Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

It has been said that films are not timeless but timely. Bone Tomahawk knows exactly what it is and when it is, making it as timely as a Quentin Tarantino film.

S. Craig Zahler’s feature directorial debut is a dark film that dances around the edge of the “weird west” genre without going all the way in. It doesn’t have heavy doses of other genres. It does have Kurt Russell, tomahawks, and bones. It’s pretty good.

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Sunday, March 15, 2020

Westworld (1973)

This is not an indictment of a franchise but of a particular film. Before Jonathan Nolan, before Beyond Westworld, there was Westworld, a campy little sci-fi western. That’s how these things start. In a case of life imitating art, Westworld (the setting, the film, or the franchise) gets more interesting and dangerous over time until its flimsy foundation collapses under the weight of its own ambition.

The cheese factor is at a critical level. Imagine Tron (1982) on horseback. Double down on the AI-taking-over-the-world trope and you’ve got Westworld. This may have been one of the first films to go so completely overboard with sci-fi cliches. The basic ideas themselves are not absurd, but the story is in the telling.

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