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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping family drama about the futility of revenge.
Set in the small town of England, Arkansas, 'Shotgun Stories' follows a bitter feud between two sets of half-brothers after the death of their father Cleaman Hayes.
Son, Boy and Kid Hayes are the three sons of Cleaman's first marriage. Estranged from his wife and child, 'Son' the eldest of the three, earns an average living as a fish farm worker, 'Boy' the middle...
Published on 24 Oct 2009 by Ernie

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average family feud on a dire disc
Shotgun Stories is a 2007 re-issue DVD of a slow-burning family feud between Step-Brothers.

Has plenty of potential, mainly due to the lead (Shannon). Ultimately leaves you wanting and somehow manages to miss the mark.

Disc is a bare-bones release in every sense. No extras. Chapter Selection only. English 2.0 soundtrack, so no DTS or Dolby 5.1 even...
Published 6 months ago by Mr. T. Solley


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping family drama about the futility of revenge., 24 Oct 2009
By 
Ernie (Kent) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shotgun Stories [DVD] (DVD)
Set in the small town of England, Arkansas, 'Shotgun Stories' follows a bitter feud between two sets of half-brothers after the death of their father Cleaman Hayes.
Son, Boy and Kid Hayes are the three sons of Cleaman's first marriage. Estranged from his wife and child, 'Son' the eldest of the three, earns an average living as a fish farm worker, 'Boy' the middle brother lives an aimless existence living out of his camper van and spends his time coaching a small group of local boys at basketball, and the youngest brother 'Kid' sleeps in a tent in his eldest brothers back yard with hopes of marrying his long term girlfriend.
After their estranged mother arrives at the door of Son's home and bluntly announces that their father is dead, the brothers turn up uninvited at his funeral and hear a eulogy describing him as a productive member of the community and decent man. Son decides to speak up and tell Cleaman's present family of an alcoholic who abandoned his first family and left them to be raised by a mother who he describes as a 'hateful woman', and then after leaving acted as if they were never born.
Brought up by a father who their mother describes as a different man back then, the other Hayes brothers Cleaman Jr, Stephen, John and Mark have enjoyed a stable family life and steady employment on the family owned farm, but riled that the other Hayes boys have tarnished their fathers name it's soon known around town that revenge is on the cards.
Jeff Nichols excellent film is a gently paced tale of a simple feud in which neither party is the root cause and which foolishly escalates out of control. The film cleverly avoids being a typical revenge movie by concentrating on the main characters and the mundane existence of their day to day lives and when there are acts of violence and conflict Nichols skilfully cuts away into a more gentle scene showing the outcome.
The look and feel of the movie is almost identical in style to that of the film's producer David Gordon Green's earlier work like 'All The Real Girls' and 'George Washington' where scenes are cut between gentle artistic shots of the surroundings. The direction, cinematography, soundtrack, acting and story are all nothing short of superb.
Profound, poignant and haunting, if you're looking for a good quality indie with masses of depth then it really doesn't get much better than this.
If you enjoy this you may also want to check out equally good Frozen River which is similar in tone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average family feud on a dire disc, 1 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. T. Solley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shotgun Stories [DVD] (DVD)
Shotgun Stories is a 2007 re-issue DVD of a slow-burning family feud between Step-Brothers.

Has plenty of potential, mainly due to the lead (Shannon). Ultimately leaves you wanting and somehow manages to miss the mark.

Disc is a bare-bones release in every sense. No extras. Chapter Selection only. English 2.0 soundtrack, so no DTS or Dolby 5.1 even. Picture is very grainy at best, even for DVD.

Overall, only purchase when part of a deal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a gem!, 1 Aug 2008
This review is from: Shotgun Stories [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this as I really like Michael Shannon...been tracking his career and I think he is starting to take off. In this film he plays a protective brother who clashes with the new family of his long lost Father....a no good wife beater.

If you like independent cinema this is a gem. A real fine movie from the US independent scene.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Red, you'll like this, 24 Dec 2009
By 
Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shotgun Stories [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great feature film about a feud between two families who shared the same father, set in the wake of the mans funeral at which the eldest son of one family interrupts proceedings to say his piece and spits on the coffin igniting animosities which escalate to violence and murder.

The family dynamics are acted well, the sequence of events very plausible and believeable, while the camera angles and filming doesnt focus on the violence in any way to make it appear like an action feature or valorise violence in the way that A History Of Violence [DVD] [2005] has been accused of doing. The gradual escalation from verbal to fist fighting to melee weapons, when the first deaths occur, and then fire arms is done in a very plausible manner, no one is homicidal right away and there is a sense in which the escalation itself becomes a tragic course which no one, other than the youngest family members, thinks is a good idea.

Its clear that the experience of each family of the dead father has been very different, purely by virtue of eachs present existence, one family is made up of troubled, transient young adults living out of tents and mini-vans while the other are farmers with nicer houses. The dynamics between the brothers within the family which is the main focus of the film, as opposed to the "other" or antagonists, is well done too, with the slightly older leader, the hot head, the cooler, calmer sort of person. I thought there was some good social realism here too, not just about violence, escalations of conflicts and how those involved in them try to manage or contain them but also about male pride or family pride and the consequences of the expectations people are raised with and family history.

Its good easy watching too and its nice to see that films like this are still being made, a human interest story thats not simply human drama but at once not a hollywood actioner, thriller or anything like that.
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Shotgun Stories [DVD]
Shotgun Stories [DVD] by Jeff Nichols (DVD - 2013)
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