Janet To Anthony

The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)
A Review By Ben Hunter
5 Out Of 5 Stars
March 29, 2013

“Get to the Point Ben!” This is a style of storytelling that’s mastered by the master (Hitchcock), setting the perfect example for the rest of us, but hard to follow in the footsteps of such greatness.  However, writer/director Derek Cianfrance and his team of writers did an amazing job of staying balanced and starting their own little light in the big shadow that Hitchock casts, figuratively speaking of course.
Ryan Gosling as the bad boy, daredevil, Luke Glanton.

Alfred Hitchcock, in my humble opinion, the most influential director ... ever!  David Fincher’s Panic Room, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, the list goes on.  When the high school teenaged girl in slasher films today (or “cute horror” as I’ve come to love to call and enjoy this style of filmmaking, just think Scream) gets killed, be it prematurely to the audiences’ surprise or well into the story to the audiences’ expectancy, it’s because she’s done something unethical or illegal and needs to be punished for it.  This concept is now a normality from directors of today.  This concept first came about when audiences experienced Janet Leigh’s unexpected and abrupt check out from the Bates Motel in Hitch’s Psycho.  In Psycho, Janet Leigh is whom we follow and come to support in our experience with that story.  She checks into the motel, meets Anthony Perkins, and the story perfectly segues into becoming his story.  Janet to Anthony … to Ryan Gosling to Bradley Cooper to Dane DeHaan (that kid who went crazy in the end of Chronicle) bringing the story in full circle and back to Ryan Gosling in a sense while cleverly elaborated in Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond The Pines.  Joining the likes of David Lynch to Steven Spielberg to David Fincher … … yeah, “Janet to Anthony”.  Alfred Hitchcock, the most influential director … ever! 

So help me God, I will jump off this page … Orson Welles, the most talented, but not the most influential!
Luke (Gosling), Romina (Eva Mendes), and their new son Jason, ponder the future of their family.  
Ryan Gosling teams up again with his Blue Valentine director, Derek Cianfrance, as Luke, who starts us off with his troubles as a bad boy daredevil, a modern day, traveling Evel Knievel if you will.  He’s the heartthrob that women fall for against all logical defiance.  This being the case for Romina, Eva Mendes, who got a hold of the daredevil but now has Luke’s baby and Luke, wants to do right by his new son.  Luke gives up the traveling danger gig to be a good man to his family.  He stays in town to try to find work in Schenectady, NY; a small town on the eastern boarder of the state, having origins in the “Mohawk” language which the name of the town itself loosely means “place beyond the pine plains”.  This is where Luke’s troubles catch up to him, the place beyond the pines. 

Avery contemplates the future of his family.
As Janet passed the baton to Anthony to then run with us in the story, we now follow Avery who has to now deal with the attention that the situation that he and Luke have now created.  A story infested with greed, filth, and a lot of dirty cops.  Both men just looking for the very best for their families yet go about it in very different ways.  Janet to Anthony again and we discover Avery’s baby boy Aj and Luke’s baby boy Jason have something to do with the story, the sins of the father so to speak being the case, taking us on quite the commotion of a ride.  So when the stories have played out their courses, in a sense Luke’s son Jason has taken us back where we started with his father, but only with Jason now.  Thus bringing the story full circle, but still capable of taking us on another amazing adventure like the one we just had! 

I was really quite intrigued with this style of storytelling which none dare to engage with.  It’s a very rare style and I’m not surprised because of the risk you.  If done improperly, you loose the audience with the introduction of new characters into the story.  They need to be properly placed and extremely likeable which is the main reason as to why you can loose the audience.  We just spent the last hour caring about Ryan Gosling, and now you want us to put those emotions aside for a little bit and start to care about Bradley Cooper? Until later on in the story when you want us to bring back those feelings again for Ryan Gosling?  Now I know how an emotional 17-year-old high school girl caught up in a love tango feels.  But Cianfrance and his writers accomplish this difficult task quite nicely.   I would've liked to have seen a little more screen time from Ryan Gosling's character; it’s a little long of a story; and I don’t know if I would be so quick to rush order the DVD the instant it becomes available.  However, still, it's an intriguing story nonetheless; one that I made sure, in my times of financial crisis, to budget this movie in my schedule.

Aj & Jason, sons of the story's 2 leads are forced to deal with the sins of their fathers.

Oh boy am I glad that I did!

If you’re an adult male, take your girl to go see this!

The Place Beyond The Pines
Drama, 140 Minutes, R
Written by: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Bruce Greenwood, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershala Ali, & Ray Liotta 

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