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What Doesn't Kill You [Blu-ray]

3.9 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Brian (Mark Ruffalo) and Paulie (Academy Award® nominee Ethan Hawke, Best Actor In a Supporting Role for Training Day, 2001) are two lifelong friends who grew up like brothers on the gritty streets of south Boston. They started early as street thugs living by the criminal code, doing petty crimes and misdemeanors that grew increasingly more serious. Eventually they fall under the sway of organized crime boss Pat Kelly (Brian Goodman). As Brian becomes increasingly lost in a haze of drugs and 'jobs,' he consistently disappoints his loyal wife (Amanda Peet) and their two sons. Torn between the desire to be a good husband and the lure of easy money, Brian must make the hardest choice of his life.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Will Lyman, Brian Goodman, Donnie Wahlberg, Angela Featherstone, Brian Connolly
  • Directors: Brian Goodman
  • Producers: Marc Frydman, Rod Lurie, Bob Yari
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001T9JP7K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,326 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "What Doesn't Kill You [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Where do I begin? Acting - top class. Cinematography - terrific. Story - what can be better than real life stories?
"This is me, this is what I do." Brian (Mark Ruffalo) to his wife - played by Amanda Peet.
He is a Boston criminal. He doesn't know any better and neither does his friend Paulie (Ethan Hawke). Both have been doing jobs for their boss since they were kids.
Things go quite well at first. Brian makes a living. Nothing special but he and his family are doing all right. Then drugs get in the way and he loses control. A job goes wrong and both Brian and Paulie end up in jail.
There Brian finally realizes what he was throwing away all this time. A loving wife who still holds on to him, two great kids, love.
To me the best moment in the film is a scene after Brian is back home from prison and he talks to his eldest son on the porch. He knows he can't let them down again. If he does he will lose everything he ever had.
So he makes a choice, takes the last chance he's got. To be there for those who love him and not to deceive them again. He is strong and together they will make it.
As I said before, great acting by the entire cast, Mark, Ethan, Amanda, but also the kids, the crime boss (Brian Goodman - also first time director).
I loved Mark in Zodiac, Amanda in Syriana and Ethan in Training Day but here they are even better.
Most of the story takes place during the winter and although it's often sunny they toned down the colors adding a little to the weight of the drama.
The Blu-ray is marvelous. Crisp when needed (not overdone thank God) with the winter sun, yet at the same time tolerating a certain softness which adds to the intimacy and warmth.
Get it.
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Format: DVD
Mark Ruffalo (Brian) and Ethan Hawke (Paulie) are childhood friends, growing up on the mean-streets of South Boston. Early on, they are overtaken by the path of least resistance toward easy money, through the negative environmental influences surrounding them. They eventually become runners, and, the heavy-hand, for organized crime boss Pat Kelly (Brian Goodman). Sadly, given their surroundings, it became their destiny---'the apple does not fall far from the tree.'

As the viewer you are able to observe these boys evolve from small time crime, to full-blown, risk-taking, men, with little remorse for social misconduct and an aversion toward authority figures. Interestingly, Antisocial Personality Disorders only need to have 3, or more, of 7 traits, and these characters portrayed them all---to perfection. You begin to see neither of them as having any socially redeeming value. Could redemption be possible with such a prognosis?

This film is brilliantly acted, and a textbook portrayal of budding sociopathy and the destruction it creates. If you have interest in dysfunctional personality dynamics, you will really enjoy it. However, some may not, because this is not a high-action film, or one of those bloody, chop-off-fingers types, with nausea inducing, gratuitous violence. Yes, there are some violent scenes, but this film is more of a character study of Brian and Paulie. One examining consequences of choices, and whether or not redemption can be found---if it's even sought, when there is a rusty moral compass.

Mark Ruffalo is outstanding in this role. The hospital scene, alone, when he is demanding more 'pain medication,' and his subsequent behaviors afterward are textbook, drug-seeking, antisocial.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this movie because it's a great success story written by Brian Goodman - a former strong arm guy that alledgedly worked for the Irish Mafia in South Boston. The crime scenes are probably fictional but similar examples of his real life crime story. Mark Ruffalo did an excellent job playing Brian Goodman in this story while Brian plays the part of the crime boss that he worked for (Whitey Bulger?). Brian is one of the few tough guys that could scare most people he met in the streets - including some cops. That's probably why Donnie Wahlberg played the part of the fearless detective that kept an eye on him like a good tough angel trying to help Brian keep straight and ready to lock him up if he messed up.

Brian Goodman is a great power of example to guys like me that grew up on the streets that were often homeless as teens. Many ended up doing time in jail, a house of correction or prison. Brian walked away from that life and became a very good actor - becoming one of many Southie success stories that started out in extreme hardship.

Brian - if you ever read this I want you to know I've become a big fan of your work. I got a kick out of the sucker punch Ruffalo gave the off-duty detective (Donnie Wahlberg) in this movie - it reminded me of something you said to me on the phone back in the 90's when you called the District 6 and yelled at me for knocking on the door in the high-rise many years ago while looking to talk to you about a legal process. You might remember that I laughed at that and never held it against you - because I grew up like you and didn't fear anyone either.
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