BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003791Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
State of Grace
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: The Arrow
State of Grace order
Director:
Phil Joanou

Actors:
Sean Penn
Gary Oldman
Ed Harris

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Terry Noonan (Penn) returns to his old Hell's Kitchen neighborhood in New York City after being away for 10 years. Once there, he hooks up with his old honey bunny (Wright) and her loose-canon brother Jackie (Oldman), who also happens to be his childhood homie. But things have changed in these parts, Jackie’s older brother Frankie (Harris) now runs the Irish mob and when the Italians get deeper into the mix, Terry is launched into a violent world where his loyalties, his honor and his friendships are tested.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This overlooked gem had the misfortune of being released theatrically in 1990 at the same time as the similar themed: GOODFELLAS. Under those circumstances, it was severely overlooked by movie-going audiences who were too busy raving about Scorsese’s epic film, to take notice of this underdog counterpart. Hopefully, the release of his DVD will prompt more folks to go out and discover this obscure masterpiece.

We’ve seen this type of story on film before, but I still couldn’t help but be deeply sucked in by this picture’s quality and emotional resonance. STATE OF GRACE’s main strength is definitely its characters and the awesome actors behind them. We have Sean Penn’s conflicted and tortured Terry and his subsequent bumpy love affair with Kathleen (Wright), as well as Jackie’s (wonderfully played by Gary Oldman) gung-ho, suicidal take on things and Frankie’s (Harris) cold and straight-forward demeanor. The human drama is laid on thick here and it’s what kept me into the game throughout. The flick’s constant heavy emphasis on universal themes such as friendship, love, betrayal and family also made the happenings much more gripping than the norm and the poignant twists that eventually arose due to each players’ layered persona, their relationships and the ugly situations at hand, never failed to touch me either.

Sure, STATE OF GRACE could’ve been slightly cut down in terms of length and its last block did wind up taking a more familiar route within its genre (mafia), but that still didn’t lessen its overall impact. Having invested so much into the characters from the get-go, what eventually went down kicked my ass to oblivion and yes...tissues came into play. Couple all that with a sumptuous score by Enio Morricone, gritty cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth and slow motion heavy (loved the shootouts) directing by Phil Joanou, and you get a film that managed to punch me from every emotional and aesthetic angle, like an Irish boxer looking for a knock-out.
THE EXTRAS
We get the film’s Trailer and that’s that.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The Italians have had their fair share of mafia movies with GOODFELLAS and THE GODFATHER crowning the lot of them. We can’t say the same about the Irish and that’s a damn shame, because the world in which they live is fascinating and I for one, could relate to it more. Although STATE OF GRACE’s originality did drop a few notches during its finale, it is still an overall expertly acted, written and directed tale that should deservedly stand tall next to the aforementioned Italian mob films. The DVD itself is butt naked, but the movie makes it worth owning anyway. Go out there and find this movie or my people will visit your people and it's going to get ugly.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| November 2016 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Harry Potter (Complete)
  • 2
    Captain America: Civil War
  • 3
    Finding Dory
  • 4
    The Secret Life of Pets
  • 5
    Star Trek Beyond

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More