Written July 29, 2015
One of the saddest movies I have ever seen as it depicts generations of harm the characters do to each other without anyone, for one second, having any evil intent. There is little nobility, either, and a lot of the characters are willing to do things they know are not right in order to get some momentary advantage, but their moral compasses, intelligence and ingenuity are not up to the task of guiding them through the terrible situation they find themselves in. And that situation is life, neither at its best nor worst, in Schenectady, New York.
Written April 26, 2015
I was disappointed in the ending. Just dark. The kids in this movie show the exact reason why there are so many issues with kids today. The corruption is probably very true to real life. No happiness in this movie ever.
Written February 12, 2016
What a great film! The story has 3 distinct parts, or call them Acts, that explore two very different father-son relationships. The fathers are well played by Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. Gosling plays a carnival motorcycle stuntman who finds out he has a son and makes an admirable attempt to become a part of his life. Unfortunately, he chooses to try his hand at bank robbery to make the money necessary to woo his ex-girlfriend. It's difficult not to care about him and his plight despite his crimes. He ultimately collides with a cop played by Bradley Cooper and the story then focuses on Cooper's character for the remainder of the film. However, such a collision has consequences and there's plenty of residual damage that gets passed on to the sons of both characters in the 3rd Act. Cooper is excellent in this role. Some of his lines were delivered with an eerie similarity to the character he portrayed in Silver Linings Playbook, but that's a positive here.
Written February 11, 2016
I have to rate this a noble failure. All three main actors: Gosling, Cooper, Mendes are typically insanely talented and charismatic. Here, however, they were wrong. I don't know if they weren't right for the parts, or chose to play them blank and "frozen", or simply bad on-screen chemistry. Their story never came alive to me. The young actors in the second half were so unlikeable, that I didn't. Like them, I mean. To summarize, the most sympathetic and interesting character in this film is Mendes character's husband. The guy who stepped in and made a family for Mendes character and baby.
Written May 24, 2015
Last night I thought Ryan Gosling was quite intriguing in the movie The Place Beyond the Pines. There's lots of male egotism in the movie and he heads the pack. I felt a genuine performance from him. I also felta a genuine performance from Ray Liotta who plays bad cop. The one person whose performance lacks from my perspective is Bradley Cooper. His heart did not pump the blood needed to portray a cop who was trying to do the right thing. I haven't seen Bradley Cooper onscreen for a while. But, I feel like he ignored a prime opportunity to leverage a role that I feel that he could have creatively done. I feel his performance to have not been at the level of Ray Liotta, Eva Mendes, and Ryan Gosling's. But, there performances pulled the movie up into a C+ range. Bradley's in my opinion was that bad. Its a long movie with three stories that are connected. You won't waste your money by seeing this movie. Whereas it has some very beautiful scenes. Be prepared because there are no sparks.