THE LONGEST RIDE DVD (2015)
SYNOPSIS: Based on the bestselling book by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride will make you believe in true love. When Luke, a former champion bull rider attempting a comeback meets Sophia, a college student preparing for her dream job in New York, they embark on an extraordinary - yet uncertain - romantic journey. As conflicting paths test their budding relationship, Luke and Sophia make a fateful connection with Ira, whose heartwarming memories of his own marriage inspire the young couple and change their lives forever.
A suspension of belief is require for every Nicholas Sparks work unless you are his number one fan, one who actually knows The Longest Ride is the 10th book to be made into a feature movie.
The George Tillman Jr (Notorious, Faster) movie wastes no time in establishing our two lovebirds. In North Carolina, a college student Sophia (Britt Robertson from Tomorrowland) after being dragged to a rodeo fair by her classmate gets to know and starts to fall in love with a handsome bull rider, Luke (Scott Eastwood, son of Clint). On the verge of mounting a career comeback plus the stress of fitting into Sophia’s future, will Luke end up happily ever after with Sophia?
Not contend with telling one good old-fashioned American love story, as a bonus to Sparks’ loyal followers, the movie tells another story involving an old couple, Ira (Alan Alda) and Ruth as a result of Sophia and Luke saving Ira out of a car crash. The Ira-Ruth romance in a grand tradition way spanned from wartime to the present culminating in a lasting legacy of what true love really means.
It’s kind of strange watching two seemingly unrelated storylines at the same time. Via constant flashbacks, we got to know that Ira’s war injury has caused Ruth’s dream of starting a big family impossible. Their subsequent adoption of a child failed and they were on a verge of a breakup. Perhaps you are guessing Sparks might pull a surprise at the end with Ira’s tale. Well, it’s not so much as a twist but let’s just say this is where a suspension of belief comes in.
On the other hand, Luke and Sophia’s romance seems tamer and predictable. Luke goes bull riding. They have sex. Luke goes bull riding. They have sex. Repeat. The major plot points unfold fairly quickly though the entire movie runs more than two hours, 20 minutes longer than the average Sparks adaptation. Still Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson make a loving pair. The former has a likeable charismatic poise and its obvious he looks exactly liked his old man. For the minority that caught Tomorrowland, you know Robertson can act and she seems ready to give Jennifer Lawrence a run for her money. Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin who played the younger Ira and Ruth lend strong presences to the romantic drama.
It’s notable to mention the great David Tattersall (the Star Wars prequels, The Green Mile) was behind the camera work which gave the movie’s a lush stunning appearance. The Longest Ride certainly isn’t as strong (meaning tears milking) as The Notebook but the chemistry between the good-looking leads and some impressive rodeo stunt work at least makes this tolerable.
Meet the Real Bull Riders takes viewers into the world of real bull riders and the various crew members behind the stunt work. We see how Scott Eastwood prepare his role by riding a robobull in Luke's Bull Riding School. Audio Commentary by Director George Tillman Jr. and Actress Oona Chaplin is a decent enjoyable track and the DVD also comes with a Gallery and Trailers.
Lush scenery, good looking cast and slick imaging. The Longest Ride looks amazingly beautiful on DVD. Surround and directional effects are excellent in the bull-riding sequences other than that, it’s as expected a relatively tame audio mix.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee