13 items from 2015
It's fitting that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne both have the same birthday week. (Wayne, who died in 1979, was born May 26, 1907, while Eastwood turns 85 on May 31). After all, these two all-American actors' careers span the history of that most American of movie genres, the western.
Both iconic actors were top box office draws for decades, both seldom stretched from their familiar personas, and both played macho, conservative cowboy heroes who let their firearms do most of the talking. Each represented one of two very different strains of western, the traditional and the revisionist.
As a birthday present to Hollywood's biggest heroes of the Wild West, here are the top 57 westerns you need to see.
57. 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and her frequent leading lady, Michelle Williams, are the talents behind this sparse, docudrama about an 1845 wagon train whose Oregon Trail journey goes horribly awry. It's an intense »
- Gary Susman
Chicago – Now playing at Chicago’s Music Box Theater and on VOD (but best seen on the largest screen possible), “Slow West,” is a tight genre journey pic that invigorates the western while confirming that its territory remains open, despite the many who have passed through.
It’s a progressive western; recognizable for Fassbender’s Clint Eastwood impression, but offering something new with its ideas of gender and violence. Not for nothing, it also features “The Place Beyond the Pines” actor Ben Mendelsohn in a coat that will change the way you look at fashion.
The story follows a young man (Kodi Smit-McPhee), as he ventures across 19th century America in search of a woman (Caren Pistorius) that he loves. He receives some help from independent traveler Silas (Fassbender), while encountering unpredictable forces of nature (played by Mendelsohn) and brutal inhumanity.
Before his debut film, director John Maclean was in »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Castle season 7 bows out on a sentimental note, and lacking in suspense. But here's hoping that season 8 will be an improvement...
This review contains spoilers.
7.23 Hollander's Woods
One of the things about trailers and previews (and other glimpses of television and film stories to come) is that they are rife with misdirection—and rightly so. If you are too upfront with the audience about what’s going to happen in the movie you are promoting, then there’s really no reason to see it in the first place. Anyone who saw the trailer for 1999’s Double Jeopardy, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd, could have skipped pretty much the entire film, since there was little in the movie that wasn’t in, or loudly telegraphed by, the previews. Quarantine suffered from another but related problem. The most shocking scene from the trailer—the one where something grabs a terrified »
Hey, "Castle" peeps. Yep, it's true guys. We're happy to be able to deliver the official news to you that your favorite show has indeed been given the 8th season green light by ABC as of just a couple of days ago on May 7th, 2015 according to the folks over at TV Line. So, you guys can expect to see new spoilers, photos, videos and all that great stuff coming out of the woodworks in the upcoming weeks and months, so be on the lookout for that. We're also hearing that Castle has gotten a new show runner in Longtime Castle scribe ,Terence Paul Winter. He's replacing David Amann, who is checking out after just one year. After writing a couple season 2 episodes, Terence joined the show as a producer in 2011, and was eventually upgraded to executive producer in the middle of season 7. He has written past episodes: “The Blue Butterfly, »
If "Mad Max" is "A Fistful Of Dollars" and "The Road Warrior" is "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," then clearly "Fury Road" is George Miller's "Once Upon A Time In The West," the moment when his movies move from the archetypical to the profound. It seems impossible that George Miller has been away from live-action for 17 years. Then again, nothing about George Miller's career has ever really fit into any typical model. I always think of him as part of the Class of '82, the directors whose work really crystallized in what I maintain is the greatest geek movie line-up of all time. Most of those guys came out of the system, either through the Roger Corman training program or moving from TV to movies, trained at southern California film schools so they all had similar skill sets. Miller was different, though. He was never really one of them. »
- Drew McWeeny
Attention, Castle fans: Winter is coming.
Winter replaces David Amann, who is exiting after one year on the job.
