western tagged posts

War for the Planet of the Apes

Director: Matt Reeves

Writers: Matt Reeves, Mark Bomback

Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Karin Konoval, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller

Cert: 12

Running time: 140mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: When a nocturnal raid on the apes’ forest village leaves leader Caesar (Serkis) grieving and consumed with rage, the intelligent monkey seeks revenge on the man responsible, the warmongering Colonel (Harrelson).

What’s the verdict: When Fox announced their Planet of the Apes reboot way back in 2010, reaction was indifferent to openly hostile. Hadn’t Tim Burton’s 2001 banana slip remake put paid to the franchise?

So, there was cause for jubilation when Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes quietly became one of that year’s best movies. 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of th...

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Brimstone

brimstone-posterDirector: Martin Koolhoven

Writer: Martin Koolhoven

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Paul Anderson, Kit Harrington, Carice van Outen, William Houston, Emilia Jones

Cert: 18

Running time: 148mins

Year: 2016




What’s the story: In the American Old West a young woman and her family are targeted by a dangerous, mysterious preacher.

brimstone-guy-pearcebrimstone-dakota-fanning-william-houston

What’s the verdict: Hell on earth is a fitting description for the world writer/director Martin Koolhoven creates in Brimstone. A Job style tale of one woman’s nightmarish struggle against a demonic stalker, and a patriarchal world in general, it is one of the most unusual horror movies of recent memory.

The 19th century American frontier is the vast stage on which this savage thriller is played...

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Bone Tomahawk

Bone-Tomahawk---posterDirector: S. Craig Zahler

Writer: S. Craig Zahler

Cast: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, Evan Jonigkeit, David Arquette, Zahn McClarnon

Cert: 18

Running time: 132mins

Year: 2015

 




What’s the story: In the small western town of Bright Hope, a brutal mountain tribe abduct the man who desecrated their burial ground and the town’s female doctor. Four men, including the Sheriff and the doctor’s husband, hit the trail to rescue them.

Bone-Tomahawk---Kurt-Russell,-jawboneBone-Tomahawk---Kurt-Russell,-Richard-Jenkins,-Matthew-Fox

What’s the verdict: The Western sure is one versatile genre, and Kurt Russell a versatile actor within it.

Hot off the back of The Hateful Eight (in the UK at least), he’s back with another expansive, violent oater. But, where Tarantino’s movie revelled in pomp and theatricality, writer/director S...

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The Hateful Eight

The-Hateful-Eight-posterDirector: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir

Cert: 18

Running time: 167mins / 187mins Roadshow (Overture and Intermission)

Year: 2015



What’s the story: In wintry 19th century Wyoming, a bounty hunter is taking a woman to the hangman’s noose. A blizzard forces them and two fellow travelers into a waystation convenience store, where four others are also seeking shelter. But, are the others also after the bounty?

The-Hateful-Eight---Kurt-Russell,-Samuel-L-JacksonThe-Hateful-Eight---Kurt-Russell,-Jennifer-Jason-Leigh,-Tim-Roth

What’s the verdict: Over two decades on from Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino threatens to do a total 360 and ape his masterpiece debut. A bunch of ne’er-do-wells holed up in one claustrophobic location...

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Slow West

Slow-West---posterDirector: John Maclean

Writer: John Maclean

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorious, Rory McCann

Cert: 15

Running time: 85mins

Year: 2015

 

The lowdown: John Maclean, founder of cult rock group The Beta Band, makes an auspicious movie debut writing and directing this striking Western. The story is standard fare: Scottish aristocratic greenhorn Jay (McPhee) has pursued his love Rose (Pistorious) to the new world of America. He enlists the help of soft-spoken bounty hunter Silas (Fassbender) to help traverse the rough terrain and copious ne’er-do-wells who risk his reunion. Violent, funny, surprising and poetic, this spins fresh silk out of an old genre.

Slow-West---Michael-Fassbender,-Kodi-Smit-McPheeSlow-West---Ben-Mendelsohn

The full verdict: The Western is currently having a quiet renaissance...

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15 Five Star Movies You May Have Forgotten

Lady-Vengeance---feature-image
One of the nicer problems for the first world film fan is not only making time to watch all the movies now available, but also remembering them.

With all year round blockbusters dazzling the eyes it is easy to forget those movies that fired the brain cells and stimulated the imagination in the way the best cinema does.

So, in salute to those special movies that deserve the all five stars yet may have been clouded by a decade of sound and fury or simply slipped under the radar, here are 15 five star movies made since 2000 you may want to reacquaint yourself with.


In the Mood for Love (2000)
The plot: In Hong Kong, 1962 a man and woman living in the same apartment building discover their respective spouses are having an affair and begin a tentative relationship themselves.

Why 5 stars: Cin...

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The Lone Ranger (2013)

Lone Ranger - Depp, Hammer, Quad posterDirector: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham-Carter

Cert: 12A

Running time: 149mins

Year: 2013


The lowdown: Following its critical and commercial scalping at the US box office, hopes do not ride high for this reboot of the radio, TV and silver screen hero.  But, we’ve not been drinking too much firewater when we say The Lone Ranger is solid, enjoyable blockbuster entertainment.  The Social Network’s twins Armie Hammer grabs the reins as the likable lead and Johnny Depp manages to exorcise the ghost of Jack Sparrow for a surprisingly heartfelt turn as Tonto...

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All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

AQOTWF posterWelcome to Cinematic Greens

#1 – All Quiet on the Western Front

Accolades:
1929-30 Academy Awards

Best Picture
Best Director

AFI 100 Years… 100 Movies (1998)
Ranked #54

Contemporary review:
(it should) be shown every year until the word War shall have been taken out of the dictionaries. – Variety, 1930


Electric Shadows rating:
medium_5

The lowdown: One of the most recognisable movie titles in history is also one of the best war films ever made. An impassioned plea for tolerance and an unflinching view of conflict at its most terrifying, its DNA is present in every war movie since, including Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July and Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan...

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The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Poster - Treasure of the Sierra Madre Welcome to Cinematic Greens

#2 – The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Director: John Huston

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tom Holt, Alfonso Bedoya, Bruce Bennett

Cert: PG

Running time: 118mins

Year: 1948


Accolades:
1949 Academy Awards

Best Director
Best Screenplay (Adapted)
Best Supporting Actor

AFI 100 Years… 100 Movies (2007)
Ranked #38

AFI 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes (2005)
No. 36 – “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”

Contemporary review:
Treasure of Sierra Madre (Warner) is one of the best things Hollywood has done since it learned to talk – Time, 1948

Electric Shadows rating: medium_5

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - BogieThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre - Huston

The lowdown: John Huston’s 1948 masterpiece of avarice and moral corruption is a riveting psychological thriller wrapped in...

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What are Cinematic Greens?

936full-metropolis-posterCinematic Greens… they are those films you know you should have watched, but have not yet found the time/summoned the willpower to do so.

They are all those films you’ve spent years bluffing your way through in conversations, typically using time as the ultimate get-out, e.g. “Sure, I’ve seen Metropolis, but years ago, so all I really remember are the bits in that Queen video”.

Cinematic greens are the reason IMdb and Wikipedia exist.  With their extensive plot synopses and trivia pages they provide more than enough ammunition to repel a barrage of questions on how you could possibly think that.

And, as the name suggests, they are the films you know you must consume rather than the films you’d like to.  You know they are good for you...

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