Breakfast On Pluto

Breakfast On Pluto (2005)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea, Liam Neeson, Ruth Negga, Laurence Kinlan
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurette, Trailers

Based on the book by Patrick McCabe, directed and Co-written by Oscar-winning director Neil Jordan, "Breakfast On Pluto" (Winner of the Excellence in Filmmaking, Special mention National Board of Review), is at once a whimsical yet poignant tale about the life of Patrick 'Kitten' Braden growing up in Ireland. Braden is brought to life here in an outstanding performance by Cillian Murphy of "28 Days Later," "Batman Begins" and "Red Eye."

Born without knowing his father and abandoned on a church doorstep by his mother and discovered by Father Liam (Liam Neeson), baby Patrick is given to a foster family to raise. He notices he isn't quite the same as the other boys. Chief among these differences is the fact that Patrick likes to wear dresses and apply makeup. 'Kitten' as he calls himself, grows up amidst the turmoil of the 70's and finds himself smack in the middle of prostitution (though rated R, the film isn't sexually graphic) and the Irish Republican Army! Though this theme may sound familiar to readers from Jordan's "The Crying Game," "Breakfast On Pluto" isn't as dark and depressing by comparison. In fact, despite some of the serious situations it is quite colorful.

Finding himself ostracized by the town, in trouble with the church, his school, and finally his foster family, Patrick sets out on a series of exploits along the way to finding his birth mother. During his journey, he joins a rock band whose lead singer is also a gun runner, becomes a magician's assistant and gets accused of terrorism to name some of the situations he finds himself in!

Filmed on location in Ireland and England, "Breakfast On Pluto" has an aspect ratio of 1:85:1 and is presented in anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is clean and free of defects. Very light grain is noticeable in some nighttime shots but I would venture to say, intended. Despite the fact that the movie was filmed in Ireland and England, which are typically known for being rainy and dreary, the overall presentation is bright with rich, vibrant colors, deep blacks and no noticeable edge-enhancement. Also, the compression is without notable artifacts.

Audio is presented here as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track. "Breakfast On Pluto" is a feature film showcasing a stellar soundtrack rooted in the 70's with tracks from Dusty Springfield, Bobby Goldsboro and Kris Kristofferson to name but a few. As such it is a bit disappointing that no DTS audio option has been included. Surround usage is good, although the rear end sound is minimal, while the front staging is quite acceptable with a clear center channel.

Not really a bonus intensive disc we have here. We do get a commentary track from Neil Jordan and Cillian Murphy. Though not specified, it appears sometimes the two were together at some times and recorded separately at others. While Cillian Murphy chimes in every now and then, it is director Jordan who carries the track and provides a nice, friendly, candid and informative commentary.

A 9-minute featurette with a discussion from Jordan, Murphy and a few producers is also included on the DVD covering the movie's production in some detail.

Rounding out the disc are several bonus trailers, including "Capote" and "Memoirs of a Geisha" as well as a trailer for "London," starring Jason Stratham (with a full head of hair)! and Jessica Beil. It looks like one of those fun, sexy, quirky gangster movies I can easily get into!

At once a light-hearted affair with tinges of explosive violence, "Breakfast On Pluto" can pack quite an emotional punch thanks to the captivating and Oscar-worthy performance by Cillian Murphy. Well worth a look!