The only new major release out this week was Maze Runner: The Death Cure, but since I didn’t get a chance to see it, I decided I’d give everyone quick takes on a couple of movies I did see this weekend — one that came out last year and just now went wide enough for me to check out, and one holdover from last week I didn’t intend to see.
There’s no denying Christian Bale is a great actor, able to immerse himself completely into each and every role. And although he’s surrounded by a team of outstanding supporting actors, not even his hardened facade could save Hostiles from slipping into a wasteland of boredom. Bale plays Joseph Blocker, an Army captain assigned to escort what he considers to be a ravenous Cheyenne family back to their tribe through treacherous Comanche territory. He despises everything the Native Americans stand for, but begins to see the truth behind his own biased hatred after spending several days with them. Along the journey, they meet up with a broken woman (Rosamund Pike) who just lost her family to a gang of Comanche warriors.
Every actor provides the film with some devastating, at times morose performances. Yet, I didn’t feel an iota of connection to any of the characters, which made the journey feel quite tedious and unimportant. We’re supposed to believe the relationships between each of the characters grows deeper the longer they’re together, but because of writer/director Scott Cooper’s dreadful pace (one that feels as if honey is being poured down a hill made of molasses), there is absolutely no emotional impact to the moments that are meant to matter the most, making each and every performance feel like a waste.
My Grade: C-
Forever My Girl
The previews for Forever My Girl tout that, “if you love Nicolas Sparks movies, you’ll love Forever My Girl.” As many may know, I’ve never once seen a Nicolas Sparks movie, so that sentiment did nothing for my interest in this film; in fact, it nearly turned me away. However, I have enjoyed many films that could have used the same moniker, and since Forever My Girl revolves around a country singer, I thought I should at least give it a chance.
Alex Roe plays Liam, a hot country music star who stood up the love of his life, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the alter eight years ago. After one of his good friends dies in a tragic accident, Alex returns home to find out that he has a daughter, Billy (Abby Ryder Fortson, a precocious joy who I have no problem believing will have a long, lucrative career). Most of the film follows your typical romantic tropes and I’m not sure I buy the typical happy ending, but the music stays true to the nature of its intended audience and is overall a sweet, charming little love story that will keep you warm snuggled next to a roaring fire with a loved one on a cold winter night.
My Grade: B+
Next week, new movies include Winchester and Bilal: A New Breed of Hero. If you would like to see a review for one of these, or any other film out next week, please respond in the comments below.