It's Tuesday again, and we have a New Release Day worth talking about.
Anytime you can get Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise to share anything, even a DVD release date, it's big news. So big, that for the first time in Dan's Discs, I will be joined by The South of North/South Film, Chris Henson. He's the talented one who made the awesome new Movie Duos header at the top of the site. This week, we've got two of the year's best films and one that couldn't quite deliver. However, between the three, I think we could see one Oscar nomination, so enjoy:
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES
Read my full, four-star review, here.
I really enjoyed director Jeff Nichols’ debut film SHOTGUN STORIES (2007) and absolutely loved his follow-up TAKE SHELTER (2011) – so I had super high hopes for his latest feature MUD. A Southern Gothic fable akin to a modern day Huckleberry Finn, the film is an engrossing coming-of-age tale that tackles love, friendship, and the often thin and blurred line between right-and-wrong.
Though a bigger budget movie than his previous works, Nichols’ indie sensibilities worked to great advantage for the low-key story and the picturesque remote setting. MUD boasts an understated and enigmatic performance from a resurgent Matthew McConaughey and also rising young star Tye Sheridan. Supporting turns from Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, and Sam Shepard are all great as well.
It was my second favorite movie of the year so far, trailing only THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES.
McConaughey has gotten some major Oscar buzz from this film, so definitely check it out as soon as possible.
OBLIVION does a lot of things well, but emotion is not one of them. It comes off as stilted and more often than not, distant. The film tries to be thought-provoking, but ultimately it retreads a lot of well worn sci-fi territory. There are attempts to be poetic and deal with some heady issues like memory, duty, and sacrifice, but often these ideas are sold short for action and easy resolutions. However, Oblivion accomplishes its #1 goal – to be an entertaining summer action movie. The effects and cinematography were very good and there are some decent twists and turns so it's not great, but it's not terrible.
Check out my full review here.
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