The Babadook – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

The Babadook – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
There’s little left to be said about The Babadook.  From All Things Film’s own Andrew Mackay’s glowing review to the heaps of 5 star reviews across the globe, it’s fair top say the film arrives with bucket loads of hype.  And you know what… for once it actually deserves it! Scary as hell, this old school horror film is so unsettling and oppressive that it will stay will for you for weeks to come. Needless to say this is a film that demands to be seen in teh best possible way – so turn off the lights, send teh kids to bed and get prepared to be scared shitless.

Best Bit: Direction.  One of the most assured feature debuts ever.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Shining, The Others, We Need To Talk About Kevin

Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

 

 

 

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Blog: The Babadook – A Quick Capsule Review

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
There’s little left to be said about The Babadook.  From All Things Film’s own Andrew Mackay’s glowing review to the heaps of 5 star reviews across the globe, it’s fair top say the film arrives with bucket loads of hype.  And you know what… for once it actually deserves it! Scary as hell, this old school horror film is so unsettling and oppressive that it will stay will for you for weeks to come. Needless to say this is a film that demands to be seen.

Best Bit: Direction.  One of the most assured feature debuts ever.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Shining, The Others, We Need To Talk About Kevin

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Intersteller Reviewed

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Intersteller Reviewed

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Director: Christopher Nolan, Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Matt Damon.

In the near future, Earth is dying, food resources are running low and mankind is now no more than a caretaker population awaiting the inevitable coming apocalypse.

However, hope lies in the discovery of a wormhole near Saturn that leads to another galaxy, wherein it is postulated that there may be Earth like planets that could potentially re-home the human race.

Naturally the wormhole has to be explored – so NASA recruits former air force pilot Cooper (McConaughey) and three scientists (including Hathaway) to boldly go and see what’s on the other side, however things do not go as planned and the team find themselves up against everything from a giant black hole, to the laws of space time and the perils of exploring strange new worlds.

Putting it mildly – Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors working today – thus far all of his films have been imaginative, well plotted and most of all extremely clever – rare traits which are sorely lacking in many of today’s modern blockbusters (the films of Michael Bay being a notable example).  So I am very happy to report that Interstellar is no exception.

Nolan once again proves to be a story teller of immense talent and intelligence, weaving a plot that twists and turns whilst cleverly throwing in proper scientific theory, which refreshingly never insults its audience but instead makes one fully concentrate and  think properly about what is unfolding on screen.

It’s also technically flawless – with VFX that serve the film rather than take it over completely. In addition Jonathan Nolan’s script is pitch perfect, with nary a clunky line to be heard.  Finally the cast is universally excellent –  McConaughey continues his stunning run of form with a wonderfully understated performance of real depth and breadth, Michael Caine is fantastic as the NASA scientist who persuades Cooper to take on the mission and there are also superb turns from Damon (in a small but pivotal role) Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck and Anne Hathaway.

One thing I will say is that if you are expecting a slam bang space adventure akin to Armageddon or Star Trek, then Interstellar isn’t the film for you. For a start its very long (3 hours), takes its time to get going, is slow in parts  and features some mighty plot twists and mind bending science that may not be for all tastes. However if you like a movie that is brilliantly made, challenging and most of all damned intelligent, then this will be right up your alley.

Don’t miss this one folks

 
Author: Will Strong 

 

Blog: Life Itself – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Life Itself – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It’s fair to say that I have a healthy love of documentaries in all shapes and forms.  So to find one as impressive, inspirational and well made as Life Itself is a real treat.  To be fair as a critic whilst I had respect for Ebert I wasn’t a devote or even a follower so knew little about the man, his career and his illnesses. It’s fair to say leaving Life Itself I’m now a 100% Ebert fan, a man who was both a genius writer and an inspirational character that took whatever life gave him and turned it into a positive.

In short: This is a must see whether you know the work of Ebert or not.  One of the best films of the year.

Best Bit: Ebert: simply inspirational

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Act Of Killing, Blackfish, Samsara

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Life Itself Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – Life Itself Reviewed

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

When I learned about the death of revered and celebrated film critic Roger Ebert in April of 2013, my initial reaction was “that’s very sad, I’ll miss his reviews and his uniquely brilliant writing” and pretty much put it to the back of my brain. On our Filmsploitation podcast End of the Year Show 2013, I named Ebert my Hero of the Year. I meant every word of it.

