Blu-ray Review: 'Blue Valentine'
Summer makes for a great steamy romance – or heated break up. In either case, we thought it appropriate to take a gander at the Blu-ray release of the happy and sad relationship flick "Blue Valentine" (hitting shelves on May 10 from Anchor Bay and The Weinstein Company) starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and the features contained inside – check it out below.
Title: "Blue Valentine"
Grade: 2 1/2
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Runtime: 112 minutes
Release Company: Anchor Bay Entertainment
The Flick: "Blue Valentine" is essentially two films intertwined – only one of which works. The first is a blossoming love story about two lonely souls looking for a significant other, while the other is the same couple years later crashing down at the end of their tumultuous relationship. The main problem here is that it’s the downward spiral that actually rings true and it's a harrowing and truly unpleasant thing to watch. Of course, the damage is supposed to be minimized by the 'uplifting' getting together section, but it’s the segment that feels phony in both script and performance coming off as downright creepy and awkward. (And not in that cute way!) Gosling and Williams try to do their best here, shining bright when they are both in full melt down mode (they know how to do dark drama) but neither seem to be able to grasp the sweetness and joy of first love. Without the believability of good, the reality of bad here reigns and makes "Blue Valentine" a flick that truly lives up to the obtuse name it sports so proudly.
Best Feature: The Making-of doc where we learn it took six years of prep to make the film (“12 years, 66 drafts, 1224 storyboards!”) and that Gosling and Williams lived together for a full month to get a bond. (Method anyone?!)
Best Hidden Gem: The home movie 'Frankie and the Unicorn,' which was shot by Gosling, Williams and their movie child in the house they practiced in for the month, that’s a rare glimpse into the method of two actors who definitely take the craft seriously.
Worth the Moola: Frankly, "Blue Valentine" is a lot like a train wreck. You do have the urge to stop and witness some of the carnage, but without the glory of actually sitting on the train and seeing the glorious landscape passing by, it’s just a quick cheap thrill.