Entertainment :: Movies

The Place Beyond the Pines

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Friday Aug 9, 2013
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One of the best films of the year, "The Place Beyond the Pines" is an intimate story spanning two generations. Directed by Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine"), it stars Ryan Gosling as a bank robber trying to do right by his girlfriend (Eva Mendes) and infant son. The film also tells the story of a cop (Bradley Cooper) whose actions during a call to duty haunt him long after the incident. And, finally, the film navigates the teenage sons of these two men and how the sins of their fathers reverberate through the decades to affect them.

The directing by Cianfrance is gritty and raw, but at the same time is beautiful. Gosling is affecting as usual, and Cooper gives one of his better performances. Eva Mendes loses the sexy glam to create an affecting portrait of a woman whose life hasn’t gone the way she had planned. The biggest surprise is from Emory Cohen as Cooper’s son AJ, whose performance is reminiscent of early Brando.

The Blu-ray transfer is crisp and gorgeous, and while the special features are slim, the main selling point here is the film, which will hopefully get some Oscar attention.

Special Features include:

  • Deleted Scenes and Extended Scenes: There are only four scenes here, and the only one of note is a scene in which Ryan Gosling’s character is taken to jail and strips for the officers. The gays and gals will appreciate that.

  • Featurette: A five minute overview of the film that features short clips of the cast talking about their roles in the film.

  • Feature Commentary with director Derek Cianfrance: A fairly informative commentary that gives a lot of good background information on the actors. Among the tidbits: How Gosling connected with the infant who played his son on the set, and why Cianfrance cast his wife in the role of an ice cream shop worker who takes an important picture used as a touchstone in the film.

    "The Place Beyond the Pines"
    Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy/Ultra-Violet
    $34.98
    www.UniversalStudiosEntertainment.com

  • Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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