It wasn’t until the following Friday, when the one or two reviews he’d managed to write under the hefty buckle of practically terminal cancer, that the absence of any fresh text from him did I realise just how much I was going to miss him – or, to put a finer point on the situation, his thoughts and views. Having traversed the Cannes streets a good number of times at the festival each year, I remember seeing him around but never had the gall to approach him. I deeply regret this now. And, now, even though rogerebert.com has now become a shrine and force for new film critics the world over, its his mastery of thought, perception and understanding that I miss a lot.

It would appear to me now having seen “Life Itself” – a mostly autobiographical deeply rich and incisive documentary which teeters on the brink of personal burglary – that I am far from alone. This is a curious revelation; sure, we know how popular he is from his many fans and near half-decade of criticism that he was extremely well liked. He has hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers – testament to the fact that he was one of a very select few who embraced technology – and among the first to exploit – the likes of the CD-ROM-based Cinemania (which is how I came to meet him back in 1996) through to his famous website. He championed all types of cinema. And it is on this first count that I felt a kinship with him; he was the first non filmmaker (for all intents and purposes, anyway) who shared, if not completely smothered, my own obsession for the movies.

On the second count – unavoidably so – was that Ebert was among the most revered and celebrated film criticism. It has not gone unnoticed that I type this into my own critique of a film – and for once, it’s his film. There will be no counter argument from him – because he’s dead.

Director Steve James of 1994’s Hoop Dreams directs “Life Itself” with an intense yet extremely unsubtle flavour; opening with shots of the jaw-less Ebert frantically typing away on his electronic voice box with his wife sat next to him, smiling and keeping spirits alive. This is late 2012, when James has been granted permission by Roger and his wife of twenty plus years, Chaz. He’s both right at, and as far as one can be removed given the circumstances, at death’s door. He’s having saliva sucked out through the enormous cavity from his neck that cancer has chowed down on, but Ebert insists we capture every gargling, unpleasant moment. Once the routine has commenced, he half-smiles, as is his physical wont since the nasty operation, and gives a thumbs up. He hasn’t lost his sense of humour.

I doubt the Roger and Chaz would have been so willing to show this – and many other crucial and acutely private moments – if it were not for Steve James himself. Ebert awarded his magnum opus Hoop Dreams not only the maximum four star ‘two thumbs up’ (and rightly so, in my view) but also named it the best film of the 1990s, ahead of classics such as Fargo and Pulp Fiction, the latter of which I think came second. Ebert loved movies, as he saw them as revealing insights into people’s minds, and offered – for better or worse – an escape from oneself. Anyone reading reviews regularly from a variety of sources will understand this as much as they understand Roger’s (and indeed mine, born from Roger’s stance) insistence that a star rating is at best relative, and that the text really contains the review.

James unfurls the two hour’s worth of material – a collection of rare and unseen footage from personal archives, through to the classic “At the Movies” reviews and the well-worn, yet no less awesome, footage of a cranky, rattling love-hate relationship with Gene Siskel. All of this is woven across numerous talking heads; Scorsese makes an appearance, as does A. O. Scott and a number of other critics who avoid fawning and speak their minds on the man who changed their lives.

To have been a regular, straight forward affair (which in the hands of any other documentary could so easily have been the case) James takes every opportunity, as fresh as his material is, to get right to the heart of Ebert’s impact on the movies and notion that made mainstream criticism so widely available and celebrated. I thought I knew everything there was to know – but “Life Itself” quickly put me right; I, one of his biggest arbiters, knew roughly half.

I didn’t know just how strong Ebert actually was. Cocooned and condemned to a silent, malnourished, cruel and ugly fate; the man fought and fought until the fight just wasn’t worth meeting anymore. Here is a man who, after witnessing his best friend in Gene Siskel go through (he’d elected to keep his terminal brain tumour a secret till the last moments), decided to do the exact opposite; not out of respect to the media or to his fans, but, rather, to his dearly beloved wife and family; Ebert took great exception to Siskel potentially having a hold on his career – and vice versa – and took this final death blow very personally, and very badly. It informed the remainder of his life – and a real character arc begins to unfurl; here’s a man, no siblings, born to a labourer and housewife, who has grown up to be an alcoholic, egotistic, somewhat eccentric, yet deeply honest and near-infallible in nature. He ends up disfigured, extremely learned, and very humbled by the life he has led.

