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Hostiles Movie Review

Hostiles is an engaging western narrative about a stiff and reluctant Army Captain and his journey to tribal lands with a war chief he loathes.  Yes, I did say western, something you don’t see very often.  No matter what genre of film you might deem your favorite and which you’d usually steer clear of, I must insist you look at all of the players involved in this project and consider seeing this even if it might go against your grain.  It made my and many other film critics top movies of the year list.   Hostiles stars Christian Bale as emotionally charged Captain Joseph Blocker, who couldn’t be more indignant and hateful if he tried.  The film is set in 1892 at a time when men like Block have been hardened by years of fighting native Americans, taking their lands and destroying their lives.  Block practically regards them as subhuman.

Older now, the job he is assigned to at his post is that of the jailer.  Currently, he’s at a prison in New Mexico where he’s anything but kind to the natives he leaves them in exposed cells to bake in the sun all day.  One of those natives is Chief Yellow Hawk (Studi), who he despises from previous battles.  For the first time in his years with the Army, he gets an order that he’d rather not fulfill.  He is asked to escort chief Yellow Hawk, who has been imprisoned for seven years and is now riddled with cancer, to Montana to die and be laid to rest in his tribal burial site.  The president, in an attempt to right things with the Cheyenne Indians, is asking this of Block yet even this personal request doesn’t help get through to this soldier who is very set in his ways.  He’s against any native, let alone this once great warrior, being allowed to contrive, petition for and obtain such an honor.  With his future benefits on the line, he unenthusiastically gets a team together to be the chaperone for the chief and his family.  The moment they’re out of sight of the compound, he shows them who he really is.  He humiliates Yellow Hawk by putting him in binds and by cutting of the female’s hair.

While on their trek, they come across Rosalie Quaid (Pike), a young mother whose husband and children were recently murdered by some very hostile Comanche warriors.  Usually quite hostile himself, Blocker shows empathy for the woman when he notices she clutches to and tends to a dead infant as though it were still alive.  Bale brings one of his best performances as he shows a strong aura of altruism and expresses goodwill and humanity in slight gestures, revealing how deeply he understands what the woman is going through and how fear, anger and the loss of love got her to where she barely hangs on by a thread.  Earlier in the film, we see what she and her family go through when the Comanche happen upon them.  Though it isn’t overly gory, it is jarring when they’re killed.  Unable to leave her behind, Block has Rosalie join them and a friendship develops.  I must mention that much like the terrain they ride, Pike’s character has so many peaks and valleys that I wouldn’t be surprised to see her end up with an Oscar nomination.  The individual she portrays is challenging and with her performance, she meets every one of her challenges.

At a post they stop at for the night, Blocker picks up an Army Sergeant turned vicious criminal, Charles Wills (Foster), who needs to be transported to Montana to face trial.  Blocker does this believing Wills will be someone he could easily handle since Blocker was above him as they served in battle together.  Surely they will understand one another.  However, when Wills sees that Blocker has grown a little soft, actually speaking to the natives in his charge, he escapes, and the film gets bloody once again.

Through rhetoric that comes from Block and Wills, and as the film progresses, you’ll realize one thing above all else about why this film was made.  It’s a strong reminder that this country has been fighting in a war and for a long time… that war is Racism.  Blocker and Yellow Hawk have a moment of genuine respect and a mutual meeting of the minds and in that scene, you watch the significant message America needs to hear play out.  If westerns of the past didn’t make it clear, this film makes it crystal.  The natives have been horribly mistreated and judged unfairly but it is possible to peacefully coexist and we must if we’re going to find peace in this world.  It’s through peace and understanding that all things are possible.

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Hostiles Advance Movie Screening

