DVD Review: Joe
20th October 2014
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★★★☆☆ Joe is the latest film by Patrick Gordon Green, a filmmaker who previously dedicated his life to directing rubbish such as the obnoxious comedy The Sitter, unfunny spoof Your Highness and the dangerous celebration of drug abuse Pineapple Express. It marks an ever-developing big departure for the director, one that started with his weird though more amiable comedy drama Prince Avalanche. Joe is bleaker, crueller, darker territory; a rough and gritty cross between Jeff Nichol’s film Mud and William Friedkin’s Killer Joe. In fact, there is a very direct connection to Mud with the casting of Tye Sheridan as a teenage boy who becomes friends with a semi-outcast, gruff and morally questionable older man (Nicholas Cage). As it happens, Mud also starred Sheridan as a teenage boy who, yes, becomes friends with a semi-outcast, gruff and morally questionable older man (Matthew McConaughey). Joe has a harsher edge than that film and delves more into the older man’s psyche than the boy’s, although there is a quietly devastating look at the issue of child abuse. Although there is a lot of strong and well-handled content on display here the script occasionally loses its way when it comes to organising its characters and trying to realise its more grisly themes. A note on the disc: Only a DVD version was available to review rather than a Blu-ray. The presentation is typically excellent of an Artificial Eye/Curzon release, though only so far as the restrictions of the DVD format will allow. Joe (2014), directed by Patrick Gordon Green, is released in the UK on Blu-ray, DVD and VoD by Curzon Film World, Certificate 15.
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