Archive for the ‘David Mackenzie’ Category

They are all packing in Texas

Hell or High Water

hell_or_high_water

Director: David Mackenzie

Cast: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Dale Dickey, Gil Birmingham, Katy Mixon

British director David Mackenzie’s riveting and quick-witted Texan thriller Hell or High Water features some brilliant performances by Ben Foster (The Program, 3:10 to Yuma) and Oscar winner Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart).

Foster along with Chris Pine (Star Trek, Into the Woods) play brothers Tanner and Toby Howard who set out by terrorizing West Texas in a series of well-executed bank robberies in small towns only hitting the branches of the Texas Midlands Bank stealing untraceable notes. This is the same bank that is about to foreclose on their late mother’s farm, whilst there are possibly oil drilling rights on the land.

Mackenzie paints a decaying portrait of rural Texas, a backwater where everyone is struggling to make ends meet, an environment ripe with desperation and reckless activity. This would be quite an ordinary film except for the extraordinary performances by all three leads especially Bridges as Marcus Hamilton, a Texan law enforcement officer who is dreading the banality of retirement. Instead Hamilton likes teasing his half-native American partner Alberto Parker played by Gil Birmingham during a stakeout.

Ben Foster is equally striking as the hot-headed and reckless ex-con Tanner Howard, clearly not the brains behind the heists. Tanner even robs a bank while his brother Toby is being chatted up by a curvaceous waitress wonderfully played by Katy Mixon, as he finishes his steak in a diner.

With a particularly insightful and witty script by Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water is an amusing and enjoyable contemporary Western, without resorting to levels of unexpected violence so frequent in such Coen brothers’ films as No Country for Old Man or True Grit.

hell_or_high_water_ver3

Instead director David Mackenzie delivers a smartly scripted film about two brothers trying to rectify their financial situation through unlawful means whilst a patient and watchful Hamilton waits for the two to make an irrevocable mistake. That happens in the final heist in a small town called Post, Texas where even the locals give chase to the Howard brothers through the expansive and desolate terrain. For everyone is packing a gun in Texas.

A touching moment before the fatal heist the night before between the Howard brothers, is a precursor to their luck running out. Like in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as with most cops and robbers tales, eventually the tide does turn.

From Texas to Oklahoma and back again, Hell or High Water is a thoroughly enjoyable and well scripted film, featuring superb performances by Foster, Pine and Bridges and is definitely worth watching.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
July 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Teases Spider-Ham, Other Webspinners
    When Sony approached filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller about making an animated Spider-Man movie, they had one demand: It had to be about Miles Morales. Most moviegoers know that Spider-Man’s alter ego is Peter Parker, a high-school nerd whose encounter with a radioactive spider turns him into a super-powered vigilante. But Morales, an Afro-Latino […]
    varietybrentlang
  • ‘Venom’ Creators Promise ‘Huge World,’ Tease Spider-Man Fight
    This isn’t your friendly neighborhood web spinner. “Venom” director Ruben Fleischer and star Tom Hardy promised the crowd at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday that there will be plenty of bloodletting in the upcoming comic-book adaptation. Instead of the typical costumed heroes synonymous with the superhero genre, this film will feature a “much grittier, grounded, […]
    varietybrentlang
  • Film News Roundup: Danny Trejo’s Dark Comedy ‘Bully’ Scores Distribution
    In today’s film news roundup, Danny Trejo’s “Bully” and the Harvey Weinstein documentary “The Reckoning” land distribution deals. ACQUISITIONS North of Two has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to the dark comedy “Bully,” planning a release in the fall, Variety has learned exclusively. The film was directed and produced by Santino Campanelli, and written and […]
    Dave McNary
  • Anthony Anderson Under Criminal Investigation, Disputes Woman’s Claims of Assault
    “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson is currently under criminal investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. According to The Blast, Anderson allegedly assaulted a woman last year after an event she catered for the actor. “It’s unfortunate that anyone can file a police report, whether it is true or false,” Anderson’s rep said in a statement to Variety. “The authorities have not […]
    eclopton
  • ‘Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger’ Renewed for Season 2 at Freeform
    Freeform has renewed its new Marvel series “Cloak & Dagger.” The teen superhero drama will return with a 10-episode second season in spring 2019. The announcement came during the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel featuring cast members Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Emma Lahana and Ally Maki, as well as executive producers Joe Pokaski and Jeph […]
    Danielle Turchiano