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Posts tagged ‘Western’

Five Fingers for Marseilles (2017)

Directed by Michael Matthews

5 stars

In the bleakly beautiful Eastern Cape, in the dying days of the apartheid regime in South Africa, five boys grow, play and live a marginalised existence in the tiny township of Railway, built in the hills above the fading whites-only town of Marseilles. Calling themselves the Five Fingers (gentle storyteller Pastor; chubby Pockets; Luyanda, nicknamed Cockroach; the band’s leader, Zulu; and his fierce younger brother Tau, the Lion) they dream of an end to their oppression, eager to varying degrees for the moment where they can take direct action.

When a shakedown of the township’s population by corrupt cops gets out of hand, that moment comes all to soon. Tau shoots dead two policeman, and flees from his home. Read more

Unforgiven (2013)

Directed by Lee Sung-Il

5 stars

It’s hard to describe in words just how good Unforgiven, Lee Sung-Il’s remake of the 1992 Clint Eastwood movie of the same name, is. The earlier movie was no mean achievement, winning four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. This Japanese remake won’t repeat that, because that’s not how the Academy works – and perhaps it’s fair in that Eastwood’s movie forms the very broad shoulders on which this film stands. But the new version climbs up there and doesn’t put a foot wrong. Read more

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Directed by: Jon Favreau

2 stars

Ah, the American West. Is there any richer, more fertile setting for creating myths?  This is the super-compost of the movie world, the stem-cell material of cinema.  Surely anything can be planted here and grown into something spectacular. Read more

The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008)

Directed by: Jee-Woon Kim

3 stars

Frenetic comic-book violence far-east style, with a plot based on The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, but borrowing from Once Upon A Time In The West, Mad Max 2 and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Read more

Meek’s Cutoff (2010)

Directed by: Kelly Reichardt

4 stars

A party of settlers (six adults, one child, assorted livestock) take their wagons across 1840s Oregon, led by their eponymous guide, Stephen Meek.  We first see them making their way across a river, and this seems like a hardship – the three women are shown wading waist-deep through the water, with bundles held precariously on their heads.  But this is the last time they see fresh water in this movie and, as one type of barren landscape gives way to another, we recall the river as a cool, live-giving dream.  Read more