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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Doesn't Kill You DVD Review

What Doesn’t Kill You - An E1 Films Release

On DVD: May 26th, 2009

Rated 14A for coarse language and violence

Running Time: 100 min.

Brian Goodman (dir.)

Brian Goodman (writer)

Paul T. Murray (writer)

Alex Wurman (music)

Mark Ruffalo as Brian Reilly

Ethan Hawke as Paulie McDougan

Amanda Peet as Stacy Reilly

Will Lyman as Sully

Brian Goodman as Pat Kelly

Donnie Wahlberg as Detective Moran


What Doesn’t Kill You DVD Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

What Doesn’t Kill You is a story about two friends who have always stood up for each other, as if they were brothers. Brian (Mark Ruffalo) and Paulie (Ethan Hawke) grew up in a tough neighbourhood in South Boston. Now, as adults they are constantly getting into trouble and often owe money to crime lords and drug dealers.

The acting in the film is good, and the story line is interesting. The film's problems lie in it’s slightly confusing fractured narrative. Another problem is, when a few years is meant to have passed, we never get a sense of how long it has actually been, due to the actors appearances never changing. Except his kids, thankfully, do age. This film is not really a happy one, but is definitely worth a rental.

The DVD includes feature commentary, deleted and alternate scenes and a 19 minute making-of featurette.


What Doesn’t Kill You DVD Review By Erin V.

*** (out of 4)

Taking place in South Boston, What Doesn’t Kill You tells the story of two friends, Brian and Paulie, who since a young age have been involved in a life of crime together. When the movie takes place, Brian is now married, and not sure if he wants to be continuing this lifestyle now that he has a wife and two kids. Paulie doesn’t really see that many other options, and to tell the truth, neither does Brian as the bills pile up. The movie opens with an attempt to rob an armoured truck. “An almost impossible feat, as you have to do it in broad daylight, and with all of the security around” - but Paulie insists he can handle it. We than flash to another point in time and have to wait to see how that robbery went...

Despite the fact that the makeup artists never age the two main actors when five years passes, (according to the words on the screen), so they look exactly the same, (which kind of makes it hard to believe five years has passed), the acting in this movie is solid. Contrary to what I had thought before watching this movie, while there is violence in here, none of it is graphic. Based on a true story, the storyline was interesting enough to keep me watching, and this being said, I would recommend renting this one if you have the time. Another thing that I liked was the music which was quiet in contrast to action of what was happening on screen, which made for an interesting effect.


What Doesn’t Kill You DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

Homeless at age 12, writer/director Brian Goodman survived as a criminal on the mean streets of “Southie” (South Boston). After a term in jail he began a new career with a part in the crime film Southie starring Donnie Wahlberg, also from Boston, who co-wrote and plays a cop in the current film.

Brian (Mark Ruffalo) and Paulie (Ethan Hawke) grew up like brothers, moving from petty crimes to more serious robbery and “collection” jobs for organized crime boss Pat Kelly (played by Brian Goodman). Though he tries to support his wife Stacy (Amanda Peet) and two sons, Brian is out late every night and becomes an alcoholic and crack addict. After his jail term, finding it difficult to recover from these addictions and find honest work, Brian still has his family behind him.

With its insider’s perspective and excellent cast, What Doesn’t Kill You gives us a powerful look at the rougher side of life in a neighborhood that, as noted at the end of the film, is rapidly gentrifying. The musical score by Alex Wurman provides a fine counterpoint to the action.


Consensus: What Doesn't Kill You is a well enough made film to warrant a least a rental. *** (Out of 4)

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