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He Was a Quiet Man
DVD disk
Jan 28, 2008 By: Quigles
He Was a Quiet Man order
Director:
Frank Cappello

Actors:
Christian Slater
Elisha Cuthbert
William H. Macy

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A delusional psychopath plans to kill his coworkers, but inadvertently becomes a hero when he takes out another gun-toting employee who beat him to the punch.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Ignoring the film's blatant disregard for realism and obvious distaste for anything in the way of subtlety, HE WAS A QUIET MAN still proves itself little more than a highlight reel for Christian Slater—here in a role that attests to the actor's ability to really commit his all to a performance, and also confirms he's deserving of far better than the straight-to-DVD trash he normally stars.

It's disappointing to think a movie with such a promising premise and clear stylistic appeal would eventually fall prey to something as pedestrian as a love story (albeit with an interesting enough twist—he's a psychopath, and she's a quadriplegic), but this film does it rather quickly. In turn, it gets much too bogged down with all of its sloppily handled ideas, mixing Elisha Cuthbert's annoying character with the film's overstated satire and failed attempts at humor—much of which is frustrating due to its incessant unbelievability. The comedy that does work can be attributed almost solely to the addition of a talking fish that converses with the introverted maniac, always voicing the opinions he's too reticent to say himself.

When HE WAS A QUIET MAN reaches its ending twist, there's a (as weird as this may sound) welcome lack of surprise, if only because the predictable finale eases some of the irritation found in many of the nonsensical plot developments. Thing is, it's not executed well enough to leave viewers anything other than puzzled, and not in a good way. At least it continues the trend from the rest of the film, always offering up some worthwhile bits and pieces, but never knowing how best to handle them.
THE EXTRAS
Just some basics.

Audio Commentary (with writer/director Frank Cappello): A lively and engaging, if a bit arrogant, commentary track. Cappello has every reason to be proud of his movie, but the level of pretension featured here is without justification.

Deleted and Alternate Scenes (20:00): These are worth watching for the two smartly excised alternate endings.

First Look at "He Was a Quiet Man" (10:30): For something so short, this featurette offers a great deal of substantial discussion. Check it out.

Also included is the film's Theatrical Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
There's a lot to like in HE WAS A QUIET MAN, and even more to dislike. If it had focused less on Christian Slater's infatuation with uber-hottie Elisha Cuthbert, and more on his lifestyle change when moving up in the corporate world after being declared a hero, then the film might've had something of interest to say.
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