I consider the best documentary ever made to be Kirby Dick’s 1997 masterpiece “Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan: Supermasochist” – anyone who knows me even remotely well would, at some point, have had this documentary mercilessly foisted upon them. Hardly any of those people to this day have ever bothered to watch it. It doesn’t surprise me; it’s about a performance artist who mutilates himself, was probably meta-sexual, spent his days off as a slave to his mistress and coughed up phlegm for Kirby Dick in his final performance video which, eventually, shows him die suddenly (even though he’s twenty-five years past his prognosis) in a hospital bed; alone, cold, frightened. It’s chilling, yet so richly enervating that it defies any work that has come before it. It’s little coincidence that Ebert loved the movie, also.

It’s even smaller a coincidence that I ever saw the film because I had stumbled across Roger Ebert’s review. I seldom agreed with Roger Ebert’s reviews; but to judge any critic’s merit based on your difference of opinion is to entirely miss the point; I enjoyed reading his work.

As Life Itself neared the end, I realised that for the first time in going on for twenty years – finally – another documentary has come along to rival it in a most serious way. There are parallels at work here; both ‘Sick’ and ‘Life Itself’s nucleus concern themselves with a central figure who is articulate, interesting, witty and forced to confront life and then death. Okay, they do it via different art forms – yet nevertheless, this is art. Both are stories with a beginning, middle and – sadly enough – an end. This critic you read is an extremely tough nut to crack – but there are moments in this wonderful film where I was very close to tears. I only wish I – and everyone who I love dearly – are this fortunate to have lived and loved, and be loved, as much as this man.

‘Life Itself’ is a masterpiece by Steve James. It is a masterpiece complete within the space of two years. It is an ultra-confident about an ultra-gifted human being. It has the foresight to adapt and exploit events and allows the viewer into some seriously deep and private material – and it knows just how to reveal it within the confines of its own medium.

“Life Itself” is the film of the year, and the second best documentary I have ever seen

 

Author: Andrew Mackay

Best Film of 2013: Rush

Best Film of 2013: Rush

Best & Worst Quick Review
The Review:
 In over 60 years of official competition, there have only ever been a handful of movies about what is one of the worlds most popular sports.  It’s not through lack of inherent drama – just the last few seasons of F1 alone we’ve seen a no hoper team come from being scrapped to winning the world title, a championship won on the last corner of the final race of the season and racers walk away from what should have been life ending crashes.  
But whether it be the subject matter often being almost too extraordinary or the fear that recreating the sport on screen could almost be as expensive as running a team for a year, in general cinema has steered clear of the sport.  So with RUSH arriving in cinemas, from Imagine Entertainment, Working Title Films and in the hands of director Ron Howard, have they achieved what few had dared challenge previous and created a heart pounding thrill ride of a movie or was the task too much for what is a modestly budgeted British film from a company best known for making Hugh Grant rom coms?RUSH tells the extraordinary story of the 1976 Formula 1 world championship, and the merciless 1970s rivalry between the cool, calm playboy Brit James Hunt and methodical, driven Austrian Niki Lauda. Starring Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, director and former Happy Days star Ron Howard has crated a film of such brilliance that, much like documentary Senna, it transcends interest of the sport it focus on and presents what is one of the best performed and most gripping stories of the year so far.  It helps that this truly was a fascinating year – from Lauda’s near fatal crash, to behind the scenes political manoeuvrings and some of the most fierce on track racing ever witnessed in the sport, a year if someone wrote it down without the facts to back it up you’d probably never believe it.But is this anything more than a love letter to the glory days of a sport now controlled by corporations and banks?
 Yes, in fact whilst the racing is expertly handled and form some of the films most intense moments, it’s the story of two men’s bitter rivalry (and friendship) that sit firmly at the heart of this story.  Hemsworth, who no doubt will set hearts a fluttering all bare chest  and flowing haired,  proves he more than a man with a large hammer and tights matching his charismatic subject matter James Hunt smile for smile.  At the same time not to be outdone Bruhl, whose credits mostly include European films few have seen other than a turn in QT’s Inglorious Basterds delivers a performance layered and emotionally grabbing that you just know he will rightfully end up with a trophy cabinet of awards come silly season next year.   The positives don’t stop there: From the lovingly recreated period detail (and not just the numerous F1 cars dragged out if retirement and museums to once again roar for the crowds), to the sense of danger at every turn, Howard and his team recreate the era almost perfectly and when the cars do race, the film pulls no punches.  Actual arial photography taken at the time, mixed seamlessly with some of the most innovative racing cinematography ever placed on screen, every gear change, every button push is a thing of beauty.  RUSH’s cinematography (by Anthony Dod Mantle) is genuinely a thing of beauty and does well to hide what is, by all accounts, a low budget by Hollywood terms.
 But don’t forget this ISNT a Hollywood movie.  It may be directed by Ron Howard but this is a Working Title film.  A British film.  Okay so at $40million USD it’s the biggest film working title have put together, but this is more British that Potter or Bond could ever hope to be.In short RUSH is a directorial triumph and probably Howard’s best movie for some years.Also special note should go to Peter Morgan, writer of The Queen and Frost/Nixon, for a excellent screenplay that allows the story to take shape through the characters whilst allowing the actors enough space to add their own flair to the film.  Is the film perfect? No.  It takes liberties with actual events, being more a story inspired by the truth rather than representing the truth and at times it’s both predictable and obviously when it strays from what is obviously the facts.  But these things rarely matter against the backdrop of a film that tells the story of one of sports best rivalries, presenting in what is probably the best film of the year so far.Like Senna, RUSH tells a story that transcends the sport that works as the backdrop, a story of dedication, desire, competition, death defying acts and men willing to give everything for the glory of success. In doing so it opens itself to a wider audience that it could have hoped and, when awards season comes, should hopefully see itself recognised accordingly. 

