BOONDOCK writer/director Troy Duffy is a Guinness Book of World Records worthy asshole. The Weinsteins bought his screenplay and plucked him from bartending to become their new wonderboy, and he decided the next day that he was Francis Ford Coppolla multiplied by Stanley Kubrick divided by all of the Rolling Stones. He was such an impossibly arrogant shitbag that even the Weinsteins had to disavow him like a CIA assassin that blew his cover overseas.

Not only is OVERNIGHT a good cautionary tale, it’s also a hilarious movie full of some of the greatest poser tough guy talk ever captured on film. If anything that’s the beloved character I’m excited to have back on screen: that hilarious asshole Troy Duffy. So I was pleased to see he has a couple gems on the behind the scenes featurettes for part 2. I wish I had time to listen to his 2 (two) commentary tracks.

mp_boondocksaints2When we last left our beloved Boondock Saints, they were doing something in Boston I think, involving guns or action. They were wearing black. There were two of them, I believe. The Boondock Saints have no names, they are only known as Boondock Saints #1 (Sean Patrick Flannery, the one with unconvincing Irish accent) and Boondock Saints #2 (Norman Reedus from BLADE II, the one with the more subdued unconvincing Irish accent). Now, eight years later, the consequences of whatever it was they were doing then maybe have come home to roost or something. (?)

Honestly I have no clue. It’s hard to say because I saw the movie about ten years ago and since then have experienced these characters and stories only through the medium of hoodie.

boondockhoodieThe point is they now have American Taliban beards and live in a quaint little cottage in Ireland with their dad (Billy Connolly, who I thought was Scottish). But back in Boston some dude killed a priest and put pennies on his eyes, so everybody thinks the Boondock Saints did it (were they priest murderers in the first one? I don’t remember that). They know it’s a trap but they go back anyway and kill the people involved while saying prayers and stuff.

(anybody know what this Catholic assassin business is all about? Is it supposed to be a critique of perceived hypocrisy on Catholic theology? or is it just supposed to make it aaaaweeeesome for Catholics to watch? I don’t really get this part either.)

Judd Nelson, imitating Al Pacino, plays a crime boss who mostly hides inside a panic room and talks over closed circuit TV (kind of a cool idea). I liked when he was yelling at everybody and used the word “reconnoiter.” Julie Benz from RAMBO and PUNISHER: WAR ZONE replaces Willem Dafoe as an FBI agent on their tail. She does a Southern accent ten times worse than their Irish accents, and I don’t understand why. The only time it seems relevant that she’s from the South is one part where she says some folksy thing about a pig. (You know how Southern people are, they say cute things like “y’all are as clumsy as a cow playin marbles” or “He’s like a sheep confusing Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for Hank Williams, Sr.”) But I figure if she has to do the accent then you get a different actress; if it has to be this actress then you don’t make her do the accent. Should be pretty easy. If he just picked one of those two things it would’ve worked.

Poor Clifton Collins Jr. becomes the comic relief sidekick. Apparently he’s friends with Duffy, so I’m sure he wanted to do it and had fun. But I still feel sorry for him being in this and CRANK 2 in the same year. And those were probly seen by ten times as many people as saw him in EXTRACT. But oh well, he generally rises above the movies, he’s pretty likable.

Meanwhile the dad sits home in the little cottage staring at various objects that can segue into flashbacks about his old timey GODFATHER PART II childhood. Since the filmatist is an egomaniac making a movie for worshipful fans I knew there was a very good chance that this would not turn out to have any significance at all, it could just be that he figures everybody loves this character and wants to know some background. Fortunately it turns out to be leading to the climax of the movie (where the dad leaves the house) but along the way Duffy manages to show us the making of the leather vest with the holsters on the front that he looked so “cool” wearing in the first movie. Because that was important to know.

Then there is a HUGE surprise where the FBI agent admits she’s assigned to help them, not catch them (SPOILER). But these other cops who I guess were in the first one who I guess are also helping them get away with their murders don’t know that she knows that they’re in on it so they all go to a bar and squirt water on each other and laugh and say “You mean you knew all along?” I don’t really get this part either, why we watched the whole section of the story before this which is now meaningless. Whoops.

Okay, the story makes no sense (just wait until you get to the “mindblowing” cliffhanger ending) but it’s supposed to be a goofy action movie, let’s just look at the action scenes. The good news is Duffy’s stuck in the ’90s, so there’s none of the shakycam or Michael Bay/Tony Scott editing. The bad news is that the Boondock Saints have some kind of magic gun powers where almost all of the gun battles go exactly the same: Boondock Saints stand stationary next to each other firing in one direction, 5-10 bad guys stand across the room firing back at them, Boondock Saints hit all of the bad guys, bad guys do not hit any of the Boondock Saints. Sometimes they play a little trick to set up the bad guys (they make a guy strip to his bikini and shit his pants and then leave him on a cart with a message painted on his back) just so they can then say “You’re fucked!” and wait for them to turn around and aim all of their weapons and then they use their magic gun powers to defeat them. (I’d skip the pants-shitting part and just sneak up behind them. But I’m not Catholic.)

Another thing is it actually has a couple bullet-time-esque camera rotations. In the year 2009. So adorable.

At the end poor Peter Fonda shows up, apparently having burned through his check from GHOST RIDER. By this time I had lost track/interest of who he was supposed to be, but I learned from the DVD extras that he’s called “The Roman” and that Duffy thinks the audience will be “filled with righteous anger” toward him when he shows up but then when he starts talking we’re almost won over by him. So yes, if you were wondering, Troy Duffy has seen KILL BILL VOLUME 2.

I guess the heart of this movie would be the dream sequence where a character who apparently was their sidekick who died in the first one, although he doesn’t look familiar to me at all, appears to them in a dream to make a big speech about how they are not being macho enough. He appears in a hockey rink and on a roof talking about how “these are hard men, doing hard things, and it gives me a hard on.” It made me a little embarrassed to have a dick, but Duffy explains on the featurette that “in my opinion it became a manifesto” for blue collar men who have never had a chance to be represented in movies before, not even in the movie BLUE COLLAR. Or PAUL BLART IS: MALL COP. In the manifesto the longhair talks about how real men don’t cry, so it’s ironic that Duffy wipes a tear away while talking about what a powerful and important scene he created.

So no, I would not consider this to be any better than part 1, although I guess I got a little more of a kick out of it because it’s even further off the mark. On the other hand, it tries to be more nudge-nudge, wink-wink, with the characters talking about being “the sidekick,” coming up with catch phrases, trying to think of “creative” ways to attack, and in that sense it’s kind of more tedious. Unfortunately I can’t give Boondock Saintheads any advice because I have no clue if this will seem good to them or not. The only evidence I have is: one guy I never heard of gave it a positive review and gave away tickets to two screenings of it on Ain’t It Cool (and is quoted on the ad). Otherwise I’ve heard that fans were disappointed.

So you can’t learn much from this review, but maybe I can learn something from it. Here is a summary of a few of the things I don’t get:

1. The whole “BOONDOCK SAINTS” thing.
2. Why is Billy Connolly with guns supposed to be badass
3. what’s the deal with having a butterfly tattoo on his hand. And did he steal it from some girl’s lower back
4. Catholic?
5. Southern accent?
6. squirting water at bar

can’t wait for part 3.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 at 12:42 am and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

178 Responses to “Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day”

  1. Suddenly I’m scared of the South all over again. Do IMDB Haters have pretty mouths? This is truly a historical documentation of a poster with show times.

    I will not refute this!

  2. Classic review Vern. You made me laugh out loud in the office with “It made me a little embarrassed to have
    a dick.” The appearance of Billy Connelly in any movie (other than perhaps Fido) isn’t considered a good thing over here
    in the UK. He’s a great stand-up but not known for good film roles. He also got into a lot of hot water a few years back when he suggested that
    a British hostage in Iraq should hurry up and die already and put everyone out of their misery.

    Boondock Saints never made much of an impact over here. I remember reading an interesting review of it over
    at AVCLUB which basically killed off any curiosity I had. The sequel isn’t doing anything for me and I have
    enough movies to watch which don’t have such delusions of grandeur.

  3. Hey Vern go easy will ye ….the poor Catolicks need something to believe in now that all their priests have been exposed as kiddie fiddlers.

  4. @Gwai Lo

    FUCK YEAH. The Stoned Age is so great.

  5. I never got the Boondock Saints thing, either. The only reason I watched it was it came as a bonus disc when I rented Overnight and I was curious to see what kind of film such a colossal asshole would make. And it turns out, he would make, as Vern points out, a really shitty post-Tarantino crime film.

    Lots of people like it, though. Weird.

    Very funny review, Vern. Made me laugh quite a few times. But I think I’ll give this one a miss.

  6. As a Catholic, and lover of people getting shot in movies I think I can shed a bit of light on this phenomenon.

    Basically lots of Catholics make violent movies. Back in the seventies you had Pauline Kael writing about The Catholic Imagination which was all about how nice Catholic boys, like Scorsese, Coppola and Altman where now making movies in which people where getting shot in the face. She wrote about how it was the influence and pageantry of the church combined with the violence and blood imagery of the Bible itself which the Protestants, Baptists and other sects where downplaying at the time. (This has somewhat reversed as now you have these Evangelicals handling snakes and screaming about how Gay Rights Caused the Earthquake in Chile. Now wearing a robe and swinging incense doesn’t seem that exotic).

    So basically you have filmmakers trying the same shit in the 90’s and Aughties. Either because they’re Catholic and not as smart as their forebearers because the Jesuits have been slackin. But because they’re Catholic they want to add some gravitas to people getting shot in the face. To a Catholic, nothing adds gravitas more then some Catholicism, therefore you add it it in and bam your movies serious and awesome. Or so the theory goes.

    Or because they’re trying to copy what Scorsese and Coppolla and the like where doing with their motifs of ritual and sacrifice and have no understanding of the Theology behind it.

    I have to admit I’m not completely immune to the joy of watching my spiritual brethern being unholy badasses. Not The Boondock Saints of course, I like good movies. ButI can’t deny I get one hell of a charge from Gangs Of New York, which you might as well subtitle “Catholics Kicking Ass”, Martin Sheen in The Depahted also comes to mind. But also in flicks like Gone Baby Gone and State Of Play.

    The common thread of course is that these films manage to tap into the real undercurrents of the Catholic church the same way Scorsese did (This is less surprising in the one’s Scorsese made). Drawing their power from the way life forces the heroes to compromise their morality while doing the best they can to look themselves in the mirror in the morning. Not because latin sounds cool when your shooting someone in the back of the head.

  7. Also I have to bow down to the greatness of the line “I have only experienced these characters in hoodie form since.” Amen brother.

  8. for a few seconds, this place was Armageddon


  9. Saw this at the dollar theater to laugh at it. But I bought my ticket at a kiosk so no one would know I was seeing it. At least the terrible original had Willem Dafoe’s gay cop going for it. I’d like to see that son of a bitch get his own spin-off. Did anyone notice Flannery’s puffy face? Looked like he’d been injected with botox.

  10. Catholics kicking ass? Time for some divine intervention!


  11. Also, any film with Billy Connolly tends to shoot straight to one of the one-week-rental shelves of Blockbusters over here in the UK quicker than a bullet from one of these bozo’s guns. I’m not entirely sure why. He can occasionally be a funny chap and he’s quite a likeable guy, but when it comes to films he is a jinx. Looking through his back-catalogue, you have to go way back to something half-decent, I suppose he made that Queen Victoria film years and years ago, and before that he did the bare-knuckle boxing film with Liam Neeson, but that was a full twenty years ago.

