The Place Beyond The Pines (2012) Review

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Seriously – this is a 2012 movie??

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Ryan Gosling
Bradley Cooper
Eva Mendes
Dane DeHaan
Emory Cohen
Ray Liotta
Ben Mendelsohn
Rose Byrne
Mahershala Ali
Bruce Greenwood
Harris Yulin

Music By: Mike Patton. That’s right – of Faith No More! Cool. Noticed his name in the credits and wanted to make sure to mention him – love Faith No More. And… Anyone remember Mr Bungle?? Ha!


I’m not sure if I should go into the plot much. The way they are marketing this film, by only really focusing on Ryan Gosling, is a bit misleading. Ryan Gosling plays Luke Glanton, a motorcycle stuntman. While in town with a travelling fair he works for, he sees an ex-lover of his (Romina, played by Eva Mendes). Luke learns that Romina’s one-year-old son is his. Luke decides to stay in town and help to raise his son even though Romina has moved on & is with another man. He gets a job at an auto repair shop but, when that doesn’t earn him enough money to help his son, he turns to robbing banks. Luke soon becomes addicted to this “easy” way of getting money.

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This is all pretty much everything I read about before seeing the film. But there’s MUCH more to the movie than just this one story about Luke. So don’t go to it expecting the entire movie to just be about Ryan Gosling going on a bank-robbing spree. The movie is better than just that.

I really enjoyed this movie. My hubby didn’t so much. He thinks it’s because I have the hots for Gosling but I don’t think that has anything to do with it. He’s still hot, even with some really ugly tattoos and a Metallica t-shirt, but he certainly doesn’t do it for me as much in this film as in others. And he’s good in this, as always, but he doesn’t steal the whole show. His character isn’t quite as strong as in other films – he was much deeper in things like Lars And The Real Girl & Half Nelson and he was “cooler” and more mysterious in Drive. The director, Derek Cianfrance, also did Blue Valentine. I still haven’t fully decided if I prefer that or Pines but I do think Gosling’s character was more well-developed in Valentine & he delivered a better performance. But, overall, Pines is probably a more “entertaining” film with a better story as opposed to Valentine which is more about the performances than the story.

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If you love Drive, you MIGHT like Pines but don’t go to it expecting it to be anything like it. It’s very different. There was a bit of a hoodie at our screening – he did stay for the whole thing but he & his woman kept talking to each other about being bored. This is where I always get a bit snobby and say things like “people need to find a little something out about a movie before going to it!” but to be fair, although I knew what kind of movie it was as I’m a movie lover & do my research, I do think they’re making this movie look a little too much like another Drive. As to be expected as it’s the same director, it’s much more like Blue Valentine. It’s a drama. It has a slow pace. It IS a little overlong (as much as I enjoyed it I did feel it could have been cut down by half an hour). It’s my kind of thing, though. It’s not going to be for everyone.

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As for the stories (as I said, there’s more to it than just the story of Luke and this has been hinted at in enough reviews that I don’t think I’m spoiling anything), they were all good but I especially liked the first one & the final one. The final one was a complete surprise as I knew nothing at all about that one before seeing the film. I think I felt the most for the characters in the final bit & found my heart pounding a little when there were a couple of times where you really didn’t know what was going to happen to them. I thought all the characters in the whole film felt realistic as well – these seemed like real people because I thought they acted in ways that real-life people in the same situations may behave (not as common in movies as it should be!). As it’s marketed in that Drive kind of way, I thought it would be really violent. It’s not. There were a few times where I thought it might suddenly get crazy-Drive-level-violent but it thankfully didn’t. Not saying I don’t like Drive – I love it. But this film didn’t feel the need to up the violence or the action or to start acting all “cool”. It kept things slow & steady but it still had me on the edge of my seat at the end in a similar way to how I felt while watching American History X. Not sure why this comparison popped into my head while watching Pines – I think the tension I felt toward the end was quite similar (although American History X is definitely a better film).

