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We Saw "Hostiles"

 
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2018 3:30 pm 
Post subject: We Saw "Hostiles"
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Wife and I went to see "Hostiles" this past weekend.

It was advertised as "the best western since "Unforgiven." IMO it may have been, but that's just because I haven't seen many westerns since "Unforgiven." "Hostiles," while exceptional, to me doesn't compete with Eastwood's Academy Award-winning masterpiece.

However, "Hostiles" IS a relatively entertaining movie which I enjoyed, even though I'm not much of a Christian Bale fan.

Bale plays Captain Joe Blocker, a hardened cavalry officer who, in 1892, is approaching retirement. He's ordered to escort an aged, dying Native American Apache chief from Arizona back to his home in Montana. Blocker hates Indians and initially refuses the order but reconsiders when threatened with loss of his pension.

Along the way Blocker and his cavalrymen encounter a woman whose husband and three children have just been massacred by ruthless Comanche warriors. She joins the trek and becomes attracted to Blocker.

The movie is essentially a symbolic journey for Blocker--as he travels to Montana he also journeys from hatred of Indians to respect for them as fellow human beings; he evolves from ignorance to enlightenment--all the typical "life as a journey" boxes are checked.

There's also some "Native American Rights" themes, but nothing so heavy-handed as to be preachy.

This is a moderately violent film: considerable deaths by shooting (including children), knifing, strangling, hanging, and so forth; a fairly graphic scalping, one suicide, and several rapes (not shown).

This film is best seen in theaters to appreciate the exceptional scenery and cinematography.

There are a few technical errors in the movie but nothing serious (some soldiers are carrying Sharps carbines, long obsolete in 1892).

My only real complaint about "Hostiles" is that it moves along fairly slowly. Otherwise, it's a darkly enjoyable film, and one I'd certainly recommend to moviegoers who like westerns.
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AGINAZ MR Member
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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2018 4:02 pm 
Post subject: We Saw "Hostiles"
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Haven't seen it but I enjoyed Revenant which I also think is best appreciated on the big screen as it is a visual masterpiece in many scenes.

Curious if you saw that and how they compare or which you prefer...

Gig 'em
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Aggie 93 MR Member
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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2018 4:42 pm 
Post subject: We Saw "Hostiles"
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Caught up on a few recent Westerns while traveling the last couple of weeks. Brimstone, Bone Tomohawk and Diablo. Both horrible movies in my opinion. Why do they no longer make decent Westerns? They were nothing but violence and darkness. Can anyone recommend any newer Westerns that are uplifting and/or more watchable than those three?
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 8:20 am 
Post subject: Re: We Saw "Hostiles"
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AGINAZ wrote:
Haven't seen it but I enjoyed Revenant which I also think is best appreciated on the big screen as it is a visual masterpiece in many scenes.

Curious if you saw that and how they compare or which you prefer...

Gig 'em


I DID see "Revenant" and agree it is best seen in theaters.

I had sorta forgotten about "Revenant" when I said I hadn't seen too many westerns lately--but then, I really don't see comparing it to "Hostiles" as an apples-to-apples discussion. Other than the time frame, they're very different films. "Revenant" has as its conflict a "man against nature" theme, while "Hostiles" is more a "Man against man/man against himself" film.

I enjoyed both movies and continue to encourage anyone drawn to the western genre to see "Hostiles"--on the big screen.
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 8:39 am 
Post subject: Re: We Saw "Hostiles"
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Aggie 93 wrote:
Caught up on a few recent Westerns while traveling the last couple of weeks. Brimstone, Bone Tomohawk and Diablo. Both horrible movies in my opinion. Why do they no longer make decent Westerns? They were nothing but violence and darkness. Can anyone recommend any newer Westerns that are uplifting and/or more watchable than those three?


Unfortunately, your qualifier of "newer" makes a positive reply difficult, if not impossible.

Seems like movies have taken their direction from the old news reporting mantra: "If it bleeds, it leads."

But then again, there's a chicken-and-egg question: Do we see what's presented to us by Hollywood, or does Hollywood provide what we have come to demand?

