Reviews and Problems with The Place Beyond The Pines
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The Place Beyond the Pines
17 October 2013
Excerpt: Handsome Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a stunt motorcyclist at the circus who returns to an upstate town where he encounters a former fling (Eva Mendes), who has had his child since he was last in town. Soon after, he meets Robin (Ben Mendelsohn), a former bank robber who realizes that Luke's skills on a motorcycle can be used to rob local banks.
Excerpt: Derek Cianfrance's at once striking and jejune visual vocabulary was accurately described by Richard Brody at the time of the heroically performed Blue Valentine 's release as a brand of prefabricated poetry: "Cianfrance borrows his methods and his moods from a grab-bag of clichés. [Arnold] Schoenberg expanded music to a new world of chromaticism; Cianfrance reduces the cinema to monochrome sentiment." Not to mention monochrome ideas.
Conclusion: Few films are as exquisitely constructed and meticulously executed as 'The Place Beyond the Pines,' and though director and co-writer Derek Cianfrance's multi-layered story at times sputters and stalls, the memorable characters and potent themes carry it through. Balancing a searing directness with an understated presentation, Cianfrance weaves an intricate fabric, and produces a literate, thought-provoking work that plays even better on a second viewing.
Conclusion: The Place Beyond the Pines is a powerful ensemble drama, with outstanding performances and a carefully structured trio of riveting stories that bypass the usual interconnected-character tropes and strive for something greater; something more honest and revealing. The sins of the father are revisited upon the son in spectacularly minimalistic fashion, and a divisive, initially jarring third act is the only thing that prevents the film from resonating more.
Excerpt: Derek Cianfrance has taken an odd route to cinematic success. After getting a film degree from the same university as Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and studying with noted experimental filmmakers Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon), Cianfrance embarked on the nineties model of indie filmmaking. He released a visually inventive low-budget drama at Sundance.
Excerpt: The Film Two of the sexiest men alive on one screen? While the idea of Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling together sounds like a great excuse for a girls' night out, the two share very little screen time in The Place Beyond the Pines . That's just fine, though. After all, this isn't some rom-com with tons of eye candy that's all tied up in a pretty Hollywood ending. In fact, it's just the opposite.
Pros: Actors: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Dane DeHaan, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Emory Cohen, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin, Ben Mendelsohn, Director: Derek Cianfrance, Audio/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, Number of Discs: 2, Rating: R, Studio: Universal, Blu-ray Disc Release Date: August 6, 2013, Run Time: 141 minutes, List Price: $34.98, Extras: Deleted and Extended S...
Excerpt: One of my early picks for favorite film of this past year is also a difficult one to review. It’s not confusing, mind you, but to avoid potential spoilers, it can be tricky. I will tread the waters very carefully. The film plays out in a trilogy of stories. They are all interconnected and come full circle by the time the end credits begin to roll. The film begins with a motorcyle stunt rider as he performs a daring stunt.
Summary: An intelligently written, very well acted and beautifully shot film, The Place Beyond The Pines drags a bit in its last half but is still very much worth watching. It’s a very pensive and layered film that moves at a deliberate pace and which benefits from a strong cast and some excellent production values. Universal’s Blu-ray isn’t as stacked with extras as some might have hoped for but it presents the movie in beautiful shape and with a few decent supplements as well.
Conclusion: I can't speak highly enough of this film. It's well directed, well acted, and intense and won't be soon forgotten by the time the credits roll. It was overlooked in theaters, but hopefully will find a new life on DVD and Blu-ray. The A/V quality is first rate, but the special features leave room for improvement. Fans of the film should pick it up and all others should at least give it a shot. What Do You Think?