This week’s “For Your Renting Pleasure” includes a remake/reimagining and a sequel, Dredd and Men In Black 3, both disappointing for numerous reasons. [Read more...]
Not to age my dad or anything, but westerns are a very generational thing. Heck, the last time I really watched a western by choice was when I became obsessed with one scene in McLintock! after accidentally opening the gifted VHS copy meant for my dad on Christmas as a child. And in all honesty, if it wasn’t for last year’s ridiculously addictive video game Red Dead Redemption, the trailer for True Grit probably wouldn’t have peaked my interest as it did. Well, it may not have all the violence, horse racing and addictive Oregon Trail hunting, but True Grit still manages to reach a larger audience than just those who were alive for the John Wayne original.
The looser laws of the Wild West create the perfect setting for a classic story of good old revenge, which is exactly what we have here. The difference is this story’s point of view doesn’t come from a hardened, stiff-jawed gunslinger. As a 14-year-old Mattie Ross may not be able to stay standing after firing a pistol, but she is just as strong willed as the men she comes across, with the determination necessary to hunt down the man who guiltlessly gunned down her father. [Read more...]
The latest from the Coen Bros., True Grit, is their least odd and most straightforward film to date but there is still plenty of weirdness, laughs, and amazing performances that we expect from these guys in this great film.
The film is not a remake of the 1969 John Wayne film of the same name but is instead a re-adaptation of the Charles Portis source novel from 1968. The Coen’s wanted to do this to put the point of view back through Mattie’s eyes and re-instill some of the humor in the novel. The result is fantastic as the film is surprisingly (though not really, it is a Coen Bros. movie after all) hilarious; especially considering the tone of the TV spots I have seen. The film also delivers on the tone it is selling though and features heart pumping moments and plenty of drama.
The story follows the fore mentioned Mattie as she recruits a local U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn, to hunt down and capture the man who killed her father in cold blood. [Read more...]
Hex is a Confederate soldier of some rank but when he turns on his regiment and shoots his best friend dead the Confederate General Turnbull, and father to Hex’s best friend, hunts Hex down, murders his family, and leaves him for dead with a brand on the face to remind him of who did this to him. We are then given a quick rundown of the next few beats in Hex’s life, Turnbull apparently dies, and Hex is left as a supernatural bounty hunter who can briefly resurrect the dead with his touch. As he reeks havoc on the outlaws he hunts, a bounty is in turn put on Hex and the hunter is also the hunted. As Hex tries to earn his keep and stay alive Turnbull turns up alive and constructing a secret military weapon and the president recruits Hex to hunt down his nemesis and save the country.
Gus Van Sant’s latest is another great film for the director and is one of the best biopics in recent memory.
Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) was a closet homosexual in New York in the early seventies, picking up men on the Subway, one of which happens to change the direction of his life. Upon picking up Scott Smith (James Franco) on the eve of his fortieth the two bond and decide to move California and settle in the Castro district of San Francisco which was quickly becoming the gay hub of the city. Upon opening their own camera shop, deters to their shop because of their sexual orientation prompt Milk to become politically active at trying to get favorable treatment and rights acknowledged for openly gay people in San Francisco. As he builds his campaign, more and more fresh faces begin coming into his camera store/campaign office, and while originally unsuccessful, Milk quickly becomes one of the most respected voices for the gay cause in San Francisco. [Read more...]
The Coen Bros. return after a three year hiatus with a return to their crime/thriller roots that made them famous in the first place. An adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, it is one part reflection on our disintegrating society and one part cat and mouse chase thriller, with the cat and mouse part working beautifully. [Read more...]
Keys to a great movie? Ridley Scott, check. Denzel Washington, check. Russell Crowe, check. Larger than life and wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t true story, check. Now all of these are thrown into one movie, and what comes out is absolutely fantastic. I do not have a single complaint about this movie and can not recommend to you enough to see it. But it was missing just that little something to make it special and absolutely amazing. [Read more...]