Violent crime is, inevitably, the only way out of the furnace. For two brothers stuck in the Rust Belt, that is their only salvation. Out of the Furnace, from the promising Crazy Heart director, Scott Cooper, sees men who wish for more. Don’t we all? They are not special. What sets them apart is striking good looks. But that is an inevitability of casting Christian Bale, rather than a character defect or advantage. Not all of us have the benefit of being a strapping young steelworker with a penchant for theft and violence. He will utilise those tools later on, because of course, he will. He was tailor-made for the deluge of danger he soon finds himself in.
While the western may have died long ago, the modern period of revisionist brutality has paved the way to a few stand-out classics. Bone Tomahawk and The Hateful Eight inspired the attractive allures of hyperviolence and the natural elements cowboys and bandits would face off with. The former was a collation of spectacles and narrative elements that made up the best of the genre, while the latter hoped to capture the tensions of claustrophobia to the backdrop of The Great Silence or McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Both are successful to varying degrees, but it is the bold work of director Andrew Dominik on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford that marks the return of the western epic.Continue reading The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Review
My personal dislike for the latter-day efforts of director Steven Soderbergh comes from a part of me that can’t shake the feeling that his stories are often empty. A burst of interest in Contagion (for obvious reasons), led me to the conclusion that he can certainly make some interesting premises but following through on those ideas to create interesting conclusions or depth is something I don’t believe his direction can bring. Ocean’s Eleven is perhaps his most famous piece of work, and if not it’s by far his most famous trilogy (solely because this is his only trilogy). Although littered with the tropes that I dislike from his direction, I find Ocean’s Eleven to be a completely amicable heist movie.