Blu-ray Review: ‘Mud’ Has the Feel of a Modern American Classic

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – Maybe it’s the indeterminate time period that doesn’t rely on modern pop culture references or technology. Maybe it’s the sense that we’re watching a great Young Adult novel turned into a film. Maybe it’s the timeless themes of rebellion, love, and loss. Whatever it is, “Mud” already feels like a classic. It’s a film, as proven by its incredible word-of-mouth success at the box office and RIDICULOUS 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, that everybody likes and many love. That word-of-mouth should continue on Blu-ray and DVD as more and more people watch a film that already feels like it will hold up for decades. Blu-ray rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Some have complained about overwriting in “Mud,” an argument that I understand but with which I don’t really agree. Yes, there’s a lot going on here and the final act gets a bit clunky in its narrative but if you approach the film like you would a novel you read in 8th grade, the abundance of plot makes sense. Also, despite the title and who’s on the cover, one must remember that this is the story of a teen boy. Tye Sheridan is excellent as Ellis, the young man who practically wills Mud into existence to deal with the questions of love brought up by his parents’ divorce and the new crush at school. It’s complex, fascinating work from the great Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter”) with strong performances throughout, a perfect HD transfer, and interesting special features. It’s arguably the best 2013 film now available on Blu-ray.

Mud was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 6, 2013
Mud was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 6, 2013
Photo credit: Lionsgate

Mud is a timeless adventure about two boys, Ellis and his best friend Neckbone, who find a mysterious man named Mud (McConaughey) hiding out on a deserted island in the Mississippi. Mud tells the boys fantastic stories about his life, including how he killed a man in Texas and that vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper (Witherspoon), who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. But it isn’t long until Mud’s tall tales come to life, and their small town is besieged by bounty hunters out for blood.

Special Features:
o A Very Personal Tale: Writing And Directing Mud
o The Arkansas Ensemble: The Distinctive Characters And Cast of Mud
o Southern Authenticity: Shooting The Real Arkansas
o The Snake Pit: The Slithering Costars Of Mud
o Director Commentary
o Digital Copy Included

“Mud” stars Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey, Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker, Sarah Paulson, and Reese Witherspoon. It was written and directed by Jeff Nichols. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 6, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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