How can a split-second decision change your life? While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane (Dexter star Michael C. Hall in an affectingly vulnerable performance) puts a bullet in the brain of lowlife burglar Freddy. Although he’s hailed as a small-town hero, Richard soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben (Sam Shepard, August: Osage County, The Right Stuff), rolls into town, hell-bent on revenge. But not all is as it seems in this seemingly peaceful community, and soon Richard’s life begins to unravel into a dark underworld of corruption and violence that will pit him against the most unlikely of foes.
‘Cold In July’ is a gripping, intense and emotional thriller that’s also easily my favorite film of 2014 at this point. Based on the novel by Joe R. Lansdale, the film takes place in late 1980’s in Texas and the imagery and attention to detail in keeping this true to the 80’s vibe is truly impressive. Everything from the cars, phones and every other small aspect you can think of stays true to the era and even the mesmerizing score by Jeff Grace feels right out of the 1980’s itself.
This is one of those rare events in filmmaking that gets everything right and looks absolutely gorgeous along the way. The color reflections and perfect choices for music to ease in or out of any specific moment all compliment the film in a significant way. One of the other things that makes ‘Cold In July’ such a notable film is the fact that this is not the film most will expect it to be and while I certainly won’t go into details or specifics, I can say it throws you around and keeps you completely enthralled down to the very last frame. I could not possibly recommend ‘Cold In July’ highly enough and would highly recommend anyone and everyone who appreciates a remarkable film to check this one out as soon as you’re able to.
‘Cold in July’ is directed by Jim Mickle, a filmmaker who I’ve been a huge fan of for some time now, Mickle having directed a number of fantastic films including ‘Mulberry Street’ ‘Steak Land’ and ‘We Are What We Are’; all of which I loved. Even so, I can still easily say that ‘Cold In July’ is his best effort as director yet and he does an absolutely phenomenal job with it. Mickle once again co-writes with his writing partner Nick Damici, who as per usual also appears in the film, this time portraying Ray Price.
The entirety of the cast itself is also breathtaking and features a number of talented individuals, all at the very top of their game here; including the likes of Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and more, every one of which is outstanding in their respective roles. Nonetheless, Don Johnson still easily steals the show in his role of Jim Bob.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Cold in July’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks absolutely gorgeous, perfectly portraying the unique color reflections and beautiful scenery, on top of everything else that makes this film look so amazing. This high definition video presentation gets top marks and perfectly complements this truly beautiful gem of a film.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which sounds magnificent. The fantastic score by Jeff Grace really booms through the speakers at times and this soundtrack perfectly balances the frequent quiet and uncomfortably tame moments with the sudden hard hitting and loud moments that come out of nowhere on numerous occasions. Just as with the video, this DTS-HD MA track sounds about as good as it gets and certainly gets top marks itself.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Cold in July’ includes a pretty nice collection of bonus content. Included on the release are Audio Commentary tracks, one featuring Director/Co-writer Jim Mickle, Writer/Actor Nick Damici and Actor Michael C. Hall; plus approximately 15 minutes of Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary), Early previsualization tests (also with optional commentary; An additional Dolby Digital 5.1 track with Isolated Score by Jeff Grace, in addition to the film’s trailer and a Q&A featuring Jim Mickle, Joe R. Lansdale, George RR Martin and more.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
Own ‘Cold in July’ today on Blu-Ray & DVD from IFC Films & MPI Media Group.