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  • The Man from Laramie

    The Man from Laramie

    ★★★★

    Perhaps Anthony Mann's most aggressive Western, and further evidence that Gary Cooper is no Jimmy Stewart when it comes to carrying a troubled past and squaring up against trouble. I actually felt nervous from time to time with this one, as it really did seem as if anything could happen, a rare occurrence with this genre in the 50s. A quick shout out to all the horses involved in this shoot, as they were really put through some harrowing stuff.…

  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★★½

    If you can suspend your disbelief through the ridiculousness and just sit back and enjoy the visual splendor of it all, you'll have a chance at a good time… until Samuel L Jackson's poorly drawn character ruins everything. All in all, it's a bit like its soundtrack--familiar and expected, but not without its charms.

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  • Hell or High Water

    Hell or High Water

    ★★★★

    No twists. No betrayals. No games. Just two protagonists, both flawed and virtuous, seeking justice in an unjust, dying world and losing themselves in the process. Great stuff here.

  • Unforgiven

    Unforgiven

    ★★★★½

    So far post-revisionist as to be downright deconstructivist, this is the Western for those of us who have seen way too many Westerns. Sure, it's pretty and well acted and thematically deep, but the proud veneer of the genre is completely gone here, leaving us to revel in the bathetic anticlimax of the sort of truth that typically underlies legend. Perhaps a bit sluggish in spots, but who cares? It's as much art as entertainment anyway.