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White Irish Drinkers (DVD Review)

11 Jun, 2011 By: Billy Gil

Prebook 6/14/11; Street 7/12/11
Screen Media
Box Office $0.03 million
$24.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for pervasive language, some sexuality and violence.
Stars Steven Lang, Karen Allen, Peter Reigert.

The gruff title should tip you off: This is a rough-and-tumble tale about two brothers growing up in 1970s Brooklyn with an abusive drunk father and connections to the local mob.

The brothers in question are Brian (Nick Thurston) and Danny (Geoffrey Wigdor), who basically have helped raise each other and have each other’s backs. Their deadbeat dad (Stephen Lang, excellent) whips them for minor infractions and berates their harried, working mother (Karen Allen; see interview on page 13). All operate on tender feet when dad comes home, stumbling drunk and looking to spar.

Meanwhile, Danny’s gotten in with the local mob and wants to rob the movie theater at which Brian works. He wants Brian to get involved, too, but Brian’s different — he’d rather get involved with a hottie travel agent (Leslie Murphy), who’s charmed by Brian’s advances — including drawing her portrait out of fog on a window — but holds back as long as she can.

White Irish Drinkers does a fine job of setting up its characters and subplots and letting them crash into one another. Even if the writing and pacing occasionally come up short, the occasional brawl livens things up, and it’s hard not to sympathize with artistic, sensitive Brian, well-played by Thurston, growing up without a soul to care about his developing craft.

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