Tag Archives: Western

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Movie Review

You can’t watch a Coen brothers film just once. For some reason, in spite of this firm belief, I insist on reviewing their films after one viewing. Knee-jerk responses to films made by two brothers who are meticulous in everything they do. Never a smart idea.

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Hail, Caesar! is sticky with nostalgia, too caught up in it to provide a thorough and satisfying narrative. After watching it a few more times, it becomes clear that there is more to the Continue reading The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Movie Review

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Logan (2017) Movie Review

The first thing one will notice about Logan, after a prologue/advert that you will not see coming, is that this is not Bryan Singer’s X-Men. Logan is the ninth film in the X-Men franchise and the third standalone Wolverine film. And it is a grizzled, grisly action tragedy. Not what one would expect from this comic book franchise.

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An opening action sequence promises brutality not seen in comic book cinema to date, and it Continue reading Logan (2017) Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven (2016) Movie Review

Antoine Fuqua’s reboot of the seminal 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven (itself a Westernization of the 1954 Akira Kurosawa film The Seven Samurai) has a distinctly modern feel to it. Bandits have been replaced by violent capitalists. The fear of the outsider has been replaced by the fear of the wealthy. Of course, there is the fear-of-the-other narrative that introduces Denzel Washington’s Chisolm that screams modern relevancy. It is, however, a commentary only hinted at.

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What we get in lieu of commentary is Continue reading The Magnificent Seven (2016) Movie Review

Hell or High Water (2016) Movie Review

Two brothers (Ben Foster and Chris Pine) lay waste to rural Texas, robbing banks at sun-up and hightailing it before the police (led by Jeff Bridges) can even get their morning coffee. In the midst of this blur of action that is the opening to Hell or High Water, we can notice a few things: brilliant staging, an adept grasp of setting and atmosphere, an engaging balance of tone.

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With each bank robbery, we learn more about the two brothers. Their characters are fleshed out to the point where it isn’t difficult to Continue reading Hell or High Water (2016) Movie Review

The Hateful Eight (2015) Movie Review

The “Roadshow” 70mm exhibition of Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, The Hateful Eight, begins with a three minute overture. It is a haunting piano, string, and xylophone melody that plays over a red splash screen. This overture, and the films full score, are handled by master film composer Ennio Morricone.

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Morricone’s career spans decades, and his work has included iconic scores in Sergio Leone Westerns. It is thus apropos that he tackles this films soundtrack, which is at times the dominant attraction, crescendoing into Hellish tremolos from thunderous strings. It is a brilliant score that mixes Western and Gothic motifs.

Tarantino begins The Hateful Eight by Continue reading The Hateful Eight (2015) Movie Review

Top 10 Horror Movies You Haven’t Seen

 

October is upon us, and the tidings of the season are centered on one glorious, oh-so-beautiful word: Horror.

 

To pay homage to the genre that dominates the Halloween season, here are 10 horror films that you may have never heard of. In my opinion, these movies are under the radar and deserve a higher viewership.

 

Trick ‘r Treat

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There are plenty of anthology horror films out there, and some are better than others. What hinders most of them is the jerky narrative structure in which the segments do not have a cohesion to a larger arc. Trick ‘r Treat is different. Taking place in a small residential town, each segment of the film involves characters in the town on the night of Halloween. The characters’ stories overlap with each other, and the viewer is able to see Continue reading Top 10 Horror Movies You Haven’t Seen

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) Movie Review

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a horror film written and directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour. It is Amirpour’s directorial debut. In it, The Girl (Sheila Vand), a silent vampire, stalks the empty streets of fictional location Bad City at night, preying on the seedy people that inhabit the same empty nighttime landscape.  Soon swept into the world of this vampiric prowler are an aging drug-addict Hossein (Marshall Manesh), his drug dealer, and his son Arash (Arash Marandi).

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This film isn’t a traditional horror film.The tagline for it reads: Continue reading A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) Movie Review