    To be fair, at least they didn’t put Rowan Atkinson in a pair of shades with guns blazing.

  12. Jesus Vern, how did you sniff out that youtube clip?

    I heard this movie opens with the Bonedocks back in Ireland hunting wolves – can anyone confirm or deny this? I’d be pretty psyched to hear we do have wolves here after all…

  13. That’s like 101 Dalmations having racoons in the Home Counties.

  14. Thank you, Vern. I was just trying to explain to somebody why, even though I like a lot of shitty movies, Boondock Saints is not an acceptably shitty movie to like. It’s basically the ultimate poseur. It’s like Sean Bean in Ronin. It’s talking the talk, but it has no idea how ridiculous it looks to people who actually walk the walk.

    By the way, anybody else notice that a lot of women like the first movie? I think it’s because they don’t realize (or care) how un-tough the movie is and only notice the two skinny shirtless boys with the accents and tattoos who act all gaybones for each other all the time. A lot of chicks dig that, the way a lot of guys like it when two chicks make out. Probably not the effect Duffy and his legion of Duffalos were shooting for, but it’s something I’ve observed.

  15. Liked the first one when it came out, but HATED the sequel, especially that female cop character with her annoying accent. The only thing that kept me hanging on till the end was me hoping they would explain what the hell happened to Sean Patrick Flanery’s face. But no such luck.

  16. I think the most annoying thing about BOONDOCK SAINTS is the way Duffy fetishizes his Boston Irish Catholic culture. It’s like some weird love note to himself and his friends. The whole movie is like… isn’t it hilarious that these guys like to drink a lot? Isn’t Catholic imagery cool? Don’t you just worship how working class and un-PC they are? Ha ha.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but I seem to recall that the film opens with a scene of them getting into a fight with a stereotypical militant lesbian at work. And the premise of the whole scene is like… look at these awesome guys cut through her aggressive liberal dyke-iness with their no-bullshit Irish Catholic attitude. Except that the only place a lesbian like that exists is in Troy Duffy’s mind.

    There’s a certain American myth the to hard drinking, Irish Catholic badass that’s still fairly prevalent in our pop culture (tv’s RESCUE ME, THE DEPARTED), but it’s never really appealed to me.

    I didn’t hate the BOONDOCK SAINTS, I seem to recall some funny and clever parts, but it seems more like a movie for teenage boys who buy into the myth of Boston Irish cool and listen to Dropkick Murphys. I have no desire to ever check out the sequel.

  17. You want irish guys killing people in a film that’s dark, but also funny? Review IN BRUGES, Vern! Though there’s far less of the killing in that.

  18. Stu – Hey I got a brand new thing to pitch to Vern that he needs to see but obviously hasn’t been encouraged enough around here to go check out.


  19. biomechanical bell end

    March 10th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I just wish hollywood would start using irish actors to play irish characters, hearing an american put on an oirish accent just makes me cringe. Although i must admit Liam Neeson’s attempts at an american accent are pretty fuckin horrendous.

  20. It’s a matter of exposure: most Irish actors can do a pretty decent American accent because they’ve been brought up watching American films and television, while the reverse is, for the vast majority, not the case. From an Irish point-of-view, almost every ‘Oirish’ accent is akin to the Southern accent that Julie Benz does in BD2: SAINT’S ALIVE! There’s a rogue’s gallery of Brad Pitt, Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Cruise, Dennis Hopper…

    In fairness, it’s not really limited to Americans. Gerard Butler’s Irish accent in P.S. I LOVE YEH is incomprehensibly strange.

    There’s some American actor who does a really good go at an Irish accent, but I can’t for the life of me remember who it is…

  21. Okay, Vern…watch IN BRUGES! And THE WIRE! It’s got a character in it so bad he’s got “more bodies on him than an chinese cemetary”.

    Why do Irish Americans always get depicted as ridiculously patriotic for a country they’ve never even been to? Like, you could play a brain-damage inducing drinking game with Rescue Me where you take a shot every time Denis Leary mentions the fact he’s irish.

  22. Because that’s what Irish Americans are like. I know plenty of people who are like 85% Polish, 15% Irish, but they think they wake up licking the Blarney Stone every morning. I don’t get it either, but it’s true.

  23. Somehow get the feeling that Troy Duffy is about to become the next Dave The Demon.

    You nailed it, Majestyk. “Because that’s what Irish Americans are like.” It’s just fundamental to their existence.

  24. biomechanical bell end

    March 10th, 2010 at 11:06 am

    @ Jam – I think Justin Theroux in Charlies Angels: Full Throttle is the biggest offender, hilariously bad. McG once again pushing the boundaries of what is possible!

    Neeson’s hillbilly in Next of Kin was probably his best effort, but then he’s from ballymena, thats the irish equivalent of alabama!

  25. AncientRomans – If we bash Troy Duffy enough, he’ll come by. I guarantee it.

    So Mr. Duffy, 1995 called. It wants its crappy Tarantino clone back.

  26. Anyone else expect the car to be full of whooping maniacs when the video started? But he’s alone. Weird.

    Also, no idea how to pronounce that guy’s town. It’s Albany, right? But it sounds alternately like Albini, Alvidi, and Albiti.

  27. Fun fact (And I haven’t done that in a while): The German title for “Boondock Saints” is “The Bloody Path Of God” (“Der blutige Pfad Gottes”).

  28. Jareth Cutestory

    March 10th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    It’s about time someone named a town after Steve Albini. Somewhere hip, crisp, clear, unadorned and, most importantly, loud.

  29. Jareth Cutestory

    March 10th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    CJ Holden: Was the sequel called BLOODY PATH OF GOD 2: THE PATH NOT TAKEN?

  30. Jareth: No, I just checked (didn’t know it’s already out here [because I don’t care]) and It has no subtitle. Just “Der blutige Pfad Gottes 2”.

  31. Justin Theroux’s best line in Charlie’s Angels: Cool Ranch: “I’m gewin’ teh taich yew end yer frenns abou’ peein’.”

  32. What really bugged me about this is was all of it. Had too watch it twice to realise that in nigh on 10 years the director couldn’t come up with something that improved on the original. (Or even added to the story, saga, epic, whatever the fuck he thinks he creating)

    Also thought that one of the Saints faces looked weird, like he had got to much into the role and spent the last 10 years drinking to maintain continuity.

    Don’t even get me started on the ‘quaint’ take on Ireland, has he ever been there ?

    I mean, Irish people i know seem to be normal, not many of them have spoken about having to shower out doors, or shave in the barn, or live with their father in what looks like a one room hut with a stash of cash buried outside.

  33. This review was a bit fragmented, I think. Maybe you were inspired by the movie, if it’s that bad. Are you playing dumb on the not-getting-hit part of the plot as flame bait, or did you seriously not get it?

    The first was one of the few – and therefore good – supernatural action films that actually work. The part around the firefight that griff referred to, where you started to piece the “saint”-bit together with the way they kept succeeding in spite of obvious lameness, was very good. I have a hard time seeing how a sequel could work though. Sort of like a “superman fights bum part 2” film would have to be very inventive to be interesting for 1½ hour.

  34. Thank you Vern. I usually don’t have the words (or the allowance) to express my dislike of this “franchise.” I work at a Movie Gallery, and 90% of the people that ask for that movie have the accent of the fella from the video.

  35. You know what guys I wanna use this opportunity to give thanks to Julie Benz, she’s a consistently decent actress and seems to constantly pop up in genre films/TV (Rambo, Punisher:War Zone, Saw, Dexter), often ones that are more aimed at guys and sometimes lacking anything close to a decent female character. I’m sure she just does it for the cash, but I still think she deserves thanks and credit where credit is due for becoming the go to woman for “oh yeah we need someone for our bland cliche female character” and infusing it with some sense of “i give a shit about my acting”. Thanks Benz.

  36. It’s weird that Benz keeps getting cast as the chick who hangs out with superhuman killing machines: Rambo, Dexter, War Zone, and I’d even add Angel except she’s a superhuman killing machine herself in that one.

  37. I saw an interview with Julie Benz and she said she enjoyed doing this movie because she didn’t have to be the wife or girlfriend.

    Majestyk – I went to the Smooth website and no, you do not lie. It said 50 Cent was guest editor? Did you get to ask him any Outlaw Vern site type questions like how do you feel about being on the birthday cake in Big Fan? Do you regret calling Bush a gangster? Did you get to ask him about any of his movies?

  38. I only met 50 once, and it was in a meeting with the entire editorial staff. I’m not a fan of his, but he was surprisingly friendly, intelligent, and funny. I never got to talk to him one-on-one, so I never got to ask any of those questions, and if I had, he would have answered them in terms of business. He held court on the state of the entertainment industry for two hours or more (quite entertainingly, I might add) and it was all about the millions of ways he’s learned how to make money. At no point did he mention his taste in or even affinity for music or movies. He really does see them as a means to an end. That said, I liked hanging out with him. He’s a charming guy, if a but flaky, as most ridiculously coddled millionaires probably are. Plus, he name-dropped 15 or 16 famous chicks he’d fucked, which I will not repeat here for purposes of discretion/mysteriousness.

  39. “in my opinion it became a manifesto”

    Christ, I love this Duffy guy. Keep talking buddy, it’s pure fucking entertainment.

  40. If BOONDOCK SAINTS can do it, how much longer must we wait for a THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU’RE DEAD II: DAY OF THE DEAD (or, Port of call New Orleans)?

    And maybe we can finally get that SUICIDE KINGS sequel too.

  41. Mr. S, I’m gonna assume you already thought of this but it accidentally got deleted: SUICIDE KINGS II: KINGS FOR A DAY.

    Because all belated sequels to crappy Tarantino ripoffs must have the word “day” in their subtitles. Like 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY 2: 2 MORE DAYS IN THE VALLEY.

  42. Dare to dream, maybe a RETURN TO TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, NM.

  43. Mr M – for one horrifying second, that title looked so plausible to me that I actually IMDB’d it just to be sure it hadn’t been made without me realizing it.

    Dan – if I had to subtitle ToCNM2, I think it’d have to be TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, NM II: HEAD’S UP! Although following Mr M’s theory we might hae to go wth TcCNM2: DAY OF CONSEQUENCE.

    thank god we’ve still got a few years left before we start to get hit with sequels to the second wave of Tarantino rip offs (KNOCKAROUND GUYS, LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, WHO IS CLETIS TROUT? etc).

  44. am i the only person who enjoyed Knockaround Guys? Vin’s “100 fights” bit is great.

  45. @ DAN PRESTWICH-And just what in the fuck is wrong with The Dropkick Murphy’s?

  46. I really, really hate that people hate Boondock Saints. You could probably blame me for the phenomon. In the early days of upcoming movie websites, there was a listing for this movie. This was back when they were going to get top of the line actors for the movie. I kept waiting and waiting for the movie to come out. Finally one day at Blockbuster the film is right there. I rent it. I loved it. I’m like 20 at the time. I then started recommending it to almost everybody that came in looking for something to watch. Sure I could have shown them some award winning bullshit but I was entertained as fuck with the movie. I then showed people in college the movie. Now it’s a huge thing.

