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Entries in Taylor Sheridan (5)

Thursday
Jun282018

Review: "Sicario: Day of the Soldado"

by Chris Feil

That crowdsourced “fan” remake of The Last Jedi that made the rounds in the past week? The one rooted in thinly veiled misogyny, white supremacy, and general ill-advised sentiment to tool with material that’s perfectly fine on its own? Put yourself in front of Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the new prequel to Denis Villeneuve’s layered 2015 film musing on the pervasive institutional evils of the War on Drugs, and you might be convinced that those fans got their hands on this narrative as well.

The warning signs make themselves known immediately, this time focusing on the more enigmatic men in the thick of the corruption: Josh Brolin’s task force leader Matt Graver and Benicio Del Toro’s patiently vengeful hitman Alejandro. Kicking the film off with a demonstratively labored Islamophobic sequence, the audience is served a video game brand of warfare as Graver and Alejandro initiate a kidnapping plot across the Mexican-American border. The kidnappee is Isabel Reyes (played by Isabela Moner, the film’s brightest spot), the daughter of a major cartel leader that may be linked to Alejandro’s past. As expected, the men's hubris is turned in on itself...

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Wednesday
Aug162017

Review: Wind River

by Lynn Lee

It should come as no surprise that writer-director Taylor Sheridan, currently hot in Hollywood after his Oscar screenplay nomination for Hell or High Water, is an actual, bona fide cowboy.  Perhaps that’s why his work feels like such a throwback—to an era in which quietly capable men, silently toting unspoken burdens, took on the joyless task of meting out frontier justice.  At the same time, he’s shown a canny gift for placing such old-school archetypes in a distinctly modern, of-this-moment social and political context, making their struggles feel unexpectedly timely or, rather, timeless.  That gift is on ample display in his new film, Wind River, which is now in wide release after nabbing the best directing prize in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes earlier this year.

Set on a remote, wintry Indian reservation in Montana, the film marks the third installment in a loose trilogy of Westerns penned by Sheridan (the first two being Sicario and Hell or High Water), though Wind River is the first one he directed...

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Monday
Nov282016

The Furniture: Porches and Nostalgia in Hell or High Water

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

The Old West has been dead since well before the dawn of cinema, and so the best Westerns are parables of a way of life in decline. Yet despite the history, there are plenty for whom the mythology of the cowboy and the outlaw isn’t extinct. That’s why the Western has lived on, well after the death of even the oldest Americans who could remember those days. It’s also what drives films like Hell or High Water, which use symbols to chronicle the last days of the Old West’s cultural descendants.

It takes place in a nearly empty West Texas, now being picked over by banks. Taylor Sheridan’s script is insistent in its reminders of this context. “No wonder my kids won’t do this shit for a living,” says an anonymous cattle rancher fleeing an encroaching fire. “The days of robbing banks and trying to live to spend the money - long gone,” says an anonymous old man in a burger joint.

This is why the surface tension between the criminal brothers (Ben Foster and Chris Pine) and the aging Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) is a red herring...

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Wednesday
Aug242016

Review: Hell or High Water

by Eric Blume

With their new film, director David Mackenzie (Young Adam, Starred Up) and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) make one thing abundantly clear: they really, really hate banks.  Hell or High Water is a sort of southwest answer to The Big Short, a tale of rural Texas poor on a Robin Hood mission. 

Sheridan’s script was the winner of the 2012 Black List prize for best unproduced screenplay, a fact which feels surprising during the cliché friendly first half hour.  Brothers Toby and Tanner Howard are characters we’ve seen many times before, with a sibling dynamic that’s not new either.  Tanner (Ben Foster) is the wild bro released from prison, complete with a violent streak and true-blue redneck energy.  Toby (Chris Pine) is the tender brother, a taciturn and emotionally bruised man trying to make things right.  Together, they start robbing small Texas banks to secure money to save the family farm.  As Counterpoint we have two Texas rangers on their case:  Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), for whom this is the last big one before retirement(!), and partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham), the sage Native American sidekick. 

For about the first thirty minutes, you sit in fear that this is all the film will be, a simple chase to the inevitable populated with stock characters. The only hope it has is to somehow deepen.  Fortunately, it does...

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Thursday
Jan212016

come with me if you want to link

Huffpo The story of the first trans Oscar nominee, Angela Morley in the 1970s
Gothamist This will be such a sad day in Manhattan. The last remaining gala premiere type single screen movie theater in Manhattan is closing in a couple of weeks for good. Goodbye Ziegfeld Theater where I first saw Michelle Pfeiffer in the pflesh, where I first laid eyes on Moulin Rouge!, where so many filmmakers and actors premiered their films.
The Film Stage Taylor Sheridan who wrote Sicario is looking to make his directorial debut with his new screenplay Wind River 


Variety Ettore Scola, the Italian director has died at 84 years of age. Among his best known films were three Foreign Language Film Oscar nominees: A Special Day (1977), The Family (1987) and Le Bal (1983) 
Coming Soon Jennifer Lawrence will star in Marita about Fidel Castro's young lover who became involved in an assassination attempt on his life. (Finally a role she's basically the right age for!)
AV Club Kevin Spacey to play JD Salinger's mentor in a Rebel in the Rye (what a title, eh)
MNPP David Lynch's surreal use of animals in his work - damn my favorite one is missing. The talking bird from Twin Peaks. "Leo, no!" 
BuzzFeed The Hateful Eight as the meanest film in Tarantino's filmography. I haven't actually read this piece -- I'm so tired of this movie -- but people keep tell me it's the best piece on the film. 
/Film The polar bear cartoon Norm of the North is our first 0% of 2016 on Rotten Tomatoes. Everyone hates it!
Guardian Kenya thinks Netflix will lead to 'declining moral values'. (I mean... tif you bingewatch bad tv and movies then, sure, yes)

Franchise Watch
Guardian Terminator Genysis sequels have been cancelled. Be grateful for small miracles. That franchise's first two films were amazements but diminishing returns with all the xeroxing
Decider can Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn save the DC film universe from its self? (That's a lot to place on one ensemble player, even if she does carry a baseball bat) 
/Film Christmas 2017 showdown: Avatar 2 and Star Wars VIII now scheduled to open on the exact same day. But the hilarious thing about this article is they call Avatar 2 an "unmovable force" even though James Cameron never makes his release dates. LOL. Expect that one to movie for sure. 

Today's Watch
The Sky in Sicario. Do we think there's any chance Emmanuel Lubezki doesn't win for The Revenant (which would be his third consecutive win -- which has never happened before -- and if so) 

 

Sky in "Sicario" from Ordog on Vimeo.