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The Place Beyond the Pines is a terrific movie with a very well
developed plot and a stunning cast. It was a risky way of telling a
story, as we follow several different characters in various periods of
time, there is no lead actor as different people take the spotlight. It
was very unique as a result, we see how one occurrence can change and
alter many lives, it is quite an eye opener.
However, I did find Luke underdeveloped. The screen time Ryan Gosling has is terrific, but because of how secretive and quiet he is we learn very little, I felt underwhelmed by the end. Bradley Cooper is fantastic, essentially the films lead actor in terms of the length he is on screen, he gives a layered performance of a police officer struggling to forget about the past and deal with the present. It was an underrated performance that deserved an Oscar nomination. Deatailed, clever writing, honest, sincere performances and an tense story, The Place Beyond the Pines is certainly worth the watch for anyone looking for a good drama or crime film.
The lives of a motorcycle stunt driver, a dedicated police officer and their sons intersect over the period of several years.
Best Performance: Bradley Cooper
A Place Beyond the Pines is a crime drama with an unconventional
timeline. It deals with the generational impact of crime. When a
dirtbag dirtbike rider turned bankrobber has a run in with an ambitious
hotshot cop, worlds collide. The story follows the situational fallout
as their sons make friends at school and get into trouble together. It
all goes down in Schenectady, New York, Mohawk for "The Place Beyond
the Pines." It's an intriguing title and an intriguing concept.
This picture boasts an all-star cast of Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Drive) as the rebellious carny, real-life wife Eva Mendez (Training Day, Hitch) as the Hudson Valley heartbreaker, and Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, Silver Linings Playbook) as the political crime fighter, with Australian character actor Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, Animal Kingdom) as the grease monkey accomplice.
The cinematography was breathtaking, especially the scenes of the capital region. This picture was experimental in several ways. From the opening scene at a traveling show, we see the protagonist wheel around an enclosed dome, trick riding, and the momentum continues. As in Gosling's critically acclaimed Drive, there are prolonged car chase scenes with minimal cuts in the film. The visual effect blends events together and keeps the adrenalin pumping. Movement was a theme in the story. Events propel the story forward as they beget circumstances, much like the physical force going forward on screen. For every action there is a chain reaction, with consequences.
The choppiness of the plot was unique and accentuated by the blending of scenes. Several years span within the story, in keeping with the generational theme. This picture was well- written, with developed characters. When I saw the main character in a Ride the Lightning T- shirt in the opening scene, I was in, and along for the ride. Like the classic album by Metallica, the storytelling in The Place Beyond the Pines does not disappoint.
The actors gave good performances. Gosling was charismatic, Mendez smoldering, Cooper was suave and layered, and the kids were great.
It was a cool concept, flawless execution. The only thing I didn't like about it was the same old "learning to be a better father" subplot that for some reason has to be in every other major release these days (?!). Enough already with the daddy issues. I was surprised this one didn't do better at the box office, perhaps because it was more of a straight drama, as opposed to a genre picture. The drama is more about the characters' personal lives than a heist movie. Eva Mendez cuts a statuesque figure. The bankrobber's lust for her pushes him over the edge.
Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond The Pines is so ambitious in reaching for its themes, it almost seems godlike in its depictions of paternal archetypes. Even gods fall though, and this is a film that grandly shows us the flaws in two very different fathers, how those qualities and the actions they generate can cause damaging rifts for their offspring and those around them years later. Cianfrance seems intent on tackling difficult subject matters with each new film he makes, spiraling systematically into the heart of human behaviour, and mine for the answers to questions which mean so much to him. Mental illness and love were areas he explored prior to this, and now he takes on fatherhood, fateful missteps included. The film is separated into two distinct and very different episodes. We begin somewhere in the 1980's with Luke Crash (Ryan Gosling) an adrenaline junkie motocross daredevil who is all about little talk, lots of impulse and low rationality. He's drawn along by a petty criminal (Ben Mendelsohn, superb) on a series of increasingly risky bank robberies, with notions of providing for his wife (Eva Mendes) and infant child. He takes it too far though, and tragedy strikes with the arrival of Avery (Bradley Cooper), a gung ho young police officer who suddenly finds himself in the hot seat after being branded a hero cop. The film then makes a jarring leap in both time and tone to present day. Avery is now a political candidate with powerful friends and some nasty secrets that gave him his position. He has a son (Emory Cohen) who's on a rocky road of difficult behaviour, estranged and distant from him. Fate steps in and places Luke's own son (Dane DeHaan) in the mix for a very volatile and prophetic outcome that brings the big picture into full circle. My favourite part of the film is the first segment, particularly the interaction between Mendelsohn and Gosling, and their dynamic. It's so organic and unforced, everything happening with the cadence and pace that I recognize in my own life. That's realism. It's moody, ponderous and has an atmosphere thicker than most films dream of. It's somewhat strangled by the abrupt change halfway through, but it's simply one door in the narrative leading into a new room, and is necessary once I thought about it more. What the film has to day about fathers and sons isn't your garden variety family drama message. There's a near Shakespearian darkness to it, the cloak of inevitability laid down by a few lightning quick moments in one's life that arch out through the years and affect ones children in ways that were never contemplated in that one split second it took to act. Rough stuff, but endlessly fascinating. Ray Liotta does his patented corrupt dick head cop thing nicely, Rose Byrne quietly plays Cooper's wife, and look out for Bruce Greenwood and Harris Yulin as well. After the titanic undertaking he has striven for here, I can't wait to see what Cianfrance has in store for us next. Powerful stuff.