    I do here the sequel sucks though.

  47. Please don’t knock Suicide Kings. I think for once you people owe me so I demand you not talk shit about that film. Thank you.

  48. dieselboy,

    Nothing, if you like children’s music.

    Just kidding. I should clarify that BOONDOCK SAINTS is the perfect movie for teenage boys who ONLY listen to Dropkick Murphy’s and shit like that.

  49. You guys ever read Irish madman Garth Ennis’ THE BOYS? There’s this one issue where superpowered Irish capekiller Butcher is hanging out on St. Patrick’s Day in the one authentically Irish pub in Manhattan. Some frat yahoos in plastic leprechaun hats wander in and they are politely but assertively told to get the fuck out with that bullshit if they want to keep all their teeth. That pretty much sums up how I assume most actual Irishmen feel about their half-assed brethren across the Atlantic.

  50. Dan-You’re killing me here buddy. Children’s music? Really? You have to back up a claim like that with at least one sensible explanation.

    Martin Scorsese threw I’m Shipping Out to Boston in the middle of The Departed and if I remember correctly it almost got nominated for Best Original Song before it was realized it wasn’t made for the movie. Kinda impressive for a childrens song if you ask me….

    For the record I hated Boondock Saints 1, refuse to see the sequel, did like the documentary that exposed the director as an egomaniac though. And i still see no connection with the Dropkick Murphys and the Boondock Saints. One is awesome , the other is The Boondock Saints.

  51. Oh and for a GREAT Irish film experience, I would recommend The Wind That Shakes the Barley, it features lots of Irish actors not butchering their accents.

  52. dieselboy,

    I was just joshing about the children’s music thing. I’m pretty sure I’ve enjoyed a handful of Dropkick Murphys’ songs in the past.

    I would say the connection between the DMs and BS is, like what I mentioned earlier in the thread, fans of both can sometimes be the kinds of people who, for whatever reason, think being working class Boston Irish is immediately the coolest thing on earth. I knew several people like that in high school and college, and never understood the appeal..

  53. Dan- Cool, I can see what you’re saying now that you put it like that. I can even totally understand HATING them and their style of music, most people I know do. I just didn’t get the connection to children or Boondock Saints.

    People can feel free now to talk about this horrible movie some more……

  54. Lawrence — BOONDOCK SAINT and SUICIDE KINGS? You’re not by any chance Sean Patrick Flanery, are you? Or maybe his agent?

  55. Majestyk: “You guys ever read Irish madman Garth Ennis’ THE BOYS? There’s this one issue where superpowered Irish capekiller Butcher is hanging out on St. Patrick’s Day in the one authentically Irish pub in Manhattan.”
    Since when is Butcher IRISH? He’s pretty clearly a Londoner. Thought it was nice that it’s implied that the barman is Cassidy from Preacher.

  56. Stu, no, you’re right. It’s been so long since I read the early issues that I forgot and equated Butcher with Ennis. Besides, it’s kind of hard to discern accents in print form.

  57. Speaking as an authentic Bostonian and part Boston Irishman: I don’t wanna hear anything bad about the Dropkick Murphys!!!! DROPKICK! Warrior’s Code! Cadence To Arms!!!

    Seriously, one of my favorite memories is seeing Thelma Schoonamacher speaking at the Coolidge Corner Theater, talking about editing the opening of The Departed and saying, “And then we found the Dropkick Murphys and it all finally fit togethor–” and the audience erupting in cheers.

    Anybody remember the awesome early 90s Sean Penn / Gary Oldman / Ed Harris film STATE OF GRACE? Remember the big St. Patty’s Day shootout in the Hell’s Kitchen bar while the parade passes by outside? Now that’s some badass Irish action! Top o’ the mornin’ too ya! : )

  58. Irishness is one of Garth Ennis’ favourite topics. He makes fun of overly-patriotic Irish-Americans in the “Kitchen Irish” arc of PUNISHER MAX too. Man, I hope if they do a sequel to PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (starring Julie Benz, see it all comes full circle) it’s about the Barracuda. Best Punisher villain ever.

    I liked BOONDOCK SAINTS when it came out, but I tried watching it five or so years later and I couldn’t get through it. The dialog is so awkward and unnatural it makes Diablo Cody look like Cassavetes. No interest in the sequel.

  59. Anyone who would fuck with Dropkick deserves to have their throat ripped out by Cassidy aka the greatest vampire of all time. Seriously, just do not fuck with the Dropkick Murphy’s.

  60. Flogging Molly is better than Dropick Murphy’s.

  61. doktor rock: Are you telling me that the Boondock Saints are literally supposed to be Saints with super-God powers and that’s why the gunfights are so lame? Is this something that was made clear in the first one and I forgot about it, or is it one of those read-between-the-lines theories like whether or not Harrison Ford is a replicant?

    And on the older topic of asskicking movie Catholics, I would like to mention the Mariachi. “Bless me father, for I have just killed quite a few men.”

  62. I picked up Boondock Saints on DVD a few years back because there was a lot of buzz about it and I generally like movies about people shooting one or more other people for reasons of revenge or vigilantism or whatever it was suppose to be, but I never got around to watching it. Then I read Vern’s review of it and still never got around to watching it. I always see it sitting there on the rack, just daring me to watch it and I think, maybe this is the day I’ll do it. Then I remember there are like a thousand other movies that I actually want to watch instead (last time I was faced with dilemma, I bumped it for William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, a good call in my opinion). In the back of my mind, I’m always thinking that since my expectations are so low at this point, it might turn out to be fantastic. I have a gift for loving movies a great many other people despise, but since 99% of those are ones that Vern likes too, I’m not holding out any hope. Maybe when Boondock Saints II is ridiculously cheap on DVD, say in a month or so from now, I’ll pick it up and not get around to watching that one too.

  63. I havent seen “Boondock Saints” and it looks crap. Watch something like “State of Grace” instead.

  64. The review is funny as is most every other review you do. My only complaint and it is a big one is that you do not know anything about the first movie (or you forgot it all) and a large portion of the issues you seem to be having relate back to things that happened in the first movie, like the whole story that takes place in part 2. David Della Rocco is the best friend/sidekick from part 1, remember THE FUNNY MAN!!!!!! he was only the best fucking part of the first movie. Also the brothers have names….. Connor and Murphy MacManus. The cops are Detective Dolly (fat one), Duffy (short one) and Greenly (skinny tall funny one). If you are going to shit on something at least know what you are shitting on first.

    Dan – Really do you live in a fantasy realm where lesbians are like they are in the porno movies? Cause guess what this “militant type lesbian” as you so aptly named her is an accurate representation of a large portion of lesbians out there. Does it portray all of them accurately….well of course not. But are you going to try and tell me that you have never met or heard of a lesbian that is so die hard for “women’s” rights and all that shit that they would take offence to some saying that may or may not reference back to the old days when beating your wife was a common past-time, cause I have.

    After having said all of that BS2 was not nearly as good as the first for many reasons, Julie benz (awful accent), Clifton Collins Jr. had great potential but when compared to Rocco from part 1 he is a pile of shit. Honestly pretty much everything in part 2 is worse then part 1 I did still enjoy the movie for a straight-up action flick. Should it be on the pedestal that Duffy thinks it is on (or should be on, not sure how naive he really is) no it should not be, the first one was a really awesome action movie and nothing more.

  65. There is no “god” (use the term loosely) given powers in these movies people that think that are tards. As far as the gun fights being ridiculous don’t you remember every single action movie ever made in the 80’s (plus some 90’s sequels) contain the same gun fight “style”. The hero never reloads, never misses, never gets hit even though there are 30 gorillas firing AK47s at him. How is it any different here? Did anyone ever think that maybe what Duffy was trying to do was portray what a real gun fight looks like…. I can assure you there are no barrel rolls and back flips and sliding along the floor while you fire at your enemies cause most people have zero accuracy when you are doing anything except being completely still (or very close to it). Everyone is just trying to lump this movie into some category that it does not belong in i.e. an intelligent movie. This is an ACTION MOVIE!!!!! It is not supposed to make you think beyond “holy shit that squib looked fucking amazing” or “I loved when he threw that pipe through the villain and steam came out the other end”

  66. Well I saw this movie in the theater and I didn’t pay for it and I can say with all confidence that (excepting the fact that we were actually there in the first place) my friend and I were easily smarter than the other thirty or so people in the auditorium that ate this shit up.

    Vern- aside from the moment with Rocco that stops the movie dead you forgot about the other couple of music video style interludes/ CSI/ Fast and Furious moments where characters stand in a room and know everything that happened. I’m not against things like that on principal, but in this film they’re huge momentum killers. Also, the way Julie Benz struts in front of the scene behind her and plays with her revolvers dressed like a fetish cowgirl it looks like she saunters into the middle of someone else’s carefully constructed flashback, that would never happen even on CSI: Miami no matter how desperate they were starting to get.

    Also, I don’t know what genius thought it would be a good idea to put Billy Connolly in fetish gear but I still have a boner, which is a good thing because I didn’t find Julie Benz to be quite as fuckable as I normally do.

  67. Jam – i’m not irish but i am a super-obsessive accent nerd, and to my ears probably the best ever irish accent i heard by an american actor was aidan quinn in MICHAEL COLLINS, though if memory serves he is of irish background and may have even spent some of his formative years in ireland (too lazy to look it up), so might not count. having trouble thinking of others right now, though i’m sure there are some. it’s weird because i feel like not only is the irish accent one of the easier ones to mimic, it’s also one of the closest native english accents to the american one (the only closer one i can think of, not including canadian, is west country), and yet people usually butcher it (not only american actors, but english and scottish ones too). then again, off the top of my head, the only irish actor i can think of who does a pretty convincing american accent is colin farrell, though i am certainly forgetting some others.

  68. Senor Reaper – thanks for the comments, it’s good to have some disagreement here. But around here we don’t play that “This is an ACTION MOVIE!!!!! It is not supposed to make you think” card. Action movies – including the most lowbrow ones, including the ones starring Brian Bosworth – can and do have an art to them. Most of us here absolutely love absurd action movies. DEATH WISH 3 for example is very popular around here. Also, at least one of us spent 5 years of his life writing a book chronicling every movie Steven Seagal has ever been in including MY GIANT. So we know how to appreciate action on every level and are not looking for some kind of unattainable standard.

    I have no problem with BOONDOCK SAINTS being unrealistic. I’m just saying that it’s not exciting to watch a bunch of assholes point guns at each other and not do anything. Those are terrible action scenes. I’m not asking for realism or spiritual guidance, I’m asking for gun fights that have a story to them, that have ideas and moments and are well constructed. I can point you to everything from DIE HARD and HARD BOILED down to STONE COLD and UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION and DESPERADO. There have been thousands of action movies both smarter and dumber than BOONDOCK SAINTS 2 that manage to have way more exciting action scenes.

