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Only God Forgives
BLU-RAY disk
Oct 30, 2013 By: Mathew Plale
Only God Forgives order download
Director:
Nicolas Winding Refn

Actors:
Ryan Gosling
Kristin Scott Thomas
Vithaya Pansringarm

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An American drug dealer (Gosling) is sent deeper into the world of crime and murder when his mother (Thomas) demands he avenge his brother’s death.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
American expat Julian (Ryan Gosling) runs a Muy Thai organization in the city of Bangkok, Thailand. Or, at least, that’s what it says on paper. In actuality, it’s a front for a drug operation.

Also living abroad is Julian’s older brother, Billy (Tom Burke, BBC’s The Hour). When Billy rapes and kills an underage prostitute, he winds up a corpse courtesy of the girl’s father. Well, mama doesn’t like that very much; and since mama (Kristin Scott Thomas) is a powerful figure herself in the crime world, she tasks Julian to avenge the murder. Meanwhile, a lieutenant named Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm, Sop-mai-ngeap), is making it known he has zero tolerance for seedy businesses and crime-oriented murders.

Cue the violence—once everyone wakes up.

Only God Forgives talks in whispers and moves in slow motion. It is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, whose Drive kept him in the spotlight that Bronson helped turn on. His latest effort may look slick (courtesy of neon and smooth camera movements by Larry Smith), but it has no pulse. It’s barely even conscious.

It’s not that Only God Forgives is a boring picture; it’s just that so much feels so distant and detached. Anything that offers a glimpse of a better movie is immediately offset by awkwardness. For example, Kristin Scott Thomas gives a strangely alluring turn courtesy of loud costumes and feisty lines while Ryan Gosling never lifts a finger to be anything but a handsome man in the middle of a sleepwalk.

Only God Forgives was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. After its screening, it was met with a wave of healthy boos. Even fans of Drive may not argue with that.

THE EXTRAS
Feature commentary with writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn: Refn gives a very thorough commentary here, laying out details on everything from the film’s beginnings and themes to filming locations and casting.

Behind the Scenes (23:27) is divided into 12 sections, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “The Drug Trade,” “Staging the Brothel Scene,” “Framing the Gun Fight,” “‘The Sword You Execute People With,’” “Slicing the Arm,” “Prepping for the Shootout,” “The Sincerest Form of Flattery,” “A face for Radio,” “On the Sets with Refn,” “The Tongue,” “Kendo Techniques,” and “‘Violence is Like Sex.’”

Director Interviews (12:05): There are two here: one with Mark Dinning, in which Refn discusses Thailand, and one with Bruno Igher, in which he touches on genre movies.

The Music of Only God Forgives with Cliff Martinez (9:10): Martinez discusses his musical background and how his score works for the film.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Only God Forgives is a slow, sleepwalking effort that fans of Drive may find to be an off-putting snoozer. Those that liked the film will be pleased with the stellar high-definition video and audio, as well as the special features, which include a commentary by Refn, a collection of behind-the-scenes featurettes and a look at the score.
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12:20AM on 11/03/2013
2/5 stars? I mean at first I wasn't so sure about it, but after I watched it a few times I really caught on with it. It's very unusual, but I like it.
2/5 stars? I mean at first I wasn't so sure about it, but after I watched it a few times I really caught on with it. It's very unusual, but I like it.
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4:54PM on 10/30/2013

A bit torn

On title, talent, and plot alone, i had to see this movie. it was too stylish. too vague. i loved the violence and cinematography. maybe on repeat viewings it'll catch on.
On title, talent, and plot alone, i had to see this movie. it was too stylish. too vague. i loved the violence and cinematography. maybe on repeat viewings it'll catch on.
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2:45PM on 10/30/2013

Yaaaa....

I agree with this. I loveddd drive. And I wasn't expecting this to be like drive, but it was just so damn boring and dragging and the ending WTF does it even mean like the movie felt like a mess. Like they just threw w/e they wanted and just made it
I agree with this. I loveddd drive. And I wasn't expecting this to be like drive, but it was just so damn boring and dragging and the ending WTF does it even mean like the movie felt like a mess. Like they just threw w/e they wanted and just made it
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10:13AM on 10/30/2013
9/10, movie is amazing. Once you understand that Chang is literally god incarnate- you realize that Julian is at war with god for allowing him to be sexually abused by his mother. He literally wants to fight god because of this.
9/10, movie is amazing. Once you understand that Chang is literally god incarnate- you realize that Julian is at war with god for allowing him to be sexually abused by his mother. He literally wants to fight god because of this.
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7:31AM on 10/30/2013
8/10 from me, but this is definitely one of those films where if somebody tells me he hated it I just shrug, grin benevolently, and nod in complete understanding.
8/10 from me, but this is definitely one of those films where if somebody tells me he hated it I just shrug, grin benevolently, and nod in complete understanding.
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