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Friday, July 24, 2015

THE LONGEST RIDE Blu-ray Review

Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.

Well, isn't Scott Eastwood just a rugged, squinty, sensitive, handsome drink of water? He isn't that bad an actor either - very dynamic and athletic while bull-riding and quietly choked when essentially admitting his lack of other options, "It's my life..." It's a schmaltzy moment, but he grounds it.

Britt Robertson was precious in "Dan In Real Life" and arguably the best part of "Delivery Man," but her spirit is too wild and outgoing for "the boring one" in the sorority house, and this Regular Girl role requires her to tone down that spirit, making her performance...well, boring. Methinks brunette Melissa Benoist more fits the type of the straight-laced lead, and Robertson would have been better as the bubbly partygirl friend.

The rest of the script is classic Sparks: new, uncertain relationship is fortified by the flashback story of an older relationship that stands the test of time. Ira and Ruth's love story - complicated by infertility and lack of faith - is infinitely more interesting than Sophia and Luke's banal first date small talk about nail polish. Oona Chaplin has a great period face, and Jack Huston is bashfully devoted.

The art auction twist is a nice denouement, but overall, the movie is an overlong, forgettable Sparks joint.

THE LONGEST RIDE Blu-ray™ comes packed with 45 minutes of extra features that will take you further into the film’s two central love stories. Join Eastwood on the ranch as he learns from the world’s best bull riders to control the beasts and learn more about the production with audio commentary from director George Tillman, Jr. and star Oona Chaplin.

THE LONGEST RIDE BLU-RAY™ SPECIAL FEATURES
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• A Writer’s Journey: A Day in the Life of Nicholas Sparks
• Beyond the Ride
• Bringing it to Life
• Meet The Real Bull Riders
• Luke’s Bull Riding School
• Audio Commentary by George Tillman, Jr. and Oona Chaplin
• Gallery

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