Road to Perdition [Blu-Ray] Sam Mendes

Road to Perdition [Blu-Ray] Sam Mendes
As I sat down to write this review, I immediately began to procrastinate. Rather than start typing my thoughts about Sam Mendes' 2002 gangster drama, Road to Perdition, I began surfing the internet. A recent entry on a random movie news site piqued my interest; apparently, a sequel to Road to Perdition is being written by the author of the original graphic novel. I was all set to talk about how unappreciated the film was and here they are making a sequel. While I don't know that a second film is needed, it's nice to know that Road has only increased in popularity since its initial release, a trend that will no doubt continue after this new Blu-Ray edition is released. While the title may sound like a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby comedy, Road to Perdition is actually a grim, depression-era gangster film whose emotional core is rooted in the relationships between fathers and sons. Tom Hanks is cast against type as Michael Sullivan, a hit man working for father figure John Rooney (Paul Newman), who is forced to flee when Rooney's actual son (Daniel Craig) murders his family. The only other survivor is Sullivan's 12-year-old son, forcing Sullivan to learn how to be a father while simultaneously going on a revenge-killing spree, all while being pursued by a psychotic assassin (Jude Law). There are lots of Tommy Gun shootouts. The cast is truly great; Tom Hanks is surprisingly imposing as a stern father who commits horrendous acts of violence unceremoniously, and Paul Newman is both loveable and frightening as the aging mob leader. We also get to see the substantial acting chops of Daniel Craig, before he started playing James Bond, and Jude Law, before he only re-made Michael Caine movies. The style and authentic feel of the film are also significantly shaped by director of photography Conrad Hall, who died after filming and was awarded a posthumous Oscar for the film's cinematography. The Blu-Ray transfer looks great — this is one film where visual scrutiny is absolutely warranted. The special features include a new introduction to the Blu-Ray edition by Sam Mendes, an engrossing commentary track by Mendes, deleted scenes, a making-of doc and a retrospective of the work of Conrad Hall. (Paramount)