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Kill the Irishman [Blu-ray]

Ray Stevenson , Jonathan Hensleigh    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

There's a deliciously seedy grime that seeps out of every image and guides the sparse production design of this brutal, often witty Mob saga about infamous Cleveland thug Daniel Greene and the criminal underworld he inhabited from the early '60s until his ultimate demise in 1977. Kill the Irishman may not go down in the top annals of gritty cinematic Mafia tales, but for pure brawn, attention to period detail, and the bravado of its enthusiastic cast it's a rousing tale of a real-life crime figure whose legend is well worth knowing and made more intriguing by the movie's stylish telling. Irish actor Ray Stevenson fills out the barrel-chested role of Greene with super-confident relish, as he strong-arms his way through anecdotal incidents that show the Irish-American hood rising from the docks into corrupt union jobs, work as an enforcer for local hoods, and finally butting heads with top-echelon Mob figures back east. The budget is slim, but the pared-down look works in the movie's favor by providing rough edges that grind against each other the same way the characters' egos, crusty leather jackets, and petty beefs do. Director Jonathan Hensleigh integrates actual TV news footage from the era as part of the backdrop to what was a hair-raising few years in Cleveland during the mid '70s, when rival crime figures were rubbing each other out all over the city, primarily with car bombs. Greene earned a reputation for being bulletproof--or more like bombproof--based on the number of times he escaped assassination from the bosses he gave annoyance to.

The narrative is largely a series of strung-together incidents that marked the man's rise to infamy: Greene busting his way into the unions then promptly getting busted out; Greene working as Mob or union muscle; Greene contracting to the Mafia; Greene running his own crew; Greene scheming to scam his way out of a loan shark debt. It's all briskly paced and set to the beat of period funk and soul or the Celtic rhythms that more aptly describe the spirit of Greene and his belief that he was descended from ancient Irish warlords who left him with a streak of immortality. The supporting cast is a riot of old or familiar faces that give credibility to the crime drama spirit. Christopher Walken plays an ashen-faced restaurateur and numbers-runner who takes Greene under his wing before he takes out a contract on him. Vincent D'Onofrio is a Cleveland heavy who becomes Greene's viciously loyal partner. Paul Sorvino's turn as New York boss Tony Salerno recalls his epic performance in Goodfellas, and Steven Schirripa (Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos) brings weight to his role as a dirty garbage man in more ways than one. Also notable among the array of aging, recognizable faces that play scarily realistic crime figures are Tony Lo Bianco, Vinnie Jones, Robert Davi, Bob Gunton, and Mike Starr. A distressingly puffy Val Kilmer shows up now and again to provide a little contextual narration as the token cop who grew up with Greene. But it's Stevenson who snarls loudest out of the pack of bulldogs in Kill the Irishman, a frugal yet richly entertaining blow-'em-up that should send his movie star stock sky high. --Ted Fry

Product Description

Synopsis:
Item Type: BLU-RAY DVD Movie
Item Rating: R
Street Date: 06/14/11
Wide Screen: yes
Director Cut: no
Special Edition: no
LanguageENGLISH
Foreign Film: no
Subtitlesno
Dubbed: no
Full Frame: no
Re-Release: no
Packaging: Sleeve Please note: This supplier will be closed on 11/24, 11/25, 12/26, 1/2 for the holidays. The shipping cut off is 12/10 to try and have the products delivered by Christmas.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `A Man You Don't Meet Everyday' Jan. 12 2012
By Tommy Dooley HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Set in Cleveland during the 1970's, this film from director Jonathan Hensleigh (`The Punisher' series) tells the true -ish story of Danny Greene. He was an impoverished second generation Irish man, but in America the apple never falls far from the tree, so he is still considered to be Irish - hence the title. I am second generation Irish, but feel totally English except that I do better singing when intoxicated (it's in the genes apparently). Any hoo, Danny (Ray Stevenson) is a big man with big ideas and a streak of pride that garners him admiration and the enmity of people in equal measure.

He starts on the docks and soon becomes the spokesman for the Longshoreman; his unofficial role soon becomes bona fide when he unceremoniously ousts the corrupt Union Boss. However, the power soon gets to him, actually before the paint has dried on his new green stairway. His carefree attitude towards other peoples' property soon gains him the attention of the mafia. As per usual everyone wants a split. Danny meanwhile gets busted and has to start all over.

