Posted in Austria Film, German film

THE DARK VALLEY (2014)

 

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A film by Andreas Prochaska

Cast: Sam Riley, Tobias Moretti, Paula Beer

Through a hidden path a stranger arrives in this little town hidden away by the mountains. The stranger wants to stay until spring but nobody knows where he comes from, they know this much they do not want him here.

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The stranger named Greider is hosted in a hostile and suspicious way, especially by the six Brenner brothers who terrorize the village and whose father owns all the land. He is lodged by a widow who lives with her daughter, Luzi, about to marry the young Lucas. Greider begins by photographing the village, its inhabitants, the valley, he tells Luzi that he lived in Texas, he wears strange serrated spurs and hides a Winchester-type rifle unknown in this  town. Flash back reveals the village’s heavy secret little by little you are beginning to know what the stranger is doing here in this little town, and it is not going to be pretty. Here is a patient, intelligent man waiting for the ideal moment to let his purpose be known. It is nothing that you are already seen in western but this one takes places in Austria’ alps. The film is  incompatible to the traditional American Western.

Also the story takes a spin once you know the secrets of the town and providing the flashback. Andreas Prochaska showers  this film in mystery and you are going to sense the blood bath that is going to follow. The cinematography captures the raw paysage of winter as well as spring. The dark valley here fells like a Clint Eastwood film like the one High Plain Drifter. This film however is an adaptation of the book I think of the same name I am not sure yet.

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Posted in U.S. Film

BRIMSTONE (2017)

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A film by Martin Koolhoven

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Carice van Houten

In the American West, at the end of the XIX century. Liz, a young woman of about twenty years, leads a peaceful life with her family. But her life will shift one day when a sinister preacher visits them. Liz will have to leave  because this man hunts her without respite since childhood …

It is going to be a narrative in 4 parts pompously titled “Apocalypse”, “Exodus”, “Genesis” and “Retribution”.  The center of the story here is around the character of Dakota Fanning named Liz. She finds the preacher who is like a satanic preacher who is driven by lust, revenge and hatred. Liz here will be followed by her aggressor who without listing go is tuning liz’s life a living hell with a few twist and turn. Each chapter are like flashback.The film stretches nearly two and a half hours, and focus of how vicious and cruel is the west back then ruling by cruel and vicious man where woman will have little right to exist let along have human right before they get beaten. Beautiful performances by the actors here.  Dakota’s character here is a strong will woman who will learn how to survive but will make a lot of sacrifices along the way. As for Guy Pearce here incarnate this preacher who has its own demons who is sadistic in may ways. He lives into his own little world of pain, pervertion and violence. This western is going to feel like diabolical in many ways and yes it stands out with the other great western.

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Brimstone

Posted in Cult film, U.S. Film

BONE TOMAHAWK (2015)

 

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A film by S. Craig Zahler

Cast: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox

Here is an original idea for a western , well it is a western / horror genre film. Shot in 21 days 45 miles outside of L.A. Bone Tomahawk never feels like your typical western.
The story goes like this a female doctor, and Two others are taken from a jail. It looks like it is the Indians who has abducted them but is it really Indians ? And if so what kind of Indians are they?

 
This film is going too become a classic cult film. The dialogue is outstanding here is  some of the great dialogue plus there are the fluid boundaries between criminality, the law and savagery, sacrilege and faith. Here is 4 guys one with crushes who is on a the trail to find and rescue the others that has been taken. It is the wild that is going to be a challenge and then later a plan to get the others. Pay attention to the dialogue here. I think Hollywood needs to learn from independent film making here. This western surprised me here big time a little warning there some gore into it and  it is going to be unpleasant to watch. The film is at its purest raw form.  Kurt and the rest of the cast are fantastic in it their chemistry are flowing through their veins. I am going to get that one in my collection.

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Posted in U.S. Film

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016)

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A film by Antoine Fuqua

Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke

Ok I am going to say this like this not again a reboot let’s leave it along, let’s be creative about it and try to do something new. Although this reboot has a higher octane intake. Yes there is a great cast done not mean that it is going to be great and no it is not great. Just see it as for what it is entertaining.

A  greedy ruthless and heartless businessman Bartholomeuw Bogue (Peter Saarsgard) came to this small village Rose Creek, to get all the gold from the mine plus the land of the people for dirt cheap. Bogue shot to death a young man, after questioning about Bogues cruelty and morality when Bouge’s men beat a man almost to death .The death of that young man pissed off Emma Cullen (Halley Bennet) he was her husband after all. Here comes Chisolm (Denzel Washington) who is looking for a man who is wanted for rape and murder, Then Emma asked him if he could help them.

