The Movie: 5/10
While I was watching Gold I wondered about the “true story” aspects. It all felt pretty forced and Hollywoodified, and after it was over we did a bit of research proving me correct. I understand telling us all stories about real people and real events through human history, it’s what we do. I also understand the difference between a documentary and a hyped up spectacle like Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor. It’s just that a movie that wants to just exploit some nugget of a truth that they pulled from another tiny speck of truth of a story of a person and event, it becomes fiction but they just won’t admit it. The reason I mention all this is because i was thinking about it throughout the movie. It seemed like a super fake version of a fiction that was written by writers who wanted to be cool and tell some kind of intriguing story….but didn’t succeed.
I’m being harsh. Gold isn’t a bad flick, but it’s not good. I was not interested that much in the lead guy. He inherits a mining business from his father, and then run it into the ground because he’s essentially a chancer, a wannabe, an opportunist, a scammer, flim flam man. He has one thing to his credit, this fictionalized version of a real guy who fits the same bill, he’s driven by something. I’m not convinced it’s being rich, but more like he just wants to be the big man who finds the big haul of gold on this big planet so people think he’s big like his father and grandfather. Daddy issues? 🙂
I can’t help it, I think this was not a very good movie. It’s got something about it that’s semi-exciting. I mean, the idea of going to a place on the planet where you can find a very rare element is cool. I’m not a fan of just gutting the joint though, so that’s where my interest stops. Well, the other interesting thing is that we are taken on a journey we might not expect, and that I appreciate. I won’t say what it is, so you’ll have to watch the movie, but even I gasped a bit. Rare.
I’m writing this review as i have a gardening video on my other monitor and I realize, THAT’s interesting to me. The idea of planting something that will grow and you can make the Earth a bit better or more sustainable, sounds good, ripping her guts out for fame and profit does not. Then again, if this movie was better, I might be able to go along for the ride and enjoy it.
The performances are too much most of the time, but one could attribute that to the characters’ states of mind and make some sense of it. I did like Howard, she held her own in this mish mosh of people, but even she had times when it became a bit stagey. I just found it quite theatrical and over thought from scene to scene. We are not learning a grand story about a great man here, so his struggles and moments of intensity fade into the background. We do get the pleasure of a beautiful movie, that’s for sure. These dramatic people going through some amazing jungle scenery and some period decor from the 70’s/80’s. Unfortunately, because the path of our leading man, from finding the gold through the decisions of what to do with the big businesses and stock market and the gold mafia (basically) all should be more interesting with the backdrop of such a strange-looking time, but it’s not enough. The style of the movie, not just the clothes and music, but the overall style of the film making is pretty dry. I’m not a fan of camera tricks for the sake of it, or heavy direction with overly designed shots just for style over substance, but sometimes a movie is so flat it needs a bit of CPR (Cinema Perking-Up Rituals). Gold could have handled a few odd angles, a few whimsical views, something, anything to give it personality. I know McConaughey is supposed to be personality enough, but he’s very contained in his performance, it doesn’t carry the whole story from scene to scene.
Overall I think you can guess, this is one of my least favorite movies in a very very very long time. The more I think about it, the less I like it. Watch it just out of weird curiosity and see just how much you disagree.
GOLD! (sung to the tune of that 80’s classic…I need something to salvage this review:)
- Deleted Sequence (5 Minutes) – A sequence that turns out to be better than what was in the film. A must see.
- Feature Commentary With Director Stephen Gaghan
- The Origins & Locations Of Gold (8 Minutes) – A look at how the film came to be and the challenge of filming in some of the most remote places on earth.
- Matthew McConaughey As Kenny Wells (4 Minutes) – Cast and crew discuss the transformation McConaughey went through to become Kenny Wells.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art: 3/10
I would not have this a poster for a couple of reasons. I’m not a huge fan of Matthew in his normalness, let alone as a middle aging man with a fake balding head. Also, it’s boring as hell. There are a lot of chances to have cool images from this movie, but they choose to feature their star, who doesn’t do anything to sell the story for me, just make me think it’s a 70’s cop show.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Gold was shot on film and looks quite a bit grainier and softer than a modern digitally shot movie. After a few minutes you will learn to appreciate this though and from that point there is no coming back. Black levels are deep and flesh tones are very accurate. I saw no compression artifacts or banding during the run-time.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is awesome. Clarity here is off the charts with music and action (not much action in the film to be honest) all allowed to swell into the mix. Dialog is clean and central, listen out for the rainfall in the jungle scenes for some pitch perfect positional audio.
Overall Score 5/10