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Overnight back to product details

Do you revel in the failure of others?
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written by colintappe April 23, 2009 - 12:56 PM PDT
'Cause I know I do. How about watching d-bags airing out their unfettered d***hiness? Well, when you get sick of watching VH1 reality programming, this flick'll hit the spot. This doc is pretty lite fare regarding the "rise" (or promise thereof) and "fall" (from not so big height) of the dude who did that Boondock Saints flick. I've never seen that movie, but I can pretty much guarantee the back story of how this townie lummox got a whiff of fame and let it send him into a fratty egosplosion is a more entertaining watch. Fans of Metallica's Some Kind of Monster will NOT be disappointed.

"Just keep your mouth shut"
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written by underdog August 2, 2005 - 12:04 PM PDT
8 out of 8 members found this review helpful
"I hope to conquer the world," says budding filmmaker Troy Duffy, the subject of Overnight. Conquer he didn't, but captivate briefly he did, hyped to the point of ludicrousness when his script Boondock Saints sold to Miramax for him to direct. He might garner our sympathy for him as an artist struggling to see his vision reach the screen if his story weren't a textbook case of an a**hole digging his own hole. The film Overnight is also a fascinating study of the way the film industry works, and sometimes doesn't work - to bring people up and tear them down, usually with an indifferent shrug of the shoulders. Duffy, who looks like a less amiable Kevin Smith, was a bartender at a "dive" bar in LA, if a dive can attract people like Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman and others (people we see in the film at both the bar and at a party for Duffy). The film is made by two former friends (and after watching the film one may wonder if there are any other kind left for him), and it would seem they have an axe to grind. Did they leave out the parts that reveal Duffy's softer side, him as a mensch? The editing is skewed but certainly no one makes him look worse than he does.

As painful as it sometimes is to watch this almost Shakespearean tragedy play out before our eyes, it's also pretty consistently fascinating, and full of memorable moments - like Duffy calling Kenneth Branagh to pitch him the project, Duffy calling and yelling at various other people, Duffy and Dafoe, his half bemused, half bedraggled and horrified parents, Duffy burning his bridges with his brief champion Harvey Weinstein, and perhaps the most darkly funny moment, the cell phone scene at the film's eventual premiere. The film also follows along Duffy's parallel music career; I didn't find the subplot about his neglected bandmates as captivating - though it is important to the overall story, as its fate is the final straw for some of Duffy's most important friendships (such as they are) and relationship with his family. One of the proviso's of Duffy's contract with Miramax was that his band would do the music (another was that they would buy the bar for him). Ironically, Overnight's moody score (by Jack Livesy and Peter Nashel) is arguably better than anything Duffy's band the Brood concocted for Boondock Saints. "Is there any real pleasure in it?" the ex Doobie Brother musician now producing their record wonders out loud at one point, And one does wonder while watching this film, IS there any real pleasure for him, where is the art, where is the love of creation?

The film works best as a case study of how people react, deal with, confront and/or ignore an egomaniac. You'll wonder why people don't speak up sooner - some out of intimidation, some because they wish to stay on as part of his entourage, ride his coattails, and some because they don't know how to react, or need more time to get over whatever shock they feel from being a witness to his antics.

And the film within the film? Well, Boondock Saints was seen by almost literally no one upon initial release (the story of its distribution is both sad and an enlightening study of the challenges of getting a film released, even without pitting everyone against you). But it did develop a cult following, had a good cast, and might have been worthy of our time had he not paved the way for its obscurity with his ego, although the finished film Saints is much more style and little substance, with one too many screaming matches - though some of the characterizations are very strong - and makes you wonder what Miramax was thinking in the first place. But the film very well could have received a better fate had Duffy not turned off just about everyone in his path, down to his own brother.

And by the time Willem Dafoe good naturedly, but honestly, tells Duffy, "Just keep your mouth shut" while on the Boondock Saints set, it's too late, the damage has been done. But it's sad, too, because when he is finally shooting Boondock you can see another side of him, his guard let down a bit, actually - gasp! - enjoying himself. One may be left wondering, what could have been. Or you may wonder, why couldn't it have been someone else? You can't fault him for having genuine dreams of changing the industry, of making an impact, of being a success - but he misinterprets what it is to play rebel and at the same time play the game.

Will This Moviemaker Be Consigned to the "Boondock"?
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written by talltale June 30, 2005 - 6:39 AM PDT
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
Has anyone ever received as bad a real-life roasting as poor Troy Duffy, the writer/director of the Tarantino-lite "Boondock Saints"? I seriously doubt it. Then again, few other first-film moviemakers may deserve the roasting that OVERNIGHT delivers. And from his supposed friends! On the other hand, considering how he treated those friends, can you blame them? See this nasty documentary and decide for yourself.

We saw BS (not a bad two letters to describe "Boondock Saints") upon its release to video, well before anyone had heard of this little documentary, so at least we judged it neither the worst nor the best of its ilk, without having to wonder if "Overnight" unduly influenced that judgment. I suspect the documentary may cause film fans to check out "Saints," if they don't already know it. It may also prevent other ego-heavy, novice directors from allowing a documentary like this to be made while their very career flairs and fades. Then again, egos like Duffy's know no bounds, no sense of decorum and--unfortunately--no reason to hide.

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(Average 6.34)
32 Votes
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