Movie Screening Summary: Set in 1892, Hostiles tells the story of a legendary Army Captain (Christian Bale), who after stern resistance, reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi) and his family back to tribal lands. Making the harrowing and perilous journey from Fort Berringer, an isolated Army outpost in New Mexico, to the grasslands of Montana, the former rivals encounter a young widow (Rosamund Pike), whose family was murdered on the plains. Together, they must join forces to overcome the punishing landscape, hostile Comanche and vicious outliers that they encounter along the way. Hostiles is directed by Scott Cooper (Black Mass, Out of the Furnace, Crazy Heart) and produced by John Lesher (Black Mass, Birdman, Fury) and Ken Kao (The Nice Guys, Knight of Cups). The film stars: Christian Bale (The Big Short, American Hustle, The Dark Knight) Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Jack Reacher), Wes Studi (Avatar, Heat, Geronimo), Adam Beach (Suicide Squad, Flags of Our Fathers), Ben Foster (Hell or High Water, 3:10 to Yuma), Q’orianka Kilcher (Unnatural), Tanaya Beatty (Twilight), Jonathan Majors (Do Not Disturb), Rory Cochrane (Black Mass, Argo), Jesse Plemons (Black Mass, Bridge of Spies), Timothée Chalamet (Love the Coopers, Interstellar), Paul Anderson (The Revenant, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Ryan Bingham (Crazy Heart), David Midthunder (Comanche Moon), John Benjamin Hickey (Get on Up, Pitch Perfect), Stephen Lang (Avatar, The Nut Job), Bill Camp (12 years a Slave, Birdman).

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Advance Movie Screening For HOSTILES

Find your chance to receive special advance movie screening passes below.

 

Phoenix, Arizona

Advance Movie Screening Details

Movie Screening Date: Wednesday, January 3
Location: Harkins Tempe Marketplace
Movie Screening Time: 6:00pm
[button link=”http://www.gofobo.com/HOSTMC” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Get Passes[/button]

Advance Movie Screening Information

To redeem a pass, simply click the Get Passes button. You will taken to our movie screening partner site (where you can sign up for a free account). Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to print out your pass and bring it with you to your screening or event.

Admittance into a screening or event is not guaranteed with your pass. Events and advance screenings are filled on a ” first come, first served ” basis. To ensure that you stand a good chance of being admitted, we recommend that you show up 30 minutes to one hour early.

The number of admissions that are permissible for each pass are printed clearly on the ticket that you print out. You are allowed to bring as many guests as is indicated on your pass. For example, if your pass is for ” Admit Two, ” you can bring yourself and one guest. If you have an ” Admit One ” pass, you can bring only yourself.

If you have any other questions or comments, please contact us.

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled is a film based on a film based on a novel.  The previous film is from 1971 and starred Clint Eastwood.  I haven’t seen the original but it is definitely in my plans for summer watching after seeing writer/director Sofia Coppola’s take on Thomas P. Cullinan’s written work.  Before getting into the film, I’d like to mention that I’m glad it was made.  Not only am I happy to re-enter the world of 70’s classics but this is another film that solidifies the reemergence of three of its stars careers, not to mention the director’s, as well.  The Beguiled earned Coppola some praise from Cannes this year which means more films from her for me to watch; pretty well always a good thing.  I had all but given up on Kirsten Dunst.  She has worked throughout the years, but she needed a film to introduce her as a grown up and this seems to be that film.  Nicole Kidman is always good but I want more of her.  She has this innate ability to weave in and out of characters and makes them completely believable; she’s flawless.  I applaud her work and with Lion and this, I believe she should be considered the new Streep.  Work more, woman!  Colin Farrell hasn’t been in much either but he seems to be choosing parts very selectively, of late.  His roles seem to be more developed.  With The Lobster, the best work he’s done in my opinion, and this, I think we’ll see him continue to play in the arena with the big boys. 

Now that I’ve let you know you won’t be disappointed in the cast, let me tell you a bit more about the film itself.  The Beguiled is set during the Civil War.  It’s the story of a Union soldier in the south, John McBurney (Farrell), who after being wounded badly in the leg, is found by a kind little girl who gets him help.  She takes him to her all-female boarding school.  The school is being run by two women, headmistress Martha Farnsworth (Kidman) and a teacher by the name of Edwina Dabney (Dunst).  They’re not too excited about a wicked man from the north being in their school but they are women of God and decide the Christian thing to do is to help him.  Luckily Martha is good with a sewing needle.

