Blu-ray Review - Blame It on the Bellboy
Film Review - All the Devil's Men

Blu-ray Review - Country


Responding to the growing crisis in the farmlands of America during the 1980s, Hollywood tried to identify the pressure put on farmers to protect their lands from predatory banking practices built on unrealistic business expectations. While the subject matter was timely and critical of government agriculture policies, stories of family upheaval and financial disaster also provided premium drama, offering filmmakers a chance to delve into rural lives that are rarely defined in full. In 1984 there was "The River," with Mel Gibson and Sissy Spacek, and "Country," which gifted Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard a chance to stretch by portraying a farming couple suddenly under siege by threats of foreclosure and a loss of their way of life. Scripted by William D. Wittliff ("Legends of the Fall," "Barbarosa"), "Country" pushes as far as it can with its bleak observance of failure and humiliation, trying to remain communicative about the human spirit while taking the central crisis as serious as a Disney production can. It's not a cheery viewing experience, but Wittliff grasps the hardscrabble living experience and household tensions, while Lange and Shepard deliver some of their finest work in showy but sincere roles that depict the death of the American Dream.  Read the rest at


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