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If I could convince you to buy a Blu-ray blindly....

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#1 of 74 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 28 2013 - 06:00 AM

51NpDInzeXL._SY300_.jpg

 

These days, there is rarely anything new showing theatrically or 

on video that I pay particular attention to.  After all, it seems Hollywood

is too busy churning out films that come from the same 

cookie-cutter factory.  

 

So, when I notice a "buzz" among critics and the online community

about a certain movie, I tend to pay attention.  After all, I don't need 

to be bombarded with special effects to be entertained --- all I want is

a story that I can be engrossed in, and remember long after the film is

over.

 

I don't know where I first heard about MUD.  Perhaps it was a comment

made on this forum, or a review I had read in the paper.  All I know is 

that people were calling it the best film of the year. As I took some time

to read reviews from various critics, I found myself more compelled to

get my hands on a copy of this film to see it for myself.

 

Finally was able to nab a DVD screener.  Wish I could have waited for

the Blu-ray, but I suppose I wanted to make certain I really liked this film.

I must admit, I was a little concerned that I may have gotten my expectations

up too high to go into this movie with an open mind.

 

I am happy to report that MUD not only met my expectations -- it 

exceeded them.  

 

....and I don't want to say much about this film other than that it's

a purely American coming-of-age drama in the vein of "Stand By Me"

with a nice chunk of thrilling drama mixed in.

 

What elevates this film to new levels is in part its masterful direction 

by director Jeff Nichols (who grew up in Arkansas where the film takes

place) and a perfect cast of actors that include Matthew McConaughey,

Sam Shepard, Reese Witherspoon, and one of my favorite character actors,

Joe Don Baker. Fans of HBO's Boardwalk Empire will be pleased to find two

of its actors making an appearance in this feature in very different roles.

 

...but the real stars of this film are the teen actors, Tye Sheridan and 

Jacob Lofland who carry this film and convey a sense of realism of what

it's like growing up as Arkansas river rats.

 

Wish I could talk about the quality of the Blu-ray release.  I expect that it

will be exceptional.  In fact, I have already preordered my copy despite 

owning a DVD screener.  This is a film that I plan to revisit again in high

definition to take in the film's beautiful cinematography.

 

When I so rarely enjoy a new film as much as this one, I want to talk

about it and encourage my fellow HTF members to see it as well.  In fact,

I would put my neck out to encourage those of you who haven't seen MUD

to make a blind purchase of the Blu-ray.

 

You won't be disappointed.

 

 


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#2 of 74 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 28 2013 - 06:12 AM

I found out about this movie shortly after getting Killer Joe.

Some of these movies you'd almost never hear of, unless you check the filmography list of a favorite actor.

I liked Killer Joe, looked for more limited release McConaughey movies. I get to scratch it off my list.

#3 of 74 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 28 2013 - 06:14 AM

 

If I could convince you to buy a Blu-ray blindly....

 

You just did as I've heard good things about this film.  I'll have the BD next week.


Crawdaddy

 

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#4 of 74 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 28 2013 - 06:15 AM

Crawdaddy,

 

I really think you'll like this film...

 

...and I value your opinion.

 

Do come back to this thread and let us know what you think

after you have had a chance to view the film.


 

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Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

 Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders  Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

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#5 of 74 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 28 2013 - 06:17 AM

Crawdaddy,

 

I really think you'll like this film...

 

...and I value your opinion.

 

Do come back to this thread and let us know what you think

after you have had a chance to view the film.

I've been thinking of buying this BD for a while because of its low pricepoint, but always forgot to do so when buying other titles.  This thread reminded me and I just preordered it.


Crawdaddy

 

Blu-ray Preorder Listing

 


#6 of 74 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted July 28 2013 - 07:14 AM

killer joe was great. it was very twisted. speaking of gem movies ron. check out: now you see me. another great film from this year.

 

Jacob


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#7 of 74 OFFLINE   JakeLip

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Posted July 28 2013 - 08:48 AM

I completely agree with this.

 

I have seen 28 new films in theaters since the beginning of the calendar year and MUD is by far the best one.  I went twice (which, since I go to so many films, it is not often that I go back to one.)  The second time, I took my mother with me, who typically never goes to see anything, and she liked it, too.

 

When studios release combo packs, I use the DVD version to loan out to my friends who do not have a Blu-ray player.  Unfortunately, MUD is not a combo pack, but the film is just so good, and I want to be able to pass it to my friends so badly, that I am actually going to buy a separate DVD copy just for this purpose, in addition to the Blu-ray which I am buying for my own use.

 

MUD feels to me very much like a modern E.T. or BACK TO THE FUTURE or something -- not in terms of having sci-fi elements, there's none of those -- but a wonderful, genuine coming-of-age adventure like those which is completely wonderful for family audiences without being too kiddie.  I saw it and I felt that, if the script had existed 30 years ago, it probably would have been made by a major studio, released at the height of summer, and become a blockbuster on its own merits.  By now it would probably be a revered classic.  Now, it had to be made as an indie and has grossed $21 million to date and is considered a hit as the biggest film in Roadside Attractions' history.  While I don't mean to take away from its accomplishment in being a leggy word-of=mouth arthouse hit, it does kind of depress me that we are now living in a state of the film world where that is considered a hit because it's not a massive tentpole.  It should be reaching way larger audiences in my opinion.

