Tag Archives: western

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

Westworld Season 2 Trailers #1 & 2 (2018 – HBO) *Chaos Takes Control*

After a mind-blowing season one finale, Westworld is finally back on April 22nd at 9 p.m. EST.  Westworld, originally a feature film written by Jurassic Park’s Michael Crichton and starring Yul Bruyner, was decompressed into a sprawling epic TV series about a theme park world full of android hosts.  Season one saw those android gain more and more self-awareness and freedom from their controllers, until we see that season two is going to be a completely new ballgame.  Westworld’s teaser was the best trailer from the Super Bowl back in February, and now it has released a fantastic full trailer for its second season.  The player pianos in Westworld all play player piano versions of rock songs; the full trailer is accompanied by Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box”.  The finale left a lot of directions in which the show can go.  I can’t wait to see what Jonathan Nolan has in store.Westworld Season 2 Poster

Top 5: Summer 2013 Blockbusters I’m Worried About

Top 5: TV Episodes of All-Time (Comedy Edition)

Today’s been a bit of a pre-summer theme week here on Killing Time.  As we look ahead to the summer behemoths, some are absolute slam dunks.  I would be utterly shocked if Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel or Elysium failed to deliver.  There are this year, an unusual number of films that stride the fence between “I’m looking forward to it” and “Oh please, God, don’t let it suck.”  Here are the top 5 on my worry list:
1. Monsters University – This may purely be post-Cars 2 traumatic stress syndrome and-to be fair-this one has a plot that doesn’t sound absolutely meatheaded the way Cars 2 did.  Pixar also has an odd history of producing crap trailers for amazing films so they always make me nervous, but nothing I’ve seen has me thinking this is going to be a classic.

2. World War Z – First it was going to be a trilogy and a franchise for Brad Pitt. Then it was just one movie.  Then test audiences saw the one movie and hated its guts so much that they grabbed everyone, went back out and filmed over a third of the movie over again.  I love this book.  I think the ant pyramid of zombies is freaking awesome.  Want it to be good.  Nervous.

3. The Lone Ranger – Let’s deal with the problem on the left in the picture below.  It’s not Tonto and the Lone Ranger.  Depp looks like he’s going full multiple Sparrows in Pirates 3  and I hate the make-up.  Plus, how in the name of all that is holy can you spend nearly $300 million making a western?  I love this character.  I have since I was a kid.  I really wanted a great treatment and THIS one I’m nearly certain won’t deliver.  In fact, I’ll be as surprised if it’s good as I will be if Star Trek is bad.

4. Kick Ass 2- Kick Ass left itself open for a sequel so we knew it was going to happen, but everything I’ve seen so far has been painfully bad.  The story is also not as strong as the first film and Jim Carrey has a tendency to ….overwhelm any film he’s in.  Don’t make Hit Girl suck.

5. 300: Rise of an Empire – OK!  Quick history review: how many of the 300 survived the battle of Thermopylae?  NOOOOOONE.  First the sequel was going to be about Xerxes.  Then it was changed to 300: Battle of Artemsia, which is a famous naval battle in which the Greeks held off Xerxes’ navy.  Now it’s 300: Rise of an Empire.  These are Greeks not Spartans.  You don’t have Zack Snyder who, love him or hate him, defined the look of the film.  You don’t have source material like Snyder had Frank Miller’s graphic novel.  What do you have?  The picture below was released a few days ago an it is the only evidence of any kind we have that this isn’t the result of a studio executives mad libs bet gone horribly awry.