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Found 2 results

  1. "Bone Tomahawk" is a 2015 Western "Horror" film - and I use that term in quotes - which was released late in the year. Its one attribute is Kurt Russell as Sheriff Franklin Hunt. How they got Kurt Russell to star in this film is beyond me, but they did. I wish there was something - anything - else about it that I could recommend to you, but it is pretty much 130 minutes of poorly crafted boredom - at least it's free on Amazon.com, but I can pretty much promise you that your time is worth more than investing 2+ hours of in this movie. It's a very simple story - it was filmed on a $1.8 million budget, yet brought in only $232,000 at the box office - how many box-office losers have you seen that cost less than $2 million to make? Yeah, it's *that* level of movie. The horseback-riding scenes - and there are a lot of them - through the prairie are visually nice to watch, and for me, that was the highlight of the film. I wasn't at all invested in the characters, or the plot, and I didn't really understand (or care to understand) what exactly the hell was going on. Well, I guess I *did* know what was going on, but it was so simplistic that there really wasn't anything to "get." I feel the same way about having spent 2+ hours of my life watching this film as I do when I eat at a terrible restaurant: like I wasted precious moments, and the only possible good I can get out of it is to warn you away. You might not hate it as much as I do (honestly, I still have almost 30 minutes left as I write this), but I urge you to move on from this - it's really amateurish. I'd love to hear a differing opinion, or something from someone who knows about this movie - why did they make it? What was the point? Billing this as a "horror" Western is a bit much - it's not a horror film; there's a group of antagonists for sure, and there are times when it can get suspenseful, but horror it is not - I think that's a misbilling. Making this film could have only possibly hurt Kurt Russell's career - he must have owed a friend a favor or something. You know between the first five seasons of "The Walking Dead," "The Babadook," and "Hush," I'd recently seen three winners that were released straight to streaming-video companies (I don't know if AMC constitutes this or not, but you get my point). "Bone Tomahawk" made me realize just how lucky I've been up until now, and that I cannot randomly throw a dart, expecting to get quality fare from this point forward. I'll be doing quite a bit more research in the future, and not just happily assuming things will be worth my time. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a small role played by the legendary Sean Young (*): Sep 29, 2014 - "Sean Young, David Arquette, Lili Simmons and More Join 'Bone Tomahawk'; Film Now Shooting" by Evan Dickson on collider.com (*) Admit it, sometimes you can never quite tell whether or not I'm serious.
  2. I've never been a fan of Quentin Tarantino because I'm very much against the use of gratuitous violence in film. That said, I've only seen "Pulp Fiction" and (probably all of) "Reservoir Dogs," which are 12 and 14 years old, respectively: There's something about "Django Unchained" which called out to me, despite me suspecting it would probably be Tarantino-esque; violence was terribly real in the days of slavery, and so here was a film in which I could perhaps justify it - perhaps even enjoy it, in a vengeful sort of way - depending on how it was used, and for what purposes. I also had a rough week at the office, and needed some mindless escapism - Tarantino is about as mindless as it gets: A bloodhound gift-wrapped as an intellect. Maybe Django (played by Jamie Foxx) will get some sort of revenge at the end of all this, and shoot the bastards who deserve it. That's the kind of week it has been for me. *** SPOILER ALERT *** It's a safe bet that I'll be discussing things from this point forward that will ruin the movie for you - as usual, I'm writing while watching, so my comments will arrive in mostly chronological order. As usual, I'm writing this as I go, and so far, Dr. King Schultz (played by Christoph Waltz, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), worries me. He has been almost superhuman in killing the Speck brothers, and now he has taken on an entire town, killing the sheriff in cold blood, and getting everything he wanted in the process. He's a little too good to be true, I'm afraid, though I admit it was satisfying to see the poor, chained-up slaves have the final say against the remaining Speck brother - I only hope they followed the North Star as recommended by Schultz. The scene where they were arguing about