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A quick mention of the performances: As I said, Gosling is good as always but it’s not his strongest role. Eva Mendes is good as is Mahershala Ali, who plays her boyfriend. I liked the character Ben Mendelsohn plays – the owner of the body shop where Gosling works. Ray Liotta is… sooooo Ray Liotta! So, you’ll be happy if you like Ray Liotta but I found it quite disappointing that he’s playing the same role here that he ALWAYS plays. In fact, that’s probably the thing I liked least about this film. Dane DeHaan also plays a very similar character to one he’s played before but he’s very good at that sort of role and I thought he was very good in this – he’s possibly one of the best things about this movie, actually. For me the most pleasant surprise was probably Bradley Cooper, though. He plays a rookie cop. This is also widely known about the plot (if there’s a bank robber there has to be a cop!) but they REALLY don’t focus much on him in the trailers & things I’d seen beforehand. It’s a big role! Honestly, the only thing I’d really seen him in was The Hangover so, naturally, I wasn’t overly impressed with him. (The Hangover isn’t really my type of thing). But then he was suddenly up for an Oscar! (I really do want to see Silver Linings Playbook). So, yeah – turns out he can act. I thought he was good as the rookie cop who’s a bit unsure of himself.

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Summary: I liked this a lot but it’s not for everyone. It’s a slow-paced drama with some very good performances but not any really amazing ones. It’s a little overlong but has a good sense of growing tension, especially at the end, which kept me very gripped. And I really cared about most of the characters. Good drama. I recommend it. But remember it is NOTHING like Drive. Overall, though, something holds this movie back from being excellent instead of just very good. No, I don’t know what that something is. If I knew, I’d be the one making the movies! ๐Ÿ™‚

My Rating: 8/10

Mike Patton – The Snow Angel

The Ryan Gosling Project

My Top Five Metallica Songs

Ryan Gosling Project – The Place Beyond The Pines

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I’ve just seen The Place Beyond The Pines. It’s good – I really enjoyed it. Will try to write a review soon(ish) when I get the time. But I figured I should update my Ryan Gosling Project (I’m planning to watch every movie he’s been in). Here’s every Ryan Gosling movie I’ve seen ranked in order starting with my favorite:

1. Lars And The Real Girl
2. Drive
3. Blue Valentine
4. The Place Beyond The Pines
5. Half Nelson
6. The Notebook
7. Crazy, Stupid, Love.
8. The Ides Of March

It’s very close between Blue Valentine & The Place Beyond The Pines – I may change my mind on that. (I change my mind a lot).

I do have a really sad & annoying habit of ranking things from my favorite to my least favorite. So… Yeah – I’ve done that with every movie I’ve seen so far this year. Here’s the list of the ones I’ve seen in the cinema. And, again, I’m sure some of these will change position by the end of the year as I change my mind a lot. ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. Django Unchained
2. Robot & Frank
3. The Place Beyond The Pines
4. Warm Bodies
5. Side Effects
6. Flight
7. Wreck-It Ralph
8. Les Miserables
9. Oblivion
10. The Croods
11. The Impossible
12. Life Of Pi
13. Trance
14. Vinyl
15. Oz The Great And Powerful

Link to full list of everything I’ve seen this year: 2013 Movies Seen

3 New Photos for Ryan Gosling’s Only God Forgives

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Three photos from the next Ryan Gosling & Nicolas Winding Refn (director of Drive) project, Only God Forgives.

Link to full article & the following synopsis here: GeekTyrant

Julian (Gosling) lives in exile in Bangkok where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for the familyโ€™s drugs smuggling operation. When Julianโ€™s brother Billy is killed their mother, Jenna (Kristen Scott Thomas), arrives in the city. She wants revenge and forces Julian to find the killer. Julianโ€™s contacts in the criminal underworld lead him directly to The Angel of Vengeance, a retired police officer who knows everything and who is both Judge and Punisher. Jenna demands that Julian kill The Angel of Vengeance, an act that will cost him dearly

The Ides Of March

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I said it before and I’ll say it again – the only reason I watched this is because Ryan Gosling is in it. It’s about politics. I hate politics. This sort of drama also isn’t really the kind of movie genre I tend to go for. So bear that all in mind during my quick little review!