It's all about money, I expect. PG-13 and R rated movies must bring in more cash, or they'd be edited to PG or even G.

There are plenty of "old" westerns that fit your parameters, though. "Hostiles" is similar in some ways to John Wayne's "The Searchers," considered by many to be his best film, and one of the best westerns to come out of Hollywood. Of course, it's pretty dark, too.

For pure enjoyment, I'll watch John Wayne in "El Dorado" or "Rio Bravo" (both are essentially the same movie), although I like "Rio Bravo" a little more because I prefer Ricky Nelson's character over the one by James Caan in "El Dorado."

I think we, as the viewing public, have been exposed to so much violence in movies--and also on TV--that we've become numbed to it. Heck, take a look at any of the medical dramas on TV in prime time. Talk about blood and guts!

Anyway, good luck on your search for new producion westerns that center on character and plot more than gratuitious violence. I can't think of any offhand, but maybe other forum members can offer suggestions.


Last edited by DeaconD69 on 30 Jan 2018 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 11:55 am 
Post subject: We Saw "Hostiles"
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One additional comment regarding westerns: my favorite western--in fact, my favorite movie--of all time is "Tombstone." One of the few films I can watch over and over.

What a great ensemble cast! Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer (possibly his best role), Michael Biehn, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Dana Delany, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Zane, and Stephen Lang, plus many others.

Even a cameo by Charlton Heston and narration by Robert Mitchum!
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Aggie 93 MR Member
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 12:12 pm 
Post subject: We Saw "Hostiles"
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If you compare Hostiles to The Searchers on any level - the. I will have to see it. Agree on Tombstone - one of the best ever.
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 3:58 pm 
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I thought Wyatt Earp with Kevin Costner was pretty good. It didn't have the flare of Tombstone, but it was watchable.


Have any of you seen Open Range? 2003 isn't exactly recent, but Tombstone was in 1993. Open Range is an excellent movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0316356/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


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Aggie 93 MR Member
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 4:04 pm 
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I like Open Range. Not my favorite - but light years better than the other ones that I listed above.
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Goodson MR Member
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 4:38 pm 
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Open Range is a stop down watch for me whenever I see it.

Duvall and Costner were very well paired in this. The only thing that would have made it better would have been for the arch-villan to have been played by Gene Hackman.

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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 4:41 pm 
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I liked Tombstone so much that I'd turn my nose up at Wyatt Earp anytime I came across it.

I still think Tombstone is the far better picture of the two. But I watched WE recently from start to finish just to give it a fair assessment.

And I will now say this: it's not bad.

Not great. Perhaps not even good. But definitely not bad.
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 5:13 pm 
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I heartily agree about "Open Range"--it's a fine movie.

Unfortunately, I never saw it in the theater, just on TV, a DVD if I recall.

In the "fairly recent" category, I'd place "Open Range" third below "Tombstone" and "Unforgiven."

The only criticism I have about "Open Range" is director/co-producer Kevin Coster's decision to have his character "fan" his .45 during the big gunfight. Fanning is purely Hollywood; would never have happened in the real Old West.
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2018 5:19 pm 
Post subject: Re: We Saw "Hostiles"
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Aggie 93 wrote:
If you compare Hostiles to The Searchers on any level - then I will have to see it.


A critic I read mentioned a passing similarity, in that both films open with Indians killing most members of a frontier family. In "The Searchers" a young woman is taken by the Indians; in "Hostiles" the wife survives to seek revenge for her family's death.

Both movies employ the "journey" motif, IMO. Characters in both films discover important truths about themselves.
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PostPosted: 09 Feb 2018 1:25 pm 
Post subject: Re: We Saw "Hostiles"
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Goodson wrote:
I liked Tombstone so much that I'd turn my nose up at Wyatt Earp anytime I came across it.

I still think Tombstone is the far better picture of the two. But I watched WE recently from start to finish just to give it a fair assessment.

And I will now say this: it's not bad.

Not great. Perhaps not even good. But definitely not bad.


Count me in with tombstone. Great film.
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