Thursday, 7 May 2015
POPCORN REVIEW: JOE
Uncaged in 'Joe' Nic is facing off all his demons, character or actor. Sex, violence. A bottle of whiskey. A pack of smokes. Poor choices. Critics beware the great actor from 'Las Vegas' by way of 'Arizona' is back here in the beautiful, barren backwoods of Texas ready to re-ink his reputation. 'Bad Lieutenant' was no fluke. I have it on good authority that this guy can still play it straight and great. Just don't let him shave and a grizzled beard will give all new character life to a cut above the rest. By the book by Larry Brown (no not the legendary NBA coaches playbook) and playing a man whose business is to poison and chop down trees to replace them with much stronger oak is a tall but growing metaphor of not just his own life here too. Terrific teen Tye Sheridan-who is about to play a young Cyclops in next years 'X-Men' sequel-shows great maturing vision here in this truck stop version of 'Gran Torino'. As he faces his own apocalypse of adolescence, emancipating through the mental slavery of parental abuse. The real tragic figure here is Gary Poulter who plays the drifting, drunk pops with beating and berating brutality, that's as bold and brilliant in its acting, as it is cruel and callous in its almost authenticity. Poulter, complete with the eyes of real-hell experience acting, was a homeless man turned first-time incredibly impressive actor, who in a cruel, twist of life imitating art fate was found dead by a lake shortly after filming. So this is for Gary, a great actor that only few, but more should discover. This legacy here will always live on and find a home in this industry. Hey, 'Joe' isn't just a great Nicolas Cage redemption picture. Its a portrait of how fleeting critical life is like, young and old. As real and as raw as life gets, this 'Joe' is far from regular. TIM DAVID HARVEY.