December 22, 2013

Blu-ray Review- Prisoners (2013)
(aka Wolverine vs. Classic Paul Dano)
Release Date: On Blu-ray & DVD now.
Country: USA.
Written by: Aaron Guzikowski.
Directed by: Dennis Villeneuve.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Classic Paul Dano.

Prisoners is exactly the kind of movie that we live for around these parts. We're absolute suckers for Police Procedurals that involve Serial Killers, especially when they're done right.

For the record, Prisoners was absolutely done right, and then some.

We waited to see this one on Blu-ray for a variety of reasons, chief amongst them being that we were just too lazy to go see it when it was in Theaters. We put it off, over and over again, until it was finally relegated to our local Dollar Theater...  and we don't do Dollar Theaters. (We'd be in jail if we did.)

You know you're in for some kind of a crazy ride when Jake Gyllenhaal is playing an edgy Cop who'll stop at nothing to break the big case, and Hugh Jackman is playing an edgy Dad who will stop at nothing to find his missing Daughter. The bottom line is that between those two, you know someone is in for a world of hurt.

Prisoners is the story of two little girls that go missing on a cold and wet Thanksgiving day, without a trace... except for the creepy old RV parked down the street from where they were playing! Their parents go immediately into panic mode, and it's not long before the Police put a BOLO out on the RV, and are out in force, looking for the missing girls.

Panic mode.
Detective Loki is on the case, despite the fact that he looks as if he'd rather be doing anything else but Police work. He looks to be road-weary, unkempt, and maybe a bit over-tired. He's kind of edgy, which makes him the best man for the case! Or just the guy who happened to catch the case. Either way, he's on it.

Enter Alex; the creepy, mentally-challenged driver of the aforementioned RV. When Police spot and approach his RV, he tries to make a run for it, and crashes into some trees. Loki interrogates him pretty intensely back at the station, but is forced to let him go, because they can't turn up any evidence of him having anything to do with the girls' disappearance, or much of anything else. At that point, Hugh Jackman steps in and decides to kidnap and torture some answers out of him.

Classic Paul Dano.
From here on out it's basically Loki vs. Wolverine*, each using their own methods to try and get to the truth behind the kidnappings, and hopefully find the girls alive. Thrilling drama, and more Classic Paul Dano than you could ever possibly hope to handle, enuses.

*We can't help but think it fun that this movie offers us a Loki vs. Wolverine type of cat-and-moue game; Wolverine was at one time a part of The Avengers, you know. Yeah, we're nerds.

"Don't call me Bub, Mortal."
Prisoners was one of the best movies of 2013. It's edgy, bleak, full of all kinds of tension, and it keeps you guessing until the very end. It had us fully engrossed in its goings-on, and never really made us feel cheated for getting so into its dark plot and even darker characters. Mainstream Hollywood movies don't get much darker than does Prisoners.

Prisoners feels very similar to movies like Zodiac, Mystic River, Edge of Darkness, or even Se7en, and it combines aspects of all of those films together to form its own dark brew. It's a story about Serial Killers, child abduction, a Cop on the edge, and the lengths that a parent will go to to find their missing child.

As great as Hugh Jackman and Paul Dano were in this movie (along with everyone else in the cast), for us, the movie belonged to Jake Gyllenhaal and his Detective Loki. It seemed pretty clear to us that his own past had involved at least some firsthand (maybe second hand) experience with child abuse, and maybe that's why the case of two missing girls seemed to tear him apart so much. In his own way, he obsessed over finding answers as much as Hugh Jackman's desperate Father did. An excellent performance and character, indeed.

"I wish I knew how to quit you!"
The ending, because please tell us what happened! I'm pretty sure that we can safely assume what happened after the screen fades to black, but then again, we might be wrong! Ugh!

Paul Dano takes an ass-whipping in this movie. Alright, maybe it's more like Paul Dano endures a shitload of torture in this movie, but that's an ass-whipping in and of itself. It's a really, really severe ass-whipping. Either way, this movie gets pretty violent and very uncomfortable at times, and most people will probably look away from the screen at least once or twice.

"You're going to tell people that you fell down the stairs, you understand?!?"

 "They only cried when I left them."

Always keep a rape whistle handy. Also, do not arouse the ire of Jake Gyllenhaal.

"You done goofed, son."
Prisoners may not win any awards come Oscar time, but I'll be damned if it's not one of the best movies of 2013, which also offers us some of the best performances of 2013. If you're down with Police Procedurals or solid Thrillers, even in the slightest bit, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. This is about as good as a Hollywood Thriller can hope to get.

Ladies and Gay Gentlemen, may we present to you the sexy and mutli-talented Hugh Jackman. It's Christmastime, and not everyone loves sexy girls, so, here's us attempting to diversify.

God, I miss boobs already...


  1. I think 'Prisoners' is fantastic. As perfect as a movie can be. To me the makers of this film achieved everything they set out for. It is really hard to point out anything negative after one viewing. So I am not even going to try. Maybe after another viewing, some flaws may present itself. But even then, I think that it would be nitpicking.

    I also want to thank THC for entertaining me the last few years. I really appreciate all your efforts. And want to let you know that you have a fan who checks your blog site everyday. It is always great fun to read your reviews as well as your appreciation for the women (horror hotties) who do so much to entertain us horror/genre junkies.

    On that note, I am off to buy me a nice shiny new rape whistle.

    Thanks as always,
    Tuffy McGrubby