The ages of the girls in the school range from around 10 to late teens, Alicia, (Fanning) being the oldest.  The girls aren’t around men and are all aflutter when one so good looking is in their midst.  Some aren’t happy that he’s a yank and want to hand him over to the soldiers on their side but still are smitten.  This is incredibly delightful to watch play out.  I was ecstatic that the film was directed by a woman because Coppola really plays to her female audience with the way the girls fawn over him.  As he’s on the mend, each parades into his room to entertain him in every way they can think of.  They pay more attention to their wardrobes, too, as they fall in love with their charge.  It’s obvious to John, Martha and Edwina that the girls are batting their eyes quite a bit.  While watching some of these scenes, you’re propelled back to a time when you felt the flush of love in your young cheeks.  It’s adorable.  Martha and Edwina have also noticed his lovely face, very friendly character and that he’s in terrific shape; makeup and jewelry become the order of the day.

John is aware that the women are in need of company and begins to take advantage of that fact.  They entertain him in many ways as he plays to their affections.  Sexual tension builds which brings out the comedic aspect of the film but also many dark elements as it, in many ways, gets to the heart of humankind.  This being the case, you have a very well paced, well written, incredibly well-acted film that Coppola may consider her best to date.  Each girl is very accomplished for her age, plays to her strength and is genuine in her role, particularly Rice whom I believe is the best find since her co-star Fanning.

This is a see this weekend.  Take a wee small break from the summer actions or you’ll never forgive yourself.  This movie deserves your attention.  Okay, could the movie have ended better?  Yes.  It was so good but the ending does have some degree of disappointment, however, it’s quality work from awe-inspiring talent and you will not walk away unsatisfied. 
*Limited release in NY and LA today; nationaly release on June 30th! 

The Beguiled – Trailer

Focus Features will release THE BEGUILED in select cities on June 23, 2017,

expanding to more theaters on June 30, 2017

 

Acclaimed writer/director Sofia Coppola brings you a seductive thriller starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning.

 

For more info, please follow the film on social:

Official Site I Facebook I Twitter I Instagram

#TheBeguiled

 

In Theaters June 30

http://www.fandango.com

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The Magnificent Seven

Pity the poor remake. So many people think that the remake is never as good as the original. But in this case the very first original was ‘The Seven Samurai’, then remade as ‘The Magnificent Seven’ in 1960. And now comes along a new take on the old Western story, with new a new cast and a fresh look.

As the Civil War has ended, a little town in Northern California is overrun by a mean-spirited land baron named Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). The people of Rose Creek sit between him and a lot gold in the local hills. Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), whose husband was shot in cold blood by Bogue, finds and hires a protector.

She meets up with Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), a bounty hunter. He knows of Bogue and has had his own troubles with him. Chisolm finds a small group of hired guns to help him fight the wicked army of thugs that Bogue will bring to town.

These include Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), a gambler; Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) who is a sharpshooter and his partner Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), an expert with knives. Also in the group is Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), a bear of a mountain man and a tracker: Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a Mexican outlaw, and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier), a Comanche Indian.

Once these seven men come into town, they meet up with local sheriff and a group of Bogue’s men. There are over twenty thugs to take on the much smaller group. After a tense stand-off, there is major gunfight in the town streets. The Chisolm group survives and comes out on top.

But there will be a much bigger battle that is yet to come. The Seven all fortify the town and train the local townsfolk to take up arms and fight the good fight. Bogue has much bigger plans in mind, with a huge group of ornery thugs and much more sophisticated weapons at hand.

The group of Seven and the people of the town are ready for the fight of their lives. And for some of them, it will be the last day of their lives. But all of them, led by Chisolm are ready to stick it out and not surrender…

With a large ensemble cast, it can be tough to get a very precise idea of every character. But Denzel Washington has such a calm and soothing presence, he can make you believe that anything is possible. Chris Pratt does his comic relief best, being a funny character with a very good aim and a love of the bottle. Ethan Hawke does a terrific job with a Civil War Confederate rifleman who has seen one too many battles.

Everyone else is also very good in the roles they play, with each having a key scene or two that give their character a better depth. Some of the have a lack of times, this limits how well the audience gets to know them.

A few of the choices are a tiny bit off the mark, such as the voice used by Vincent D’Onofrio as Jack Horne. It is high-pitched and squeaky for such a big bear of a man. Also, the costuming for Haley Bennett seems a little too much Victoria’s Secret for a plain wife of a rancher.

But these are tiny little issues compared to the beauty of the background scenery, the wonderfully stirring score (the final work by James Horner), and the fantastic action sequences in the gunfight scenes and the final battle in the town.

This might not be your father’s ‘Magnificent Seven’, but you can depend on these guys for a rollicking good time…