Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2013


"The Place Beyond the Pines" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen



Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a motorcycle stunt performer in the circus. During a stop in upstate New York he encounters a former fling of his, Romina (Eva Mendes). As he goes back to meet up with her again tomorrow, he discovers that he has a son, Jason, that he never knew about and is now close to a year old.

Determined to provide something for his son, he quits the circus and attempts to find work in town. Continually butting heads with Romina's boyfriend, Kofi, he turns to robbing banks with a partner to provide some income for his son. His ego begins to get the best of him as he continues to battle with Romina and Kofi, as well as running into trouble with the law.


  • Universal
  • 2013, Color, Rated R, 2 Hours, 21 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video: 1080p, AVC
  • Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English
  • Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, and Ray Liotta
  • Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Yes


My wife thinks I like films that are too depressing and bleak. She won't watch a lot of things with me as she'd rather not deal with that. The Place Beyond The Pines was depressing even for me. It manages to be both epic, and seemingly unending, in scope yet not delve deeply enough into the lives of characters. The film progressed much differently than I expected, and the second half was totally different than I expected it to be coming in. The acting is very good and the score does a very nice job of setting the mood.

Despite all this I couldn't become involved in the film itself. None of the characters really gripped me, and I felt detached from the whole film. The director also has an insatiable love of tracking shots. From the opening shot to many shots later in the film, it goes from a nice effect to purposely drawing attention to itself and taking you out of the picture. I can't muscle up the energy to be angry at the film, as they tried to make something very good. I just came away bored in the end. And full of despair.


A few early scenes in the film have a bit of pumped-up color, but overall the transfer is very nice. The image is crisp and detailed, and has that really clean, detailed look that comes from the Arri line of digital cameras. The soundtrack is also very effective. Surrounds are used to set mood and atmosphere, as well as deliver the soundtrack. The action sequences benefit from all 5.1 channels, but the quieter scenes also use them to draw you in. Technically this is a movie that looks and sounds great.


Deleted and extended scenes, directors commentary and DVD and Ultraviolet copies of the film.