This is a hard and gritty tale that uses some of the news reels from the time and it is amazing how many bombs were detonated around this time, like a microcosm of Beirut. Danny seems to have nine lives and a fear of no-one, it all builds up a head of steam that sees him upsetting one person too many and then all hell kicks off.

This is a well made and acted film that sadly went straight to DVD, well who wants to go to the cinema anyway? Apart from lots of people with their money that is. Besides that this ticks all the boxes, there is a love interest, there are some famous names, like Val Kilmer as the good cop who put his badge first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Good Bad Guy Jan. 15 2012
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I watched this movie for several reasons: Cleveland, Danny Greene, the Mob, and my personal liking of gangster movies, especially those that chronicle recent history. On all counts, I was enormously satisfied. The movie does a very good job of showcasing the old Cuyahoga district of Cleveland and its famous waterfront. This was where Danny, an Irish-Catholic lad, grew up in the rough-and-tumble, violent environment of American gangsterism. Fighting for his very survival seems to be Danny's calling in life. As the movie describes, he was more than able to handle his own when it came to squaring off against and outsmarting even the most formidable of foes like the local and national Mafia families who had Cleveland tied around their little finger. A rogue himself, Danny knew how to push back when it came to challenging the territorial claims of equally ruthless men who ran all kinds of criminal activities: gambling, prostitution, intimidation, loan sharking and drugs. Danny wants a part of the action and, to get it, is prepared to go to war with anyone standing in his way. One can't help cheering for his fearless determination to get what he thought was his. His campaign took many twists and turns as he contended with assassination attempts, muggings, police investigations and numerous betrayals. The movie concludes with a Samson-like irony that really shows the power of the man to make a real positive difference in life, even though his name was associated with much that is evil. Ray Stevenson is a fine actor who does justice to Greene's burly, gritty and invincible nature. However, I am still left with few clues as to how Greene was able to withstand all those attacks on his life, especially during the early 1970s when the city was inundated with dozens of bomb explosions. Was the Mafia that inept that they couldn't lay a hand on Greene until he became too cocky for his own good?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Try And Mess With This Guy Bet You Can't. April 14 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Kill the Irishman is based on the true story of Danny Green who rise to fame in his own right.
with his fist no doubt.in 1976 thirty-six bombs exploded across Cleveland as the turf war between Green and
the mob. the Irishman they couldn't kill and when they finally kill him he brought everyone else with him down.
because the hit-man that was sent to kill him turn on the mob and twenty-one of them was arrested for
racketeering which they never recover from to this day.this guy was a no holds bar kind of guy when he
say the party over you better believe it's over cause he'd beat you to a pulp.this is one gritty crime story
and some unforgettable characters as well like john nardi [Vincent D'Onofrio] who green team up with and shondor birns
[Christopher Walken] the lone shark he turn the tables on and subsequently blow him up in a car bomb
actually the same way green died.tit for tat i guess you live by the sword you die by the sword that's what they say
i just love movies like this so much.
this includes the documentary of Danny green
the rise and fall of the Irishman.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars cast of thousands let down by its lead actor Jan. 8 2012
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Saw the trailer and got intrigued. The cast of thousands (Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Linda Cardellini of "ER" fame, Vinnie Jones from all those Guy Ritchie gangster flicks, Tony Lo Bianco [say what!?], Steve Schirripa from "The Sopranos," Paul Sorvino...and on and on) is impressive in all the bit roles but the lead actor (Ray Stevenson) is sheer awful. He has almost zero screen presence. The story itself is a pretty typical Mob flick and it seems more like a made-for-TV movie the way they shot its 1970s settings.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  200 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good gangster film April 10 2011
By Robert G. Splaine Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
A tough Irishman challenges the authority of the Italian mobsters in Cleveland, thus making himself a target. A contract is put out on him, but he is difficult to take down. This is an effective gangster film that is quite violent, but the violence is not visually graphic. The action is intercut with actual news footage of the local media covering the events as they took place, which adds to the film's realism. The lead character is a domineering figure, but he is not a bully, and he is thus likeable. Some familiar faces from gangster films past appear in this one, bringing back memories of films like Goodfellas. Though not quite at that level, Kill the Irishman is very solid entertainment that should not be missed.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting True Life Tale Makes For One Of the Year's Most Unexpectedly Good Action Pictures May 23 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
The biographical dramatization "Kill The Irishman" is one of those under the radar films that, I believe, people will discover and embrace through the DVD market. Certainly not a perfect film--the movie does boast, however, a raw grittiness, larger than life performances, and an intriguing and spectacular true story begging for a big screen treatment. And yet, the theatrical release was all but non-existent. The film chronicles a mob war that escalated in Cleveland during the mid-seventies. At the heart of the action is Danny Greene, played with vigor by Ray Stevenson, an Irish-American thug who becomes entrenched in the shenanigans of the Italian mafia. With bluster and bravado, Greene stood his ground as an individual and even came to be championed by ordinary citizens for his more philanthropic endeavors. By taking on the mob, very visibly and very vocally, Greene achieved a notoriety that is hard to ignore and sparked a murderous summer in 1976 that resulted in 36 Cleveland area bombings.

