Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Boondock Saints Retrospective: Overnight (2003)

Directors: Tony Montana, Mark Brian Smith
Rated: R

As for my film career?  Get used to it, cuz it ain't goin' anywhere. Period.
                                       ~Troy Duffy

Some of you might be asking what Overnight is.  Its the documentary about the history of The Boondock Saints production and the rise and fall of its writer/director Troy Duffy.  The Boondock Saints was a major pickup by Harvey Weinstein in 1997.  It created mass buzz when a bartender from Boston got his script picked up for $300K, offered to direct the $15M budgeted film, also his band would be signed and do the soundtrack. That's not all, Troy's bar he worked out would be purchased and co-owned by he and Harvey Weisntein.  It was the mother of all deals for an unproven talent in the industry.  The Boondock Saints was destined to be the next big thing, and Duffy touted as the next Quentin Tarantino.
Unfortunately, this all fell to shambles?  Why? Because Troy Duffy is (or was) as complete egotistical asshat and pissed it all away.  This documentary was made at his request back in 1997, but I think he was intending it to show his rise to greatness and show him as a powerful person.  Instead, we get to see him act like a complete jackass, who treats everyone surrounding him like shit and goes out and gets wasted every night.  The guy talks a big talk and as if he's the supreme overlord, but as we see, that's all he is.  He never does shit.  He talks harshly to studio execs and trashes good people who want to work with him (notably Keanu Reeves, Ethan Hawke and Kenneth Branagh).  All he's done is sold a script.  For the rest of his time, he parties, treats his band members and close friend like dirt (as if they were made to serve him) and sits in his office spewing venomous hatred at studio execs and his agency who are trying to help him get this movie produced.
Eventually everyone grew tried of Duffy's shit and "blacklisted" him and shut him out of the big picture.  He'd later get both his movie and his record made on lesser deals, both failing to deliver any sort of financial success.  The record sold under 700 copies and the film didn't even get picked up at Cannes and ended up opening in 5 theaters for 1 week.  They even try and paint Harvey Weinstein as this evil thug.  Yeah, the guy may have done his best to keep Troy from "ever working in this town again", but Troy absolutely drove him to that sort of strike back.  There are many moments captured with drunk guys bashing Harvey Weinstein, but if they ended up watching this documentary, they'd see that Harvey had good reason to drop the project.  Where it gets ridiculous is there is a part toward the end where its suggested that Harvey is trying to have Troy Duffy killed and it's sort of looney and complete nonsense.  No I wasn't there, but the part in the doc seems out of place and feels totally staged.
Overnight is one of my all-time favorite films about making movies.  An old friend of mine back in the day recommended it to me one day when I was talking about how much I liked The Boondock Saints.  He told me it would sort of change my opinion on the movie a little bit.  And I must admit, for a few years, it was hard for me to separate what I saw in Overnight from the movie.  Its silly as they should be judged as separate entities (as I am able to now), but I couldn't help but think of what a rotten piece of shit made the film.  But, in all honestly, Overnight enhances The Boondock Saints, as it shows you that Duffy's voice and personality completely transcends upon the film.  I can't think of a lot of behind the scenes or making of docs that actually revealed the voice behind a film and it actually seemed perfect.  I recommend this documentary to all film buffs as this is a must see.  Its a perfect example on how you shouldn't take things for granted, and you shouldn't let money or power go to your head so fast.  Its amazing to see how this guy is talking like he is above everyone in the world when he hasn't done squat.  And still hasn't, as Troy hasn't seen a dime of The Boondock Saints profits, as his production deal he ended up with didn't include any home video or television residuals.  I guess that's the last laugh right?

NEXT TIME:  The Sequel I've not seen...until now!

And if you don't believe me about how great this documentary is...take it from the late great Roger Ebert (click here, cuz it wouldn't let me embed)

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