January 31, 2014

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes

I like movies, but I think we can all agree I am not an "artsy" movie-type. I do not watch movies to determine their inherent value to the art world or discuss the cinematography in any conversation that doesn't involve filling out an Oscar ballot at a party. And I certainly do not watch movies that make attractive people ugly for no good reason other than to try and make a movie more serious.

Yet, here I was, watching this movie that felt it necessary to give Ryan Gosling the world's worst tattoos to make it believable that he was a motorcycle stunt rider and all-around loser-type guy. Personally, I think the horrible blonde hair could have achieved that on its own, but I guess they didn't want to take any chances that a single person in the audience could remember that he's a hot guy...

So, back to Million Dollar Baby. Whoops, I mean The Place Beyond the Pines. It's easy enough to mix them up. In addition to the whole ugly-person thing (Sorry Hilary Swank, but honestly!), both movies combine a number of plots that don't need to be in the same movie and only tangentially make any sense together. Yes, I understand Million Dollar Baby won the Oscar for Best Picture, but then again, so did No Country for Old Men and Forrest Gump.

So with the multiple plots running and the story constantly changing, it just felt like The Place Beyond the Pines was more focused on plot twists than real character development. It was a bit like listening to a story from that crazy friend who tends to give too much detail and wanders off onto side tangents, but manages to somehow wrap it up in the end. Or at least... ends the story, anyway. Perhaps not in the most satisfactory way.

Final word: Drink a cup of coffee and jot in your journal about this afterward and you'll be a certified hipster for having watched it.

End Note: Again with having Ray Liotta pop up in a movie?? Is someone out there trying to send me a message? Do I owe someone money or something?

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