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Motel Life [Blu-ray]


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Motel Life [Blu-ray] + Lone Survivor (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet) + Non-Stop (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson
  • Directors: Alan Polsky, Gabriel Polsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Gaiam
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2014
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00IXPQUD0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Based on the popular novel by Willy Vlautin, THE MOTEL LIFE is a searing and profound examination of brotherhood set in the timeless Sierra Nevadan frontier. Frank (Emile Hirsch) and Jerry Lee Flannigan (Stephen Dorff) work odd jobs, drink hard, and drift from motel to motel. Their only escape is through Frank s fantastic stories and Jerry Lee s rich illustrations. Everything changes when Jerry Lee is involved in a hit-and-run accident, which forces the brothers across the state to the home of Frank s old flame, Annie (Dakota Fanning).

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Emily Morgan on December 3, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The Motel Life is a sparse, stark and quietly poignant movie. It is not a feel-good movie. It's a movie you watch and then contemplate playing in traffic. But that said, Stephen Dorff and Emile Hirsch as the Flannigan brothers were amazing. In my opinion it is Stephen Dorff's best role to date, and may be the best thing he ever does in his entire career. The brothers' life is shown through flashbacks that show their mother dying when they were teenagers, telling them she wants them to stay together if she dies before they turn 18. She dies and they first try to jump a train out of town, but Jerry Lee (Dorff) falls and loses his leg. It is clear that Frank (Hirsch) takes care of his brother, but he's got problems of his own. He's an alcoholic and spends his nights drinking and his mornings puking up blood. One of those nights Jerry comes home and tells Frank he killed a kid on a bicycle. The next day Jerry Lee shoots himself, but only hits his leg. When the cops come calling Frank springs Jerry Lee from the hospital and they flee to the town in which Frank's ex-girlfriend (played by a luminous Dakota Fanning) lives.

Frank tells Jerry Lee stories, wild stories that make Jerry Lee into a hero, instead of the screw-up they both so clearly are. The emotion in this film is muted and finely wrought but the subtlety is what makes it so beautiful, despite the bleakness of the story. There is a scene in which Jerry Lee needs to take a shower but can't stand so his brother comes in to the shower with him and washes him. It sounds like something simple but those two minutes are all we need to see just what their relationship is. It's an amazing scene. I give this five stars not because I felt entertained, but because the movie was so well-done that my chest hurt a little when it was over. The ability for a story this subtle to touch an audience is a rare thing, and should be appreciated as such.

Just don't watch if you're depressed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Turner on February 1, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
A great character movie. It's well acted and written. I wasn't bored by the slow pace of the movie because the characters are compelling.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy on November 16, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Set in dreary Indie symbolic winter, "Motel Life" is a story of despair and unconditional love Frank (Emile Hirsch) has for his brother Jerry Lee (Stephen Dorff). After Jerry Lee accidentally kills a kid on a bicycle, Frank abets him in disposing of the evidence and moving on. The brothers and everyone they touch have lives of despair which are brightened by Frank's story telling.

When the film wasn't slow and boring, it was filled with despair. It was certainly well acted and well scripted, for what it was. However on the entertainment scale, it was one I could have missed; a good movie I didn't like.

The film won the audience award at the 2012 Rome Screen Fest as well as best screenplay among 17 films.

Parental Guidance: F-bomb, sex, nudity- much of it was cartoon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rochester Richie on April 19, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
There was a free screening of this at Texas A&M one night last year when I had nothing better to do. I'm really glad I went. The film is more like a short story, or, more accurately, a film based on a short story than on a novel. It reminded me a bit of Sarah Polly's "Away from Her" adapted from an Alice Munro story, except it's focused on twenty-something men, rather than older people. It's more about emotional states than plot or even character: a haunting tale of people who know they're what society considers losers, but are trying to hang on to their hopes and dignity anyway. It also reminded me a lot of 70s-80s independent cinema, when it was called "regional cinema" rather than indie cinema, films like "The Whole Shootin' Match", "Northern Lights", and "Rachel River". Connected to this is the added plus of the location shooting in Western Nevada, giving the spectator settings we haven't seen before on screen. A slight correction: One poster claims this film never never played in theaters, was essentially a "straight to video" thing. That's actually wrong. It may not have gone "wide" but it did play around the country in theaters, at least in the kind of bigger city theaters that play indie films. I looked it up on rotten tomatoes and it is reviewed (positively) in the NY Times. I also have a friend who caught up with it at a Dallas theater.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Man VINE VOICE on May 31, 2014
Format: DVD
“The Motel Life” is an examination of brotherhood set in the Sierra Nevada frontier. Brothers Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan (Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff) are drifters who get by on telling fantastic stories and creating rich illustrations.

Surviving on odd jobs, they drink too much and live in one dingy motel room after another as they make their way from town to town, no actual destination in mind. When Jerry Lee is involved in a hit-and-run accident, the brothers flee across the state to the home of Frank’s old flame Annie (Dakota Fanning, “The Twilight Saga”).

While they seem safe from the law, Jerry Lee’s instability and all-consuming guilt render their future increasingly uncertain. The stark winter figures prominently in the story as the brothers attempt to extricate themselves from ever-increasing problems of their own making. Hirsch and Dorff have excellent chemistry and are easily believable as brothers. The movie is based on the novel by Willy Vlautin.

Special features on the Blu-ray release include a making-of featurette, illustration gallery, and trailer.
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