  69. I’ve seen the original Boondock Saints and if I have the time I will watch the sequel . Frankly I don’t know what the fuss is all about , for both people who hate this movie and people who love it .
    The only things that I remember from the original are the “action scenes” ( exactly like Vern described here , the Saints standing around and the camera spinning ) and Willelm Dafoe mega-acting ( is this the movie where he screams “There was a gunfight!” ?).
    For me this is just one of those movies that you watch , chuckle a little at some of the jokes, shake your head , and then completely forget .Like a Syfy movie. I’ve never met anyone who was a die hard Saints fan and I’ve never seen a hoodie or some other kind of merchandise related to the movie . And it’s strange because we Italians are almost all Catholic , even I was baptised without anyone asking me first , so we are potentially the target market . But I don’t know anyone who gives a shit about this movie. Maybe it’s an overseas thing .
    But like seeing Norman Reedus in movies , and , of course , Clifton Collins. I was watching an interview special on the disc of the videogame Mass Effect , and Collins is interviewed as a fan of the game , and it was shocking to see him, coming out of nowhere , talking about the same games that I like . Great guy .

  70. it’s really a shame you’re book is already being published. i wish this one made the cut.

  71. Virgin G: I agree about Aidan Quinn’s turn in MICHAEL COLLINS, and yes he did spend formative years here, has family here, occasionally does movies here etc…

    But I gotta’ disagree about Irish accents being the easier ones to mimic. It’s easy to get a word or a phrase right, but anything longer is embarrassing in 99% of cases. I mean, Pierce Brosnan fucked up an Irish accent in EVELYN and he grew up here!

    For a small country, Ireland has a startlingly wide linguistic variation, some of which is nigh-incomprehensible to foreigners. Colin Farrell does pretty decent American accents, and Cillian Murphy is good too (his Dublin accent in INTERMISSION is better than Farrell’s, in my opinion). Ditto Brendan Gleeson. I haven’t seen much of Colm Meaney’s American stuff.

    I have no opinion on Jonathan Rhys-Myers that I wish to share with you learned fellows.

  72. On a side note, I got BOONDOCK SAINTS on a double DVD with OVERNIGHT, but I couldn’t get through it without fast-forwarding. I have literally no idea why this is allegedly popular and like Kermit above, have never met anyone who claims to be a fan of it. I don’t know if it’s relevant, but the movie is pretty much unknown in Ireland, save for teenagers.

    Actually, has anyone seen the Irish-set, Michael Madsen/Vinny Jones bare-knuckle boxing flick STRENGTH AND HONOUR?

  73. Jareth Cutestory

    March 11th, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Another English actor who does a good American accent: Dominic West. Star of THE WIRE. Which Vern will watch. Vern will watch. Vern will watch.

  74. Jareth, I gotta disagree about West. The second I heard him speak, my first thought was, “There’s no way that guy’s American.” He’s not as bad as Eddie Izzard on THE RICHES, but they both do an American accent that’s more American than any actual American would do.

    But Vern should still watch THE WIRE. Just not for the accents.

  75. P.S. Minnie Driver’s accent on THE RICHES was flawless, however.

  76. Well, Idris Elba is British and his Stringer Bell voice is perfect. In the first couple ep’s I think you can tell West is struggling with the voice, but as the series gets going he settles into one that I think would fool pretty much everyone. Except Majestyk. No one can fool Mr. Majestyk. Something in the watermelons he grows.

  77. Didn’t Jason Statham have a lousy American accent in his early U.S. films, like TRANSPORTER?

  78. Jam – i’m not saying it’s easy to master the irish accent but just that, at least to me, it seems a bit more manageable than, say, a manchester, a geordie, a kiwi, or a south african accent, to name just a random few (this is all from the perspective of a north american english speaker). and i do know that there is a huge range of accents and dialects within ireland. the dublin accent seems to be relatively quite mild, and it’s quite different from the cork accents which i admittedly only know from THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY, and a belfast accent sounds significantly different, almost like a different country (btw, i thought daniel day lewis’ belfast accent in IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER seemed pretty damn good, but of course i wouldn’t know for sure).

    i have to disagree on cillian murphy’s american accent though. his accent in the batman movies, while fairly good and by no means cringe-worthy, was not 100% convincing – there was a slight awkwardness to it. farrell could pass for american. i haven’t seen INTERMISSION so can’t comment on murphy’s accent in that, but isn’t colin farrell FROM dublin???

    and yeah, jason statham’s “american” accent in THE ONE was terrible to the point of distracting, made even worse by the fact that his character wasn’t even from the real world, so there was no reason why he couldn’t just speak with his normal east london accent, which he is so much more charismatic with (guy ritchie movies, THE ITALIAN JOB). god, THE ONE sucked.

    colm meaney’s american accent isn’t so hot. stephen rea’s is OK (but i think he has to do an exaggerated regional accent). gabriel byrne did an OK southern twang in DEAD MAN, but that’s the easiest american accent for actors from other english speaking countries to do (followed by new york).

    shit this tangent is probably super boring for everyone but me!

  79. Jareth Cutestory

    March 11th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Mr. Majestyk: I’ll defer to your expertise on Dominic West; a Canadian isn’t going to be as sensitive to nuances in speech as an American would be. I should have said that I was surprised when I learned that West was English; that doesn’t mean he’s “authentic” though.

    By the way, I think Minnie Drive was remarkable on THE RICHES. Nothing in her pervious work prepared me for how good she was on that show.

    And Cynthia Ettinger on CANIVALE. Man, what a performance. The whole cast of that show was pretty terrific.

  80. Brendan: It’s because I eat the fuckin’ seeds like a real man.

    Jareth: I should add that a hinky accent doesn’t really bother me if the performance is otherwise good. I thought Eddie Izzard was brilliant in THE RICHES, for instance. In a way, the phoniness of his accent fit the part perfectly.

    Gary: Statham was trying to do an American accent in THE ONE? Really? Was it one of those Kevin Costner things where it pops up every sixth or seventh line so you barely notice it?

  81. I dropped out of the conversation a bit due to being in a different time zone.

    Vern: I suppose people can disagree but:

    1 – They speak all languages on earth including ancient biblical languages fluently (established early in the first movie).

    2 – They suddenly wake up one day under dripping water and decide to go out and do god’s will (as interpreted by them).

    3 – They never – ever – get hit in spite of being complete lame asses.

    That was the point where everyone I have seen the film with started wondering what was really going on. It’s clear without a doubt that there’s something fishy going on. Then their dad shows up. He’s supposed to be the best killer there is, and still they all stand at point blank range firing at each other without hitting. Their buddy gets hit though.

    Now I have to re-watch the film to see if it wasn’t as obvious as I figured. But the first time I saw it we were 6 guys, and we all figured the plot was that they were actual angels. That was why we liked it. And I watched it again with a bunch of Danes who loved it, and they were of the same opinion.

  82. The “Danes” comment is completely incoherent. I am swedish. What I meant to say was that I watched it with a different group of people who already loved it, and every one had interpreted the film the same way the first time around.

    I’ve never even realized it could be interpreted differently. I sort of figured it was a matter of “I got it – it was good”, or “I didn’t get it – I don’t care”.

  83. Now that I’ve already posted on the internet, I have to withdraw the “biblical language” thing until I rewatch the film. It would be too embarrassing if it turns out I remembered wrong, and they just spoke very crappy Irish all the time.

    Also, for the record, I loved the barkeep with Tourette’s Syndrome. I think of him often. That was a great character.

  84. I have heard the theory that the brothers were protected by God and that’s why all the action scenes were so fucking terrible, but it only made me hate the movie more. As a recovered Catholic, the idea that God had literally cosigned on these retards’ rampage just made me angry.

  85. Doktor – I really have no idea if I didn’t pick up on that, or if I just don’t remember it from ten years ago. But now I’m confused as to why they need a vast underground network of government employees secretly defending them if they are unkillable angels of death.

  86. Hey that bartender you speak of is Doc from Fraggle Rock, marking the one actually kind of cool thing about the film besides Willem Dafoe’s committed mega-acting. Looks like he’s in the sequel, too. It’s kind of a cheap gag to cast a beloved childrens icon as a tourettes sufferer, but the fact that he still seems kind of warm and loveable makes it work a little better and feel less like a Robot Chicken gag. If they make a third one I think they should show him at home with Sprocket.

  87. Mr. Subtlety: Thank you for that! It brought a new dimension to my fond memories of the foul-mouthed old sod. I can still remember his face faintly from both parts. They dub children’s shows here, so I’ll use that as my excuse for missing it before.

    I got so caught up in memories that I have forgotten to thank Vern for the entertainment value of this review, which has to qualify as hard work since he obviously didn’t like this movie (I don’t think I will either). Thank you, Vern!

  88. As for Clifton Collins Jr, he’s pretty awesome and I’m always happy to see him in movies. But I do think that Crank 2 did in fact deserve to be seen by ten times as many people as Extract. I felt sorry for Kristen Wiig in Extract getting stuck with one of the most undeveloped characters and plotlines in a film from an otherwise thoughtful filmmaker ever. I kinda just felt sorry for everybody involved in Extract. I think even if you didn’t like Crank 2, it’s at least obvious that everybody involved is having fun making it. Extract actually seemed like being on that set would almost be as boring as watching the finished product.

    Anyhoo, Collins was in Sunshine Cleaning, which was okay.

  89. Doktor — its possible the reason you didn’t recognize Gerard “Doc” Parks is that interntational versions of Fraggle Rock featured different actors in that country’s native language.


    shows the various “Docs” from different countries. Don’t see Sweden on the list, though, so maybe you got the same one us folks in North America did. Anyway, considering Troy Duffy named his bartener character “Doc” (check IMBD) I think its pretty safe to assume he watched the North American Fraggle Rock.

  90. Dominic West didn’t fool me, either (though that’s NO EXCUSE NOT TO HAVE SEEN THE WIRE, VERNON), but Elba did. I was flabbergasted when I saw a Youtube clip of him speaking in his normal accent.

    Really expected him to go on to bigger and better things. (I’d like to say more about his character on the show and the conflicting emotions his performance inspires, but you know — spoilers.)

    He should be at least a Farrell-level star by now. Instead, he’s been wasted in throwaway bit parts (AMERICAN GANGSTER, 28 WEEKS LATER) and leads in crap (that Beyonce thing). He needs a new agent.

  91. I love the first Boondock Saints. I thought it was funny and had a neat premise. Most of all I LOVED Rocco. The part where he pulls his hair back and says, “SHEEEEEYUT Your fat ass…” That SHEEEEEYUT part where he sounds like a lawnmower starting up kills me everytime.

    Also when the Saints ask if anybody saw him shoot those guys. His response was, “Aww, geez man. I may as well have been posting flyers.”

    Not the funniest when reading it, but for me Rocco’s delivery just tickles me.

    Boondock Saints II was like some douche wearing an Affliction t-shirt repeating Mitch Hedberg jokes.

    You have to admit one thing though (Assuming whether you like one, both, or neither) that the first one (which went straight to DVD) is the better of the two. That being said, how often is the direct to DVD movie better than the theatrical one?

  92. Jareth Cutestory

    March 11th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    frankbooth: Have you ever seen the way women respond to Elba when he appears in public? I like to think that he’s out there roaming the earth like a figure from folklore, availing himself of the constant offers of hospitality and home-baked pies that greet him wherever he goes. That’s got be better than worrying about a movie career.

  93. Vern – I am not saying that lowbrow action movies don’t have artistic merits because they do. I am just saying that they are not the kind of movies that keep you guessing while you watch them and then make you have long philosophical conversations about the implications of the scenario in the movie, usually.

    I am a nutter for action movies have been ever since I was very little. My dad was a big fan of the Seagal and and really any 80s action flick low budget or high so am I. Currently I am watching every movie in Mr. Seagal’s catalog.