The film introduces Greene as a physical laborer who, through righteousness and intimidation, ascends to the position of a local Union leader. Taken down and imprisoned for corruption, however, brings the high life to an end--and he and his family are forced to build a new existence upon his release. Through local connections (Vincent D'Onofrio and Christopher Walken), Greene soon finds himself taking on more responsibility with the mafia. However, trying to establish his independence and tiring of their imposed leadership, Greene eventually raises their ire with his rebellious and confrontational ways. This leads to all out war! The film does an excellent job highlighting the political and power connections that start to unravel. The resultant action is well done and harrowing--it is recreated with terrific specificity and attention to detail. Fans of action and mob films will not be disappointed by the film's brutality. The incorporation of real life news footage enhances the human drama as well.

Central to the success of the film is Ray Stevenson (who I knew principally from HBO's Rome). Stevenson gives a dynamic and fearless performance, strong but never alienating. You can see why Greene appealed to people, but Stevenson never relinquishes his harder edge. I loved him and, for me, he made the movie! Bigger names (including Val Kilmer as a cop who inexplicably narrates this piece) are fine, but the picture belongs to Stevenson! As a biography, however, the film makes some big jumps that would have defined its characters better. The story with Greene's wife and family is fairly superficial, his normal friends turn into weapon carrying thugs with zero transition, and most egregiously--the film fails to generate any time for the most intriguing aspect of Greene's tale. Greene became a popular cult figure with a Robin Hood mythology. The movie spends all of about ten seconds explaining this fascinating development! Still, this is a heck of a ride--all the more riveting because of its basis in real life. Genre fans should appreciate the movie--but don't let the title scare you, this should also have more universal appeal! KGHarris, 5/11.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Movie That Could Have Been a Classic May 22 2011
By Michael B. Druxman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
It's very seldom that I say that a particular movie would have benefited from a longer running time, but in the case of KILL THE IRISHMAN, I think that an additional thirty minutes would have turned what is now an entertaining gangster movie into a classic of the genre.

Written (with Jeremy Walters) and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, KILL THE IRISHMAN is based on the true story of Danny Greene, an Irish-American thug, revered by his neighbors as a local "Robin Hood," who in the 1970s, declared war on the Cleveland branch of the Italian Mafia. Greene survived many assassination attempts and his bold efforts, ultimately, led to the collapse of the Mob syndicate throughout the United States.

Ray Stevenson is quite effective as the "take no prisoners" Danny Greene, and he is supported by an excellent cast that includes Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Paul Sorvino, Robert Davi and several other actors who are familiar faces in Mob movies.

The problem is that there are so many characters and so much plot, all fascinating, that are crammed into the movie's 106 minute running time that the film feels like an outline for a more extensive epic drama. Great gangster movies (e.g. THE GODFATHER, GOODFELLAS) require texture and depth of characterization, while Hensleigh's picture presents the people who populate it with very broad strokes.

Yes, I enjoyed the movie, but I think that HBO or Showtime might have done this story more justice.

The DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment includes a compelling documentary about the real Danny Greene.

© Michael B. Druxman
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh Danny Boy, the bombs the guns are calling.... June 15 2011
By Mickey Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I knew eventually a movie about the legendary Danny Greene will come out, and this was nicely done with a great cast. Im sure you know the true story by now - a ballsy Irish-American thug in 1970s Cleveland tests the Mafia to the limits with brazen acts of defiance, a time when the Cleveland Mafia often preferred car-bombs instead of guns. Ray Stevenson is a fine choice for Greene, Kilmer lights up the screen as the detective on the case (and semi-friend; who's well aware of Greene's inevitable fate), and D'Onofrio is terrific as low-level hood John Nardi. Excellent usage of real-life news footage of the events transpiring and the Celtic bagpipe backround tune is a true pleasure as well. A few thoughts:

-Sorvino was a nice choice for Fat Tony Salerno of the Genovese Family but he should have been chewing a cigar in almost every scene, Salerno was notorious for this.

