Tag Archives: fort

A Progressive American West? Scott Cooper’s ‘Hostiles’ Paints A Portrait Of The Old West For Modern Times

The trailers for Oscar-winning director Scott Cooper’s new western-drama, Hostiles, makes a point of showcasing Masanobu Takayanagi’s stunning cinematography. Reactions to the film in general, however, have left some scratching their heads. Written and directed by Cooper from a manuscript by the late Donald E. Stewart, whose wife happened upon it in 2012, Hostiles follows US Army Captain Joseph Blockler as he escorts a Cheyenne war chief and his family home to their tribal lands in Montana from Fort Berringer, New Mexico in 1892. Blocker is portrayed by Oscar-winner Christian Bale in his third outing with Cooper, and is supported onscreen by Rosamund Pike, Rory Cochrane, Jonathan Majors, Adam Beach, David Midthunder, and Wes Studi as Chief Yellow Hawk. While Pike’s performance is certainly impressing critics, others claim the film inappropriately boasts its own brilliance. Continue reading

Does ‘The Post’ Seek To Glorify The Press In The Era of Fake News?

Steven Spielberg’s latest drama, The Post, may be a celebration of the free press, but in the age of “fake news” it feels more like an attempt to glorify the press rather than focus on its habit of misrepresentation. The Post tells the story of the The Washington Post and its publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. The Pentagon Papers (as they came to be called) was a series of documents detailing the extent of the US involvement in the Vietnam War. Upon learning of the atrocities of the war, military analyst Daniel Ellsberg secretly copied and leaked the documents to the press in the hopes that the public would be made aware of the truth.

Kay Graham (portrayed by Meryl Streep in Spielberg’s film) was the acting publisher of The Washington Post at the time. She inherited the role of sole proprietor following her husband’s untimely death by suicide. Graham not only faced a board of all-male stock holders who were ready to oust her at any moment, but also a more hostile-than-friendly editor named Ben Bradlee (portrayed by Tom Hanks), who reportedly informed her that he’d give his left nut to run the Post, himself. Shortly after Graham came into her new position, Martin Weil (Better Call Saul‘s Bob Odenkirk) was sent to meet with Ellsberg to collect the top secret documents in Boston and transport them safely back to Washington. Continue reading

Disney Adds Bryce Dallas Howard To Cast Of ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Remake

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One of Disney‘s iconic animated features, 1977’s Pete’s Dragon, is getting a modernized update and recent news has Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village, The Help) joining the cast lineup. Pete’s Dragon followed an orphan boy, Pete, who is guided and protected by a giant green dragon named Elliot as they pass from town to town trying to evade the abusive family who adopted Pete after his parents died. The film is known for it’s use of animation and live-action film as well as the popular single from the film’s score, Candle on the Water. Sean Marshall, Helen Reddy, Mickey Rooney, and Shelley Winters lead the original cast, and the film received two Oscar nominations for Best Score and Best Original Song (Candle on the Water). The new film will be helmed by director David Lowery (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and feature Howard as part of a cast that already includes Robert Redford (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting), Oona Laurence (Penny Dreadful, American Gladiators), and Oakes Fegley (Fort Bliss, This Is Where I Leave You) as Pete. While the original took place in a New England fishing town and featured a musical-style soundtrack, the new film will take place in a tree-logging town and not feature any musical numbers, save the actual score that plays along with the film. Filming is scheduled for this January in New Zealand at Stone Street Studios.

For Those That Didn’t Know…

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It recently came to my attention that my roommate was not aware that the Austin Powers film series is a parody of the Sean Connery James Bond films from the 1960s. Having discovered this I felt I had to write something about it and possibly inform others that may not be aware! Sean Connery was the first actor to portray James Bond in the film series from producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. All of the films that were made with Connery came from the books and short stories of author Ian Fleming, whose first Bond novel, Casino Royale, had already been adapted into an unsuccessful film in the 1950s. Mike Myers and director Jay Roach made the first Austin Powers movie in 1997, two years after Pierce Brosnan had brought the Bond franchise into the 90s with GoldenEye. The movie contained a number of major references to the Bond series, some of which are listed below.

1. Dr. Evil and Ernst Stavro Blofeld

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In the original films, James Bond faced a series of obstacles that were all the work of one man: the director of the SPECTRE organization Ernst Stavro Blofeld. SPECTRE was an organization had expanded on the ideals of the Soviet organization SMERSH. The acronym stands for SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion, and as the films progressed so did the endeavors of SPECTRE to begin wars between international countries and acquire a massive amount of wealth by threatening the united world organizations. Blofeld was last seen in Connery’s last role as Bond, Diamonds Are Forever, and the character never appeared in any of Roger Moore’s Bond films.

2. Mini-Me and Diamonds Are Forever

Mini-Me first appeared in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The title of the movie is a play on the Roger Moore Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which came out in 1977. While Mini-Me is a clone that is only an 1/8th the size of Dr. Evil, in Diamonds Are Forever, Ernst Blofeld produces several clones of himself by putting volunteers under plastic surgery and implanting a vocal chip in their throats.

3. Pussy Galore and Alotta Fagina

Pussy Galore was portrayed by Honor Blackman in the third Bond film Goldfinger (1964), the most successful installment in the series at the time. Although she was employed by Bond’s nemesis in the film, she comes to his aid in the end and helps Bond stop Goldfinger from robbing Fort Knox in Kentucky. Many characters in the Austin Powers series have been based around Pussy Galore, including Alotta Fagina and Ivwana Humpalot.

4. OddJob and Random Task

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In Goldfinger, James Bond must face a henchman by the name of OddJob. OddJob is a large Vietnamese man who throws a gentleman’s hat that has been fitted with a razor sharp blade around the brim. In the Austin Powers series, Dr. Evil has a henchman named Random Task, who throws a shoe rather than a hat to take out his enemies. You can see an image from the original scene from Goldfinger above.

5. Goldfinger and Goldmember

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The third Austin Powers movie is titled Goldmember, and has a villain of the same name. Both are a direct parody on the third Bond film Goldfinger, who is also the villain of the film. Both are obsessed with gold, although Mike Myers brought it to an unconventional level for the Austin Powers version, and both will stop at nothing to acquire as much gold as possible.