Welcome ladies and gents to Day 1 of Drama in Cinema. Whatever you may think of Nicholas Cage, the man can act. He can't save a Marvel movie granted, but I need to move on from my Ghost Rider issues. Imagine a violent and withdrawn man that only really gets along with his co-workers and has managed to isolate himself from society overall until he meets a 15 year-old kid that is drifting. This is Joe.
|These deer steaks better be worth the stink.|
Directed by David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls, Pineapple Express and Prince Avalanche) our film opens with a heart-to-heart of a boy Gary (Tye Sheridan of The Tree of Life, Mud, Dark Places, Entertainment and Last Days in the Desert) talking to his abusive, alcoholic father Wade (Gary Poulter of Joe) about getting a job, keeping it and not turning everything they built up in crap... again. Convinced his father will take another beating because he is a loser and a booze hound, Gary opens up as best as he can only to get punched in the face and watch his father take a vicious beating while he follows the train tracks out of there. Enter Joe.
Joe (Nicholas Cage of Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Con Air, National Treasure, Ghost Rider, Trespass and Dying of the Light) is a foreman who runs a small-tree removal business and crew. While liked by most of the town as well as his crew has been in and out of the correctional system (The pokey, slammer and iron bar hotel) for violence and dissin' the law man he has exiled himself from others exception of hitting the local brothel.
Gary meets Joe and the crew out in the woods looking for work. Impressed that the kid isn't afraid of hard work he tells him he's hired. Bringing his dad Wade to work the next day gets them both fired given Wade doesn't give a damn about anything or anyone. Gary heads over to Joe's house and wins Joe over asking for his job back and the Hell with the old man. Joe agrees and this young man sweats and toils taking out the trees. He has earned every penny but Wade slaps him around demanding money for more liquor...because this guy's liver hasn't waved a white flag of surrender yet.
|Are ya ready Hush puppies? Start walkin'.|
Wade gets chummy with another sleaze bag Willie (Ronnie Gene Blevins of Jobs, Past God, Small Time, Kingdom and Uncle John) and Willie makes lewd and crude comments to Gary about what he'd do to Gary's sister Dorothy (Anna Niemtschk of Joe and Toy Soldier) and Gary completely jacks the guy.
Merle (Sue Rock of The Good Guys, Spilt Milk, Apart, Texas Chainsaw 3D, and From Dusk Till Dawn) runs the local house of ill repute but is about the only one that gets Joe who they both geniunely have feelings for each other but they such burned out and broken people they could never truly be there for each other. Willie offers Wade some booze for the promise of having Dorothy. Wade agrees and Gary goes to get Joe to stop them. Joe is there like lightning and heads to whale the monkey crap out of both of these degenerates. Gary runs for the cops.
Will Gary get help in time? Would Willie and Wade try to kill Joe?
A few comments on the film. This is a dark movie in the sense there is no mass murder with a mask, undead or creatures of darkness but the dismal standing of what humanity can lower itself to. With Wade being this monster under the yoke of the bottle he would sell his own children or their organs for another drink. Cage's performance of a guy trying to keep his rage in check to be a better man is amazing. He wears all his emotions on his sleeve and gives the execution that you have come to expect he always could.
Tye Sheridan will be tackling a mutant role in the upcoming Xmen flick, X-Men: Apocalypse as younger Cyclops. This kid's realization of being an adult before his years SHOULD demand it, is a triumph. No, this film is not for everyone and it does present a seamy setting of a town and its residents just dying by inches but it truly is drama.
|HIC! Line please!|