Ryan Gosling plays one of the campaign managers for George Clooney’s character – a governor and presidential candidate. I actually didn’t know beforehand about the other big names in this – Philip Seymour Hoffman as the senior campaign manager for Clooney, Paul Giamatti as a rival campaign manager, and Marisa Tomei in a pretty small role as a reporter. Oh, and Evan Rachel Wood as an intern for the Clooney campaign. Evan Rachel Wood not only got to be in this with my lovely Ryan but also starred in Across The Universe with another big crush of mine – Jim Sturgess. So I’m pretty sure I don’t like her. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Thanks to the hubby for pointing out that George Clooney directed this movie & wrote the screenplay (along with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon) in response to me saying that Clooney seemed a bit wasted in the movie. Okay – it makes sense then! It’s not a big role compared to Gosling’s – the story really follows his character. Clooney IS perfect for the role, though. Not hard to imagine him as a politician with his natural charm & charisma – if he ran for something in real life I might actually take the time to vote! The other big names did seem a little wasted, though – Hoffman had a bit more screen time than Giamatti & Tomei but it still wasn’t a lot compared to Gosling. And they did their jobs well, as they always do, but their roles didn’t really require much effort from them.

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Overall, I think this movie lacked the passion & dramatic tension we’ve had from other political dramas. (Not that I’ve watched many so maybe I’m not the best judge. Lol!). I remember getting very into the story in Good Night And Good Luck (that was political, right?!). And I’m sure All The President’s Men is a much better movie about political scandal (not seen it!). Okay – I really don’t know much about political dramas. Feel free to ignore this review. :-p

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Perhaps, as real life politics are so corrupt and there are plenty of scandals to choose from, I think a fictional movie about the dirty stuff that goes on behind the scenes doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the ones based on true stories? The movie started out okay but then the “scandal” came to light and everything that happened afterwards suddenly made it feel like a Hollywood movie. Which it is, so maybe that’s not a bad thing! Worth a watch if you like political dramas & quality actors.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Good but currently in last place in my Ryan Gosling Project ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Ryan Gosling Project

Okay, I’ve just watched The Ides Of March (will do a review sometime soon). I’ll be honest – I watched it ONLY because Ryan Gosling is in it. I mean… it’s about politics. I hate politics! But I love Ryan Gosling. Oh yes I do.

So, anyway, I was thinking that I should watch every movie that Ryan Gosling has been in (not counting TV stuff). My IMDB Top 250 Movie Challenge is still my main focus but this can be my little side project (when I need a Gosling fix). ๐Ÿ˜‰ He’s not been around TOO long so it’s doable. And I don’t think I’ve loved any other actor as much as I love The Gosling (other than Johnny Depp starting back in his 21 Jump Street days but I’m finally getting over him these past few years!).

So here’s a list of Ryan Gosling movies that I’ve seen and not seen. Unfortunately, it does look like I’ve probably already seen all the best. And… Crap! Looks like I have to watch two football movies? Ugh! Worse than politics. ๐Ÿ˜›

Seen (in order from my favorite to least favorite. but all of these were good. well, except for The Notebook – that’s only that high for the rain scene if I’m going to be honest! the movie is a bit rubbish overall. only worth the watch for Ryan):

1. Lars And The Real Girl

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2. Drive

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3. Blue Valentine

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4. Half Nelson

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5. The Notebook

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6. Crazy, Stupid, Love.

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7. The Ides Of March

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Not Seen (saw Murder By Numbers but it was so long ago I don’t remember it so will have to re-watch):

Frankenstein and Me
The Unbelievables
Remember the Titans
The Believer
Murder by Numbers
The Slaughter Rule
The United States of Leland
All Good Things
Gangster Squad
The Place Beyond the Pines (not out yet)
Only God Forgives (not out yet)

How many people are going to moan at Drive being number two? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I may change my mind on that – the top two are VERY close. Drive is cool, he’s sexy as hell in it, I love the jacket, and the soundtrack is awesome. But… it ruined Finding Nemo for me a little bit. Nemo’s dad is such a bastard! Lol!

Any recommendations on ones to start with from the not seen list? And can someone explain to me what it is about Ryan Gosling that makes him so sexy?! Because he’s not actually my usual “type”!

