Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Joe

I used to like Nicolas Cage a lot, but hadn't been that impressed with the movies he's made the last few years.  I would say he impressed me in this one.  He plays an ex-con named Joe who wants to be a good man and is trying to stay out of trouble.  You can tell he has a good heart, but sometimes has issues controlling his inner demons.  He comes across a 15-year old drifter named Gary (played by Tye Sheridan from Mud) that has an alcoholic father who abuses him, and Joe eventually hires Gary to work for him.  Joe actually becomes kind of a role model for him and they are both able to help each other find some direction in their lives through the friendship they forge.  But, being the kind of movie this is, everything cannot be all rainbows and butterflies - Joe's past will always haunt him, Gary has a dad that's just getting worse and will do almost anything to obtain alcohol or money, and you know it's all going to come to a head in this small town sooner or later!  I wouldn't call this film "enjoyable" - I liked it, but it wasn't always easy to watch.  There was a lot of physical violence, quite a bit of language, and it just felt like a dark, depressing time for everyone in the movie highlighted by a few good moments.  It felt real and raw to me.  Joe and Gary both made me think about how things may not always turn out the way you want, but you have to keep trying and keep fighting and never give up, even if it seems like there is no way out of a situation.  I'm going to remember Joe for a long time...

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