Tag Archives: Elizabeth Olsen

My Favorite Scene: Wind River (2017) “Take the Pain”

I’m not a parent. I’ve never seen a piece of myself shining in the eyes of a child. I can’t imagine what that is like, and I cannot fathom what it must be like to have it and lose it. I have lost my entire world to grief. When you go through it, there’s a pernicious lie you’re told in counseling, by people who don’t get it, by most of pop culture: it gets better. The pain goes away. It doesn’t. It does change. It changes you. The knife-sharp pangs that wrack you in the beginning become a dull roar. You learn to live around it, but the person you were before never comes back. It’s something you suspect as soon as you lose the person: I’m never going to be the same. The most honest assessment of the grieving process that I’ve ever heard comes from one grieving father to another in the most underrated film of 2017: Wind River.

Taylor Sheridan’s modern western crime thriller (it manages to tick all the requirements for at least three genres) was another spectacular script from the Sicario screenwriter and a very impressive directorial debut. As good as Gary Oldman was as Winston Churchill, I thought Jeremy Renner’s performance in this film was the best acting I saw last year. Renner is always strong, but to the detriment of his appreciation, his performances are usually understated character work. With Wind River he was able to blend his gift for nuance with a clear, deep connection to the material. The porch scene is so intensely honest that it nearly blew me out of the theater. It’s a testament to how entertaining the film is in the midst of dealing with the bleakest terrain a human soul has to cross that I was able to walk out feeling like I’d finally spent time with someone who got it. I wish I’d have gotten a counselor as good as the one Renner’s character got at that seminar in Casper.Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen in Wind River

Movie Review: Wind River (2017) *A Modern Crime Western Triumph*

Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner in Wind River

Wind River was released at the tail end of a dismal August right before a dismal September set in, and thankfully delivers the kind of quality you expect from films during awards season.  The directorial debut of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water), Wind River cements Sheridans status as one of the best writers working for the screen today and shows him as a promising talent behind the camera.  Wind River is a tense, beautifully-filmed modern crime western (a genre Sheridan has invented that we didn’t know we badly needed). Continue reading Movie Review: Wind River (2017) *A Modern Crime Western Triumph*

In Theaters This Week (4/1/2016) – God’s Not Dead 2, The Witch and More!!!

God's Not Dead 2
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.  April 1st has a number of small pictures opening, as this week was pretty much ceded by the studios to Batman vs. Superman’s continuing run (though if something big opened against it, I wonder how it would do given the blowback the super hero epic has received).   Continue reading In Theaters This Week (4/1/2016) – God’s Not Dead 2, The Witch and More!!!

Godzilla Blu Ray/DVD Date and Details

Godzilla
Godzilla is one of the summer’s movies that has grown on me in retrospect, so I’m looking forward to giving it another try on Blu Ray and it looks like Warner Brothers has some cool special features  as to how they brought the big guy to life.  Godzilla hits stores on September 16, 2014 and you can read the full release from Warner Brothers below. Continue reading Godzilla Blu Ray/DVD Date and Details

Movie Review: Godzilla (2014) *Spoilers*

Godzilla

Abraham Lincoln once wrote a book review, the entirety of which was, “Those of you who like this sort of thing will find this to be the sort of thing you like.”  That’s what Godzilla is.  Godzilla is,..wait for it….a Godzilla movie.  Every bit as much as the old black and white films, Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla falls right into that lineage and updates a classic movie monster for a new age.  It is a total success in that area and if you’re a hardcore Godzilla fan, you should be dancing in the streets.  Is it a great film?  Noooo.  But neither are any of the old Godzilla movies.  Try watching one.  REALLY watching one.  Edwards’ film is the grandchild of Gojira, Godzilla vs. Moth-Ra, etc.  It’s not trying to be a deep cinematic statement on anything other than giant monsters smashing things and, in that, it succeeds enormously.

Godzilla

He does something very smart with Godzilla.  You barely see him until the final act of the movie.  Just a tease here and a tease there; deftly using water, fog, and cover to just show you how immense he is and then he’s gone.  This is the same theory that works best with the Hulk.  If you show him the whole movie, why is it special when he throws down?  Your monster fix is provided by two MUTOs (forget the acronym’s purpose already).  These radiation eating lovers are trapped on opposite sides of the world.  Daddy MUTO coming from the ruins of a Japanese nuclear facility (Japanese nuclear facilities: the safest places on Earth) and Mommy MUTO busts out of the mountain in Nevada where we throw all our nuclear waste (we really do that so  someone should be down there checking for spidery MUTOs toute suite).  The two need to mate (who doesn’t?), so they’re heading toward each other to converge on San Francisco (aside from New York and London, is there a city that gets blown to cinders more than Frisco onscreen?).

godzilla

Not the villain of this piece, Godzilla has only awoken because he’s an “alpha predator” who has sensed the MUTOs emergence as a threat to his status as BMOC.  The humans eventually figure this out after trying to kill Godzilla most of the movie.  Lucky are they that he has a remarkably patient disposition for a monster the size of a football stadium.

Godzilla catches up with the two MUTOs in San Francisco and the throwdown is epic.  The third act of the film is just pure gleeful monster chucking action.  Andy Serkis provided the motion for Godzilla and outdid himself again.  THIS is Godzilla, his movements, his look, everything harkens back to the old films, but updates it for the 21st century.

godzilla-attacks-golden-gate

This praise is not to say the film is great cinema, because it’s not.  It’s very slow going to Godzilla vs. MUTOs and the heavy lifting in the script…well, there isn’t any because the script would be laughable if it weren’t being delivered by Oscar-caliber actors and actresses.  Ken Watanabe stands out as the chief scientist, but Aaron Taylor-Johnson takes most of the film on his scarily chiseled back (HE’S HUUUUUUGE!).  The lines on their own are bad.  The actors manage to raise them to tolerable.  Gareth Edwards directing is good but you can tell he’s still getting better.  This film would have benefitted from a 20 minute cut to the finale, but he has style.  There are some shots in this film that are simply poster-worthy.

In the end, we hearken back to Abe.  If you like Godzilla films, you’ll like Godzilla.  If you think Godzilla films are stupid; you’ll hate Godzilla.  Me, I’m somewhere in-between.
7.5/10
Godzilla, Comic Con