-They should have showed more of the relationship between Greene and Jewish loanshark Shonder Birns (Walken), as this is how Greene really made his mark in the underworld. They missed alot of this but hey it is a 2 hour film.

Other than a few minor flaws, this slick little mobster film is very entertaining and gangster fans especially will be glued to the screen. 4 Stars for Kill The Irishman.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average, run-of-the-mill mob movie June 21 2011
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Three things I'd like to address up front.

First, the box cover assertion that this is "The best gangster film since Goodfellas." No, actually, it's not. I'm tempted to give that honor to "The Departed," but once again, that wasn't a classic "mob" movie in the sense of The Godfather, Goodfellas or Casino.

While "The Departed" was a movie "about" the Irish mob, the real emphasis of the story was on the law enforcement officials...both upright and corrupt...caught in the vortex of trying to take the bad guys down.

Second, Val Kilmer. He's prominently featured on the box cover, he's got third billing, and his character is basically a generic cop who also narrates the film. The role could have been played by anyone. If you're fresh off of watching "Tombstone" and are thinking "Oh boy, a new Val Kilmer movie," think again. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but his interactions with Ray Stevenson's Danny Greene character are flat and unconvincing. Want to see genuine interplay between characters who grew up in "the old neighborhood" and are now damaged adults? Watch Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and Tim Robbins in "Mystic River."

Third, Christopher Walken. This isn't "a Christopher Walken movie" any more than it is "a Val Kilmer movie," but he's in it, and that means expectations are going to be high among viewers with even a passing interest in his work. He's dead-center in the box cover artwork. He's not dead-center in the movie. As mobster Shondor Birns, he represents a turning point of sorts in Greene's life. Freshly ousted as head of the union, Birns offers him a "collections" position in his loan sharking business. Once again, I don't want to offer up a spoiler here, but the business relationship goes sideways and Greene's method of handling it takes his journey to another level. What you don't get, in the highly compressed time frame of a 106 minute movie, is the dynamic of the relationship between Birns and Greene...it is almost as if you are expected to assume that Birns is the bad guy because he is portrayed by Walken, who tosses off a few Walken-isms along the way. When the moment of truth arrives, you aren't left with a deep understanding of how things got to that point. You've been offered the events, but there's no glue to hold them together.

Having said all of that, this might have made a far more engaging HBO (it would have to be on cable, due to the language and graphic violence) mini-series than a stand-alone movie, but it's still a 4-star movie.

There is an excellent one hour documentary included, "Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman," which I decided to watch before the movie...and I was glad I did. While it is a spoiler of sorts (you know the beginning, middle and end of the story before you watch the movie), when you actually do watch the film, there is a sense of cohesiveness I don't believe would have been there without it.

It's just too big of a story to fit into one movie. Greene was the epitome of the enigmatic "Robin Hood" type, and as his first wife shares in the documentary, he could display great acts of kindness (10 paid scholarships in the best private school in town for 10 inner-city kids from poor families, 50+ hams at Easter to neighbors, 50+ turkeys on Thanksgiving and Christmas to the same neighbors, paying 3 months' back rent for a neighbor, ridding the neighborhood of a rowdy biker gang), he was also prone to acts of extreme violence.

I can't predict how you'll react to the good man / bad man balance in the Greene character. I'm also not a scholar when it comes to the real-life events so I can't tell you if he is portrayed as a "better" or "worse" man than the real-life Greene.

Within 5 years of his death, as the result of a chain of events that followed, the FBI had essentially wiped out the U.S. presence of La Cosa Nostra. So it is impossible to separate "good" and "evil" in this movie...and it is usually the same in real life. Good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. There is no black and white sharp defining line. We blur those lines every day that we are breathing.

The movie also effectively incorporates news footage of the real Danny Greene and news reports from the era. The story is brutal. When we see Greene sitting with his new girlfriend and discussing a move to Texas, to get away from it all and start a new life, it's pretty much a guarantee that he's not going to make it to Texas.

So if you set your expectations to what I have shared here...that this is not "the best gangster film since Goodfellas," that the performances by Walken and Kilmer are far from "career defining," and that you will need a sense of history and the chain of events to understand how things get from point "A" to point "B," and then to point "C"...I think you'll really enjoy this film.

Most likely, if you watch the film and documentary in whatever order you choose, then watch the film a second time, you will enjoy it more than if you just hit the film cold on your first viewing.

Highly recommended.
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