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Big Sur (2013)

Jean-Marc Barr , Kate Bosworth , Michael Polish  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Marc Barr, Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Stana Katic, Anthony Edwards
  • Directors: Michael Polish
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Arc Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,585 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

In an attempt to heal from the deterioration caused by the pressures of sudden fame and too much alcohol, famous Beat author Jack Kerouac escapes to an isolated, mist-shrouded cabin in the primitive landscape of the Big Sur woods. Instead of finding the peace he desires, he is foiled once again by his own inner demons and sets off on a visceral collision course of paranoia, sex, delirium tremens, misery and madness.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home Movies from the Beat Scene November 4, 2013
There’s an almost sub-genre of literature that deals with writers breaking down, Fitzgerald’s “Crack-up” and Phillip K. Dick’s “Valis” and of course Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur.”

“Big Sur” chronicles Kerouac’s ever-so-slightly fictionalized account of his disintegration. After fame and success sweeps over Kerouac as “King of the Beats” and tries to live up to the reputation with a party in every town, or is it a binge? He wants an escape from those pressures and friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti volunteers his rustic cabin at Big Sur. Once there Kerouac faces only himself and soon becomes bored and heads back to San Francisco, friends, acolytes, parties and Neal Cassady. Cassady hooks him up with his mistress Billie who has a son, soon to Cassady’s chagrin Kerouac and Billie are having an affair.

“Big Sur” swings back and forth between action in San Francisco and continued retreats to Big Sur, but Kerouac keeps pulling people up to the cabin in an effort to avoid confronting himself and his deteriorating condition.

The movie has a cigarette tinged, half full bottles of whiskey feel (although the bottles are half full they never seem to empty). “Big Sur” is like a home movie of the beat generation with narration. The narration, straight from “Big Sur” starts to work like the narration in “Apocalypse Now,” it becomes a character in the movie, there’s even one scene that seems very reminiscent of “Apocalypse” whether that is intentional or not is anybody’s guess.
The casting of “Big Sur” seems right on, while there are no extended scenes of action or dialog, the actors look like the people they’re supposed to be and director Michael Polish gets a lot of acting from his cast in emotion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MOVE OVER NICK NOLTE & GARRETT HEDLUND!!! January 22, 2014
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HEART BEAT, the ambiance accurate but factually inaccurate 1980 film about Kerouac and Cassady, was my first intro to the whole Beat scene. Ever since that time I have steeped myself in Kerouaciana rather deeply. Nick Nolte played Neal Cassady in that film - and in 2012's ON THE ROAD, Garrett Hedlund attempted to embody Dean Moriarty who was, in truth, Neal Cassady. Both prior actors brought their own qualities to the role without achieving total verisimilitude either in visage or personality. There have been a few others who have attempted to tackle the mercurial nature of the truly astonishing Neal Cassady. He was tough to pin down in his own time, let alone now! Ten things at once and never the same thing twice! Now in BIG SUR we have Josh Lucas as the legendary Neal. He is a virtual doppleganger to the real thing - and acts his role well and truly. The thing is there just isn't enough of him in BIG SUR, either book or film. Someone should make a movie with Neal as the centerpiece and cast Josh Lucas in the part before the parade passes. Neal's story after his sudden fame due to ON THE ROAD would make a top-notch film: from San Quentin for the ludicrous two years for pot possession (and now you can buy it in the state where Neal grew up!), to taking the wheel of Ken Kesey's psychedelic bus 'Further', on to his early and mysterious death in Mexico - terrific movie material and in Josh Lucas a convincing and compelling Cassady. Maybe one day...

As to BIG SUR, it is a beautifully photographed and scored and narrated by Jean-Marc Barr as Kerouac movie. I enjoyed it immensely. Is it perfect? No. The actor playing Kerouac is, I believe, bald. In fitting him with a wig to play Kerouac I wish they'd fitted him with more of it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing like the ocean... April 12, 2014
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A beautiful film, mesmerizing like the ocean, or the deep woods, or your thought....capturing a slice of the pathos of any life lived, rolling ocean waves narrating in the voice and play of Jean Marc Barr, Franco-American actor at his best in this role of anguished artist.... Supporting cast so excellent, a labor of love assuredly....Music: haunting me still, by great contemporary composers, of The National, the Brothers Dressner. Direction by Michael Polish: an honor to behold, well composed, intimate, brief yet languishing, even humoristic, all at the same Kerouac... A valiant effort to capture a wealth of words with a wealth of visuals... Definitely a "stand the test of time" film, and, frankly, gorgeous, thanks to all who helped produce this work of art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1950s Keroac Biography March 28, 2014
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Provides a good biography of Keroac after On the Road made him a star but does take a few historical liberties. The movie includes a lot of narration in Keroac's style. Beautiful photography
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well-Made Esoteric Film October 24, 2014
By Philos
A well-made esoteric film, 3 1/2 stars. Interesting to me because I was born in the LA area of southern CA, Later fell in love with the Big Sur area & lived in the Monterey area during the '80s, the SF area during the '90s. As an atheist ('58-69) turned born-again Christian in '69, I could understand the film's reference's to God in its latter part, & I knew that questions asked about that by Kerouac & his lady-love could be only answered by the Bible. Though I described this film as basically esoteric, I think it might be of interest to most anyone who an interest in the spiritual side of life.
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