I really wanted to like this movie. I think that is why I took it so hard when it wasn't what I expected. Upon thinking about it last night and this morning, I think the two scenes I could have done without (rather, could have been tones down) were the two sex scenes. I do understand the point of them and how contrasting they were the relevance to the movie and explicated the character change. However, I went to go see a movie not a pornography.
My professor once told me that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So.I think Tom/Joey's behavior was inevitable once his past found him. No matter how hard you try you cannot run your past the only way to really deal with it is confront it. In the end he did. While it was by murdering the mobsters. It was then that Joey could disappear forever leaving Tom to live with his family. One can also look at human nature and the basis of violence. No matter what we do we have a primal erg to kill. I don't so much by that one but it is arguable
Now I am interested to hear what you think of the son's change. At the start of the movie he was so witty and kind. He was so hurt by his father's character shift emotionally and physically at the end of the movie that the spark of life seemed to be drained out of him. Yet, he still felt the need to save his father - was that the start of his history of violence or was it him just being loyal to his father. Clearly, if he has been hurt by his father. If you can't trust you family then it skews you object relation of trusting others that may come into your life.
Technically there were some great camera angles and I really like the long shot in the beginning. It was a bit long winded. The director produce a high level of anxiety without quick cuts and loud music. What made you anxious was the fear in the mother's face contrasted with the calm in Tom's. For me, it was a new feeling of anxiety - I liked it. I think I would have like the film a lot more if there were not so many lulls. As a write this I am starting to like the movie more and wanting to see it again. I think it was the late night and the slow pace that lowered the emotional level for me. Perhaps it is not a good idea to see a double feature because no matter the time of day I don't really like it as much