 

This also seems an appropriate thread to mention that SHOTGUN STORIES (which is MUD director Jeff Nichols' first film, which is the only one of his that I haven't seen yet) is out of print on DVD and has not yet been released to Blu-ray.  It's on iTunes, and I've heard it's on Netflix, but the cheapest used copy on Amazon is $33 last I checked, and like I said, that's not HD.  I'm not really sure who has the rights to that and what the situation is, but this should be rectified as soon as possible.  Nichols did terrific work with TAKE SHELTER two years ago, MUD is even better, and I feel sure he will continue attracting attention.  It would be really nice to be able to own his entire filmography in HD.


Edited by JakeLip, July 28 2013 - 09:26 AM.

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#8 of 74 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted July 28 2013 - 09:06 AM

Short answer:  You COULDN'T.

But I'll certainly put it on my rental list...

 

(Although I now take it as a given that if it plays arthouses, it'll be on Instant Netflix within a month.)



#9 of 74 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted July 28 2013 - 09:55 AM

Not a blind buy, for it was a blind see Theatres. I was looking for a film that was story and character driven. This hit the spot. Glad you enjoyed it also for it did exceed expectations. It also did pretty good at the box office and played longer than the typical 4 week run.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#10 of 74 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 28 2013 - 11:14 AM

I don't think it played anywhere near me(Chicago doesn't count. I'm 70 miles from DT proper). I'm closer to LaFayette(where it might have played).

#11 of 74 OFFLINE   Professor Echo

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Posted July 28 2013 - 11:19 AM

That's you and my two brothers who recommended this one to me, Ron. Three unimpeachable sources! :)



#12 of 74 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted July 28 2013 - 12:33 PM

I'm supposed to be receiving Mud for review purposes. After reading Ron's views, I'm hoping it does make its way to me.



#13 of 74 OFFLINE   Joe Bernardi

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Posted July 29 2013 - 08:08 AM

Added to my Blockbuster queue.



#14 of 74 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted July 29 2013 - 08:43 AM

I got to see this at the my local art house theater, which recently expanded to another location that I'm hoping really catches on.

 

Both my wife and I enjoyed the film immensely, a great blend of mystery and slice of life drama as seen through the eyes of a child. It's a coming of age film without the usual trappings of one. The two boys did a phenomenal job in their roles, as did McConaughey as the drifter you could never exactly trust.


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#15 of 74 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted July 29 2013 - 02:06 PM

Definitely going to see this.


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#16 of 74 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted July 29 2013 - 02:46 PM

I saw this when it was in theaters and it's very good, although TAKE SHETLER was even better but got a lot less attention.  There have been quite a few very good to great movies this year but no one's talking about them and they're pretty much being pushed aside for the films that people really want.  MUD is, I think, the most successful film of its type at the box office this year but it still couldn't bring in as much as some really bad Witherspoon movies have made in their opening weekend.


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#17 of 74 OFFLINE   Tino

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Posted July 29 2013 - 04:09 PM

You sold me Ron. Will pick it up next week at Best Buy for about $12.99 with UAS.
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#18 of 74 OFFLINE   Tino

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Posted July 29 2013 - 04:10 PM

Btw, it's currently 98% at rotten tomatoes!?!
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#19 of 74 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted July 30 2013 - 11:47 AM

Saw this film today and wow. I was very impressed. I'm usually not a McConaughey fan, but he really hit it out of the park in this role. The two young kids were incredible as well and very natural in front of the camera. Their accents are a bit thick and take getting used to, but that added to the realism for me.

 

The whole life on the river motif is well done, and does remind me of something like Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. A truly American movie that exposes the audience to the life and trials of rural Southern life. The characters are all interesting and well-defined, the acting is outstanding, and the cinematography made me almost feel the heat on the delta. Beautifully shot.

 

Mud is very much a "coming of age" movie, but I personally wouldn't classify it as a "family" film. Certainly a classic story with a classic narrative. Maybe something close to "Catcher in the Rye."

 

I'd love to see Mud get some recognition come Academy time. 


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#20 of 74 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 30 2013 - 12:10 PM

Saw this film today and wow. I was very impressed. I'm usually not a McConaughey fan, but he really hit it out of the park in this role. 

 

I knew I was confident enough in this film to recommend it as a

blind purchase.

 

And for the record, I am the farthest from being a McConaughey fan.

He was the reason I really did not want to see this film.  However, I

must admit (as Scott stated above), he did hit it out of the park.

 

As more of you watch this film over the next two weeks, I have a very

important question to ask you about a choice that was made in this film

that seemed VERY odd and out of place.

 

Let's wait till everyone catches up and talk about it after release date.


 

Ronald J Epstein
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