    I have watched all of the movies that you mention and actually I also watched all of the DTV universal soldier movies as well, sort of wish I had not. I actually enjoyed the first Boondock movie for the comedy aspect more then the gunfights cause really they are not overly exciting, “realistic” (have not been in too many gunfights so my knowledge of what is truly realistic is a little lacking) but not exciting.
    I will say that Universal Soldier: Regeneration is one of the best action movies ever made, low or high budget!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  94. I’m just saying don’t use that “it’s only an action movie” excuse. Instead, make an argument for why it’s a good action movie.

    gracias Senor

  95. VIRGIN:

    Colin Farrell is from Dublin but… well, it’s like the difference between Matt Damon/Ben Affleck’s Southie Boston accent as opposed to the Wahlberg brothers. Farrell is from a fairly well-off part of Dublin, but the accent he tends to put on sometimes feels a bit… put on, shall we say? Having said that, all the friends and colleagues who have met him have said he’s very nice.

    Cillian Murphy has a soft Cork accent, but his INTERMISSION Dublin accent seemed spot-on to me, whereas Farrell’s seemed a mite theatrical. Having said that, I thought Cillian Murphy’s accent in BATMAN STARTS was okay… not so much because of how accurate it was (I mean, who’s supposed to know where the Scarecrow-man is from anyway?) but because it seemed in-keeping with the Crispin Glover-esque performance.

    As for the Mancunian, Georgie, Kiwi etc… well, I’ll have to respectfully disagree. But a large part of that is because I’m from here. I could do a Geordie or Liverpool accent and I might fool an international listener. Someone from the UK or Ireland, I might only get away with it for a couple of minutes. But a local? Wouldn’t get more than a few words.

    The Dublin inner-city accent can be pretty tough to understand. There’s a new Irish drama/thriller coming out called BETWEEN THE CANALS that has a mostly non-professional cast drawn from the north inner-city. Check out for a trailer on youtube in the coming months – it’s got a wee bit of a LA HAINE vibe. I doubt it’ll get shown out of Ireland without subtitles, so thick the Dub accents are.

    Probably killed that tangent, but I haven’t got anything worthwhile to say about BOONDOCKS 1 or BOONDOCKS 2: MARCHING IN. The only thing I can remember about the first one was Willem Defoe’s mega-acting, but I remember it in the way I remember a vaguely amusing youtube clip, rather than a real film with actors and squibs and Billy ‘Live-A-Lotto’ Connolly in it.

  96. Jareth Cutestory

    March 11th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Jam: You know, when TRAINSPOTTING was first released in Canada it was subtitled in many cities. I guess test audiences responded poorly to the Glesgie slang and accents. Those of us who had read the book didn’t have any problem with the film, but it wasn’t unusual to overhear audience members express gratitude for the subtitles. I even heard one guy ask, after just being told by his pal that the book was written using the same slang, if there was a subtitled version of the novel.

    The Mike Leigh film NAKED, which wasn’t subtitled, drew complaints from numerous people here for being in a “foreign” language.

    Yeah, not the brightest audiences.

  97. fair enough

  98. I’m a little late to the party, but Dominc West slips sometimes:


    That said, I sure as hell didn’t notice when I first saw the show. Guess I don’t really have an ear for accents.

  99. Heeey, Matt Damon does a pretty good Southie accent / Boston accent in general. Way better then both of Leonardo DiCaprio’s attempts at a Boston accent.

    Affleck can do a good general Boston accent. His Southie accent sounds remarkably like a guy from Cambridge, however. Which is still a “Boston” accent, it just isn’t Southie….In his upcoming THE TOWN he plays a guy from Charlestown, which oughta be interesting. However, I can attest that Jeremy Renner does a great Boston accent in THE TOWN.

    I’d say in THE DEPARTED Damon managed to acquit himself with honor when next to Mark Wahlberg, which is of course the ultimate test of all actors playing Yankee hooligans! Wahlberg has the thickest Boston accent in cinema since the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman. (and Donny too, as Jam pointed out above.) He can downplay it pretty well, but Massachusetts natives can always hear it in stuff like Boogie Nights and The Lovely Bones. It’s there.

    I’m trying to rate some other actors and their attempts, successful or not, at Boston accents. Uhm, Denis Leary (duh) and the whole cast of Monument Ave.: top marks. Even Famke Jansen! Billy Crudup pulls off a good accent in his one or two scenes.

    Robin Williams’ Boston accent in Good Will Hunting: I thought he did great. He really underplayed it and you could only hear it in a few words, which is dead accurate to how a lot of people actually talk in New England; especially an educated professional like he was playing–a doctor, an MIT graduate, someone who has presumably traveled a bit and made an effort to lose his accent a bit.

    Two classic war movies have really dead-on authentic Boston accents, interestingly. In Apocalypse Now it’s the guy who says, “So we don’t get ouah baaaawls blown aaaf!” and in PLATOON, there’s the guy who says, “Hey, King, wheah you get those beeahs, boyee?”

    And finally, there’s arguably the greatest Boston movie ever: THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. With Robert Mitchum’s all time championship performance as the title character. And his accent is PERFECT.

  100. I could have sworn I wrote a long comment here about this movie… I guess it’s gone. But I will recommend Still Crazy, which stars Billy Connolly as well as Bill Nighy, Stephen Rea, Jimmy Nail and Timothy Spall as ex-seventies rockers being gathered for a reunion tour. Billy is good in other roles so this isn’t usually what he does.

  101. Jareth – pendantic nitpick: the accents in TRAINSPOTTING are mostly edinburgh, not glesgie.

    CC – yeah, i remember seein mark wahlberg in a movie for the first time in BOOGIE NIGHTS, and, despite being generally very impressed (holy shit! mark mark can act!), the one slight thing that got on my nerves was the obvious boston accent in a character who was supposed to be from the valley (which is incidentally where i am from). same deal in THREE KINGS, which was even more avoidable because the fact that wahlberg’s character is from detroit (i think?) is only mentioned once briefly in a flashback and is totally irrelevant so they could’ve just made him from boston, whereas BOOGIE NIGHTS is inescapably in and about the valley.

    yes, i am a nerd, that is why i am on the internet right now.

  102. oops, meant marky mark, obviously.

  103. CC – fair enough, I wouldn’t want to cast many aspersions on Matt Damon, I think he’s a hard-working guy who deserves every accolade he gets.

  104. Hey CC, what did you think of Mel’s accent in EDGE OF DARKNESS?

  105. Gibson’s accent was OK. He fell into the trap that other actors fall into where they overstress every single word, whereas in real life, as CC points out, in most cases people have a handful of words that are REALLY noticeable but it’s usually more subtle then that.

    The one that drives me up a fucking tree is Vera Farmiga in The Departed. “Here’s my cAHD, we can go to a bAH and pAHk outside.” Christ, is it really THAT hard to do a Massachusetts accent?

  106. Yeah, I thought Mel did pretty good when he wasn’t trying too hard. I’d forget he was doing it for long stretches of time and then he’d really lean on one of the AH’s on a word or two and I’d remember. I still think it’s the Badass Performance of the Year, though. Kind of a bummer Vern never got around to it.

  107. I give a lot of credit for that movie’s badassery and Massachusetts-osity to William Monahan’s script. “Everything’s illegal in Massachusetts.” So fucking true. And the rest of the credit goes to Gibson. No one else could’ve r would’vw whispered the line “Deep down, you know you deserve this” and given it the conviction and sadness that Mel did.

  108. So many great lines in that movie, and Mel delivered them all with total fucking conviction. Credit must also be given to the journeyman director who knew well enough to stay the fuck out of the way.

  109. Regarding Edge Of Darkness: Mel was clearly an actor “doing” an accent; he always sounded like someone playing somebody from Boston, rather then a true native, but he did it really well. No complaints from me.

    And yeah, I second the praise for Mr. Monahan, Boston native and one of our greatest working screenwriters. Anything he writes about New England is just dead right on.

    But guys, if you like all the movies we’ve discussed, I’m just gonna say this: you’re gonna love THE TOWN. Trust me. It’s got all the brains and heart of GOODWILL HUNTING, but in a truly badass crime-story / action movie. It’s like GOOD WILL HUNTING with car chases and machine gun battles and a Jeremy Renner performance that is gonna rock the house like De Niro in MEAN STREETS.

  110. Oh, and if anybody out there is a writer or filmmaker or actor and wants to hear real, totally authentic, actual Massachusetts accents for research, I’d recommend the documentary HARVARD BEATS YALE 29-29, which has a great range of Massachusetts accents, from Southie to Everett (along with a lot of other authentic, distinctly American voices) : you can hear that Robin Williams esque “Only in a few specific words” thing Brendan and I commented on, along with the more commonly recognized thick as chowdah accents.

  111. CC- I’ve been pumped for the town since they announced it for one very simple reason: Ben Affleck. I’m totally serious. Gone, Baby Gone is pretty much the Great Boston Movie, so if he’s making another crime drama with a loaded cast, then I’ll be there with my ten bucks. Also, I would like to see the movie where him and Damon play Yankees who swap wives. Fucking Yankees.

  112. Having Damn and Affleck play Yankees is like having Woody Allen play Hitler.

    This is not a criticism. I would be all for either circumstance. Fuck the Yankees and fuck Hitler, in my opinion.

  113. I’m going to pretend that I misspelled Damon’s name on purpose. I think we can all agree that Matt Damn is a pretty awesome name.

  114. Virgin Gary – another pedantic nitpick: pedantic is spelled “pedantic” and not “pendantic.” man, you are lame.

    i haven’t seen EDGE OF DARKNESS yet (one of the curses of living in japan), but i am really looking forward to it. though i’m a bit surprised at people praising mel’s boston accent, simply because his standard american accent (which he uses in most movies and in real life) is shaky. but i guess it’s easier to do a regional accent than a standard one.

    speaking of GONE BABY GONE, to those bostonites who have been popping up here, how were the accents in that? i though’t casey affleck sounded pretty good and amy ryan sounded really good, though she was doing a kind of thick over-the-top accent. i honestly can’t even remember if michelle monaghan was trying to do a local accent or not.

    btw, not really related but if you guys think boston accents are hardcore, i went to school in rhode island, and the rhode island accent is like if you left the boston accent on the window sill and it curdled. it’s really rare to find authentic rhode island accents in movies/tv shows that take place there. the only thing i appreciate about the family guy is seth macfarlane’s accurate rhode island accent.

  115. Gone Baby Gone: Casey Affleck’s accent was, like William’s, nicely understated. Michelle Monaghan didn’t bother, but whatever, a lot of people DON’T have noticeable accents. Amy Ryan sounded like a New Yorker making fun of the Boston fans at a Yankees – Red Sox game, because she IS a New Yorker. But her performance was so truly great that absolutely nobody cares.

    Amy Madigan did do a good accent though, and the best were all the local hooligans and lowlifes Affleck cast as extras! Like “Big Dave” in the bar and Ryan’s scuzzy gal pal there. “We’re gonna be havin’ a candlelight visual tonight…”

  116. Brendan: THE TOWN is gonna be to GONE BABY GONE what HEAT was to THIEF. Know what I mean?

    It is everything you love about GONE, but even better, taken straight to the next level, and it has Renner, Blake Lively in an Amy Ryan-level performance, Chris Cooper, Jon Hamm from Mad Men, and the loudest goddamn AK-47s I’ve ever heard.

