OUT OF THE FURNACE (VVS, 2013) D: Scott Cooper, w/ Christian Bale, Casey Affleck. Rating: NNN; Blu-ray package: NNN Rating: NNN
At bottom, Out Of The Furnace is an old-fashioned revenge thriller, but that element doesn't crop up until the final third of the movie, and it plays out in a highly original manner. Until then, director Scott Cooper's strong visual style and storytelling sense keep us thoroughly engaged in the misfortunes of two luckless brothers in a rundown Pennsylvania mill town.
Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has a job and a girl. Life is good until a drunk-driving bust earns him jail time. When he gets out, he finds his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) out of the Army after traumatic war zone experiences. Rodney takes up underground fighting in rigged matches.
Willem Dafoe and Woody Harrelson as illicit fight promoters and dope dealers stand out in the generally excellent cast.
The best of the three short and moderately informative making-of docs is the one on the actors, who skip the usual character dissection to relate what first brought them to acting.
EXTRAS Making-of doc, fight scenes doc, actors doc. English, French audio and subtitles.