There are some cool characters in this film like Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), a sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) a traumatized war veteran, a tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio) who needs to lose some weight, an assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), a Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and an indian  Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) skilled with bow and arrow.. The story goes from there in high-octane with some great action scene that you would expect, Mexican stand-off, and the occasion explosion and machine gun. Nothing new there. The performance of the actors are outstanding especially the one from Halley Bennet. Yes there is your dose of comic relief. The film feel like that it is more action than it is in some western, I am not so sure that it is good to do that, it is edited rapidly that most of the time you lose track of what is going one. Not the greatest western ever made but some how it works here. And please let’s not remake or reboot like they call it those days a film ever likely not going to happen (Just a feeling).

Chris Pratt

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Posted in Italian Film

EL MERCENARIO (1968)

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A film by Sergio Corbucci

Cast: Franco Nero, Tony Musante, Franco Giacobini, Jack Palance

The year is 1915 and the story of The Mercenary takes place in the middle of the Mexican revolution. Paco (Tony Musante), is disguised as a clown as he performs for an audience, that is the opening shot soon to be narrated and to takes us back on how Paco got here. Jaco works at the mine where they are all miss treated and fed poorly. Soon after that Paco and his comrades wants to over town the government. Enters  a Polish gunfighter (Franco Nero) that Paco hires to help him in his quest.  Along the way Paco clashes with Ricciolo (Jack Palance), who wants his revenge against Paco.

Corbucci directed several Spaghetti Westerns, like The Great Silence, Compañeros and The Mercenary. Ennio Morricone would compose 7 Spaghetti Western scores for Corbucci. And yes there is gun fight, bar fight, machine gun fight, a airplane, and cars plus a lot of explosion the thing that would expect in a spaghetti western. Be sure that Tarantino was influence by this film. And to top it all off there is comedy and one liner plus the actors delivers their roles perfectly well. Have fun with this one.

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EL-MERCENARIO

 

Posted in U.S. Film

THE HATEFUL EIGHT (2015)

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A film by Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh

In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner with two other shady character that he picked up along the way find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of miscreant  characters.

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Yes an other Tarantino film and a western, but this on is a whodunit western. He kept true to the genre and a new cool dusty score from Ennio Morricone. The film is broken up into five chapters, led by a musical overture and split by an intermission old school-style, but there film takes a while to really kick in. In the film there is quite a bunch of shady characters “The Hangman” John Ruth (Kurt Russell, perfectly suited for the role as the grizzly bear type  and the criminal  he intends to see hanged, Daisy Dormegue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) she is all fangs and vicious  as hell. But first before they go the their destination they are hold up by two characters that he picks up along the way.The first one is white-hunting former Union soldier Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), who carries around a note written to him by President Abraham Lincoln (I love that one). The second is Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), the supposed new Sheriff of Red Rock, which happens to be where Daisy is meant to meet to be hang . Coincidence? Yeah right! You know better than that. As they have to stop to this cabin because of the blizzard is greeted by a Mexican Bob The Mexican (Demian Bichir), who tells them the owners are out of town; Inside the cabin are Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock; the silent and secretive cowboy Joe Gage (Michael Madsen); and the racist Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). You right there and then you are in for some serious dialogue  and bloody carnage.

Tarantino builds up the tension slowly at first then you will get a punch in the gut as the story goes along. A great ensemble  cast that delivers a kick ass dialogue. The level of details is this film is amazing down right scary. There is comedy, blood, gun fight, fighting , slapstick shock ,and tense as well just like those Spaghetti western and yes Quentin does stylize his film. That is all folks I will say no more than rush to the theater to see this one.

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Posted in Argentinian Film, Danish Film, French film, German film, Mexican film, Netherland Film

JAUJA (2015)

Jauja (2014)

A film by Lisandro Alonso

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Ghita Nørby, Viilbjørk Malling Agger

First off don’t expect a linear, mainstream film or you may be disappointed. I just gave you the warning. The story takes place in Argentina Patagonia, and what a beautiful landscape I might add. The story goes like this. It is the 19th century and Captain Dinesen (Viggo Mortensen) is a Danish engineer on a quest to find Jauja, a mythical land of happiness. His daughter ( Viilbjork Malling Agger) wants a dog that follows her everywhere. When captain Dinesen goes to bed one night has this feeling, and decided to go to see it his daughter who should be  asleep safe and sound comes to find out that she is gone. He saddles up and goes after her.

Here is a neo-neorealism film and beyond. The film was shot in a 1.33:1 ratio frame and has unmated  rounded corners. It is a slow cinematic film so if that is not your thing do what other people did do not see it. I went to see this film and 5 people got out within 20 minutes of the film. Technically I called it an art film. You will immerse yourself in this cinematography of beautiful and raw landscape. Alonso deploys a large distance between the characters and you can see the landscape rich color. When Dinesen goes in the cave to see the old women that lives there you get the sense that is his daughter when she is older. Towards the end it is as I call it his Urban daughter, yes it is a strange art film but beautiful as hell. Yes it does not make any sense but it does not have to. Viggo Mortenson is fluent in both Danish Spanish and French. You might interpret the film differently, Alonso even said that some stuff that he really didn’t understand and he co-wrote it, how funny is that. So there you are going to love it or hate it, no in between. After all it is not your typical western.

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