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The Place Beyond The Pines

We want to start off by thanking Fogs over at FogsMovieReviews for filling in for Scotty this week. We really appreciate it, and you should all go check out his site!


The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines Poster

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writer: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper


Plot: A motorcycle stunt man gives up his life on the road to take care of his infant son. When he is unable to find a job or provide for his son. He turns to a life a crime.


Rate It: (0 – 3 Guys)












So what did you think? 

Adam – Women everywhere are going to be heartbroken when they watch this film.  Cianfrance takes some huge chances with this movie.  While he does not hit a home run with everyone of them it’s great fun to watch him try. I Would be surprised if this film does not make more than a few men reassess the role of fatherhood.

Fogs – I thought it was great. Very long, it was definitely really a long film, I know that that will be a complaint that a lot of people will lob at it. But I still thought it was exceptional. The performances were great, and the story was definitely epic. In spite of the enormous run time, I never lost interest. And in spite of the fact the central point of view jumps around like a hot potato, the tension was always high. There was always something very intense happening. The bank robbery scenes and get aways are very harrowing.

Griff – This was a very well acted film. There are some really terrific scenes and the movie turns on you in ways that you wouldn’t expect. It is a long film however, and I can’t help but think that some of this could maybe have ended up on the cutting room floor to spare everyone from a sore behind.



Any thoughts before you saw the movie? 

Adam – Trying to look like Ryan Gosling in a leather pants covered with tattoos and riding a motorcycle might be next years hottest Halloween costume.  Well, at the very least that is what I am going as.  Now I just need to get down to zero percent body fat and get going on some crunches.

Fogs – I thought it would be a more traditional cops and robbers movie. I can’t blame the trailers for choosing that route, either, obviously that will sell more tickets.

Griff – Bradley Cooper seems to really be starting to come into his own as an actor and I have always been impressed with Gosling so I was pretty psyched up to see this one. I was also happy that we actually found it playing someplace close by.

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Did you think this movie was fresh and/or innovative? 

Adam – I have not been left slack jawed while watching a film for a long time.  So yes this was as fresh as hot bread out of mom’s oven.   Conceivably, this could be three separate films.  The lives of the characters are interwoven through generations, showing the ripple effect of even the smallest actions we take.  So refreshing to see a director take some chances with a film.

Fogs - Not so much. It didn’t feel played out, or like something we’d seen a million times, either, but I didn’t leave feeling I had seen something groundbreaking, no.

Griff – I thought there were some interesting things going on here. The movie has it’s little surprises that will leave you wondering what the hell is going to happen next. It’s not reinventing the wheel by any means but the film felt fresh.



Did you think the script was well written? 

Adam – When I returned home the first thing I did was look up all three writers on IMDB.  While the film does hit a few lulls in the narrative, overall this is just the sort of scriptwriting that main stream cinema needs more of.

Fogs – Absolutely. It has some really tense scenes, some well written characters and an epic story. It was very well done. The dialogue wasn’t all that memorable or anything, but on the other hand it was completely credible… very believable.

Griff - They did a great job considering how epic this film is and how many generations it needs to span. The movie never lost focus and it kept you interested the whole time despite the length.



Was there a performance you really liked or really hated? 

Adam – Hard to pick among all the great acting demonstrated in this film.  It was almost like they were having some sort of contest.  Lets give a shout out to two actors whose previous efforts I have panned.  Ben Mendelsohn and Dane DeHann both give triumphant  performances in this film.

Fogs – Gosling, Cooper and Mendes were all fantastic. Really solid acting throughout. I also really liked Ben Mendelsohn as Gosling’s partner in crime. Even all the supporting actors they had were great.

Griff - Bradley Cooper was great, Gosling was great, I thought this was one of the better performances I have seen from Mendes. The only performance that I really didn’t care for was Emory Cohen. He was a little too over the top for me.

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Do you remember a song from the film?

Adam – Bon Iver – “The Wolves”

Fogs - Well, they didn’t use licensed music, so the choices were slim. The main theme, with its single piano notes, though, was pretty haunting.

