Presented by / 2/09/2014 / No comments / , , , , ,

JOSH BROLIN IN LABOR DAY

year: 2014 rating: **1/2
In any romance there needs a tinge of excitement and danger to make it all worthwhile, and LABOR DAY has a premise that true love is not only blind, it can also be illegal…

But the “chick flick” aspect is merely a cover. LABOR is more of a melancholy coming of age story, centering on our narrator voiced by Tobey Maguire, the grownup version of Gattlin Griffith’s Henry, the 7th grade son son of depressed single mother Adele played by Kate Winslet. Taking place in a small town circa 1987, the first act centers on mom and son meeting Frank, a wounded man that happens to be an escaped convict: Herein, Josh Brolin has the slowburn intensity perfect for the role but director Jason Reitman tones down the suspense… as Frank talks Kate and Henry into taking him home… so there’s very little tension, making the eventual thug-to-lug transition not matter like it should.

Brolin and Winslet have a steamy Noir sizzle but their lusty relationship, through the son's eyes, is more perceived than experienced. As the story progresses we’re given sporadic reminders that the law is (literally) just outside the door, and that Frank is a wanted man. Take away the criminal aspect and this is a pretty normal family baking pies, playing catch, and fixing cars. If he's a good husband at night he’s an even better father during the daytime. 

Glimpses into Frank’s past… how he wound up in jail in the first place… are inserted mysteriously, without being intrusive, but the real stuff occurs when young Henry attends school, hangs with a blunt young girl (Maika Monroe), and figures out life on his own: The suspense relies on how much accidental information he’ll disclose about mom – to the local cop or his real dad – who’s no longer so miserable and/or alone.

Perhaps LABOR DAY is too cozy when it should have been more ominous and unpredictable… Feeling like a last ditch effort, the final act provides a mad dash of suspense while the long-winded epilogue, summing up the future of the main characters, desperately crams all the syrupy romance the rest of the movie surprisingly (and for men forced to see this, thankfully) left out.
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
From Film Noir to Exploitation: Grinding Facts, Theories & Pop Culture into Every Writeup

CINEMA BY JAMES M. TATE

CINEMA BY JAMES M. TATE
Active in Online Cinema Writing Since 2006

FEATURED SPOTLIGHT ON

FEATURED SPOTLIGHT ON
Warner Archive, Creature-Features & More

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

NEW AND RECENT REVIEWS

NEW AND RECENT REVIEWS
Cult and Current & Retro and Relevant

RANDOM BOOTLEGS & RARE

RANDOM BOOTLEGS & RARE
Bootleg Imports from Sue Lyon to Reb Brown

ETERNAL ART OF FILM NOIR

ETERNAL ART OF FILM NOIR
Classic Crime Gumshoe Gangster & Neo Noir

Blog Archive

CLICK FOR TV REVIEWS

CLICK FOR TV REVIEWS
Columbo to Cable to Television Movies

FLICKS FROM THE SEVENTIES

FLICKS FROM THE SEVENTIES
Disco Exploitation Car Chase Bikini Decade

RADICAL EIGHTIES CINEMA

RADICAL EIGHTIES CINEMA
This Website is Run by a Child of the Eighties

Popular This Month

INTRO/WE HAVE LIFTOFF

INTRO/WE HAVE LIFTOFF
RANDOM QUOTE:"There's nothing in this world as mean as a mean woman." Lee Marvin, Violent Saturday

ODD ENDS & MOVIE LISTS

ODD ENDS & MOVIE LISTS
Connecting All Things Into Film Pop Culture

TALES FROM THE INSIDE

TALES FROM THE INSIDE
"I Certainly Admire People Who Do Things."

OUR OWN CORNERSTONE

OUR OWN CORNERSTONE
Dana Andrews is the Patron Saint 'Round Here

DANA ANDREWS ZONE

THE SHORTLIST

 photo Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 1.15.27 AM_zps1hlh418t.jpg
FAV FILMS
1)THE MAN
FROM
LARAMIE
2)JAWS
3)LAURA
4)CANYON
PASSAGE
5)ANATOMY
OF A
MURDER
6)THE BEST
YEARS OF
OUR LIVES
7)THE
FEARMAKERS
8)LAWRENCE
OF ARABIA
9)DOCTOR
ZHIVAGO
10)LOCAL
HERO

FAVORITE ACTORS
1)DANA ANDREWS
2)JAMES CAGNEY
3)GENE HACKMAN
4)MARLON BRANDO
5)ORSON WELLES
6)DUSTIN
HOFFMAN
CULT ACTORS
1)CHARLES
BRONSON
2)TOM
COURTENAY
3)VICTOR
MATURE
4)MALCOLM
MCDOWELL
5)LAWRENCE
TIERNEY
6)TIMOTHY
CAREY

CULT FLICKS
1)THE
CROWDED SKY
2)CURSE OF
THE DEMON
3)CORVETTE
SUMMER
4)HOT CARS
5)THE ONLY
GAME IN
TOWN
6)AIR
PATROL
7)THE
DRIVER
8)ASH
WEDNESDAY
9)KING
OF THE
MOUNTAIN
10)OTLEY

FAVORITE DIRECTORS
1)RICHARD FLEISCHER
2)JACQUES TOURNEUR
3)STANLEY KUBRICK
4)OTTO PREMINGER
5)ORSON WELLES
6)DAVID LEAN
7)ALFRED
HITCHCOCK
8)JOHN LANDIS
9)SAM PECKINPAH
10)JOHN GUILLERMAN

STAR WARS & STAR TREK

STAR WARS & STAR TREK
From Luke to Spock to Tribbles to Indiana Jones

All Time Popular

CLICK FOR CLASSICS

CLICK FOR CLASSICS
Vintage Movies & Shows to Drink to

REVIEWS FROM 2011-2013

REVIEWS FROM 2011-2013
Motion Pictures that were Recently New

Blogs of Interest

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE
By Clicking Kenny Dantley's Corvette