Wind River

For awhile, I was up in Northern Minnesota. This is real life, true story. How north, you ask? Well, apparently a 45 minute drive would have taken me to Canada.

I bring this up for two reasons: One, it made me miss quite a few screenings, because they show movies up there months after everyone else saw them, certainly not before. And two, the movie Wind River is set in the wilderness.

Not almost Canada, but cold enough in the months of “barely Spring” Wyoming, in the mountains.

So basically, I am this story. If you squint really really hard.

Oh hey. Avengers. I see you upgraded weapons.

Set in the titular Wind River, Wyoming, this takes us to a big reservation city where people want to just be left alone, raise their families, and not be fucked over by the white man. Basically like a lot of people in the world.

Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is a cool white guy though, as you can tell with his white name. He is okay, because he works to help the area. He lives alone and is a hunter, and he works for the government sort of, taking out wolves or lions or whatever that are messing with people’s farms. He has an ex wife (Julia Jones) and a son (Teo Briones) that he has visitation for sometimes. Definitely some backstory there. Would be awesome if a new character was brought in so that it could be addressed at some point.

But before that, DEATH. Because while out looking for a momma lion and her cubs, he stumbles upon a dead body. A girl, Natalie (Kelsey Asbille) that he knows, barefoot, and miles away from any house. His plans have changed, and now they have to wait for an FBI agent to get there to investigate the possible murder. Which is where we meet Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen), girl totally not used to the cold, here to check things out. Despite bad things that have clearly happened to the girl, specifically physical stuff, the death cannot be ruled a murder but natural causes. Weather is a goddamn bitch.

Banner doesn’t have a lot of time to investigate this before she will be called back to a new job, so she enlists Lambert’s help in order to get someone who knows the area and land to maybe make some leads quickly before she has to run off again. Can they figure out the mystery behind her death?

Featuring the awesome Graham Greene as the local cop, and Gil Birmingham as Natalie’s dad. Also all of these people: Apesanahkwat, Eric Lange, Tantoo Cardinal, Althea Sam, Tyler Laracca, Martin Sensmeier, Tokala Clifford, Jon Bernthal, James Jordan, Austin R. Grant, Blake Robbins, Hugh Dillon, Ian Bohen, and Matthew Del Negro.

And Birmingham’s face was played by William Wallace.

After watching, Wind River seems like one of those movies that I really love for basically every aspect, that other movie watchers will find to be boring or dumb. I hate it when that happens. I want those people to open their minds and realize they just witnessed something epic, so I write about it (while begrudgingly say that yeah, everyone can have an opinion), and make sure people get out there.

But honestly I can’t see that happening. I can’t imagine people going to watch this and not being impressed with it. It is just so damn good. There is no way this can have a disconnect between critic and the average movie goer. Anyone should be able to go in, see how much Renner, Olsen and Greene brought it the entire time they weer on the screen. They should be able to see how much Birmingham did with a lot less screen time. They should be appreciative of the cast that was very racially sensitive to the area.

And they should be able to see how well the plot unfolded. When the movie decided to reveal the secrets, they should feel how their stomach turned and their anger increased. The emotions would be on a ride if someone just let them.

Sure, Wind River started off a little bit slow, but once we get dead body, it should captivate the viewer, and you will see definitely one of the best films of 2017.

4 out of 4.

Hot Pursuit

I feel like I am constantly fighting a losing battle. Right now I only go to one pre-screening a week (two if a special occasion) and rarely see new things in theaters, unless I have a super strong desire. It seems like when given a choice every week, I will end up picking the serious drama or action movie, skipping the comedy. I have actually skipped a lot of comedies. They just don’t have the same strong pull from them to see them on the big screen. They are things that I can easily wait for a DVD release to rent at home and watch alone with ice cream.

Anyways, every time I think I am about to catch up on the last few comedies, a few more come out. I skip those in theaters and this endless cycle continues as always.

Hot Pursuit is not the end of my journey. Since then this summer, there are at least two other major comedies that came out that I am waiting to be released. Oh well, I will sally forth and hopefully giggle a bit.

A movie with two female leads and they aren’t shoving sexuality in my face? I’m not mad, just surprised really!

Rose Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is the kind of person everyone will collectively hate. She is focused on only one thing, her career, and it enters all aspects of her life. You see, her dad used to be a cop and was the best on the force. So she grew up with just him and went on a lot of ride alongs. She learned the lingo, learned everything, she just didn’t learn how to be social. Now she is an adult and in the evidence room because she is apparently also slightly retarded despite the fact that she should be a super cop.

But now she has a field mission! Her and a US Marshall (Richard T. Jones) have to head down to South Texas to pick up two people for the witness protection program. Felipe (Vincent Laresca) and Daniella Riva (Sofia Vergara) are going to witness against the cartel leader Vincente Cortez (Joaquin Cosio)! Scary! It is very time sensative, they need to be at the courthouse the next day to testify. If they go too early, they might get hitmen after them or something! Cooper gets to go, because if there is a female witness, there needs to be a female officer. Oh well, she will take anything.

Of course, after they show up, some armed intruders break in and kill Felipe and the Marshall, leaving Cooper all alone with Daniella. She can’t trust anyone, because who knows who is on Cortez’s payroll. So she has to figure out how to get her to the trial on her own, in one piece, with multiple sides now coming against us. Basically, a great first real field assignment.

Also featuring a bunch more dudes, including: Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley, Robert Kazinsky, Jim Gaffigan, John Carroll Lynch, Michael Ray Escamilla, and Benny Nieves.

Oh good. Slightly better outfits for the pervs out there.

To continue with the trend I mentioned earlier, unsurprisingly, Hot Pursuit was not that funny. Honestly. One actually great scene, which is the main reason the review gets a 1. It involved cocaine and characters on said drug. Fantastic. Comedy gold. Everything else was just a slow, dull bore.

There were plot twists! They weren’t good. There were jokes in English and Spanish! They weren’t good. Witherspoon’s character was so uptight, by the book, and yet dumb! That wasn’t funny. Vergara kept trying to run away! Wasn’t funny. Maybe a scene where they badly try to act like lesbians to get out of a jam? Nope, still not funny.

Sorry for spoiling most of the movie.

But damn. If I had to give the movie any credit, Witherspoon was definitely acting like a different person. She had a strange accent and everything.

Hot Pursuit is a hot mess from start to finish and is not worthy of anyone’s time or attention.

1 out of 4.