Griff - Hall and Oates – “Maneater” – Can you ever really get enough Hall and Oates in your movie?



What was your favorite line? 

Adam – “If you ride like lightning, you’re going to crash like thunder”

Fogs – “Not Since Hall and Oates has there been such a dynamic pairing.”

Griff – I am sure everyone else is using this one too but..”If you ride like lightning, you’re gonna crash like thunder”



What would have made this a better movie?

Adam - Avery’s son AJ was a bit over the top with his impersonation of every Jersey Shore cliche you have ever witnessed.  Perhaps a few scenes could have been trimmed down just a wee bit.  Not that a 140 minute run time was an issue but there are a few lulls in this tale.

Fogs – The length of it is going to be people’s first criticism, I’m sure. So I’d have to say they could have improved it by making some judicious cuts and taking the runtime down to about 2 hrs. It’s a testament to the movie that I don’t have any ready or easy recommendations. For a long movie, it still seemed pretty tight. Still, they need to find 30 seconds here, a minute there and add it all up and in order to bring it down a bit.

Griff - A little snip here and little clip there and you could have made a movie that came in around 2 hours without losing the feel of the movie. I know that this kind of thing can be difficult but every scene is not pure gold. Also I didn’t buy the transformation of Avery’s son into one of the cast of Jersey Shore. It was a little too heavy handed.

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Is it worth seeing in the theater? Or could you have waited for the DVD/Stream?

Adam - With a film this epic in scope you should check it out in the theater.  Well that is if it is playing anywhere near you. We were forced to log some miles to check this one out.

Fogs – It’s worth seeing in theatres, due to the cinematography (which was excellent), but considering that a lot of people will have to drive to see it (its still not in every theatre), and the fact that the enormous runtime begs the use of a pause button, I’d say waiting til it hits blu is a good idea.

Griff – Your mission should you accept it, is to find it playing in a theater around you and go check it out.



What other movies would you recommend if someone enjoyed this film? 

Adam – Malick’s The Tree of Life (2012), The Sound of Music (1965) and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) are all great films that explore the role of fatherhood.

Fogs – A Bronx Tale” is a good one about fathers and sons, as well. “Heat” or “The Town” are good bank robbery flicks. “Narc” is a great movie about dirty cops… it also stars Ray Liotta as well.

Griff - The epic feel of the movie and generational aspect of the film brings the Godfather Part II to mind. Getting in the way back machine you should check out Bogart in High Sierra Its about a guy who tries to do the right thing but things go haywire. Something newer…I am not sure why but American Beauty comes to mind.

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Any final thoughts on this movie? 

Adam – Apparently, if you refuse to look at your boy when he is an infant, he is going to turn out to be a drug addled scumbag.  Spend quality time with your kids.  The actions that you take now, have consequences much larger than your own pitiful existence.  Now that my moralizing is finished, lets just say I would re-watch this film right now if given the opportunity.

FogsThe Place Behind the Pines is an epic tale of crime and corruption. It’s full of fantastic performances from a loaded cast. It’s a very long story, but it never loses steam. Every new aspect of the tale has its own conflicts and moral issues. Patient viewers will love this film.

Griff - The Place Beyond the Pines seems like a movie that should have been released in the fall and not in the spring. I am not really sure why it received such an unusual release time. It feels out of place right before we move into the summer blockbusters. That said, it is worth checking out. There are some great performances, some really nice cinematography and enough plot twists to keep you interested for the whole ride.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Erik - Movie140 April 16, 2013, 11:32 pm

    Good review Guys! As I am a massive fan of Gosling I was really looking forward to this one and even though it is a great film I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed by it (the misleading trailer can be blamed for that partly).

    I had no problem with the running time but the fact, as Fogs said, that the central point of view jumps around bothered me. I think this film tries to be way too “epic” and tackle more than it should consequently ending up being a series of stories with too many angles . Explaining the plot to somebody is almost impossible without talking for half an hour, spoiling the whole movie for them. lol

    Obviously I really enjoyed the performances, Gosling is as good as ever and I must say Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper pleasantly surprised me.

