A taste of Ireland is as close as your local video store.
The just released "Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day," a follow up to 1999's "Boondock Saints," is an action-packed choice for this St. Patrick's Day. We are reuinted with the MacManus brothers, who have been living peacfully in Ireland for the last eight years, until they are framed for the murder of a Bostonian priest and have to return to Boston to clear their names.
This past year also brought us "Leap Year," a romantic comedy starring Amy Adams. She plays a woman with an elaborate scheme to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day, an Irish tradition which occurs every time Feb. 29 rolls around. When bad weather delays her trip to Dublin, an innkeeper helps her in her cross-country journey.
And you can even see Daniel Day-Lewis in his Oscar winning performance. No, not as oilman Daniel Plainview in "There Will Be Blood." You can see him as Irish artist and writer Christy Brown in 1989's "My Left Foot," which won him his first Best Actor Oscar.
Which just goes to show that the Old Sod has found favor with filmgoers.
You can also hear the 2008 Oscar-winning song, "Falling Slowly," in the movie "Once." It's a modern day musical set on the streets of Dublin starring Glen Hansard from the Irish band "The Frames."
Here's a selection of movies with Irish themes available for home viewing:
•The Informer (1935): Victor McLaglen won an Oscar as a down-and-out Irish rebel who rats out a friend to collect a 20-pound reward.
•Odd Man Out (1947): Director Carol Reed (The Third Man) spins a taut tale of a really bad day for Irish rebels. James Mason stars.
•The Quiet Man (1952): John Ford's classic stars John Wayne as a Yankee boxing champion in Ireland who romances a fierce-tempered redhead (Maureen O'Hara).
•Cal (1984): A young IRA volunteer (John Lynch) falls for an older woman (Helen Mirren) whose husband, a Protestant policeman, he helped to kill.
•The Dead (1987): John Huston's last film stars his daughter Anjelica in a sumptuous adaptation of James Joyce's Dubliners story.
•My Left Foot (1989): Oscars went to Daniel Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker for the story of Irish artist and writer Christy Brown, afflicted by cerebral palsy. Jim Sheridan served as the director.
•Miller's Crossing (1990): Joel and Ethan Coen's film stars Gabriel Byrne as an Irish-American mobster in a war with Italian newcomers. It features the best Tommy gun scene ever set to Danny Boy.
•The Field (1990): Richard Harris is a raging-bull Irishman in a bidding war over a piece of turf.
•Hear My Song (1991): A gem starring Ned Beatty as Irish tenor Josef Locke, a tax exile from England who sneaks into London for a concert.
•The Commitments (1991), The Snapper (1993), The Van (1996): A comic trefoil of Dublin films, based on Roddy Doyle's Barrytown trilogy, feature Colm Meaney as a blustering patriarch. The Commitments is about a Dublin soul band, The Snapper follows an unwed daughter's pregnancy, and The Van tells the tale of a doomed fish-and-chips business.
•The Crying Game (1992): This terrifically convoluted movie describes an IRA man (Stephen Rea) who befriends his British hostage (Forest Whitaker) then romances his lover. And there's a plot jolt midway through.
•In the Name of the Father (1993): Director Jim Sheridan and Daniel Day-Lewis reunite for this gripping story about a Belfast man falsely imprisoned for terrorism.
•Into the West (1993): This dark fable describes two brothers whose journey across Ireland on a mythical white horse heals their shattered family. Gabriel Byrne and Ellen Barkin star.
• The Secret of Roan Inish (1994): Director John Sayles sails into the mystical with this story of a girl sent to live with grandparents amid seals, seabirds, fish and folklore in coastal Ireland.
•Michael Collins (1996): Neil Jordan's biopic of Ireland's Big ella, who waged guerrilla warfare against the British. Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts star.
• Some Mother's Son (1996): Helen Mirren is the mother of an inmate who joins IRA hunger strikes in the early 1980s.
• The Boxer (1997): Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson appear in the engrossing story of an ex-IRA member who takes up with an old flame after years in prison.
•Waking Ned Devine (1998): Conniving Irishmen try to collect their dead buddy's lottery winnings.
•Dancing at Lughnasa (1998): This sweet take on family resilience stars Meryl Streep as one of five Irish sisters.
•The Boondock Saints (1999): Irish brothers Connor & Murphy McManus live and work in Boston. Feeling that God's will to rid Earth from all human Evil was given to them as a mission, they set out to do their divine deed.