REVIEW: Not much good to report in ‘News of the World’

Before there was Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Walter Cronkite, there was Tom Hanks’s character Jefferson Kidd. At least according to “News of the World.”

In the film, directed by Paul Greengrass, Hanks plays Jefferson Kidd, a former Civil War captain who now earns a living by going from town-to-town in Texas to read the top headlines and stories from the nation’s largest newspapers. Set in 1870, reconstruction is still a work in progress, with some parts of Texas remaining dangerous while others are lined with United States soldiers.

The movie picks up with Kidd on his way to a different town for another news delivery. Along the way, he finds a young girl, Johanna (Helena Zengel), who’s near a broken down wagon. From paperwork in the wagon, Kidd learns that Johanna was taken in by a Native American tribe after the deaths of her parents, and that she was supposed to be taken to surviving family members in another part of the state. Kidd is then instructed by officials to take her to reunite with her family members, which is a tough, 400 mile journey.

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REVIEW: ‘First Cow’ is a strong film about gentle people

How now, first cow?

This feature from the studio A24 does in fact feature a cow, but it also includes a whole lot more. The movie is set in the early 1820s, during the days where pioneers pushed west for trades such as gold and fur. We’re immediately introduced to Otis “Cookie” Figowitz (John Magaro), a cook who’s part of a fur trading group making their way to a fort.

Cookie isn’t exactly on friendly terms with the others in the team, though, as they claim he doesn’t provide enough food. Once he gets to the fort, though, he does manage to start a friendship with a Chinese immigrant named King-Lu (Orion Lee), who he met earlier during his travels. Not only do the two form a bond, they also begin a money-making scheme where they secretly milk the first cow brought to the area and use it to make high quality baked goods.

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LAMB Special: Large Association of Movie Blogs Movie of the Month, Stagecoach

“The Grapes of Wrath” is probably the main reason John Ford is one of my favorite directors of all time. But it’s his extended filmography, including 1939’s “Stagecoach” that cements the legacy.

Recently, the 1939 black and white classic just so happened to win the Large Association of Movie Blogs’ Movie of the Month event for August. As a fan, I’m more than happy to talk about it.

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REVIEW: ‘Wind River’ Works As Crime Drama And An Emotional Character Piece

Taylor Sheridan, who wrote two the great “Sicario” in 2015 and the superb “Hell or High Water” last year, returned to write a third movie and this time he directed, too.

The film is “Wind River” and the name is based on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, where the picture takes place. The movie tells the story of Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a tracker and hunter working for the Bureau of Land Management who comes across the body of a murdered woman on the reservation.

As a result, Lambert gets in contact with the Tribal Police Chief Ben (Graham Greene) who in turn gets assistance from an FBI agent named Jane (Elizabeth Olsen). As the three conduct the joint investigation, Lambert’s background is expanded upon and the audience learns that he lost a daughter and she was discovered similarly to the woman that he found.

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REVIEW: ‘Hell Or High Water,’ A Modern Western And An Instant Classic

There’s been many good films released in 2016, but “Hell or High Water” is the first I can really call great.

The movie follows the Howard brothers, an ex-convict/roughneck Tanner (Ben Foster) and a divorced dad, Toby (Chris Pine). While the two are on good terms, they don’t exactly have the same way of doing things. However, the two decide to work together in a bank-robbing scheme to save their family’s ranch in Texas.

As a result, a duo of Texas Rangers are sent after the brothers. The pair includes Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) who’s about to retire and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham), who has to put up with Marcus’ rough personality.

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The Hateful Eight review


  • Quentin Tarantino


  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Kurt Russell
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh
  • Walton Goggins
  • Demian Bichir
  • Tim Roth
  • Michael Madsen
  • Bruce Dern
  • James Parks
  • Rated: R

In “The Hateful Eight,” Samuel L. Jackson plays Major Marquis Warren, a former member of the U.S. Cavalry and now full time Bounty Hunter in the state of Wyoming. The movie begins with Warren needing a ride after the death of his horse and that need puts him in contact with another stage coach.

This stage coach has John Ruth (Russell) riding in it. A fellow bounty hunter who is taking a prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Leigh), in to hang for an alive reward. Ruth agrees to allow Warren come along. After picking up another stranded person, a sheriff played by Walton Goggins, the group makes it to a haberdashery where they come in contact with another group of people. The situation starts to become suspicious, though, when a murder occurs.

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The Lone Ranger review

Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Armie Hammer
William Fichtner
Tom Wilkinson
Ruth Wilson
Helena Bonham Carter
Rated: PG-13

I could have earned the title of the Lone Watch Checker seeing this movie.

‘The Lone Ranger,” based on the character from the TV show that started in 1946, follows the character John Reid (Hammer). Reid is a prosecutor traveling to the wild west and eventually meets up with his older brother who is a Texas Ranger. Reid’s brother, Dan, is after a criminal named Butch (Fichtner). John joins a posse with Dan and go to get the criminal, however they are ambushed and all killed.

However, John ends up coming back from the dead and becomes a spirit walker. He meets with an Indian named Tonto (Depp), and the two of them have a common enemy in Butch. They decide to team up and bring the villain to justice. To do so, John puts on a mask and becomes the Lone Ranger.

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Django Unchained review

Quentin Tarantino
Jamie Foxx
Christoph Waltz
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kerry Washington
Samuel L. Jackson
Rated: R

Leonardo DiCaprio should consider playing a villain more often; he’s quite good at it.

“Django Unchained” follows the title character played by Jamie Foxx. At the beginning of the movie Django is a slave being led to an unknown location. However the caravan that he’s in is stopped by a man named King Schultz (Waltz). Schultz, a bounty hunter, ends up freeing Django and asks him in return to help him identify a trio of criminals for their bounties. Django agrees and the two end up working together as a bounty hunting duo.

As the two work together, Django informs Schultz that he has a wife who is still a slave and aims to get her free. The duo discovers that Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Washington), is owned by a rich plantation owner named Calvin Candie (DiCaprio). The heroes then decide to try and get into the plantation and rescue Django’s wife.

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