Bonnie and Clyde (2013) Blu-ray Review

Most people, when they hear the names Bonnie and Clyde, usually associate them to the 1967 film which starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunnaway.  A groundbreaking film that helped introduce graphic violence into mainstream movie making, the Arthur Penn-directed opus earned an amazing ten Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture (it didn’t win, losing out to the equally gritty, but much less violent, “In the Heat of the Night.”)  This past year brought us a four-hour miniseries that gave the story more depth and featuring two very talented actors in the leads.  This is the updated story of BONNIE AND CLYDE.

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Granger in Bonnie and Clyde

After a brief bit featuring a bullet riddled car being towed into town, their passengers covered by blood stained sheets, we go back in time where we meet a young lad named Clyde Barrow (Gabriel Suttle) and his older brother Marvin (Dalton Tackett).  It was said, when he was a young boy, that Clyde had been born with the gift of “second sight.”  Occasionally he will see visions of himself with others, sort of a mental déjà vu, except these visions don’t end well.  The visions continue into adulthood where Clyde (Hirsch) and Marvin (Lane Garrison), who now insists that he be called “Buck,” wander into a wedding celebration one evening on their way home from work.  It is here that Clyde first lays eyes on Bonnie Parker (Granger), who just so happens to be the bride.  After being asked to leave, Clyde is heartbroken.  But not to worry, he and Bonnie will soon be together…forever.

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Granger in Bonnie and Clyde

Lovingly crafted with an eye for detail by director Beresford, the story told here is similar to the 1967 film with one big difference:  love.  While Clyde was impotent in the 1967 film, he is very much in the driver’s seat here with Bonnie.  As their popularity gains, Bonnie begins to feel left out, since “the Barrow gang” is getting all of the pub.  She tracks down the author of a series of newspaper articles and sets her (Elizabeth Reaser) straight.  Meanwhile, a chance meeting with Frank Hamer (William Hurt), a legendary former Texas ranger, inspires Clyde as well, though in the wrong direction.  Once Buck and his wife, Blanche (played by “Modern Family” regular Sarah Hyland) join in on the gangs bank robbing adventures, it’s a speeding train heading to a tragic ending.

Emile Hirsch and Holliday Granger in Bonnie and Clyde

You have to give credit to the filmmakers here for taking a very well known story and adding just enough to it to make it fresh and interesting.  Obviously credit must go to screenwriters Joe Bateer and John Rice, who give all of the main characters great story lines.  Credit also is due to director Beresford (DRIVING MISS DAISY, TENDER MERCIES), who keeps the pace moving.  The period detail is amazing, as is the accompanying musical score by Academy Award nominated composer John Debney, who also scored Mel Gibson’s PASSION OF THE CHRIST.  Rather than a pale imitation of the 1967 film, this version is instead an excellent companion piece.

BONNIE AND CLYDE (2013) BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  Presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the film’s period look jumps off the screen.  The colors of the day, in both the clothing and the decoration, are sharp and bright.

Audio:  Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, the sound is well mixed.  Dialogue is cleanly delivered and the musical score does not overwhelm the dialogue.

This is a two-disc set, with all of the extras appearing on the second disc.

Iconography:  The Story of “Bonnie and Clyde” (15:30):  A nice behind the scenes look at the film, including a discussion of how the public almost embraced the outlaw duo.

Becoming Bonnie (10:34):  Follows the casting of the role and then actress Holliday Granger as she prepares herself for the role.

Becoming Clyde (5:38):  Same as above with Emile Hirsch.

A Legendary Story Revisited (16:05):  A very in-depth look at the creation of the film, including how the writers had to decide which of the many well known tales to include and which to dismiss.

OVERALL 3.5
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