After penning a couple of Season 2 episodes, Winter joined the show as a producer in 2011, rose through the ranks, and was promoted to Ep in the middle of this season. Episodes he has written include “The Blue Butterfly, »
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
There’s a rich (and bloody) tradition of avenging angels in Westerns, from Harmonica in Once Upon A Time In The West to Ethan Edwards in The Searchers and Josey Wales. Add Mads Mikkelsen’s character in The Salvation to that number. He’s all cold-blooded business, as this exclusive new clip from the film reveals. brightcove.createExperiences();Mikkelsen’s prairieland badass is a Danish settler, Jon, whose family is brutally murdered by a crew of rowdy horsemen during one ill-fated stagecoach ride. Jon exacts instant revenge on the perpetrator, only to discover that, like Old Man Clanton in My Darling Clementine, there’s more badness where he came from. Cue Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Delarue, the gang leader’s and now also on the hunt for revenge. Basically everyone here is on a revenge mission, hardly the recipe for a relaxing afternoon in an up-and-coming part of the Old West. »
No one likes making a list more than Quentin Tarantino. The beloved filmmaker annually updates his fans with his favorite movies of the past 12 months, while he also enjoys amassing lists of his most cherished films from throughout history as well. In fact, the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Kill Bill director has even gone as far as to list his favorites of the Spaghetti Western genre - and you probably won.t be surprised about what came out on top. Tarantino revealed his list to Spaghetti-Western.net, and you can have a gander at his choices below: 1. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966) 2. For A Few Dollars More (Sergio Leone, 1965) 3. Django (Sergio Corbucci, 1966) 4. The Mercenary (Sergio Corbucci, 1968) 5. Once Upon A Time In The West (Sergio Leone, 1968) 6. A Fistful Of Dollars (Sergio Leone, 1964) 7. Day Of Anger (Tonino Valerii, 1967) 8. Death Rides A Horse (Giulio Petroni, 1967) 9. Navajo Joe (Sergio »
When I first heard about this list this morning I could have sworn it was old news, but as it turns out, this list of Quentin Tarantino's top 20 spaghetti westerns is a new thing as presented to us bt Spaghetti-Western.net. What I must have been thinking of was a list of spaghetti westerns that influenced Tarantino's Django Unchained, some of which are repeated here such as Sergio Corbucci's The Great Silence (read an essay I wrote on this one here) and the obvious, Django, and Giulio Petroni's Death Rides a Horse. However, this list is more than that and more than just Sergio Leone and Corbucci titles, though those two do make up eight of the twenty films on Tarantino's list. I haven't looked to see how many of the more obscure titles listed here are available on Netflix, but I have a feeling now that »
- Brad Brevet
I love the movies, really, truly I do, I love the movies. Cinema, motion pictures, movies, film, whatever you want to label this peculiar art form that we all cherish here at We Are Movie Geeks, I have loved it ever since the first time I saw a movie on television, in a theater or at a drive-in. I wish I could recall the first movie I ever saw and what the medium was in which I saw it.
One of my earliest memories was the yearly showing of Wizard of Oz on television and my delight at seeing Judy Garland in a different movie, Pigskin Parade, and realizing that actors made a living by appearing in more than one movie or television series.
- Sam Moffitt
Westerns have been very few and far between over the last few years, and with the exception of Django Unchained, they haven't really found a place with modern audiences. That could all change with The Salvation, a tribute to classic westerns of years past, that perfectly captures the classic and mythic nature of this beloved genre. The above trailer does a great job of showing exactly what director Kristian Levring wants to achieve with The Salvation, and couples a strong lead performance from Mads Mikkelsen with an impressive supporting cast, including Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Eric Cantona (yes, really. He's proven himself a competent actor since he gave up football). I have a feeling, years from now, this could be said in the same breath as other classic westerns, like Once Upon a Time in the West, Tombstone, and Unforgiven. Released: 17th April Synopsis: In the 1870s, among new settlers and outlaws, »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
(Photo copyright 2014 by Mark Mawston. All rights reserved.)
By Mark Mawston
Ennio Morricone, one of the most celebrated film composers in cinema history, appeared to a packed 02 arena in London’s Docklands on February 5th 2015. The venue, (formally The Millennium Dome) normally a mainstay for Boy Bands and Revered Rockers, seemed Cathedral -like, not only due to its sheer size and capacity, but mainly due to the soaring music which filled it over two hours. This concert, unlike other Morricone concerts I’ve had the pleasure to attend, had a reverential feel to it, one of reflection. The music that the 100 strong orchestra and 75 piece choir gave life to wasn’t simply the most popular from the composer’s incredible body of work but obviously the ones that meant to most to him personally. Tracks from films such as Casualties Of War, 1900, The Mission and Cinema Paradiso were the ones given centre stage. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
13 items from 2015
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