Scott Cooper has turned to another venerable American genre, the western, for Hostiles, the raw and compelling tale of an embittered and battle-hardened US Cavalry officer ordered to accompany a Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their tribal lands in Montana. The flinty-eyed Captain Blocker (Bale) has seen more than his fair share of violence and bloodletting on the frontier, but this mission, which he is forced to accept, is a particularly bitter pill to swallow: Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) has been his mortal enemy for years due to a conflict that killed many of Blocker’s friends. The Chief has also lost friends in the conflict.
Setting out through dangerous territory, much of it inhabited by hostile tribes, the small band of soldiers and Cheyenne navigate the beautiful prairies and wilds of the west, while facing a series of challenges. Blocker — much like John Wayne’s character in the John Ford classic The Searchers — is a racist, a man who harbours a deep hatred towards the former prisoners now placed in his care. As the challenges mount, Blocker is forced to confront his own bigotry while carrying out his orders. To complicate matters, the ragged party is joined by a stricken widow (Rosamund Pike) who has just seen her family massacred in a raid.
Hostiles cuts relentlessly into the complex, troubled relationship between those who have lived on this land for centuries and the white intruder, posing the question: is reconciliation possible?
Hostiles is set to be released on December 22nd.
In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.
Premiering last week to rave reviews at the Telluride Film Festival, Christian Bale’s first return to the Western since his classic remake of 3:10 to Yuma, directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) is desperately trying to secure a release date in late 2017 to qualify for the awards, such is the confidence in people who have gotten a look at it. The first trailer is a moody and tense promise of what could be a great story. Cooper’s come close in the past, but never really made a film that I thought was a home run, but Hostiles could change all that when it opens later this year.
Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week. October 28th closes out the most mediocre October that I can ever remember with a weekend Tom Hanks can’t even save. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (10/28/2016) – Inferno, Before the Flood
Video game fans are hoping the endless parade of crap adaptations of their favorite games will cease this December with the promising-looking Assassin’s Creed. Quite frankly, with the deep source material, plot, and Oscar-caliber acting in that film, if it doesn’t work, we’re never going to get one that will. Warcraft, looked like it might break the curse six months earlier. It had a great look, a HUGE built-in fanbase, and an acclaimed director in Duncan Jones (Moon). Instead the movie was critically reviled (28% on Rotten Tomatoes), and would have been an utter financial disaster were it not for a very strange phenomenon that we’ll get to later. Now that the film has hit home video, is Warcraft worth a look? It’s definitely worth a LOOK (note how I am stressing that word as if it will be important later on in my rambling). Continue reading Movie Review: Warcraft (2016) *Visually Stunning but Ultimately Hollow*
The heist movie is a classic staple of American cinema. Bonnie & Clyde, Heat, Ocean’s 11, Inception, really when you think about it is a heist movie, and so on. There’s something about the have-nots taking from those who have that’s intrinsically American. Hell or High Water isn’t just a great heist film/crime drama. It’s a film born out of an America that hates financial institutions. The great majority of us in debt, fighting liens, repossessions, and looking on while the same companies that inundate us with statements get bailouts. There’s some graffiti sprayed on the wall early in the film in a dusty town in West Texas that reads “3 Tours in Iraq; no bailout for me.” This is the America in which the Howard brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) begin their bank robbing spree. Continue reading Movie Review: Hell or High Water (2016) *A Heist Movie For Our Times*