    When they announce the 2010 Oscar Nominations, we’re gonna see THE TOWN in there for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor. Just wait. You heard it here first, guys.

  117. Hey I’d just like to take one moment to mention that I think Billy Connolly’s actually got a surprisingly good record of nice peformances, especially for a stand up comedian. I think he at leasts looks more badass than those two kids in the SAINTS movies. He actually has kind of a robust build and a nicely weathered face, which I think could be effective as a badass in a real movie. Not quite so effective as a cartoon badass in a ridiculous movie, though, but hard to hold that against him. As people above have pointed out, Connolly’s also pretty solid in roles in THE LAST SAMURAI, FIDO, STILL CRAZY, MRS. BROWN, and most recently did a fantatic job in the sadly misunderstood X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE.

  118. CC – True but hey Amy Madigan at least got another decent part in the late phase of her career when she’s more noted for being Ed Harris’ wife. Instead of an Oscar nominee from TWICE IN A LIFETIME and the tough chick from STREETS OF FIRE.

    I’m sure Vern would rip SOF a new asshole.

  119. i may… MAY read this whole page later on if i’m bored. but holy fuck.

    anyways, pitch perfect review. i haven’t sympathized this much since Transformers 2. this movie is a total joke, and the first one mostly is too. Overnight however, is a great doc and needs to be seen by anyone interested in either of these movies.

    Poor Rob Wells. he deserves much better post-Trailer Park Boys.

  120. The first movie is a competent Tarantino knockoff elevated to serious guilty pleasure status by the glorious mega acting (c. Vern 2009) of WILLEM DAFOE. Without him? Forget it.

    Did they really think people liked the first movie for the bland action hero pretty boys, the slo mo and Billy Connolly?!?!?

  121. Christian Brimo

    March 14th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    There was a big cult around this at my old college. Lots of people repeating lines from it and everything. I was part of that cult, at least for a bit.

  122. Hey Vern, if you want another weird Willem Dafoe movie, check out Off Limits. Gregory Hines is HILARIOUSLY bad in that.

  123. I believe that should be “this is an historical day,” my good sir.

  124. […] read some of the reviews of the second movie [1] [2], once again, i was excited to see how bad it is. while the opening was promising, the rest is […]

  125. dude, the fuckin boondock saints is fuckin awesome shit, go whine about some actually shitty movies.

  126. What do you like about it? And what did you think about part 2?

  127. Obviously you haven’t taken the time to even watch the movies considering your lack of knowledge of them. How can you critique something you know nothing about? Both movies are awesome and I have yet to meet anyone who has watched them who doesn’t like them. Anxiously awaiting the 3rd. Then you will have something new to complain about even though I’m sure you will not have seen it and will know nothing about that one either.

  128. Am I the only one who is surprised by the female demographic, that the BOONDOCK SAINTS franchise seems to attract?

  129. **”Both movies are awesome.”**

    **”…is fuckin awesome shit…”**

    Now that’s the kind of substantive, well-considered talkbacking that might make a BOONDOCK SAINTS fan out of me yet.

    I’m off to the parlor to look at Latin-Irish hand tattoo designs. And from now on, I’m ending every post with an inappropriate blurb from Psalms or something. In the name of the father, the holy etc..

    BS 4 LIFE!

  130. But seriously, tell me what you liked about them.

  131. CJ: Look for my comment further upthread and you will see that I have broken down this phenomenon in my own inimitable style. I was shown the first one by an attractive, intelligent, educated woman who spends much of her time going to plays and teaching literature, yet something about tattooed lugs with silky brogues and a penchant for draping themselves on each other shirtlessly really floated her boat.

    For the sake of seeing some breasts that night, I told her I liked it.

    She also showed me IN BRUGES, though, so our time together wasn’t a total waste.

    Plus, breasts.

  132. I wish they’d hurry up and reboot this franchise with Edward and Werewolf Guy as the leads. They could hang allover each other in slo mo, and the 40 plus Twihards could bond with the young chavs. It’d make (michael jackson) a million dollars!

  133. I liked the first Boondock Saints (Still do, in fact). I thought Rocco was funny as shit.

    “Did anyone see you?”

    “Aww geez, I may as well have been posting flyers.”

    I also liked how he comes running in screaming, “Pack your shit!” and he just starts grabbing useless shit like an iron (which they incidentally need to use later to cauterize their wounds).

    I like how they showed everything in flashbacks.

    I like how Willem DaFoe screams, “THERE WAS A FIREFIGHT!” instead of just saying, “There was a firefight.”

    I liked how a cat get shot out of nowhere.

    I like how the idiot cop is always putting his foot in his mouth.

    I like how the Saints communicate with each other without much dialog.

    I like how Rocco was funny as shit (Did I mention that already? Well, I just did again).

    Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day… Hated it. It was like a shitty remake of the first one. Even down to all the jokes.

    Every joke they repeated in the second one felt like Troy Duffy was sitting next to me saying, “HA! Remember that joke from the first one? That was pretty funny, huh?” Meanwhile all I want to do is take the movie out and watch the first one again.

    Honestly, I had no idea so many people hated the first one until news of Boondock Saints 2 started showing up online. Just about everyone I know loves the first one (I think there was one or two people I know that dug the second one but the general consensus there was that the second was dog-shit). so it was kind of a shock to me that there were so many that hated the thing.

    As for Overnight…I finally saw that and found it about as honest as a Michael Moore “documentary”. It’s clear that the guys making the movie had a bone to pick with Troy Duffy, and Duffy is clearly an ass at times, but you give me five years of footage of someone I have a beef with and I’ll make them look like a shithead with very little effort.

  134. Thanks for explaining the appeal. I don’t remember the first one that well to really remember. I don’t know how hated the movie, I know it has a cult following of young people. I don’t personally know anybody that likes it but I don’t know too many people who ever think about it either way.

    As for Overnight, I don’t think it has bearing on the quality of Duffy’s movies, but I cannot buy the defense that you can make anybody look like an asshole like that. No, a normal person with even above average levels of asshole-ishness could not look like even 1/8th as much of an egomaniacal prick as that guy looks like in that movie. Most of the scenes in question there is no possible context that you could put them in where you could reasonably think “oh, okay, now that I see what was really going on he’s actually a nice guy.” Yes it’s biased but it’s also the best cautionary tale there is about people buying their own hype in Hollywood.

  135. If that dude edited Duffy to look like an asshole, then he deserves an Oscar. Cuz he did a hell of a job.

  136. I’m not saying Duffy is completely off the asshole hook, but I’m not convinced that the movie is a fair representation of the man either.

    I do agree with the cautionary tale aspect though and if it was presented as being as biased as it was I wouldn’t have such a problem with it.

    As for making someone out to be who they’re not, I think that would make for an interesting documentary. Get some footage of someone over a few years time (Even one year may be plenty). Once all the footage is compiled, you get one person to make a cut where the person comes off as a saint. The second cut makes the person look like an asshole, and the last cut would be the fair assessment of the person as well as highlighting the lies in editing from the previous two versions. I think it would make for an interesting experiment. I also think it would show how dishonest most documantarians are.

  137. You know, guys, I don’t like Quentin Tarantino but I fucking love Boondock Saints 1 and 2 (ALL SAINTS DAY!!!).

    I find the humor, action, and characters to be much more believable and interesting. It’s a really fun movie that is just a joy to sit through.

    lol no just kidding bros I don’t like Tarantino and I don’t like a rip off of Tarantino any better. Seriously, fuck these movies. They’re awful and Duffy is such an insecure prick that it baffles me how anyone could like either film. Maybe fans of bondage gun vest things? Shit, that was awful.

    I’ll stop before entering AU territory.

  138. Actually, the first BS has decent, not terrible action and is interesting for the first hour + Willem Dafoe. I’m not afraid to say it. The opening scenes show little flashes of maybe trying to emulate a FULL CONTACT-era Ringo Lam, rather than QT like others are saying (though those influences are connected in other works, 6 degrees of separation and all that). BS is still comically self-serious, and I’m sure Duffy didn’t intend to reference stylishly melodramatic Hong Kong filmatists, but that’s what I remember seeing, anyway.

    We can appreciate a unique, somewhat clever scenario that results in a guy being killed by a toilet hoisted over an edge by a guy in handcuffs, can’t we?

    But then all the obnoxious foul language, yelling (I can’t stand Rocco — that’s the long haired guy, right? He sucks.), & poseur shit gives me a headache, a headache which builds & crescendos with each of the insulting final 20 minutes, culminating in an enragingly stupid ending montage of sidewalk pedestrians babbling about characters I don’t care about.

    Doktor Rock is correct to identify the Saints as supernaturally aided forces on earth (hence the constant, effortless bulletdodging), which is cool I guess, but I still don’t understand how that’s inspiring enough to make at least one of my co-workers get tattoos that refer to the first BS movie.

  139. Can we stop using documentary in quotes? Sorry, Moore IS a documentarian. The very act of pointing a camera at one object and not another is biased and exclusionary. Pretending that Moore’s films are less documentaries than other documentaries is like driving 3 blocks from the Las Vegas strip and thinking, ‘Oh, finally. I’m back in the real world!” just because you’re surrounded by strip malls with faux brick exteriors.

  140. Isn’t Moore first and foremost a clever comedian in the vein of Bill Maher and Jon Stewart? In the interviews I’ve seen with him he never claims to be objective, so quotation marks aren’t totally wrong. Just my two cents…

  141. No, Michael Moore is primarily a filmmaker & documentarian. A documentary filmmaker. Not a comedian.

    He’s developed something of a tv personality since he’s accepted so many interview requests for so many tv/radio/webcast programs, and he has a humorous persona in his writings, including a brand new book, but he’s never been an outright performer.

    He doesn’t let a media image impede his real passion, which is genuine ground-level activism for causes he thinks will help lower-middle class Americans and save innocent lives. He is the real deal. He’s been doing his thing, wearing the same shitty clothes, rousing the same rabble for almost 30 years now. His aversion to capitalism seems extreme, but he’s done a lot of amazing things, and he’s painstakingly transparent about his methods & data sources for his docs.

  142. Michael Moore is an entertainer, a satirists, and some might even argue that he’s a slanderer, but he’s no documentarian. He’s too biased with the subjects he chooses to approach his movies with any sort of objectivity.

  143. I am at a loss to think of a single documentary that is “objective.” The only film that comes close is Warhol’s EMPIRE.

  144. Well, hamslime, in that case:

    Herzog is too in love with ancient cave art, so CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS is no documentary.

    Dude was a blood relative to his subject, so DEAR ZACHARY is no documentary.

    Filmmaker was friend of the subject and stood to gain by the doll exhibition, so MARWENCOL is no documentary.

    Filmmaker is an environmentalist and animal habitat preservationist, so THE LAST LIONS is no documentary.

    Filmmakers are presumably pro-women’s rights, so there are no documentaries on the horror of female mutilation or child prostitution.

    Ken Burns loves baseball, so BASEBALL is no documentary.

  145. I can’t comment on any of the movies you listed because I haven’t seen any of them but given the women’s rights one you listed I’m assuming you’re being sarcastic.

    If you’re trying to say that the movies listed were fair assessments of their subject in spite of their bias then maybe those particular filmmakers sense of ethics outweigh their proclivities. If that’s the case, then good for them but that doesn’t have anything to do with how Michael Moore approaches his subjects other than to contrast a documantarian and a satirist.