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't think I've ever seen a movie like this before. I mean I've seen movies about criminals, corrupt cops, sons taking after their dads, but never all of those in the same movie. That's what gripped me with this movie, it starts off as one thing, then changes direction, and then circles back on itself. And when it circles back, it's almost like the movie starts over. It starts with Luke (Ryan Gosling) robbing banks to support his lover and newborn son, he gets shot and killed by Bradley Cooper who also has a newborn son, and then both of the sons interact with each other in high school. Luke's kid almost mirrors him exactly, he smokes a lot, he's rebellious, and he doesn't know what to do with his life. Cooper's kid on the other hand, takes advantage of his dad's position as assistant D.A. It then gets uncovered by Luke's son that Cooper killed his dad, and the past comes back to haunt Cooper. It almost has this "Nature vs Nurture" element to it. Did their kids become who they are because of how they were raised, or was it their dad's genes in them that made them who they are. While Luke and his son are eerily similar, Cooper and his son aren't. In fact in most ways they're polar opposites of each other. But towards the end, you see how Cooper's son could take after him and get his life on track, and you can also see how Luke's son will probably grow up just like his dad. Again, it's this very unique circle that I've yet to see in film, and I think it's well executed. If you want a movie that's different, but also relatively easy to follow, check this out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK, the story is about two men and later, their sons. In the summary, it says something about the place in the woods where they find refuge, but to be honest, they hardly ever went there. The performances were good, probably the only thing that saved the movie from hitting rock bottom, as the story doesn't unfold as well as it would have been expected. I mean, it's a good drama in theory, but it fails to deliver. In the end, what did the movie had to say? That the sins of the parents are burdens of their children? That one can't escape their fate? Maybe that there is an authority problem in the police system. Anyway, the first part of the movie was better than the second one (the one that limped into the future fifteen years later). It had more feeling into it I guess. But to end this, I have to say, that even though the main idea of the film was great, the movie didn't live up to it. So three out of ten.
While not without its problems, "The Place Beyond the Pines" (a phrase
that refers to Schnectady, NY) is a powerful film with some excellent
It starts out as one story and ends up being another. The main story seems to be about two men, Luke (Ryan Gosling), a motorcyclist who learns he has a son and wants to provide for him; and Avery, an ambitious police officer who learns he's surrounded by corrupt cops. The worlds of the two men collide.
The film seems to be going in one direction, but suddenly, it's fifteen years later and we're confronted with the sons of these two men -- A.J. (Emory Cohen) and Dane DeHaan (Jason), and the impact of the past on the present.
This is a story about how two different men cope with watershed moments in their lives; it's about luck, ambition, families, fathers, and young men seeking their fathers' love and attention.
It's hard to write anything more or it gives the story away. At 2 hours and 20 minutes, it's a bit too long.
The acting is remarkable, particularly from Ryan Gosling as Luke. He is magnificent as a man with no focus other than his motorcycle, whose life changes when he realizes his ex-girlfriend had his baby. He then becomes determined to provide for them; unfortunately he doesn't make the best choices.
Ben Mendelsohn is terrific as Robin, who obviously believes in preserving the best of Luke for his son. Bradley Cooper's role is much less showy than Gosling's, but he makes the most of it. As Luke's ex, Eva Mendes plays a tough, determined woman, as determined to stay away from Luke as Luke is to reconcile. The unsung hero in this is her partner Kofi (Mahershala Ali), a man who loves Jason as his own.
Derek Cianfrance has done a beautiful job of directing this complicated film, giving us characters we can care about and a strong plot. The first part is stronger, in part due to Gosling, but I did like the quieter second part as well. Highly recommended.
This movie is an amazing piece of art. The trailer of this movie is
misleading, I watched the movie thinking that it was another boring
drama but I was so surprised when I watched it. The way the story was
told was wonderful and kept the viewer wanting to know more about the
Dane DeHaane was amazing with every role he takes he proves that he's a talented actor and he has a good future ahead of him.
The movie has a long running time which is two hours and a half but I didn't feel bored through the entire movie. The story was emotional and unpredictable. The characters are very well presented but you feel like the movie fell a part in the final act, the movie was so good and it definitely deserved a better ending.
The cinematography in this movie was so beautiful. It made every scene look like a piece of art. The same thing goes to the soundtrack that was so emotional and mixed perfectly with the emotions and the atmosphere of the movie.
