Bullet Points: Out of the Furnace
Out of the Furnace is a movie that came to my attention while it was in theaters but one in which I never got to see. To tell you the truth, I think it kind of flew under the radar as it didn’t really fit into any genre or category and the subject matter wasn’t necessarily a pleasant one. It was, however, a pretty amazingly well-done movie. It’s hard not to empathize with Bale and Affleck’s characters as they do a great job in their roles. I found it lacking in the action department but I encourage you to seek the movie out. It is currently streaming on Netflix. Enjoy.
The Gist: Two brothers, one a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the other a mill worker in a rural Pennsylvania town contend with issues of drug/alcohol dependence, financial instability, marital issues, and bare-knuckle fighting. When younger brother Rodney Baze (Casey Affleck) has a run-in with a meth-dealing lunatic named Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson), Rodney’s brother Russell (Chrisian Bale) must take action to protect his brother and try to stop the man from destroying the lives of those he loves.
The Cast: I love me some Christian Bale. I guess the Nolan Batman Trilogy kinda helped me come to that conclusion but it’s easy to respect an actor who puts so much into each role. Casey Affleck as been out-acting his brother Ben for a while now but he has continued to stay under the radar for the most part. His performance here was probably my favorite of the movie and definitely deserves to be seen. He had done most of his research by talking to former combat veterans and you can see that he understands PTSD more than your usual actor who plays a similar role. Throw in some Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Zoe Saldana and you have one of the best casts that I’ve seen in some time.
The Villain: Woody Harrelson is the absolute shit in this movie! He got less attention from the HBO series True Detective because Matthew McConaughey was so damn good but Woody has been pumping out great stuff for some time. I couldn’t stand the sissy-fest that was The Hunger Games movies but I actually liked Woody’s character in them. Here he plays a drug-dealin’, ass whoopin’, white trash piece of shit so well that you’d think he was born somewhere in my family tree. His character comes from the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey and although I don’t know much about that stuff, I imagine a whole region full of guys like Woody and The Briscoe Brothers from Ring of Honor.
The Action: There isn’t much action in this movie but when it happens it is fast and brutal. There are a number of bare knuckle fights, a couple of shoot outs, and an overall feeling of dread for most of the movie. If I had to classify this film into a genre I would call it more of a thriller than an action movie but it still holds a lot of value for any action fan. I enjoyed it a lot and was really getting into the tone of this film as it went on.
Take it Home:
- Favorite quote: “Am I supposed to be scared of him cause he sucks on a lollipop?”
- Favorite quote: “You swear to God? Well, if you’re invoking a deity over this I must be mistaken.”
- Dem Boyz: I don’t know if ROH wrestlers Mark and Jay Briscoe are from the Ramapo Mountain region but that was the first thing I thought of when Woody came on screen.