On a beautiful Thursday in November with temperatures in the mid-70s, film fans in Dallas-Fort Worth got a glimpse of what it might be like to live in Los Angeles. Besides the California-like weather, this was a movie-intensive day, with the Lone Star International Film Festival in full swing at venues throughout Fort Worth, and the Angelika Film Center in Dallas hosting the Southwest premiere of The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.
For those not in know about the phenomenon of Boondock, here's a brief history: Following its limited theatrical release in 1999, this Tarantino-style gangster thriller developed a cult following on DVD. Legions of fans were telling their friends, "You have got to see this movie!"
That was how I discovered the movie. My good friend "Wheels" demanded I watch it or lose my "man card."
But even with the surprise success of the original film, director Troy Duffy ended up embroiled in an ongoing legal melodrama involving the film's distributor. (Some of this is chronicled in the clever documentary Overnight, which came out in 2003.)
Originally this long-delayed sequel was going to be a limited release in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, but fan demand -- spearheaded in part by a local film Web site called Red Carpet Crash -- convinced Sony Pictures to expand the movie to the Metroplex.
Fans of the original were out in full force for this special event, with the 300-seat auditorium at standing room only capacity.
Stars Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus joined Duffy in the crowd. I'm sure they had an emotional high as the crowd cheered throughout the movie like they were at a football game. This new film follows The McManus boys as they travel from Ireland, where they are living in relative peace, back to Boston, where they must seek justice for the murder of a priest. It's every bit as breezy, brutal and cheerfully bloody as the original.
The closing credits were greeted with a standing ovation. After the film, the three men held a Q & A. Troy Duffy spoke about the five year lawsuit that delayed Boondock II. Texas' own Sean Patrick Flannery gave a good rendition of passionate Boondock Saints fans when they see him in public. Norman Reedus, meanwhile, autographed a girl's shoe.
The evening continued as the crowd spilled into Trinity Hall, the Irish pub next door to the Angelika, for the official after party. The boys signed posters and took pictures as fans fought for the right to buy them their first round of drinks.
Who knows how long our California weather will continue, but a few things are certain: The Lone Star Film International Film Festival runs through November 15; and The Boondock Saints II opens today at two Tarrant locations, The AMC Parks Mall in Arlington and the AMC Grapevine Mills.