Tag Archives: christian bale

Movie review: Despite impressive cast, ‘Hostiles’ plods


AUDIO: Listen to Tim’s review of “Hostiles” on “The KQ Morning Show” with Tom Barnard. Segment begins 12 minutes in.

“Hostiles” (R)

Christian Bale leads an impressive cast in a film that never realizes its full potential in “Hostiles,” a meandering, post-Civil War period film from Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart,” “Black Mass”). Finally expanding into theaters after an unsuccessful awards season run, “Hostiles” likely won’t have the steam to last long in theaters despite the best efforts of Bale and company.

“Hostiles” is set in 1892, when a well-regarded Calvary captain (Bale) is tasked by the U.S. president to transport a dying Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi) and his family from New Mexico back to the chief’s tribal land in Montana. Reluctant to take on the mission because the chief was responsible for the deaths of several of his friends, the captain embarks on horseback with a traveling party for what is supposed to be his last mission before he retires. Sworn enemies at the beginning, as the captain and the chief trek through brutal territory where they are safe from no one, and eventually realize they must band together if they are going to survive the brutal environs.

Although “Hostiles” shows tremendous promise at the beginning, the film never gains any momentum, despite the best efforts of Bale, Studi and Rosamund Pike as woman who suffered a horrific family tragedy that the dangerous, unforgiving ride. The film moves as slow as the horses the cast members ride upon, as any moments of intensity are far outweighed by long, uneventful stretches that sadly lead to a predictable outcome.

Lammometer: 6 (out of 10)

Tim Lammers reviews movies weekly for The KQ92 Morning Show,” “KARE 11 News at 11” (NBC), “The Tom Barnard Podcast” and “The BS Show” with Bob Sansevere.

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Movie reviews: ‘Free Fire’ falls flat; ‘The Promise’ compels

“Free Fire” (R)

The shoot-em ‘up movie genre gets a welcome unique spin that unfortunately falls flat too soon with “Free Fire.” Set in 1978, “Free Fire” stars Oscar-winner Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy (“Batman Begins”) as part of a group of criminals who meet a gang of arms dealers in abandoned warehouse to make what should be a simple exchange of cash for a cache of high-powered weapons.

But when a fight breaks out between opposing gang members, the fisticuffs escalate into a shoot-out with bullets flying from every which way.

As a dark comedy, we discover in “Free Fire” most everybody involved is a terrible shot, resulting mostly in flesh wounds as the bumbling criminals crawl around the warehouse trying to figure out a way to exit.

It’s an amusing take on the genre at first, but the idea quickly wears thin, making the movie feel way too long, even with a 90-minute run time. Armie Hammer and Sharlto Copley (“District 9”) also star.

Lammometer 5.5 (out of 10)

Listen to Tim’s reviews of “Free Fall” and “The Promise” with Tom Barnard and Michele Tafoya on “The KQ Morning.”

“The Promise” (PG-13)

Oscar I

saac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon deliver stellar performances in “The Promise,” a heartbreaking historical drama that chronicles the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Turks before the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The always-great Isaac (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) plays a medical student in Constantinople in 1915, just before the Turks begin to round up Armenian Christians for systematic execution.

Bale is terrific as usual, this time as Associated Press journalist reporting on the horrors of the genocide to the West, while Le Bon is a French-Armenian teacher caught in a love triangle in-between them.

The film is a compelling tale that brings to light a forgotten part of history that the Turkish government still fails to recognize today.

Lammometer: 8 (out of 10)

Movie reviews: ‘Concussion,’ ‘The Big Short,’ ‘Daddy’s Home’

Alec Baldwin and Will Smith in 'Concussion' (photo - Sony Pictures)

By Tim Lammers

“Concussion” (PG-13) 3 1/2 stars (out of four)

Will Smith’s career is back in focus with “Concussion,” the compelling true story of revered pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Smith) and his earth-shattering discovery that connected severe brain damage – diagnosed and termed as chronic traumatic enchepolapthy (CTE) – to repeated concussions in NFL players. Based in Pittsburgh, Omalu first made the correlation after the untimely death of Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame center Mike Webster (a barely recognizable David Morse), and the subsequent deaths of other NFL players.

Not surprisingly, NFL officials don’t want to confront the issue, and do their best to discredit Omalu and his colleagues to protect its vast business

interests. The supporting cast is stellar, including strong performances by Albert Brooks as famed pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht and Alec Baldwin as former Steelers team physician Dr. Julian Bailes – who helped Omalu convince the NFL of the problem. Save a horribly miscast Luke Wilson as current NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, “Concussion” is a riveting, must-see movie whether you’re a fan of the NFL or not.

“The Big Short” (R) 3 1/2 stars (out of four)

Director Adam McKay impressively steps away from his normal world of Will Ferrell comedy fare and channels the filmmaking expertise of Martin Scorsese in the process with “The Big Short” – a searing portrait of four groups of Wall Street outsiders who envisioned the burst of the housing bubble in 2008 and tried to stick it to the big banks in the process.

In their turns as the outsiders, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling are at their best, and Steve Carell continues to impress in yet another stunning dramatic turn on the heels of his Oscar-nominated role in “Foxcatcher” last year. Moving at breakneck pace throughout, “The Big Short” contains lots of complex Wall Street jargon, but McKay creatively works in star cameos to break things down in layman’s terms. The film, while entertaining in the way it is presented, is infuriating at the same time.

“Daddy’s Home” (PG-13) 3 stars out of four

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reteam after the hilarious romp “The Other Guys” with “Daddy’s Home,” a wonderfully sweet comedy about a doting yet hapless step-father (Ferrell) who must deal with the return of the children’s far cooler biological dad (Wahlberg). We’ve seen both actors play these sorts of roles before, but familiarity aside, there’s no question the pairing works wonders here as the two dads engage in a nasty game of one-upsmanship to win the affection of the kids and their mother. “Daddy’s Home” is far from perfect, but it’s an enjoyable movie nonetheless.

Reviews: Tim talks ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings,’ ‘Top Five’ on KARE-TV, more

Christian Bale in 'Exodus Gods and Kings'

Tim reviews the biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and comedy “Top Five” on KARE-TV in Minneapolis with Diana Pierce below. Also, you can read Tim’s review on BringMeTheNews.com and hear Tim review the films on The Tom Barnard Podcast K-TWIN-FM and WOC AM.

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