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

Review: Mccullin (DVD/BR)

Review: Mccullin (DVD/BR)

Uncategorized

The Review: To be honest I have a soft spot for documentaries in general (despite my reputation as a lover a tat & blockbusters).  So whilst I’m often impressed, I’m rarely wowed.  But with a powerful story and captivating subject matter, Mccullin managed to do just that.  And more.

The story: Celebrated photographer Don McCullin worked for The Sunday Times from 1966 to 1983, at a time when the newspaper was widely recognised as being at the cutting edge of international investigative photo-journalism. During that period he covered wars and humanitarian disasters on virtually every continent: from civil war in Cyprus, the war in Vietnam and the man-made famine in Biafra to the plight of the homeless in swinging sixties London.

Simply put McCullin is one of the most interesting films I have seen this year and certainly one of my top 5 favourite documentaries of all time.

Don McCullin is a fascinating subject from the start, open and honest about his time on the front line yet haunted by what he has seen and done (or not), a personal conflict the filmmakers capture perfectly.

McCullin arrives care of the producers of Award winning Senna. Which gives a long way to explaining the style the film takes and the successes it shares. A near perfect mix of archive footage, contemporary interview, and (naturally) his photographic work to tell a story that spans not just decades but some of the bloodiest and most heinous moments of modern history, all captured in their horrific detail by McCullin and in turn the filmmakers. And be warned this film shows some of the most horrific and disturbing of these images, from dying children to the true horrors of conflict, making it at times a very unsettling watch.

A run time that doesn’t allow the film to hang around, backed up by some excellent editing make this technically interesting as well but none of this would count for anything (much like Senna before it) without the man at it’s core.

So a brilliant, captivating film of a brilliant and captivating man and one of my Top 5 (maybe 3 ) films of 2013 so far.

A must see.

 

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

Join the debate on our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/Filmsploitation) or on our website (www.thefilmpodcast.co.uk)

 

Review: WWE: Triple H – Thy Kingdom Come

Review: WWE: Triple H – Thy Kingdom Come

Uncategorized

The Review:  An excellent addition to any fans collection.

This is the complete story of HHH’s career, well laid out and no expense sparred, which you would expect for the COO of WWE.