Hot Sexy Amber Heard

Okay – When looking at my stats I’ve noticed that people often seem to have come to my blog after doing a search for Amber Heard along with words such as hot and shower scene (this would be because I mentioned her shower scene in my review of The Ward). So… I figured I’d do an Amber Heard post again and see what happens! ๐Ÿ˜‰ She really is hot and my current girl crush but I still love Ryan Gosling the most (he gets lots of hits too!). Here are two great pictures of them:
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My Top Five Movies About Love

What the heck – since Valentine’s Day is coming up.

1. Up

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I posted about this recently – I’ve never found any love story in a movie as believable as this one.


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What can I say? Pixar is perfect. Not only do I find animated romance more believable than live-action romance, I also find animated ROBOT romance more believable. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Has anyone ever loved anyone as much as WALL-E loves Eve? I don’t think so.

3. Before Sunrise & Before Sunset

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Look! Humans! What can I say? These two were so perfect together & had such great chemistry. I found this romance very real. It’s a very “me” kind of romance.

4. (500) Days Of Summer

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“What?”, you say. Well, it’s real. Very real. Who can’t relate to this movie? Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so fantastic in this. You truly believe he loves her and you can actually feel his pain. Who doesn’t love a bit of unrequited love in movies?!

5. Cinema Paradiso

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Is this cheating? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sorry but I can totally relate to “love of cinema”.

Honorable mentions to these dudes:

Lloyd Dobler

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Perfect boyfriend or what?! The movie isn’t in my list, however, as that bitch SO didn’t appreciate him & his awesome “boom box over the head playing Peter Gabriel” thing. He shouldn’t have gotten on that plane with her. She’s not in love with you, Lloyd! Bring your boom box and cool Clash t-shirts over to MY house. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ryan Gosling

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Hey girl. Gotta mention Ryan Gosling. You know, just in general. For being so freaking sexy cool all the time. I absolutely refuse to be all girly & put that totally contrived Notebook movie in my list. However, being in love with The Gosling, I can’t exactly pretend I don’t secretly love the whole kissing in the rain scene… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Okay okay – I kind of like the movie! I admit it! But I only think it really works while it’s showing them as a young couple – I didn’t buy into the old couple at all. Damn you, Ryan Gosling, for making me go all girly!

Jake Ryan

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Last but certainly not least. I’ll always remember my first (movie) love. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Only Ryan Gosling…

…would be able to pull off looking like a scumbag and still have me crushing on him. I mean, this is what the guys that I avoided in high school looked like! ๐Ÿ˜‰ What is it with you, Ryan Gosling?! I just don’t get it! You sexy sexy man.

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Nice but I slightly preferred Master Of Puppets. And I gotta say the Metallica fans at MY school looked nothing like Ryan! I might have hated high school less if they had… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Only The Gosling could wear those stupid trousers.

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Even hotter with a baby.

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Smoking. Icky habit. But oh so sexy in THIS mouth.

For anyone who doesn’t actually know, these photos are from the movie The Place Beyond The Pines, which will be released in the UK on April 12th. I’ll watch it. But only because of Ryan.

Here’s an old favorite. Again – only The Gosling could look good in glasses.

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Ryan Gosling – What is it with this dude?

I’m a girl, in my 30s, therefore I should like Ryan Gosling. And I do! But why?? I can’t quite figure it out. He’s not my type. I tend to go for brown hair & brown eyes and that “boy next door” pretty face. I’m not one of these girls who goes gaga over The Notebook (it made me gag a bit but I must admit that a passionate kiss in the rain would be awesome). It wasn’t until seeing Lars & The Real Girl that I started falling in love with Ryan Gosling (GREAT movie – highly recommend it!). Then came Drive and Crazy, Stupid, Love. Wow. How sexy is Ryan Gosling in those movies? I don’t get it! What is it about this guy? And I kind of hate myself for liking a guy that every other girl seems to go for – I’m usually not that mainstream! ๐Ÿ˜‰ At least I can say this – who, exactly, is Channing Tatum and where did he suddenly come from and why on earth should I find him sexy?? But back to Ryan Gosling – I just thought I should share a link that’s been around for a while now but I must admit I go back to every now & then:

Rub Ryan Gosling. Enjoy.

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