St. Vincent Blu-ray Review
The likeability of Vincent hinges solely on how much you like Bill Murray. Vincent himself isn’t charming or congenial. He’s a crass know-it-all that seemingly is looking out for himself, at least at first glance. Even if you were to learn or see some of Vincent’s positive attributes, you still might be inclined to disregard him altogether. Luckily for the film, Murray brings his brilliant deadpan delivery and the movie helps balance out his character with some sugary sappy sweetness.
Vincent himself is fairly simple man. He wakes up, sometimes to sex with his pregnant Russian girlfriend (Naomi Watts), and goes about his day participating in various bad habits. He goes to the strip club, I mean, that’s where his pregnant Russian girlfriend works. She’s a persistent one. He either drinks or gambles, sometimes both just to mix things up, and then there are the days where he meanders around his backyard spraying water on his browning grass. This simple life of debauchery is changed up when Maggie (McCarthy) and her young son Oliver (Lieberher) move in next door. Needing a new cash cow to finance his habits, he agrees to watch Oliver after school because Maggie works a demanding job at the area hospital.
The laughs, what few are sprinkled throughout, don’t really come from the antics between Oliver and Vincent, like you’d think. They come more from how different each one them is. While Oliver is a sweet kid with stereotypical adorable lines, his choice of language slowly changes, but not foul. Vincent starts revealing another shade of sentiment to his life as Oliver becomes more immersed in the life of Vincent. They bond over childish things and slowly begin to respect one another, with more of the respect coming from Oliver.
Without the cast provided, ST. VINCENT wouldn’t be anywhere near as good. The story is riddled with clichés, but it’s almost like this cast of seasoned actors and actresses knew how to handle sub-par script work. There’s way too many Hallmark Original Movie moments that could easily have you rolling your eyes, but something about Murray, McCarthy and Watts working together prevent this movie from become stomach sick off the mushy script. For once, McCarthy is given a role that gets her to highlight her acting range. She’s very sympathetic as the well-to-do single mom. Watts seems ripe for comedic roles and I’d like to see more of her using her funny bone.
Remember when I said your adoration for Bill Murray would come in to play? It obviously does by the third act. Vincent isn’t necessarily a beaming light of goodness, nor does he ever really reveal anything redeeming to the point of forgiving everything he’s done up until that point. At least I don’t believe so. He still comes off as a bitter old coot and even in the face of mounting adversity won’t show a smidgen of regret or remorse. The movie would expect us to believe he is worthy of forgiveness and depending on how much you really do love Bill Murray in this salty dog role, you’ll either love the ending or simply toss this movie away. Keep in mind though. Oliver, is the beaming light of goodness in this movie and if he can find the good in Vincent, so can we.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1:85:1) This movie features plenty of vibrant suburban colors and religious imagery, and it comes through clear on this blu-ray presentation.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) This movie has a timeless soundtrack, featuring rock classics and bluesy riffs. None of that is lost and it comes in crystal clear along with a superb mix of ambience, dialogue, and music.
Deleted Scenes (10:44): There are 12 deleted scenes that you can play all together or separately. About half of the scenes involve Oliver and his bully that becomes his friend which isn’t a big part of the movie, so it’s understandable why they eliminated these scenes. There is one scene in particular that I’m not sure why they deleted because it involves Oliver and his dad talking and then a scene with Maggie and his father.
Bill Murray is St. Vincent: The Patron Saint of Comedy (19:55): This is an interwoven feature that has a Q&A session from the Toronto International Film Festival and clips from the movie. It also throws in the Q&A for the 25th anniversary screening of GHOSTBUSTERS. It’s a great feature if you love Bill Murray, but it’s too hodgepodge.