This is my first Joey Hill book, and it certainly won’t be my last. Hill weaves a magical story of two damaged souls who find redemption together. The sex (as expected in a story that has three partners) is explicit, but the relationship building between the two main characters, Lauren and Joshua, is what really stands out in this story. Both are wounded by past lovers, and while each is willing to explore a passionate weekend, neither expects to find more, or to find redemption. If you enjoy books on the spicier side, then I can’t recommend this one enough. It explores relationships, boundaries and the concept of self amazingly. Definitely 5 stars!
I wasn’t sure what to expect of this movie. I knew it was going to be dark, but how dark? I knew the performances were supposed to be stellar, but were they as good as rumor? Hell to the F-in Yeah. I know Jennifer Lawrence started to get serious looks from viewers after the Hunger Games, but she rocks the role as Ree, a Missouri mountain girl with the weight of her family on her shoulders. Her father is on the run (ostensibly cooking meth) right before his court date, leaving the fate of the family (and their house and land) in question. Ree, as the real head of the family, must care for her clinically depressed mother and two siblings, all while trying to track down her father.
For some reason I thought this was going to be a ‘searching through the trees, on a righteous quest’ kind of movie, and in a way it is, but Ree isn’t searching through the physical trees, she’s climbing a family tree that’s as steeped in crime as it is tradition.
Dale Dickey was AMAZING as Merab, the head of the female side of the clan, and without a doubt the most dangerous one of the lot.
While this isn’t a gory movie, it is brutal, in that it shows a life that is likely all-too-real, but all-too-easy for city dwellers and suburbanites alike to brush aside as fantasy.
Standout performances by Lawrence, Dickey and John Hawkes (as Teardrop) make this a move well worth your time!!
To be honest, this was a movie I stuck with because of the stellar reviews. The first half is really slow. Not bad, mind you, just slow. Definitely brings to mind the 80s—has the vibe, the music, etc. The soundtrack almost reminded me of Escape from New York, as did the noir aspects. (Freakish aside…I’ll be damned, but as I was at the gym the next day, Twilight Zone by Golden Earring came on, and it could be directly inserted into this movie).
Anyway, then, at about the 50 minute mark, all hell breaks loose and it’s fabulous. Seriously reminded me of Tarantino (so yeah, super gory), which was peachy keen with me, because Resevoir Dogs is one of my fave all-time movies, and Inglorious Basterds is ranking in the top 5.
Ryan Gosling was really good as the laconic everyman who’s anything but. I think this may have been the first movie I’ve seen him in, and I was impressed. Bryan Cranston was a fabulous (as always) weasely “manager”, and Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman were incredible as the baddies. Carey Mulligan was nice as the female foil, but she didn’t leave me with much of an impression, so maybe I was missing something.
The violence is chillingly brutal and words few and far between, so much of the tenor and characterization occurs through action and facial expressions. Even though this is an action movie (kind of), the pace is measured throughout, with intense bursts of adrenaline and a couple of fabulous crash scenes. So, having said allll that, give this one a try if you’re a fan of Tarantino, you won’t be disappointed!!!