DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Cut Bank (Blu-ray)
Cut Bank (Blu-ray)
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // R // May 26, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by William Harrison | posted May 25, 2015 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly

THE FILM:

Click an image to view Blu-ray screenshot with 1080p resolution.

Someone wanted to make a Coen Brothers movie... This not altogether terrible homage to Joel and Ethan lacks the spark of wit and black humor that might have made it unique. We get a dusty, Midwestern town and shifty characters that move through the night; some trying to leave, others dying to stay. This is basically a Fargo rip-off, with notes of Blood Simple. Not surprising, since Director Matt Shakman shot a couple episodes of the "Fargo" television series last year. The duplicitous faces are those of veteran actors Billy Bob Thornton and John Malkovich, along with Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer. A murder kick-starts the town's unraveling, but the truth is readily visible to anyone with a basic knowledge of the Coen filmography.

The opening amid a beautiful, blooming canola field is strong. Dwayne McLaren (Hemsworth) films girlfriend Cassandra Steeley's (Palmer) beauty pageant audition video. In the background, the town mail carrier (Bruce Dern) is shot to death and robbed. The young couple returns to Steeley's father, Stan (Thornton), in a panic. Stan paces and broods before calling Sheriff Vogel (Malkovich). After watching the video that ends his town's murder drought, Vogel vomits in the bathroom. This reaction is not for the victim, but because Vogel has the unexpected pressure to do something other than dissuading farmers from harassing migrant workers and breaking up bar fights. He investigates, along with a pushy U.S. Postal Service agent (Oliver Platt), while McLaren pines for the reward money he should receive for the video.

Cut Bank is full of the down-home backstabbing and scheming common to Coen Brothers projects, though Shakman's veteran actors run circles around his younger, attractive leads. This is problematic, since I never really cared what happened to McLaren or the younger Steeley. Clearly things are not what they seem, don't ya know? Shakman never commits to a fully convincing narrative, and his characters change their motives and mannerisms at will. The Coens usually shoot for the rafters, be they lined with wood chippers or captive bolt pistols, but Shakman draws back for a syrupy, convenient ending that left a bad taste in my mouth.

Ben Richardson's cinematography is gorgeous in spots, and the look of Cut Bank recalls Richardson's work on Beasts of the Southern Wild. Malkovich and Thornton give strong performances, a testament to their professionalism, and Shakman keeps strong forward momentum during the 92-minute film. I suspect there was quite a bit of character work cut from the theatrical cut. You can feel it in the somewhat awkward editing. Whether or not it was strong material I cannot say, but there is a meat-and-potatoes utilitarianism to the film. Cut Bank is not terrible, but it is not terribly compelling either.

THE BLU-RAY:

PICTURE:

The 2.40:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image is sharp and clean, with strong fine-object detail and a fine layer of natural grain. Skin tones are accurate and colors are nicely saturated. Black levels are strong, and wide shots are completely clear of compression noise. I noticed brief, minor aliasing on some trees early on.

SOUND:

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is immersive, with ambient effects that waft into the surrounds. Dialogue is clear and balanced appropriately amid effects and score. Gunshots and related prattle rattle the subwoofer and reverberate across the room. English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles are included.

PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

This single-disc release is packed in a standard case, which is wrapped in a slipcover. Lionsgate includes an UltraViolet digital copy. Extras include a few Deleted and Extended Scenes (8:43 total/HD); a Commentary by Director Matt Shakman and Writer Roberto Patino; and Bad Karma: Life in Cut Bank (18:52/HD), a clip-heavy, EPK-style featurette.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Veteran actors John Malkovich and Billy Bob Thornton buoy this formulaic Coen Brothers knock-off. Wit and suspense are mostly absent, and Cut Bank ends up a mediocre imitation of superior work. Rent It on Netflix or Redbox at most.


Additional screenshots:

William lives in Burlington, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.

Find the lowest price for 'Cut Bank (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Polyester
2. Aladdin (1992) (4K Ultra HD)
3. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
4. Mirage
5. When A Stranger Calls Back
6. Kind Hearts and Coronets
7. Men in Black: International
8. Reap the Wild Wind
9. Who Saw Her Die?
10. Dogtooth


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use