Posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The first thing you notice about In a Valley of Violence is that it doesn’t feel like a typical Ti West film. His trademark slow-burn menace is nowhere to be found and his low-key comedy, which he used to punctuate tension in films like The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, has undergone a transformation. This is the first West film that isn’t the cinematic equivalent of being placed in a pot of water and not realizing that the water is boiling until it’s too late – it’s broader, more straightforward, and, on paper, a fairly typical revenge western.
Until’s it’s not. In a Valley of Violence is one weird movie, an experience that grabs your attention with its eccentricities before losing you with its lack of focus. It’s not a deadeye pistol shot from a gunslinger, but a wild shot from a scattergun. Yeah, it still hits its target, but you wish the aim was a little more true.
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It’s no secret that Quentin Tarantino steals from other movies to inspire his own. The filmmaker has admitted so himself, and he doesn’t care what you think:
I steal from every movie ever made. I love it – if my work has anything it’s that I’m taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together. If people don’t like that, then tough titty, don’t go and see it, alright? I steal from everything. Great artists steal; they don’t do homages.
And his latest film, The Hateful Eight, is no exception. But since Tarantino likes to reference some more obscure films, one cinephile has put together a guide to the movie references the filmmaker made in his western. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 by Angie Han
HBO’s Westworld hasn’t had an easy go of it. The sci-fi Western halted production in January, and word was the series premiere could be pushed back all the way to 2017 — after originally being slated for 2015. Sure, none of this is to say Westworld won’t be great when it finally premieres. But it’s hard not to see such delays as cause for concern, especially given the network’s recent struggles with projects like David Fincher’s Videosynchrazy.
Executive producer J.J. Abrams, however, suggests there’s no need to worry about Westworld just yet. It’s “never a bad move,” he says, to give a project the time needs. And while we’ve got a while to go before we actually get to see how Westworld turned out, Abrams did offer SXSW a little peek in the form of a new trailer. Read More »
Remember when Steven Soderbergh retired for about a minute or so? Well, the director of Magic Mike, Traffic, and Ocean’s 11 has been busier than ever since he said he was done making movies, but his attention has turned to the small screen and the television medium has welcomed him with open arms. If you haven’t watched his Cinemax series The Knick, you have homework – watching one of our most versatile filmmakers play with longform storytelling without a major movie studio breathing down neck has been a huge treat. The Knick isn’t just great TV, it’s great Soderbergh. Full-stop.
But Soderbergh has been spreading the love to anyone who wants it. He executive produced the Amazon series Red Oaks and has a hand in the upcoming Starz series based on his 2009 film The Girlfriend Experience. Now, he’s going where all interesting filmmakers ultimately end up: Netflix. And he’s making a western.
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UPDATE: Stephen King has confirmed McConaughey and Elba’s casting on Twitter, as you can see below. Original story from December 10, 2015 follows.
“Matthew McConaughey fled across the desert and Idris Elba followed.”
It’s the kind of left-field casting that is almost disgustingly perfect – why didn’t anyone think of this sooner? Idris Elba, the star of Luther, Pacific Rim, and Beasts of No Nation is the current frontrunner to play Roland Deschain in director Nikolaj Arcel‘s adaptation of The Gunslinger, the first novel in Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series. If he does sign on the dotted line, he’ll be joining a cast that already includes Matthew McConaughey, who is set to play the mysterious “man in black,” the chief villain of the series and the Big Bad of the entire Stephen King universe.
Read more on the Idris Elba The Dark Tower casting after the jump.
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Deadwood fans saw a slight flicker of hope last month for the long-awaited sequel to the series. Concluding David Milch‘s riveting series as an HBO film has been talked about for years, but it’s finally seeming, oddly, more realistic as the years go by.
HBO programming president, Michael Lombardo, said they’re just waiting on Milch to make it happen, and that he was currently busy with another project. That other project? Possibly an adaptation of Shadow County, starring Jeff Bridges, for HBO.
Learn more about the Shadow Country adaptation below.
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Posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2016 by Angie Han
After many, many years of on-again, off-again development, Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower looks closer than ever to the big screen. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are set to lead the Western fantasy epic being directed by Nikolaj Arcel, and now the heavyweight duo are being joined by an up-and-comer: Abbey Lee, who made her big-screen debut last year in Mad Max: Fury Road. Which is all fine and dandy, except her casting has some readers scratching their heads. Which character, exactly, is she playing? Read More »
Even though The Hateful Eight is nearly gone from theaters after being released a month ago, there’s really no bad time to hear what movies are good to watch before you see Quentin Tarantino‘s latest, violent Western. Even if you aren’t able to see the movie in theaters anymore, it’ll be out on home video soon enough. So if you happened to miss it the first time around, you have ample time to check out these movies before then. Plus, this video laying them all out includes commentary on each from Tarantino himself. Find out below. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2016 by Jacob Hall
As long as people have been making movies, they’ve been telling stories about outlaws returning home, trying to put their dark pasts behind them, and finding their talent for violence coming in handy when bad guys come calling. Nothing about director Jon Cassar‘s Forsaken looks particularly original or unique, but when you’re dealing with a genre as classical as the western, that may not be a bad thing. Sometimes, the same song performed by a fresh band can be mighty pleasing.
The obvious hook here is Kiefer Sutherland and Donald Sutherland playing father and son, but as you can see in the trailer below, the real attraction is the chance to watch an old school western that is seemingly free of pretense.
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