THE ROAD Blu-ray Review

     May 29, 2010

slice_road_viggo_mortensen

Post-No Country for Old Men, was there any chance they wouldn’t adapt Cormac McCarthy’s Oprah-approved best-seller The Road? Well, they did, and The Weinstein Company produced it, and if you had read the book, you’d know why this was a tough sell, and eventually flopped (on top of being released by the struggling Weinstein Company). The story of a father (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) trudging through a post-apocalyptic wasteland as they fend off cannibals and encounter strange people (including cameos by Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, and Michael K. Williams) as they cling to staying alive and keeping their souls, The Road is a heavy experience. My review of The Road on Blu-ray after the jump.

The unnamed characters live in a wasteland, with the film briefly flashing back to the father’s life with his wife (Charlize Theron). These moments have some great moments of poignancy. But the world his son knows is only this, this wasteland. They traverse from location to location, hoping to avoid others, but always stumbling across them. At first there’s a gang of cannibals (with Garret Dillahunt credited as “urinating gang member”), and when that confrontation turns sour, it shows how desperate things have become. They run across a supermarket, and find a can of soda, and that’s a great moment for them. Eventually they do meet some okay people, like the old man (Robert Duvall), but for every good encounter, they run across someone like the thief (Michael K. Williams).

The Road movie image Viggo Mortensen

Director John Hillcoat is probably the perfect director for this material, as if it’s meant to be Oscar bait it can’t remind you too much of films like The Road Warrior or The Omega Man. There’s little sense of exploitation; this is a serious work, damn it. And that may be why it also feels just a little too labored and lifeless. Where Cormac McCarthy’s book had the benefit of his prose, here it’s just the barren wasteland of torment and the end of the world. There’s a little bit of hope mixed in with a whole lot of death and gray hues, but you can’t enjoy watching this end of the world – it’s too glum.

The performances are excellent – it’s Viggo’s show, and he does well by the material, and his relationship with Smit-McPhee is believable – and the film does get the heart of what a father will do for his child, while also representing the fear of the outside world, and the film works well as a metaphor for that, but I think it works better in literature.

The Road movie image

Sony Pictures Blu-ray presents the film in widescreen (2.35:1) and in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. The detail on this one is excellent; you really can distinguish between the light grays and the dark grays. The film comes with a commentary by director John Hillcoat, who speaks well about the making of the movie, and the influence of McCarthy. There are five deleted/extended scenes (7 min.), there’s also a really glossy making of (14 min.) and two trailers.

The Road movie poster

Around The Web

Latest News

Zack Snyder Defends MAN OF STEEL Ending; Teases Batman Connection and Brainiac

Ben Affleck reveals how the Metropolis destruction affected Bruce Wayne.

Friday Box Office: Holdovers Still in Charge as TERMINATOR GENISYS and MAGIC MIKE XXL Stumble into Holiday Frame

Despite solid Wednesday starts, this weekend’s two new releases will not overtake 'Inside Out’ and ‘Jurassic World’ over the July Fourth weekend.

Kevin Spacey & Adrien Brody Talk Directors, Collaboration at Jameson First Shot

The short film competition this weekend announced its three winners: Stephan Tempier, Mark Middlewick & Travis Calvert

Our Favorite “AMERICAN” Movies

With “American” in the title, it can’t be bad.

BLACK PANTHER: Ava DuVernay Passes on Directing the Marvel Film

The 'Selma' filmmaker says she and Marvel had different ideas about what a 'Black Panther' movie should be.

High-Res Presentation Reel Reveals the JOHN CARTER that Could Have Been

This actually looks awesome.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN Scenes Include a Rainy Rooftop Battle and Solemn Chats with Alfred

Get ready for some more crash-bang destruction, now with twice the superheroes!

Skydance CEO & COO David Ellison and Dana Goldberg and Director Alan Taylor Talk TERMINATOR GENISYS

The director and producers talk first cut, deleted scenes, what they learned from friends and family screenings, Easter eggs, and more.

Disney’s 9 Most Wicked Animated Villains

Haleigh, Matt, and Dave single out their picks for best Disney Animated villains, ranging from Snow White's Evil Queen to Hercules' sassy ruler of the Underworld.

New ANT-MAN Trailer Disses the Iron Man Armor

Hank Pym believes that a suit designed to make someone shrink down to the size of an ant isn't “cute technology”.

Page 1 of 4,02712345...102030...Last »
echo ' '; ?>