Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Ray Liotta”

Movie Review – The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines - Movie PosterThis past weekend my girlfriend convinced me to go see The Place Beyond the Pines, a crime drama directed by Derek Cianfrance. She wanted to see it because it stars Ryan Gosling. I acquesed because it also stars Bradley Cooper and Ray Liotta. I’m glad I decided to go because it’s a wonderful movie. The acting is excellent across the board, and the three-act plot made it feel as if I was watching a play. Being a fan of mysteries and thrillers, I enjoyed the various twists, vulnerable characters and solid pacing. And beautifully woven throughout the film is the theme of choices and consequences, as well as the relationships between fathers and sons. Check out the official synopsis and trailer below and give The Place Beyond the Pines a shot. It’s an engaging movie that will stay with you long after the final credits have rolled.

Official Synopsis

The daring new movie from the director of Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines is a sweeping emotional drama powerfully exploring the unbreakable bond between fathers and sons.

Luke (Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling) is in constant motion, a high-wire motorcycle stunt performer who travels from town to town with the carnival. Passing through Schenectady in upstate New York, he tries to reconnect with a former lover, Romina (Eva Mendes), only to learn that she has in his absence given birth to their son Jason. Luke resolves to forsake life on the road and to provide for his newfound family, taking a job as car mechanic with Robin (Ben Mendelsohn). Robin soon discovers Luke’s special talents, and proposes to partner with him in a string of spectacular bank robberies. But it is only a matter of time before Luke will run up against the law – which comes in the form of Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper).

Avery is an ambitious rookie cop navigating a local police department ruled by the menacingly corrupt detective Deluca (Ray Liotta). When Avery, just beginning to balance his profession and his family life with wife Jennifer (Rose Byrne) and their infant son AJ, confronts Luke, the full consequences will reverberate into the next generation. It is then that the two sons, Jason (Dane DeHaan) and AJ (Emory Cohen), must face their fateful, shared legacy.

Movie Review: Identity

IdentitySeveral years ago I saw the 2003 psychological thriller Identity, and this past weekend I watched it again. Having not seen it for a few years, I completely forgot the film’s twists, which made for an enjoyable viewing experience.

On its face, the film appeared to be a predictable thriller. But as I peeled back its layers, a well-constructed plot, inspired by the Agatha Christie novel, And Then There Were None, presented itself.

The film’s director, James Mangold, best known for Girl, Interrupted and Walk The Line, did an excellent job. Identity moved at a nice clip, had a dark mood and interesting flashback transitions.

While all of the actors turned in solid performances, Ray Liotta stole the show, quickly followed by the always consistent John Cusack. Amanda Peet also did a fine job of injecting her enigmatic character with humor and sarcasm.

If you’re a fan of mysteries and thrillers, Identity is worth your time. It’s an enjoyable film that will keep your interest from start to finish.

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