    Overall it is a very good film but I wish it was better. I gave it 4/5. :)


    Am I the only who had to Google the meaning of the title or it was obvious for everybody? :)

    • Adam April 17, 2013, 4:56 pm

      4/5 is pretty solid Erik and your comments are longer than your 140 character reviews

      While this was not a perfect film I really appreciated how it took chances even if some of them did not work out perfectly.

    • Adam April 17, 2013, 5:05 pm

      Erik did you post a review of this yet?

      • Erik - Movie140 April 17, 2013, 11:41 pm

        Yes, I did. My previous comment is the extended version of my review! :)

  • Fogs' Movie Reviews April 17, 2013, 8:26 am

    Happy to see we’re all marching to the same beat here. LOL. I would hate to have been the guest “Guy” who scores a movie completely against the others! :D

    Griff makes a good point about this being a movie that should have been a fall release. Apparently no one has any hopes of an Oscar nom with this? With the profile these guys have right now? Are you kidding?

    Yeah, someone dropped the ball there. :(

    • Adam April 17, 2013, 4:57 pm

      Thanks so much for helping out on this one Fogs. Actually the posts when we have really different reactions seem to be some of the more popular reviews.

      I am glad that they did not release this in the fall as I was getting real tired of watching terrible films at the theater.

      • Fogs' Movie Reviews April 18, 2013, 10:56 am

        LOL. Yeah, well, that’s fine. I’m still happy I was in step as a guest reviewer ;)

  • ckckred April 17, 2013, 8:41 am

    Nice review. I’m really looking forward to this one.

    • Adam April 17, 2013, 4:58 pm

      I think you will love it Ckckred.

  • Dan O. April 17, 2013, 10:05 am

    The cast is great, it’s just that the story didn’t quite work for me. Especially that last act. Something just didn’t mesh too well with the first two acts. Good review.

    • Adam April 17, 2013, 4:59 pm

      Dan that was certainly the weakest part of the film. I found the portrayal of his son AJ way over the top.

  • scottydynamite April 17, 2013, 10:27 am

    I will have to wait to see this one, still not in a theater close enough for me. Great review guys and thanks Fogs for standing in.

    • Adam April 17, 2013, 5:02 pm

      Would make a lovely date night for you and the misses :-)

    • Fogs' Movie Reviews April 18, 2013, 10:57 am

      No problem, Scotty, it was my pleasure, man!

  • Chris April 17, 2013, 10:50 am

    Nice review, guys. I really liked the movie as well, though I’ll agree with the critiques that it might have been a bit too long. The fact that each subsequent segment is just a little less powerful than the one before it also doesn’t help with that criticism, but still, overall a really good movie with some awesome performances. Hell, people were saying they were surprised by Bradley Cooper’s performance in Silver Linings, but I never had a doubt that he had that in him. Here, however, is where Bradley Cooper truly shocked me. Just phenomenal.

    Also, random thought, but since there’s three of you reviewing this movie, which itself is split into three very distinct segments, I wonder how it would turn out if you guys were to just assign one of you to review each specific segment. :P

    • Adam April 17, 2013, 3:59 pm

      As long as I got segment one I would be down with that Chris ;-)

  • JavaGirl April 17, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Great review! Do you think because the storyline had several substories, that the parts that lulled a bit made the movie appear “too long”? I hope when I go see it that I will forget that it’s a long movie and get carried away by the story. Hope to see this one soon! :D

    • Fogs' Movie Reviews April 18, 2013, 11:00 am

      I didnt think it “lulled”, really, I just think it was literally too long. There’s a lot of great movies that just go on and on, and even though the movie is excellent, it should be… ending. LOL

      I think this was one of those!

  • wordschat April 17, 2013, 7:31 pm

    Finally Bradley Cooper in a dramatic role that I believed him in. That’s praise as I disliked 99% of Silver Linings Playbook. Gosling as always stole the show. I’d have liked to see more of Dabr DeHann’s character growing up and less of the Cooper’s politics. I like the end but strangely felt meh that’s it? Not even in the same universe of complexity and impact of Maliks stellar Tree of Life. Nice job guys and Fogs joining in.

