An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.
‘Joe’ tells the story of, well, a man named Joe in short. Joe is an ex-con who lives by his own beliefs and principals, he has had his problems and he has his limits, just as we all do. He now keeps to himself and tries to maintain a calm demeanor in order to avoid any more problems in his life. Upon a young boy’s inquiry for a job, he allows him a chance and discovers a surprisingly hard working and solid young man who he ends up forming a powerful friendship with. Unfortunately for Joe, the boy’s father is an abusive drunk and it becomes a struggle for Joe not to intervene and help this young man in need, while at the same time so many other aspects of his life seem to be piling up to the brink as well.
David Gordon Green does an impressive job directing ‘Joe.’ This solidly crafted and delivered film is also helped tremendously by a number of truly impressive performances, most notably those of Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan who are both in top form here and absolutely fantastic in their respective roles. Gary Poulter also does an outstanding job in the role of the unsettling Wade (aka G-Daawg), the boy’s abusive father.
‘Joe’ is a powerful and gripping film, boosted by a number of talented performances. It really pulls you into the story of Joe and makes you develop a strong relationship with him and many of the individuals he encounters along the way, whether they are friends, employees or merely individuals he comes into contact with at random occurrences. You are sufficiently pulled along with Joe on his journey of life and barely allotted to breathe until the film wraps as you continue to struggle and hurt along with these incredibly real characters. ‘Joe’ is without question a movie I would highly recommend and it’s definitely worth giving a shot if you get the chance.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Joe’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video quality on this one looks stunning. All of the color’s, surroundings and even the fast moving sequences look absolutely perfect, with no glitches of any form to be found within in my end. This is an impressive, top notch high definition video presentation that I’d be quite shocked if everyone wasn’t more than pleased with.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. While this may not be the most impressive lossless soundtrack I’ve ever heard, it holds up in most every regard and plays off of the film quite satisfyingly. The moments with rain and background activity sound pretty good and I think most folks should be quite satisfied with this one.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Joe’ contains a number of both interesting and informative bonus content. Included on the release is an audio commentary with Director David Gordon Green, Composer David Wingo and Actor Brian D. Mays, deleted scenes, ‘The Making of Joe’ featurette which is somewhat short (around ten minutes) but gives a lot of information regarding the steps required by Green personally in order to make the film they way he intended it, and ‘The Long Gravel Drive: The Origins of Joe’ featurette which gives some insight into late author Larry Brown’s novel and its roots.
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Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
‘Joe’ is now available to own on Blu-Ray & DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.