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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2013

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"Mud" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-Aud-2013-Mud

Synopsis

MUD is a timeless adventure about two boys, Ellis and his best friend Neckbone, who find a mysterious man named Mud (McConaughey) hiding out on a deserted island in the Mississippi. Mud tells the boys  stories about his life, including how he killed a man in Texas and how vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper (Witherspoon), who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical, but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. But it isn't long until Mud's tall tales come to life and their small town is besieged by bounty hunters out for blood.

Specifications

  • Lionsgate
  • 2013, Color, PG-13, 2 hour 10 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video: 1080p, MPEG-4 AVC
  • Audio: English, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Based somewhat loosely on the story of Huck Finn, this tale is more about a young boys coming of age than the title would suggest. Ellis has to face his parents impending divorce, get his first girl friend, maintain his friendship with his best bud and deal with adults on their terms. I kept waiting for some major reveal about Mud’s character, but he really is just a hayseed guy in a tough spot. The movie is “make or break” on the main child actor and he really delivers a strong performance. All around, the characters are quite believable and never feel forced. Though the ending is a bit predictable, the journey down this river is worth the trip. As Mud would say, “It’s a hell of a thing…”.

Technical

Overall, the picture is sharp and detailed (sand grains on the shore or Mud’s scraggly beard whiskers) with only a bit of crushing of details in the night scenes, where the picture gets grainy. The surrounds kick in during the action scenes and the music is well presented with rock-a-billy tunes that sound superb with the acoustic instruments spread out across the front of your room. Not a lot of sub action until the shoot out near the end, but boy, those  shot guns will make you jump.

Extras

Audio commentary with Writer/Director Jeff Nichols, "A Very Personal Tale: Writing and Directing Mud" featurette, "The Arkansas Ensemble: The Distinctive Characters and Cast of Mud", "Southern Authenticity: Shooting the Real Arkansas", "The Snake Pit: The Slithering Costars of Mud".