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Shotgun Stories

(DVD - 2008)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Shotgun Stories
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A fight erupts between two sets of half brothers in Arkansas after the death of their father.
Title: Shotgun stories
[videorecording]
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA : Liberation Entertainment : distributed by Genius Products, Inc., [2008]
Edition: Widescreen ed.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (92 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.
Notes: Special features: audio commentary by director Jeff Nichols; isolated score composed and performed by the band Lucero; photo gallery; trailers.
Release date: Jul. 1, 2008.
Videodisc release of the 2007 motion picture.
Summary: A fight erupts between two sets of half brothers in Arkansas after the death of their father.
Audience: Rating PG-13 for violence, thematic elements, and brief strong language.
Local Note: 6 15 118
Statement of Responsibility: Upload Films presents in association with Muskat Film Properties a Lucky Old Sun production ; written and directed by Jeff Nichols ; produced by David Gordon Green, Lisa Muskat, Jeff Nichols
Credits: Director of photography, Adam Stone ; editor, Steven Gonzales ; original music, Ben Nichols, Lucero.
Performers: Michael Shannon, Douglas Ligon, Barlow Jacobs.
System Details: DVD; NTSC, region 1; Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0; 16x9 aspect ratio.
Subject Headings: Vendetta Drama. Families Arkansas Drama. Fathers Death Drama. Stepbrothers Drama. Brothers Drama.
Genre/Form: Feature films.
DVD-Video discs-2008.
Topical Term: Vendetta
Families
Fathers
Stepbrothers
Brothers
Publisher No: LIB00139
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Feb 07, 2014
  • pegasus71 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The film moves quite slowly and deliberately, but it’s portrayal of dead end life in a contemporary poverty stricken rural world in the South seemed vivid and convincing and never the tired cliché the film could well have been. Shannon and the rest of the cast do an excellent job. When things seemingly get out of hand and both sides come to the realization that the feuding must end or no one will be left, the film concludes in a subtle manner that leaves the situation both resolved and yet ambiguously open ended as to the futures for the survivors.

Oct 28, 2012
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Three brothers are taught by their mother to hate their half brothers because she was a scorned woman. This leads to tragedy that seems to have no end. Michael Shannon appeared in this indie film because he appreciates challenging roles. He would soon play in his Oscar nominated role in Revolutionary Road (costarring with Dicaprio and Winslett) and then become a regular in the TV series Boardwalk Empire.

Mar 26, 2009
  • Michael rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Rented "Shotgun Stories" for one reason only: To get a closer look at Michael Shannon - the 2009 Oscar's Best Supporting Actor nominee in "Revolutionary Road" - a film directed by Sam Mendes and starring his wife Kate Winslet (this year's Best Actress Award winner for the movie "The Reader") and Leonardo DiCaprio.
This isn't Michael Shannon's only other time on the big screen: Shannon's little shell game as a smart-talking gambler in the movie "Lucky You" - completely stole every scene he was in - at Eric Bana's expense. That was no small feat considering Bana was supposed to be the anointed "star" of that movie.
And Shannon's small role in "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" would have been forgettable - if many another actor had played it - but he stuck out in that movie too, despite his minor screen appearance.
"Shotgun Stories" got high marks from movie critics and film buffs alike (what do they know, right? LOL) but commercial Hollywood took a pass... so who was right?
Besides wanting to see Michael Shannon in a starring role where he was the main protagonist, I figured: Why not see this flick, even though it got absolutely zippo play on the big screen?
Well... all I can say - aside from acknowledging Shannon's work as being just as powerful in this movie as his Oscar nominating performance in the Mendes film - is this: Sometimes Hollywood gets it right!
Minus Michael Shannon - "Shotgun Stories" is pretty lame. With a plot so agonizingly slow to flow as molasses, it sets the viewer up for not one big fall - but several semi-big unsatisfying-falls - and leaves you mad at yourself for having spent the time thinking it was ever going to take off.
Start with three hick nameless brothers ( I kid you not: They are simply called Son, Boy, and Kid), who have it bad for a father who left them not only nameless, but abandoned into the care of a mother who seemed totally indifferent to the boys - such was her hate for their father!
And if that wasn't bad enough... add three other brothers from the same father but with another woman who apparently were raised right because he'd settled down by then and actually gave them names. When dad dies, they all come together somewhat unpleasantly at his funeral - and you have what I thought had the makings of some real applicable tension - the kind that makes movies edgy at least - enough to unsettle you from your comfortable chair and make you want to see what happens next.
You would think that... but you would be wrong.
Even the obligatory killings in this movie are predictable and strangely happen off-camera (a technique that I thought went out of style in the 60's) And stranger still - the way the tensions between all these half-brothers is finally settled, leaves you wondering: "What the heck was that about?"
The last few scenes in the movie seems almost apocryphal given everything that happened in the movie before them... but maybe that was always what this movie wanted to say and largely the point of the movie... simply giving the viewer a visionary slice of life found in the laid-back lifestyle of South-east Arkansas, with its back roads and sprawling cotton fields.
2-STARS - and I'm being generous!

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Mar 26, 2009
  • Michael rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Shotgun Stories tracks a feud that erupts between two sets of half brothers following the death of their father...

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Mar 26, 2009
  • Michael rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: some course language may be offensive

Mar 26, 2009
  • Michael rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Violence: there is malevolence n the air - and you keep waiting for the violence... but when it comes - it's antic-limactic, seeing as it mostly happens off screen

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