Road to Perdition  [DVD]
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Tom Hanks stars in this gangster drama set in the American Midwest during the 1930s. Twelve-year-old Michael Sullivan Jr is curious about what his father (Hanks) does for a living, and one night decides to hide in his car as he goes off to work. It soon transpires that the elder Sullivan is a hitman for the mob, and when young Michael witnesses a killing carried out by the gangster boss' son Connor (Daniel Craig), it starts off a chain of events which will mark Michael's life forever. Co-starring Paul Newman and Jude Law and directed by Sam Mendes.
A movie with an impeccable pedigree, Road to Perdition is director Sam Mendes' impressive follow-up to American Beauty, and features remarkable contributions from veteran cinematographer Conrad Hall, composer Thomas Newman and a cast of thespian brilliance led by Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law. Unfortunately, all their fine efforts have been lavished on an essentially predictable story, adapted from the graphic novel, which here unfolds in an overly leisurely fashion. The result is a movie that looks wonderful but feels a little too much like a contrived morality play.
Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, a family man but also a hit man in the employ of mob boss John Rooney (Newman). A surrogate father-figure to Sullivan, Rooney also has a wayward real son, Connor (Daniel Craig), whose duplicity leads to a deadly alienation between the Rooney family and Sullivan. Forced to go on the run with his own 12-year-old son, Michael junior (Tyler Hoechlin), Sullivan seeks both revenge and a way to prevent his boy from one day taking the same dark road as himself. Thus the Road to Perdition becomes both a literal and metaphorical journey for the protagonists.
It wouldn't matter that there's little tension or doubt about the outcome, except that Hanks' character is all too clearly a decent chap at heart, thus undermining from the outset any sense of a real "journey" towards redemption. It remains a delight to see all the principals acting at their peak and so capably directed, but ultimately Road to Perdition seems like a series of magnificently staged set-pieces that doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts.
On the DVD: Road to Perdition is presented in an anamorphic version of its original theatrical 2.35:1 ratio with accompanying Dolby 5.1 or DTS sound options. Both picture and sound make the most of the impeccable photography and production design. Extras are a feature commentary from Mendes, a series of deleted scenes also with optional commentary, a standard HBO making of featurette, plus photos, text notes and a trailer for the CD soundtrack. --Mark Walker
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a very good revenge movie after the sullivan family is killed off with only Michael and his son Michael Jr surviving by the big boss Rooney played by Paul Newman all he'll breaks loose.
Michael sullivan seeks revenge on the Rooney family taking both theyer business and theyer lives away from them doing all of this whilst being chased over 1930 s America by a hit an played superbly by jude law.
Whilst all this is happening you see before you on screen a father and son bonding whilst sullivan tries to extinguish a whole gangster family the film has loads of action it keeps on ticking on at a steady pace.
The American countryside looks wonderful one sceen of father and son travelling in theyer car along the road with trees each side of them the golden leaves looks fantadtic the clothing cars and scenery all look authentic.
The ending was great something I was not expecting well done sam mandes great job for directing a great film fantastic story telling thus is more than a gangster story it's heartfelt a father and son'so unbreakable bond.
The transfer is good in that it improves the colours and levels of darkness (many dark scenes at the start of the movie). Lots of grain (as intended). It's worthy of the upgrade from DVD if it's reasonably priced (<£13) and you own a large TV. Audio is great, much more atmospheric than the DVD.
Another cover that doesn't give the languages but here's what are actually on the Blu-Ray:
Languages: English DTS master; Italian DTS; Castillian Spanish
Subs: English; Danish; Finnish; Italian; Norwegian; Swedish; Castillian Spanish; Croatian; Icelandic; Slovakian;
Conrad L. Hall, to whom the film is dedicated, uses photography to its fullest advantage, winning a posthumous Academy Award for his cinematography. Shot in winter, the film preserves the flavor of early black and white films, with sharp, black and white contrasts, and the use of dark, somber colors, when colors are used at all. Snow, ice, rain, and fog perpetuate the cold darkness of the scenes, and Hall's use of architectural framing is stunning, particularly his repeated use of windows. He keeps the scenes simple, often focusing on individual characters in contexts which reveal their emotional states. In one memorable scene, for example, light from a streetlight outside a window casts the shadow of rain on an interior wall, suggesting both tears and cleansing.
Newman is terrific as an aging mob boss, playing his part with just the right mix of frailty and cruelty (for which he won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor).Read more ›
Tom Hanks is Michael Sullivan, a hit man for an Irish mobster, John Rooney (Newman), who took him in as an orphan and has come to love him more than his violent and erratic biological son Connor (Daniel Craig). But blood is blood, and Connor is family and Sullivan a trusted employee. The initiating action is when Sullivan's son Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) stows away in his dad's car and finds out what he does for a living when his dad and Connor pay a visit to Finn McGovern, ostensibly to try to shore up his support for Rooney, even though Connor has been responsible for the death of McGovern's brother.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great acting by Hanks as usual.
Really good story that keeps you involved throughout.
excellent film I had already seen it on TV and really enjoyed it so bought it.highly recommended.Published 28 days ago by merlin
Excellent gangster movie with some great actors - Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Daniel Graig. I really enjoyed this gripping film.Published 29 days ago by R & G. Fiske.
A superb film with a great soundtrack. Tom Hanks is on excellent form.Published 1 month ago by julian heath