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Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.


“Labor Day” isn’t a bad movie. It confuses sentimentality with a serious look at what makes a family. I get the role that Tobey Maguire was meant to play, but I found his narration and present day self to be a distraction. Reitman made the correct creative choice to have so much of the film persist with minimal dialogue and score. However, there are times where Winslet and Brolin can’t carry the action without turning the film into something else.

Jason Reitman is a real talent. However, he’s now two for two with his recent movies that didn’t find an audience. Is that his fault or should we blame audiences that can’t break out of romantic comedy staples and follow a serious director down different narrative paths? Stretching one’s desires for entertainment is a bold thing, but it’s not always easy. Joyce Maynard’s source novel tackled several issues related to masculinity and finding a role in the domestic life. However, what is one supposed to do in the modern age? It’s not an easy question and I don’t think that Reitman answered it. However, he let us experience the question in a carefully crafted narrative.

The Blu-Ray comes with a DVD, Digital HD copy, commentary, featurette and deleted scenes as the special features. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track isn’t massive, but it kicks in where needed. The 1080p transfer provides for a washed out color that seemingly benefits a tale of the past. I just wish we had something a little more defined. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to the curious.

RELEASE DATE: 04/29/2014

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