Friday, March 12, 2010
MOVIE MANIA -- ST. PATRICK'S DAY EDITION
Just in case you can't tell -- we're a little Irish. Ed is a 100% Irishman who has, sadly, never been to Ireland, our lifelong dream.
I have a little Irish on my Dads side making B more Irish than not.
So, St. Patrick's Day is indeed a big deal for us. We don't go to parades and we've never been to Boston but in our own way, we personify everything good about this occasion and take full advantage of our heritage.
Several years ago we were introduced to a little known film called 'The Boondock Saints'.
Outside of it's cult classic status, 'The Saints' isn't mainstream -- and I kind of like it that way. Think Quentin Tarantino running amok in Boston -- and just as bloody.
'The Boondock Saints' (1999) stars Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Readus as 'Connor and Murphy MacManus', two Bostonian brother's who work at the meat packing plant.
When they get into a St. Patrick's Day brawl at the local bar with Russian Mobsters who are strongarming the bars owner and friend of Connor and Murphy, 'Doc' -- the brother's take matters into their own hands.
This is the beginning of their intense vigilantism in which the well intentioned brother's attempt to take back their city from the thugs who want to overrun it.
They reluctantly bring on board their best friend, 'Rocco' (David Della Rocco), a numbers boy to the local Italian boss who's tired of playing their patsy and knows much about what goes on in the Italian underworld to prove that he can be of service to the brothers' plight.
The brothers' revenge against their citys sludge gets noticed by F.B.I. agent 'Paul Smeckler', played brilliantly and hysterically by Willem Dafoe -- who, after questioning them about the first series of murders with the Russians, likes and respects them and their intelligence (they speak several languages).
As the brother's continue on their rampage taking down the citys underworld, Smeckler becomes conflicted once he suspects who is behind the blood fest.
Make no mistake about it -- the brother's inform Rocco, their cohort, that Smeckler is a good man, not to be touched.
As the Italian underworld becomes weary of these attacks, they bring in long incarcerated 'Il Duce' (Billy Connolly) -- a criminal so violent that it's better to have him on their side than against -- to try and rid themselves of the brother's once and for all.
Filmed in (here's that reference again) Tarantino-esque flashback to current scenes, we come to see the brothers' Irish Catholicism coupled with tradition and, surpisingly, poignancy come heavily into play during the ritualistic killings in which the brothers lay a penny over the deads eyes (to pay the ferryman in order to cross over to ther other side, we presume) and say the following family prayer prior to killing the offenders:
"And Shepherds we shall be
For thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand
Our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.
A fantastic showdown -- exclaims Agent Smeckler: "It was a firefight!!!!" -- ensues with a twist no one saw coming.
The ending begs the question; Saints: heroes or menaces to society?
It's sequel, 'The Boondock Saints II -- All Saints Day' was ten years in the making by writer/director Troy Duffy due to production issues, which was released befittingly this past November around the actual 'All Saints Day', causing a frenzy amongst Saints fans who waited ten years for this.
Everyone is back for the sequel, with the exception of Willem Dafoe. Fear not, his lack of presence is apparently explained with yet another twist in this long awaited sequels ending.
'All Saints Day' -- which we are watching on DVD tomorrow night -- came out this week on DVD. Review will commence next week.
Until then, siochan (peace in Irish Gaelic).