    If I’m wrong, and the only difference between a movie and a documentary is a script then am I to accept that Pawn Stars, Jersey Shore, and certain segments of Curb Your Entusiasm and Judd Apatow movies are documentaries as well?

  146. Hamslime, I am generally open to all types of opinions and try to avoid speaking in absolutes, but you are wrong. You are 100% wrong. You are totally, unequivocally, undeniably, unarguably wrong.

    Your opinion is based partially upon partisan axe-grinding, but mostly on a fundamental misunderstanding of Documentary as a genre and the form and function of filmmaking as a whole.

    Even Warhol’s “Empire” is not an objective documentary because he chose to place the camera high up instead of at ground level. He chose to film during summer rather than during winter. He chose to focus on the Empire State Building instead of placing his camera in another location. He chose to film it from a close distance rather than from in Brooklyn. And so on. The very act of picking which subject to film and which subject to point the camera away from makes ‘objective’ viewpoints literally impossible in film. And all of this is ignoring things like sound editing, scoring, narration, framing questions and of course film editing.

    All cinema is propaganda and all cinema is bias. If you honestly think there is any objective truth in cinema then you are very naive indeed.

    Triumph of the Will. Nanook of the North. This Film is Not Yet Rated. Fahrenheit 9/11. Cropsey. Capturing the Friedmans. Standard Operating Procedure. Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. Seven-Up. the ‘making-of’ feature on a DVD. Why We Fight.

    ALL of these are documentaries.

  147. Most MTV shows would not qualify as documentaries. They are semi-improvisational sitcoms with heavy Italian Neo-Realism influence.

    However, the British version of Big Brother might well count, in its’ early days.

    I don’t have time to get too far into it, but suffice it to say, MTV reality shows are more heavily scripted than most Apatow movies.

  148. Perhaps there’s some confusion on one of our parts as to what a documentary is. I was under the impression that a documentary is supposed to be factual and true.

    First of all my stance has nothing to do with politics, it has to do with truth. If the filmmaker is not honest about what they are documenting then their movie is either propaganda, satire, fiction, farce, drama, whatever you want to call it but I don’t believe it is a documentary.

    This Movie is Not Yet Rated (I’ll cite that since I’ve watched it) is definitely biased and could very well be propaganda. The reason for that though is not because of the camera angles Kirby Dick chose or the lighting or the score. It all hinges one whether or not the people he talked to on the phone really said what he claims. Did everything that happened off camera really happen? Were the detectives he hired really unbiased detectives or were they friends of his? Was the guy that used to work for the ratings board really work for them? Did the opposing party really get an invite for a fair interview? Can the movie even have an honest assessment of the issue without an interview with the current raters? These are all questions that determine whether it’s an honest portrayal of the issue or not and therefore whether or not it’s a documentary or satire or propaganda or…

    Now I’m not familiar with Kirby Dick so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt but I’ve seen interviews with people (The armless veteran for one) that didn’t really do Moore a solid by exposing how their words were manipulated. Therefore Michael Moore’s admission of truth doesn’t carry much weight.

    Then you have guys like Morgan Spurlock…That guy is complete satire, but he’s completely transparent. So the fact that he’s making a satire about MacDonalds or product placement doesn’t matter because the heart and truth of his documentaries is that he’s making a documentary about a guy doing a documentary on ______.

    The fucked up thing is that Michael Moore seems to take the same approach that Spurlock does. The difference is that Spurlock takes a more honest approach to the aspects that matter because he doesn’t care what the outcome is. Michael Moore knows exactly what his movie will be before he shoots his first frame. That is not a documentary. That is Fox News. It’s not even The Daily Show because The Daily Show never comes off as a news source. It takes certain issues seriously at times but it always presents itself as satire.

    …And that is why I choose to type “documentary” instead of documentary.

  149. hamslime, this has everything to do with politics. There’s no such thing as an objective documentary. They’re made because the filmmaker want to tell people something that’s important to them. Propaganda’s just a tool to make people believe something that’s not true. If you disagree with someone like Moore, then I can see why you want to write “documentary”. But, unlike Fox News, Michael Moore doesn’t lie to make his point, and that’s why they’re called documentaries and not “documentaries”.

  150. “Perhaps there’s some confusion on one of our parts as to what a documentary is. I was under the impression that a documentary is supposed to be factual and true. ”

    — This is not possible on a very fundamental level and again displays that you not only misunderstand documentary as a form but misunderstand film as a medium. Furthermore, I would say that this is evidence that you misunderstand reality and existence as a whole. (This is my thesis.)

    Propaganda and documentary are not mutually exclusive. Nor are documentary and satire. Nor are propaganda and fiction. I picked my examples to underline this point. (This is my first example the following are concrete details.)

    Nanook of the North is a piece of ‘anthropology’ where the director invented most of the content wholesale, paid the actors, built sets and was utterly inaccurate. It’s still a documentary.

    Triumph of the Will is Leni Riefenstahl’s masterpiece (though I personally prefer Olympia). It’s also about how fuckin’ awesome Nazism is. It’s still a documentary.

    This Film is not yet Rated is a film in which the filmmaker is deeply and actively connected to the subject to the point where objectivity, such as it were, is impossible. It’s still a documentary.

    Fahrenheit 9/11 is a satire and a political rallying cry, if not outright propaganda. It’s still a documentary.

    Cropsey is one of the scariest horror films ever made. It’s still a documentary.

    Capturing the Friedmans is a political documentary about child abuse and corruption in the legal system. No one has ever questioned if it was a documentary, to my knowledge.

    Standard Operating Procedure is a political polemic. It made me cry and it made me ashamed to be an American. It is a superb documentary.

    Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired is an apologist piece for a child rapist that excuses child rape and profiles a famous film director/child rapist in a positive light. It’s still a documentary.

    Seven-Up is a series of anthropological documentaries that observed the life and times of a group of British children from different social classes. The director set up many locations and conducted interviews with the ‘cast.’ His subjects lives were affected and changed permanently by their participation in the series. They’re still all documentaries.

    the ‘making-of’ feature on a DVD is advertising. It’s still a documentary.

    Why We Fight. I was being glib here. There are the classic propaganda films by Frank Capra and the newer agitprop piece about the military industrial complex. Both of them are documentaries.

    “unbiased detectives” I don’t know what the hell that means, but that’s a badass title right there.

    A documentary functions like a persuasive essay. (this is my second example, the rest of the paragraph is concrete detail). You start out with a thesis, you build examples, you support your examples with concrete details and then you reach a conclusion. But umm…you know what a thesis is, right? A thesis is a perspective, you know, like bias?

    You’re confusing (classical) journalism with documentary (this is my third example, the rest of the paragraph is concrete detail). Certainly a documentary CAN be journalism, but it does not have to be. Correlation without causation. Furthermore, you have a loose grip on the history of journalism if you think that journalism has any significant history of being ‘unbias.’

    Actually, this gets deeper still. You believe that truth is attainable (this is a supplemental thesis and a transitional paragraph where I expand from the original concept into a larger point). I think you should look deeper into your media and how it is produced. While objective truth is certainly real, in my opinion, I would contend that it is literally impossible to capture truth in film, audio, or even text.

    Words are little prisons (this is my first example for my secondary thesis, followed by concrete details). You cannot express something if there is not a word for it. And while you can invent a word, you cannot communicate with that word unless your reader/listener already understands what it means. I could say, ‘spoon’. You know what a spoon is, I know what a spoon is. But is the spoon you’re thinking of a wooden spoon? A metal spoon? How big is it? I’m thinking specifically of the soup spoon I used in my childhood home. The one with the ornamental rivet down the middle of the handle. More specifically, I thinking of the one that was slightly bent from when I slammed the drawer shut while arguing with my mother when I was 15 about a girl of whom she did not approve. And even if I showed you a picture of the spoon, you could not feel the texture. And you could only see it from one angle. I could show you a video of the spoon, but you would be seeing a flattened two-dimensional version of the object. That image would not be the object. And even if I gave you the spoon in question, the spoon in my mind is still different because it is both bent and unbent at the same time because I am aware of its’ history. So, unless you can see in four dimensions, you can’t see the spoon to which I refer when I use the word ‘spoon.’

    This goes all the way back a fundamental argument about the nature of reality and language (example, details). I forgot who postulated it…but basically it’s this: how can you identify a horse? Is there some inherent, ideal, inherent ‘horseness’ to a horse? Some essence derived from the ether of the universe? An original horse from which all other horses can be identified by reference? When does a table stop becoming a table and become a bench or a stool? If I use a table as a bench, does it cease to be a table?

    Physiologically, when you picture a ‘horse’, there are electrons and chemicals running through your brain that recall the image of the horse (example details). Is that image simply made up of those electrical impulses and chemicals? Or is there something magical outside of those chemicals.

    Your argument is, in essence, one of intelligent design and a specific direction of the universe. I do not share this belief and do not find evidence to support the premise that there is a magical thing outside of the synapses in my brain, nor an ideal ‘horseness’ (conclusion).

    Now, if I were to take the rough essay I have just written and find individuals to interview about the subject of film and its ability to display truth, the history of journalism, ontology, photogenie and Epstein, Descartes, Foucault, Baudrillard, Eisenstein, and so on, and then intersperse these interviews with, say, man on the street segments where I tried to use my camera crew to demonstrate how film can either display truth or augment truth simply through the presence of said camera, add in some score, some animated titles, some voice over, some clever editing tricks, maybe a joke here and there, some archival footage and then cut the whole thing together into a visual take on this loose essay…well, I would have made a documentary, even though the whole point of the documentary would be to say that I am right and you are wrong on the subject of whether ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are realistic concepts to discuss using language, audio, visuals, text or other tools for communication. And I would have out-meta’ed Spurlock while doing it.

  151. Also, Loose Change is a documentary, even though it’s fucking insane and based on wild leaps of logic.

  152. Instead of trying to wade your psychobabble and argue it, I’ll just stick with the issue at hand and present Mirriam-Webster’s definition of documentary. You’ll notice words like factual, objective, and true all pop up.

    As you suggested, I may not have a clear understanding of many of the things you listed (I disagree, but whatever) but I do know that this dictionary guy seems to know a thing or two about definitions, so I’m just going to agree with his version of documentary.

    Definition of DOCUMENTARY
    1: being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing
    2: of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature or art; broadly : factual, objective
    — doc·u·men·tar·i·ly \-mən-ˈter-ə-lē, -ˌmen-\ adverb
    See documentary defined for English-language learners »
    See documentary defined for kids »
    Examples of DOCUMENTARY
    You must present documentary proof of your residence.

    First Known Use of DOCUMENTARY
    Related to DOCUMENTARY
    Synonyms: factual, hard, historical, literal, matter-of-fact, nonfictional, objective, true
    Antonyms: fictional, fictionalized, fictitious, nondocumentary, nonfactual, nonhistorical, unhistorical

    I got this from thefreedictionary.com

    doc·u·men·ta·ry (dky-mnt-r)
    1. Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents.
    2. Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.
    n. pl. doc·u·men·ta·ries
    A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    documentary [ˌdɒkjʊˈmɛntərɪ -trɪ]
    1. Also documental consisting of, derived from, or relating to documents
    2. presenting factual material with little or no fictional additions the book gives a documentary account of the war
    n pl -ries
    (Communication Arts / Broadcasting) a factual film or television programme about an event, person, etc., presenting the facts with little or no fiction
    documentarily adv

    This was from oxforddictionaries.com and you’ll notice that darned word factual keeps popping up.