The in depth information given on the over two hour documentary, is the main selling point of this DVD. HHH effectively narrates you through his life, with the highs and the lows he has experienced along the way, charting his rise through local wrestling and his training, through his year in WCW, then to his impressive WWE run. Then an enjoyable look at his personal life, and relationship with Stephanie plus their wedding, and what many in the industry thought of this at the time, through to the COO position he holds now. This section for me was one of the more interesting parts, as you see his work load, schedule and vision for the future of WWE.

You get a really good understanding of the people behind the superstars we see on TV. The contributions throughout from Superstars read like the whose, who of wrestling, some of the superstars involved are: Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, The Rock, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Flair, Road Dogg, Xpac, Mick Foley, Stone Cold and JR. I also felt that HHH Mother and father and Vince, Linda and Stephanie McMahon where really good additions.

However I have to say the best contributor by far was the Undertaker, rarely seen in this environment, his views and statements really enhanced the areas he was involved with, he is the largest presence in the locker room and so well respected.

The matches covered on disc two and three, show a good selection of match ups from the different periods of HHH career. These range from very good to reasonable, my favourites from the selection on offer are, the Iron man match when both the Rock and HHH were red hot and at the top of their games. Also the last man standing match against Shawn Michaels, the guys are two of the best performers so a good addition.

I do not have much to say against this release except, so well covered where the two Wrestle Mania matches with the Undertaker and the respect that these two have for each other is clear in the biography, that I was disappointed not to have these two classic matches included.

This aside, there has been no better put together in depth look at a superstar than this. If every WWE release was given this much attention and star treatment they would all be must sees.

 

Reviewed By: Julian Connelly

Join the debate on our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/Filmsploitation) or on our website (www.thefilmpodcast.co.uk) 

 

Review: Rush (Cinema)

Review: Rush (Cinema)

Uncategorized

The Review: In over 60 years of official competition, there have only ever been a handful of movies about what is one of the worlds most popular sports.  It’s not through lack of inherent drama – just the last few seasons of F1 alone we’ve seen a no hoper team come from being scrapped to winning the world title, a championship won on the last corner of the final race of the season and racers walk away from what should have been life ending crashes.  But whether it be the subject matter often being almost too extraordinary or the fear that recreating the sport on screen could almost be as expensive as running a team for a year, in general cinema has steered clear of the sport.  

So with RUSH arriving in cinemas, from Imagine Entertainment, Working Title Films and in the hands of director Ron Howard, have they achieved what few had dared challenge previous and created a heart pounding thrill ride of a movie or was the task too much for what is a modestly budgeted British film from a company best known for making Hugh Grant rom coms?

RUSH tells the extraordinary story of the 1976 Formula 1 world championship, and the merciless 1970s rivalry between the cool, calm playboy Brit James Hunt and methodical, driven Austrian Niki Lauda. Starring Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, director and former Happy Days star Ron Howard has crated a film of such brilliance that, much like documentary Senna, it transcends interest of the sport it focus on and presents what is one of the best performed and most gripping stories of the year so far.  It helps that this truly was a fascinating year – from Lauda’s near fatal crash, to behind the scenes political manoeuvrings and some of the most fierce on track racing ever witnessed in the sport, a year if someone wrote it down without the facts to back it up you’d probably never believe it.

But is this anything more than a love letter to the glory days of a sport now controlled by corporations and banks?  Yes, in fact whilst the racing is expertly handled and form some of the films most intense moments, it’s the story of two men’s bitter rivalry (and friendship) that sit firmly at the heart of this story.  Hemsworth, who no doubt will set hearts a fluttering all bare chest  and flowing haired,  proves he more than a man with a large hammer and tights matching his charismatic subject matter James Hunt smile for smile.  At the same time not to be outdone Bruhl, whose credits mostly include European films few have seen other than a turn in QT’s Inglorious Basterds delivers a performance layered and emotionally grabbing that you just know he will rightfully end up with a trophy cabinet of awards come silly season next year.   

The positives don’t stop there: From the lovingly recreated period detail (and not just the numerous F1 cars dragged out if retirement and museums to once again roar for the crowds), to the sense of danger at every turn, Howard and his team recreate the era almost perfectly and when the cars do race, the film pulls no punches.  Actual arial photography taken at the time, mixed seamlessly with some of the most innovative racing cinematography ever placed on screen, every gear change, every button push is a thing of beauty.  RUSH’s cinematography (by Anthony Dod Mantle) is genuinely a thing of beauty and does well to hide what is, by all accounts, a low budget by Hollywood terms.  But don’t forget this ISNT a Hollywood movie.  It may be directed by Ron Howard but this is a Working Title film.  A British film.  Okay so at $40million USD it’s the biggest film working title have put together, but this is more British that Potter or Bond could ever hope to be.