the eye-holes in the KKK masks was the first time I've ever seen comedy surrounding a KKK meeting, and it was brilliantly done, too - acting both as comic relief, a suspense-builder (for what we dread is about to happen), and most importantly, foreshadowing - for what actually happened. This guy Schultz is no dummy. With almost two hours remaining in the film, Schultz and Django have just partnered, and I'm afraid that things are going a little *too* good - there's plenty of time left for lots of terrible things to happen. I sure hope Schultz isn't guilty of a last-minute betrayal; he sure seems like a decent fellow so far. Okay, this Mandingo fighting is making me physically sick to my stomach (some movie fans will remember the 1975 Blaxploitation Film, "Mandingo"). This is the side of Tarantino I don't like - there's nothing left to the imagination, and if he could do it in 3D, he would, if he could do it so that you could smell the blood, he would, if he could do it so that you were there in the room with fighters, he would, if he could do it so that you felt the pain, he would. There's no subtlety with Tarantino - even in this film, over a decade later, he's still doing body horror under the very thin veil of "high art" - he is the most contemptible of directors: the kind that substitutes gross-out shock value for true artistry. When Leonardo DiCaprio perks up upon hearing the outlandish amount that Schultz and Django are willing to pay for a top-level Mandingo fighter, he just goes to show that even the most heinous, sadistic people will gladly sell their principles if the price is right. This is a universal theme. Tarantino could have made the dog-killing scene much worse, but then the film would have carried an NR-17 rating - I honestly wonder if that's the reason he chose to make most of it impressionistic. Assuming there *were* slave owners as sadistic as Calvin Candie (DiCaprio) - and I assume there were - this is just 165 years ago, and we, as a species, haven't evolved all that far from this. In fact, genetically, we've scarcely evolved at all - there are still people, Americans, who would be doing this if given the right. Maybe Tarantino is a better director than I give him credit for, because he's being quite successful at making me hate people. --- Comic Relief: The Candyland plantation is located in Greenville, MS (trivia: there are more towns and cities named "Greenville" in the 50 United States than with any other name - at least, that's what I remember reading about ten years ago). Greenville is near the Mississippi Delta, and not far from both Arkansas and Louisiana. Some real-life people born in Greenville that you may have heard of are Jim Henson, Shelby Foote (these two men alone have provided PBS with a disproportionate share of talent), George Scott, Frank White, and Mary Wilson. These are the ones I know, but there are others whom you may know that I'm not familiar with. Well, I guess this wasn't really "comedy," but at least it wasn't someone getting ripped to shreds by three angry dogs - back to the film. --- The best scene in the movie so far is when they ride into the Candyland estate, and the elderly butler gives Django the biggest eat-shit look I've ever seen. [Edit: Hoo boy was I wrong, and I had *no idea* this was Samuel L. Jackson at first, either.] Vintage Quentin Tarantino: A director with finesse wouldn't have felt any need to see Broomhilda graphically pulled from the hotbox; (s)he would have simply shown Django's facial expressions the entire time, and let viewers use their imagination. Any excuse for gore, violence, and shock value: That's Quentin Tarantino. I know, I know, it'll make Revenge Time all the more sweet to watch, right? That said, the scene at the dinner table with the wise old butler is suspense at its finest, and I mean it is *masterful*. The entire course of events, from the hotbox up until the handshake was masterful - a flash of brilliance from a sadistic provocateur. Oh, look! A bloodbath juxtaposed with rap - how intellectual. And ... I just stopped watching the film before the potential castration scene - I have no need for this in my life, and shame on Hollywood for a Best Picture nomination for this piece of sadistic garbage. Since I try to always finish what I start, I may or may not finish the film later, but I will most certainly read the synopsis of the plot before I do, because at this point, I no longer care what happens: they can castrate Django ... or not. They can kill Django ... or not. They can kill Broomhilda ... or not. The two can magically escape and ride off into the sunset ... or not. I couldn't care less. Franco Nero in a cameo:
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