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I saw a commercial for Hostiles during the holiday break, which had a quote from a film critic that stated, “Hostiles is the best western since Unforgiven”. I’ve heard that phrase used so many times, you would think Unforgiven was the only western ever made and frankly, there have been multiple successful westerns since Clint Eastwood’s best-picture winning film. That’s not to say that Hostilesisn’t good. Director Scott Cooper has put together a violent film that involves a northern army general (Christian Bale) who spent his career hunting Native Americans, and now must escort Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), one of his past enemies, back to his Montana home without harming a hair on his head. Hostiles becomes a journey of survival and putting aside differences in the post civil war wild west. It’s brutally honest on a road searching for forgiveness.
More than ever, we need a movie as great as The Post. Living in these times, where our commander in chief regurgitates his grotesque, impulsive urges, vomiting his vitriol about what he calls “fake news” on a daily basis, the time is now to go see Steven Spielberg’s newest cinematic masterpiece. This film is teaching the American audience how important it is to have newspapers, the freedom of the press, and the reporters who cover the U.S. Government. That is the main objective. The process and people who took on the responsibilities of those checks and balances of our system are on full display in The Post, another spectacular achievement in the career of the legendary Mr. Spielberg.
At the age of 80-years old, Ridley Scott accomplished what no director has ever done, re-casting a major character with less than a month before release and succeeding at it, delivering on all that he promised in the kidnapping drama All the Money in the World. An accomplishment of this nature is the thing of legends, not that the director of Alien, Blade Runner, and Thelma & Louise needed to do anything else to prove his greatness, instead it almost feels like he’s showing off. All the Money in the World is not only thrilling, but it’s a fabulous cautionary tale, reflecting the impact of money, the legacy of family, and how far a mother would go to rescue her son.
The saga of Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan was one of the biggest stories of my teenage years. As far as I was concerned, Tonya Harding was the villain in every way, shape, and form. Harding was the rugged blonde, who smoked too much, and came from Portland, Oregon. Whereas Kerrigan was the toothy sweetheart, destined to win at the olympics. I, Tonya tells the story from the side of the villain and while we learn that story, it starts to flip, that just maybe, we had it all wrong? Maybe Harding wasn’t a villain, but the victim? With one of the best performances of 2017 from Margot Robbie, I, Tonya is an often funny and eye-opening experience, that sticks the landing.
It’s hard to understand why Hollywood thought we needed a semi-sequel to the 1995 Robin Williams hit Jumanji? But, here we are, and instead of trying to capture the magical wonder from a board game, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sends four teenagers into a video game adventure that includes a lot of lame jokes and little thrills. With a cast of actors that have charmed us countless times before, director Jake Kasdan thinks having Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart stand around in the amazon jungle, with a few CGI snakes is enough to keep us entertained. It’s not. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a game you don’t want to play.