In short RUSH is a directorial triumph and probably Howard’s best movie for some years.

Also special note should go to Peter Morgan, writer of The Queen and Frost/Nixon, for a excellent screenplay that allows the story to take shape through the characters whilst allowing the actors enough space to add their own flair to the film.  

Is the film perfect? No.  It takes liberties with actual events, being more a story inspired by the truth rather than representing the truth and at times it’s both predictable and obviously when it strays from what is obviously the facts.  But these things rarely matter against the backdrop of a film that tells the story of one of sports best rivalries, presenting in what is probably the best film of the year so far.

Like Senna, RUSH tells a story that transcends the sport that works as the backdrop, a story of dedication, desire, competition, death defying acts and men willing to give everything for the glory of success. In doing so it opens itself to a wider audience that it could have hoped and, when awards season comes, should hopefully see itself recognised accordingly. 

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden


RUSH is out at Cinemas now.  Join the debate on our Facebook group… http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/

Review: The Place Beyond the Pines (DVD/BR)

Review: The Place Beyond the Pines (DVD/BR)

Uncategorized

The Review: Gosling is Luke, a bleach blonde drifter and high-wire motorcycle performer who moves from town to town with a travelling carnival. He shares a connection with former lover Romina (an unglamorous Eva Mendes) but his world is turned upside down when he realises that she’s had his son while he’s been gone.

With a new family thrust upon him, Luke throws in the adoration of the crowds and the uncertain lifestyle of the carny to try and provide for them. But Romina believes he’s unstable and despite Luke’s efforts, rejects his push to provide.

Working as a car mechanic, Luke’s thrust into the world of crime by his boss (played by Animal Kingdom’s Ben Mendelsohn) and takes part in a string of bank robberies. But that puts him on a direct collision course with cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) and sees their lives intertwined in ways they could never imagine as the tale unfolds.

the film swells into three interrelated stories, beginning with that of stunt biker Luke (Ryan Gosling), confronted after a performance by a young woman, Romina (Eva Mendes), he met on a previous tour through this dusty, forgettable outpost.

Though there is much mystery about Romina, there’s an undeniable magnetic pull for Luke and curious about this fleeting affair that might have amounted to more, he hangs around, especially after discovering her young child is tied to him by blood. He feels impelled to stay and perform peripheral parental duties but has neither the social skills to ingratiate himself into Romina’s good graces nor negotiate the mine field her current relationship with new flame Kofi (Mahershala Ali) poses.

The Place Beyond The Pines is a film whose three rich narrative strands don’t get pulled together until the final third – and when the realization comes, it’s devastating. Beautifully shot, compellingly acted by all those within, it defies expectations as this generational tale of fathers and sons slowly reveals its hand.

As his displayed to stunning effect in Drive (2010), Gosling has the ability to convey deep emotions and impressions without uttering a single word: a portentous gaze, the ominous ebb in a conversation – these are treated as means to stress his character’s non-verbal, intuitive reading of events. Flawed reasoning may ensue, leading to an eventual downfall like that of the enigmatically cool Driver in Nicolas Winding Refn’s stunning film, but Gosling’s directness of gaze and startling magnetism are now valuable assets for any filmmakers utilising his multi-faceted appeal.

The focus of the second part of the film’s then shifts to a police officer caught up in the preceding case. Played by Bradley Cooper, Avery fights both internal and external demons: his wife (an underused Rose Byrne) is desperate for him to leave the force, whilst some less than scrupulous colleagues, headed by Ray Liotta’s Deluca, would like to steer him down a path that illegally exploits his recently acquired but unwanted fame.

In conclusion I really enjoyed this movie, it has a power and intensity that impresses. It has a haunting quality which endures and is a drama which is weighty, compelling, intriguing and an insightful. It gives a reminder of the bonds which tie us together long into our years.

 

Reviewed By: Julian Connelly


THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES  is out on DVD & BluRay now.  Join the debate on our Facebook group…http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/