REVIEW: HOSTILES

 

Starring

Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Wes Studi (Road To Paloma)
Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad)
Adam Beach (Sucide Squad)
Rory Cochrane (Argo)
Peter Mullan (War Horse)
Scott Wilson (The Great Gatsby)
Paul Anderson (Peaky Blinders)
Timothée Chalamet (Lady Bird)
Ben Foster (Hell or High Water)
Jonathan Majors (White Boy Rick)
John Benjamin Hickey (The Ex)
Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World)
Tanaya Beatty (Artic Air)
Stephen Lang (Avatar)
Bill Camp (12 Years a Slave)
Scott Shepherd (Jason Bourne)
Robyn Malcolm (The Outpost)

Christian Bale in Hostiles (2017)In 1892, settler Rosalee Quaid and her family are attacked by a Comanche war group who kill and scalp her husband and also shoot and kill her three children. Only Rosalee manages to escape the attack by hiding in a small rock outcrop in the forest. In Fort Berringer, New Mexico, Captain Joseph Blocker rounds up an escaping Apache family and brings them back to the fort. He is then called to the office of Colonel Abraham Biggs, who informs him of his final orders before retirement. On a directive from President Harrison, he is to escort dying Cheyenne war chief, Yellow Hawk, and four members of his family back to their tribal lands in Montana.Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike in Hostiles (2017)Under threat of a court-martial and loss of his pension, Blocker reluctantly accepts, despite his own gory history with the chief, who was responsible for the death of several of his friends and comrades. Blocker chooses the detail that will accompany him: his trusty old friend, First Sergeant Thomas Metz, long-time aide Corporal Woodson, and promising newcomer Lieutenant Kidder, fresh from West Point. Biggs also assigns to the detail a young French-speaking recruit, Private Desjardins.Q'orianka Kilcher, Rosamund Pike, Tanaya Beatty, and Xavier Horsechief in Hostiles (2017)They begin their journey but Blocker orders a stop and has the two native men put in chains. The group comes across the charred Quaid house and dead settler. Inside the house, they find Rosalee and her three “sleeping” children. Rosalee is initially hostile towards the Cheyenne family because of the attack on her family but agrees to sleep in their camp after some coaxing from Blocker. She is convinced to bury her family and join Blocker’s detail until their next stop-over. They are soon ambushed by the Comanche party, resulting in Desjardins’s death and Woodson being seriously wounded. After this attack, Yellow Hawk convinces Blocker that it is in everyone’s best interest to unchain him and his family. The next day, the bodies of the surviving Comanche party, who had managed to flee during their previous encounter, are discovered dead. Blocker deduces that Yellow Hawk and his son, Black Hawk, killed them thanks to Metz allowing them to leave the camp during the night.Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike in Hostiles (2017)After a brief stop at Fort Winslow in Colorado to drop off the wounded Woodson and widow Rosalee, Blocker is asked to take disgraced Sergeant Charles Wills, who killed a family with an ax, to be court-martialed and hanged at his original post along the way to Montana. Joining Blocker’s company to oversee Wills are Corporal Tommy Thomas and Sergeant Malloy. Meanwhile, Rosalee decides to continue on with Blocker, despite being offered sanctuary at Fort Winslow until the next supply train at Christmas. One night, the women are abducted by three fur traders as they wash dishes in the stream by their camp. The company, assisted by Yellow Hawk and Black Hawk, track down the fur traders, slaughter them and rescue the women; however, Sergeant Malloy is killed. During a downpour, Wills fools Kidder into sympathetically undoing his chains, then kills him and escapes, but not before Blocker wounds him. Metz tracks down and kills Wills, then takes his own life, succumbing to decades of post-traumatic stress and guilt. Blocker subsequently makes peace with Yellow Hawk for all of the harms they have inflicted upon each other.Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike in Hostiles (2017)They arrive at the chief’s tribal lands in Montana where he succumbs to his illness and is buried. A man and his three sons ride up, state that they own the land, and order Blocker and the rest of the group to leave with the chief’s body. Blocker informs them of his presidential authority but a brutal gun battle ensues leaving only three survivors: Blocker, Rosalee, and Yellow Hawk’s young grandson, Little Bear. In the final scene, Rosalee and Little Bear reluctantly depart on a train from Montana to Chicago, without Blocker, but, at the last second, Blocker steps onto the back of the train and into the carriage.Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike in Hostiles (2017)Christian Bale delivers a knockout performance. As the conflicted & haunted Cavalry officer, Bale portrays the part with rare conviction. Its no new fact that Bale is among our greats, but ‘Hostiles’ shows us a side of his that may have just put him up there, right next to the all-time screen giants. What a wonderfully nuanced performance by Bale. Of the rest of the cast, Wes Studi portrays his complex part fantastically. Rosamund Pike is restrained. She’s controlled & believable all through. Jesse Plemons is solid, as always. Ben Foster plays a yet another unlikable character, with the perfect blend of menace & insanity. Rory Cochrane is first-rate. Timothée Chalamet makes a very brief appearance, yet he does his bit nicely. Stephen Lang, again in a cameo, is outstanding! Others lend good support.

On the whole, ‘Hostiles’ demands a viewing on the strength of its sheer merits. Don’t Miss This One!

REVIEW: THE LOVELY BONES

CAST

Mark Wahlberg (Ted 1 & 2)
Rachel Weisz (The Mummy)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Stanley Tucci (The Terminal)
Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos)
Saorise Ronan (The Host)
Rose Mciver (Izombie)
Nikki SooHoo (Bring It On 5)
Jake Abel (I Am Number Four)
AJ Michalka (Super 8)
Bruce Phillips (Power Rangers RPM)
Robyn Malcolm (The Outpost)

Saoirse Ronan and Nikki SooHoo in The Lovely Bones (2009)

The Lovely Bones is Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the book written by Alice Sebold. I have never read the novel so I had no previous knowledge of what the plot was, other than the general overview of what my friends had told me.

The film focuses on the traumatic disappearance of a teenage girl, Suzy Salmon, during the 1970’s. She is a typical young, happy-go-lucky girl, who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Right from the start you are caught up in a series of events that change her family’s life forever. Personally, I found this film very disturbing. It causes audience members to think about who lives next door to them and the potential for them to be an extremely dangerous person. The era in which the film is set also plays an important part, as it is safe to say that we no longer live in a world where it is ok to leave your door unlocked. The film provides quite an in depth representation of the persona of a paedophile; acting all sweet and caring in front of parents when really he is a horrible, murderous man who wishes to trap their daughter. Although this section was very unnerving, I found that it helped the story evolve as you got to see just how sick and twisted he is. Also, I like how the film takes on a variety of perspectives: the family’s struggle to accept the loss of their daughter; the murderer’s fear of being discovered; the police’s anger at the lack of evidence; and of course Suzy’s torment at being taken away from her family.

Peter Jackson’s interpretation of `limbo’ is a perfect use of CGI and is easy to understand by everyone, whether they are religious or not. The idea that you were seeing the majority of events through the daughter’s eyes makes the whole experience more personal, allowing you to really identify with Suzy and how hard she is finding it to detach herself from her family. You go on a journey with her as she tries to come to terms with what has happened. Overall, I really enjoyed this film. I think the storyline is really interesting and very cleverly put together.