    EmailCiteText size: AAPrint options:Example sentencesSynonymsCategories
    Syllabification:OnOffEntry from World dictionary

    1 consisting of or based on official documents:
    documentary evidence of regular payments from the company2 using pictures or interviews with people involved in real events to provide a factual report on a particular subject:
    a documentary programme about Manchester United

    I’m sorry to have to disagree with you here but if it’s not honest, I’m not calling it a documentary.

  153. Sorry about all the underlines. I didn’t know it was going to do that.

    I’ll read what ever retort you have and take it in but I’m through discussing this further. No offense but I just don’t care anymore. You have your opinion on the matter and I have mine and I don’t think either of us are going to budge on this one so we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    I hope there’s no hard feelings (Although you were the one basically calling me an idiot), and as an olive branch I relenquish all rights of the phrase, “unbiased detectives” to you, to have and hold til death do you part.

  154. Note the word “Broadly” in that first definition. Objective truth is impossible on film. Saying that Moore’s films are not documentaries because he foregrounds the artifice of filmmaking is to miss that ALL film is manipulation.

    I would get into Plato and the Metaphor of the Cave, but apparently you’re not at all interested in discussing the nature of truth and reality in a discussion about the natural of truth and reality. I already put a lot of time into that previous post. I’m frankly disappointed that you didn’t find it interesting or at least amusing. I’m not going to waste more time getting deeper into philosophy stuff if that’s not your bag.

    Here is a basic summary, in the style of Kant:

    Thesis: Documentaries are ‘true.”

    Antithesis: ‘Truth’ cannot be displayed through a camera lens.

    Synthesis/second thesis: Documentaries are an effort to display a single version of ‘truth’ at a specific point in time. They need not be literal truth, but they must be conceived of as an interpretation of real life events.

    Second Antithesis: Exit Through the Gift Shop.

    Second Synthesis: *Face melts in a logic loop*

  155. That was a joke, btw. Your post said, basically, “you have your version of the truth and I have mine.” Which more or less proves my point. So, I decided to respond in kind by saying, “My version of the truth is a hall of echoes and almost identical to masturbation”

    Basically, I was apologizing for being rude, in the douchiest way possible. Thanks for the rights to Unbias Detectives. I’ll shut up now.

  156. I’m giving Tawdry an A- for his Western Civilization midterm exam here.

    hamslime makes good points, but when it comes to arriving at a consensus for an operational definition, there must be something that we agree can serve as an absolute truth (though all truth is relative). Thus, there’s no room for the quotation marks.

    I am reminded of part of the poem featured in WINGS OF DESIRE, “Song of Childhood” by Peter Handke:

    When the child was a child,
    It was the time for these questions:
    Why am I me, and why not you?
    Why am I here, and why not there?
    When did time begin, and where does space end?
    Is life under the sun not just a dream?
    Is what I see and hear and smell
    not just an illusion of a world before the world?
    Given the facts of evil and people.
    does evil really exist?
    How can it be that I, who I am,
    didn’t exist before I came to be,
    and that, someday, I, who I am,
    will no longer be who I am?

  157. A- ? I masturbated way better than an A- !

    Seriously though, I majored in film theory, so I have way too much ‘knowledge’ on stuff like that. None of which will ever qualify me for any job. Which is why I’m currently studying for my GRE, so that I can be even more hopelessly over-educated.

  158. You don’t have to shut up, I just didn’t care to discuss it further. It’s kind of a choose your battles kind of thing. I’m just not passionate enough about the subject to waste anymore of my time or your time on it.

    Imagine a husband and a wife. The husband is watching a T.V. show (say…The Wire) and the wife comes in and the trash STILL isn’t taken out. The husband says he’ll get it after the show, but the wife wants it done now. The two go back and forth until they’re screaming at each other and throwing things. Meanwhile the son is looking on thinking, “Why are my parents arguing over trash? This is so fucking stupid.”

    I don’t want to argue anymore. I should have taken the trash out when you asked. Sorry honey.

    I did find it kind of strange that you bring up philosophy since I tend to misunderstand reality and exsistance as a whole from time to time.

    If you want to discuss truth futher I’ll oblige you but I don’t know shit about Plato so I doubt it will be very engaging for you. I’m just over the “documentary”/documentary thing.

    P.S. Don’t take offense that I cast you as the wife in my simile/metaphor/whatever, it’s just with your name it made more sense that you’d be the…you know, nevermind. I’ll be the wife.

  159. To get on a more interesting subject (and pehaps this should go in a different thread. Perhaps American Ninja?) What does one do with a film theory degree?

  160. hamsline: I agree with you that there is a point where a documentary film can become a hagiography, or agitprop or character assassination or propaganda. I don’t agree with you that there is such a thing as truth.

  161. Hamslime, I wasn’t actually offended. In fact, I had a really good time writing that post. It made me feel clever. Anyone reading these boards can tell when I’m actually doing something productive because I will write extensive posts that are really detailed and blowhard-y. If I have something ‘real’ to do, such as studying for the GREs, or writing a script with a due date, ect. I will use this space too goof off while I recharge my creative/thinking muscles.

    I also think it’s fuckin’ awesome that we had this discussion in a post about one of the least intellectual movies ever made. (Though, I would contend that films like Boondock Saints and the Room are worthy of analysis because they are unintentionally deep. Both of these films are prime examples of filmmakers crafting unflattering self portraits without realizing it.)

    Also, I chose the screen name Tawdry Hepburn specifically because I’m totally gay for fucking with gender norms and expectations. I’m one of those douchebags who doesn’t believe in Gender or a dichotomy between heterosexuality and homosexuality. Also, I look really, really good in girls jeans, especially when I wear them tucked into vintage doc martens twelve holes.

    Can we compromise and call all documentaries, ‘documentaries’?

    Anyway, one does nothing with a film school degree. For all my liberal blathering, I chose to go to school in the most bourgeoisie subject possible. However, it did teach me to write, write specifically, write in details, and write on command. I do screenwriting these days. Optioned a few things, had a few meetings, haven’t sold anything yet. I also do freelance journalism for http://www.collider.com http://www.consequenceofsound.net and a few other sites.

    Basically, it allows me to discuss things like the above and gave me an encyclopedic knowledge of philosophers. I was gonna double major in Philosophy, but then I found out that they only teach continental philosophy and not analytical philosophy. Unfortunately, every single philosopher who means anything to me or makes sense to me is analytical.

  162. And they call us movie geeks…blah!

  163. I think “how to” videos are safe to call documentaries. It shows you how to do shit so they seem to be pretty straight forward, but sure. I can live with that compromise.

    What screenplays have you written that you can talk about? I have one I’m writing about a murderous gimp in a basement. It opens up with the gimp (perhaps feral man would better describe this person as there’s no sex involved) violently killing some female victim that gets thrown into the basement. It then flashes back to when the gimp was a normal family man and goes on to show how he bacame the monster that he currently is.

    I have another that you can take the reigns of if you wish as it seems to be more up your alley than it is mine. It takes place in an interrogation room. Two detectives interview witnesses and victims of a bank robbery and as they tell their story it does a flashback of THEIR accounts of what happened.

    So for instance, one person’s version may have the robbers rushing in with AK-47s while another witness’ version has them robbing the bank with crossbows and a bomb strapped to their waist.

    It ends with the detectives taking the interviews into consideration along with the evidence collected and you get to see the robbery as they figured it may have happened.

    Someone said this has been done already (it is kind of similar to Boondock Saints now that I think of it) but I haven’t seen this movie yet. There’s no way I’m going to be able to shoot a bank robbery, let alone six of them so I let it go, but if you want it, it’s yours.

  164. Your 2nd screenplay kinda sounds like Inside Man (though very mildly) for some reason.

  165. Inside Rashoman, more like.

  166. Kurosawa made that movie. It was called Rashomon. It was based on two famous Japanese short stories, Rashomon and In the Grove. The second short story was written by Akutagawa and is often referred to as the first major piece of literature to use unreliable narrators.

    For my senior honor’s thesis I wrote a postmodern revenge thriller in the vein of Taxi Driver and The Punisher, but I can’t talk about that one because I optioned it and there is some life in it. Might be getting some money to pitch it as a funny strip.

    My first script was a coming-of-age horror comedy about a suicidal goth girl who learns to love life with the help of her undead father. It also prominently featured death cults and mass murder. UCSB is far from a premiere film school, but they pretty much let me do whatever I wanted. They gave me a 5k scholarship for that script, which was full of ghosts and zombies and hot goth chicks.

    I’m currently working on a spoof movie about the theater-going experience called Not Another Movie!, a slasher film about a killer who possesses the body of a baby Jesus doll and kills his victims in ways that reference the bible, a coming-of-age actioner about a marijuana growing operation, and a couple of high concept time travel yarns.

    Also, I made a short animated film during my sophomore year. The finished project isn’t very good, because I had never made a movie before and thus was a weak director and got bullied into cutting most of the strong political content, but the script got me some attention and a meeting with MTV.

    It’s a sitcom about a time-traveling Adolf Hitler who ends up trapped in New York, where he becomes a taxi cab driver. It’s called Hail Hitler! My entire crew got class credit for making it and I got a grant from the state of California to help with production costs.


    Honestly, I came up with the idea because I wanted to make a short film about the worst pitch meeting ever. But then I realized I really, really liked the idea. I wrote the script and pitched it to the school’s one production class as a joke, figuring that I would maybe make some friends who had a similar sense of humor. Then they picked my project and I spent the next 6 months working on it with the mindset that it was all one big Andy Kaufman style joke…then I realized I really wanted people to actually laugh. It played really well when we premiered, but it’s honestly not that great. I didn’t have the strength as a filmmaker to get my crew to rally around the edgy bits, so this version is about as toothless as a satire of television starring Adolf Hitler could possibly be.

  167. “in the vein of Taxi Driver and The Punisher.” I love it!

    Well, depending on which The Punisher you mean.

    Ah, who am I fooling? I like all three Punishers and both Taxi Drivers.

  168. Cool, I accidentally wrote a Kurowsawa script. I guess that script can stay dead, but now I suppose I should check out Rashomon.

    I too would like to see and/or read the Punisher, Taxi Driver one. The goth girl one sounds like something my sister would like except for the zombies (She wont watch the Twilight movies because it has vampires and werewolves).

  169. Hamslime, what’s your email address? trade notes?

  170. check yo’ inbox, goodsir.

  171. The Boondock Saints movies are like Dane Cook…they are trying to be something but come off as not genuine, but are still successful because they are very girl friendly, and girls don’t care about the real things.

  172. I have to say I have never, ever, met or even heard of a girl who liked or expressed any interest in the BOONDOCK SAINTS movies. Maybe that’s just me.

  173. Ur one hell of an idiot. If u do not know who the character tht appeared in their dream is…even though he was shown for atleast 80% of the movie well u didn’t watch it properly no i rephrase u didnt watch it at all cuz u cant miss this. If u rewatch u’ll see tht im right but ur overinflated ego tht grows behind a computer screen & a fanbasr just made go nuts & write this bullshit. Pls, dnt talk about wht u dnt know. I dnt even need to go into any other point cuz if u dnt know who tht character is then..well ur whole article is invalid cuz u simply did not watch the movie, right now go suck a dick

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