This film is a great study of characters and how lives intertwine. Giving a meaning to what a small world. This film is in 3 parts and Derek Cianfrance travels through them fluidly. It is a film of strife and struggles and shows the audience that people will do what needs to be done. No matter the circumstances. A bold movie with no lulls and some pretty good action. There are a couple of genres that this picture moves through. Making it an exciting and enjoyable feature to watch. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper were great and Eva's character progressed beautifully. Mike Patton did the score which carried the film through it's long time line and added a certain atmosphere. All in all an excellent film with great acting, awesome story writing, a powerful score and interesting characters. I highly recommend this movie.
I am sorry if I compare this movie a lot with "Drive" I think that they
are very similar movies (style and characters), except that this movie
is less violent.
"The place beyond the pines" is about Luke. Luke is a stunt motor driver. He is a 'normal' guy, but due to a event, he starts to rob banks and gets turned down the wrong ally.
The directing was absolutely fantastic. This was done by Derek Cianfrance. I thought that it was very well done, and that isn't the only thing that was well done. So was the cinematography, this was done by a man who goes under the name of Sean Bobbitt. He hasn't always done great movies, but he has also worked on "12 years a slave". As in that movie and in this, the cinematography was absolutely beautiful. Every shot, looked like, and I am a bit exaggerating right now, a piece of art. A combination of these elements (the directing and cinematography) you get a fantastic beginning scene. This was all done in one take, or they make it at least look like it was done in one take. We follow Luke while he is walking through the fair, and gets on his motorcycle. In this one scene we get to know Luke a bit. The editing was good, I don't really have to say something about this subject. The soundtrack was really good. A lot of the songs were very nice to listen to, and fitted the theme of the movie very well. The thing that I also very much liked, are the car scenes, and also just the chase scenes overall. There was a lot of tension, STEADY cam, no shaky cam, luckily. By using shaky cam often, what they didn't do, you can ruin a movie for me. The action was fine too. There isn't a lot of action as you may think. The costumes were great. It helped to give Ryan Goslings character more character. By wearing the T-shirts inside out, etc. Make-up was nothing to special. The beaten up face of Dane Dehaan was fine looking. But now it looks like I thought that this movie was flawless. Well it isn't. My problem with this movie is that they split the movie up in 3 different story lines. But more on that later.
Now let's talk about the acting. There are three different main characters, and three 'helpers' that I am going to discus. But let's start of with the first main character we meet. This is Luke, or as they call him in the beginning 'Handsome Luke'. Luke is played by Ryan Gosling. His character reminded me a lot of the character he played in "Drive". And that is because they are more or less the same. I didn't mind though. He is very good as both of these characters. I understand why people will complain about this. Luke was also a very interesting character. There are some arcs for him, and good character development. Luke was the main character from the first part of the movie. Now the second main character. He was the main character of part two. This was Avery. Bradley Cooper played him. I have seen a lot of Bradleys roles, so I can say with a lot of certainty that he was really great in this movie. Avery is a agent that does something in the movie, that also 'sets up' the third part of the movie. And in this part the main character is played by Dane Dehaan. The character he played is called Jason. I can't say who Jason is without spoiling the movie. But Dehaan did a fantastic job at being him. A decision he makes at the end of the movie, was kind of weird for me, but more on that later :)Now that I have handled the protagonists of this story. Now the helpers. And as I did with the protagonist, I am going over them in a chronological order. The first one is Romina. Eva Mendes interpreted this character. She has some interesting news for Luke, which starts the movie. She was good. Then, in the same act, we meet a man called Robin. He was played by Ben Mendelsohn. Due to him Luke gets in to the ban robbing stuff. And about this part, well these parts, because he doesn't stop with one bank. These sequences were tense full, and well executed. The bank robbing scenes were definitely one of my favorite scenes. And now the last person I am going to discus. He wasn't really a 'helper' at all, he was more a antagonist, but if I tell you why, I will again spoil things. But the person I am talking about is AJ, played by Emory Cohen. He was fine, nothing to special about him.
Now finally, the script. This was written by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio and Darius Marder. My main complain with this script is that there are three story's. The first story was very good, I really liked it, it was compelling with great action and characters. But with the second part is my problem. It was just to boring for me. Bradleys acting didn't save it for me. Luckily the third part redeemed itself, and made the movie good again. Now the ending. This was a bit anticlimactic. NOW I AM GOING IN SPOILER TERETORY. I was really disappointed when Jason didn't kill Avery. It does make sense he did, though. This ultimately shows, that he isn't like his father. NO SPOILERS. Overall the writing was really good, some good dialogue, but nothing memorable.
This movie was a great movie, with some flaws. It wasn't as good as "Drive".
It has been a while since I watched a movie that did hold me like this on the edge throughout the whole movie. With a length of over hundred and forty minutes, it is worth every second. "The Place beyond the Pines" is a well made structure where every moment means a new layer of complexity and uncertainty. With an epic structure but with an lyrical content! The most difficult thing is to form an opinion about the main protagonists. Do you condemn someone who never had a chance to be a better man or react instinctively to fear for your life? It is far from perfect but achieves perfection! It's interesting to see three different stories so interconnected.
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