The Post has everything going for it. It has the best actor and actress of the last 40 years in Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The best composer of all-time in John Williams. A veteran director of serious subjects and blockbusters in the legendary Steven Spielberg. All coming together around an issue that is more relevant today than it has been at any time since the Pentagon Papers incident. Since the beginning of the current administration the issue of news, fake news, “alternative facts”, and what the media can publish and who can publish it has been front and center nightly. So how, with all this going for it, is The Post is a dull, muddled mess?
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.
Before The Washington Post and Watergate brought the Nixon administration down, they faced an issue just as daunting when, in 1971, they found themselves in possession of thousands of classified documents on the Vietnam War. If the name Ben Bradlee sounds familiar to you, its because Jason Robards won an Oscar for playing the Post’s editor in the classic All the President’s Men. Stepping into his shoes would be daunting, but if you’re going to have an actor do it, you want Tom Hanks. He’ll be teaming with director Steven Spielberg for the fifth time, and while I’ve had my issues with Spielberg in the last 15 years, none of his collaborations with Hanks have ever been less than stellar. If that weren’t enough, Meryl Streep will be playing the Post’s owner Katharine Graham. In a time where the media has never been more important as the nation’s Fourth Estate, this film and the issues it will examine feel worthy of bringing together arguably the greatest actor, actress, and director of our age. The Post will open December 22, 2017. For the official synopsis, read below. Continue reading The Post Trailer #1 (2017) “If The Government Wins, The Washington Post Will Cease to Exist.”
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.
It’s really rare that I walk into a movie with no knowledge of an actor whatsoever and leave thinking they deserved an Oscar for what I just saw. It is UNPRECEDENTED for the Academy to actually agree with me on that statement. However, that’s what happened last year when Mark Rylance pulled an upset and won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Bridge of Spies. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Bridge of Spies (2015) “Standing Man”