    • Fogs' Movie Reviews April 18, 2013, 10:59 am

      LOL. Yeah, I dont know where Adam is getting that Tree of Life connection from… :D

      Adam? :D

      • Adam April 21, 2013, 10:46 am

        I thought they were both films about the role of fatherhood and how a fathers decisions and personality effect future generations.

  • Keith April 17, 2013, 9:49 pm

    Good stuff guys. Still haven’t checked this one out. For some reason it just hasn’t excited me. But maybe I should reconsider…

    • Adam April 21, 2013, 10:47 am

      Keith I see a Spring Breakers/Place Beyond the Pines double feature in your future.

  • Pete Turner (@ilovethatfilm) April 18, 2013, 4:10 am

    Still need to get round to this! Heard the guy from Chronicle was exceptional so glad to see Adam give him a mention.

    • Fogs' Movie Reviews April 18, 2013, 10:58 am

      Yeah, Dehaan was excellent as always, Pete. I think that kid is going to be someone to watch for!

      • Adam April 21, 2013, 10:45 am

        I was all set to hate on him again but he was good.

  • Joe April 18, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Looks like one that I’ll have to check out. Gosling doesn’t seem to star in many bad movies does he. And Mark, no you can never have enough Hall and Oates in any movie. Great post guys and nice work filling in Fogs.

    • Adam April 21, 2013, 10:44 am

      Joe I heard Showcase North has it.

  • ray brayne April 19, 2013, 11:03 am

    Well its either this one or “Oblivion” next week for me. I’m waiting on that new guys review, Whats his name? Fogger, Froggy? oh yeah Fogs! LOL.
    But really, “The Sound of Mucous”? Where did that come from?

    • Adam April 19, 2013, 3:00 pm

      I think we might end up watching Oblivion this weekend as well. I saw a few sort of positive reviews so I hope it at least half-way decent.

  • Mark Walker April 21, 2013, 9:45 am

    Excellent write-up here dudes. Really can’t wait to see this one. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get hold in my neck of the woods.

    • Adam April 21, 2013, 10:44 am

      Mark this is actually just starting to open up in more theaters around here as well. We had to drive about 40 minutes to check it out and Fogs stepped up as it was not playing anywhere near Scott.

  • Abbi April 21, 2013, 10:21 am

    The more I read about this film the more I want to see it. I also think your format for this blog is awesome. So interesting to see differing viewpoints all in one place.

    • Adam April 21, 2013, 10:43 am

      Hey thanks for stopping by Abbi. This format is actually even more fun when we disagree about a film ;-)

  • Marc April 29, 2013, 5:52 am

    Definitely worth seeing while it’s on the big screen. I had to travel to my third nearest cinema to catch it, apparently it’s on ‘limited release’ despite being marketed hard in the UK.

    I agree with the reviews on the whole, risky and a bit too long with some near faultless acting from almost the whole cast, in particular Gosling, Cooper and my favourite Ben Mendelsohn. However, I’m not sold on Dale DeHaan yet. His character here seemed almost identical to the guy from Chronicle, an angsty loner with more issues than a kid that age should have. I’d like to see him play someone different soon.

    I really feel like checking out Blue Valentine on the back of watching this.

    • Adam April 29, 2013, 7:37 am

      I agree Marc, certainly worth the extra effort to see it on the big screen. I disliked DeHann in Chronicle, however for some reason I liked him in Pines. I would agree that the roles were a bit similar, well minus the super powers of course. I see that Blue Valentine is available on Netflix, but I heard it is a real downer so I am waiting to be in the right frame of mind. ;-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting

  • Mark Dore September 1, 2013, 6:25 am

    Hi guys: I liked this a lot when it came out it seems ages ago. The conflict of good vs providing and self discovery of the characters pulls you in. Doesn’t hurt that Ryan Gosling is so easy on the eyes :) Aside: Sorry been missing in reviews action lately, you\ll find my musings as status lines in my FB. I’ve been setting up my new Surface Tablet PC and new email address / tie in to my Xbox. Just now re-subscribing to your blog. I did a shout out to you in my Mortal Crapitude Instruments review.

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