The Old Way is a bland western revenge story.

Retired gunslinger Colton Briggs faces the consequences of his past when the son of a man he murdered arrives to take his revenge. Briggs must take up arms once more after his wife is killed, and is joined by his young daughter.

I’m not the biggest on the western genre but every once and while there’s a few that look like they could be a bit interesting, what mainly drew me to The Old Way was mostly Nicolas Cage but does he save this movie? 

There is honestly not a whole lot to talk about here with The Old Way, outside of Nicolas Cage and Ryan Kiera Armstrong who give some really solid performances and actually have a strong father and daughter bond that’s genuinely sweet. This is just your very typical revenge western story that does not bring anything new to the table, the rest of the cast aren’t strong enough to standout and the writing is way too generic for it’s own good. The movie has some interesting ideas but doesn’t do a whole lot with them, they are presented, explored for about 10 minutes and then quickly abandoned. It’s serviceable when it comes to being a revenge western everything that you expect is here but those looking for something bigger are going to be disappointed. 

Overall The Old Way isn’t horrible there’s parts here that do work well but those aren’t enough to save the movie from being overall forgettable. 

The Old Way is available on all VOD platforms.

4/10 D+


Montana Story is a calmingly beautiful experience!

Two estranged siblings return home to the sprawling ranch they once knew and loved in order to care for their ailing father.

Montana Story is a film I wanted to like a lot more than I did, but from what’s presented it’s a very decent movie. For starters Haley Lu Richardson and Owen Teague are both fantastic in the leading roles, they have great chemistry between one another most of the heavy lifting comes from Richardson who’s always a powerhouse whenever she’s on screen in anything she’s in. The 35mm camera combined with the setting is beautiful and really captures a calming atmosphere that brings the viewer into the film, what hurts the movie a bit is mostly how the film wraps up. There’s definitely some powerful moments in there but it seemed like the movie was building up to something bigger and sort of just dumped it all in a very short span, plus the pacing is way too slow a lot of the time that could definitely take you out of the film. However Montana Story is a very well made film that I do recommend checking out.

Montana Story is available on all VOD Platforms.

7/10 B

The Power Of The Dog is a striking film with several interesting themes!

A domineering rancher responds with mocking cruelty when his brother brings home a new wife and her son, until the unexpected comes to pass.

The Power Of The Dog is another showcase of just incredible Jane Campion as a filmmaker, this is her first film in 12 years and the long wait was most definitely worth it. Benedict Cumberbatch has been in quite a few films this year but his performance in The Power Of The Dog has the most strength to it, he plays a character who has dealt with pain, there’s also agony and a lot of other emotions that help build his character. It’s a very interesting character study of him and he has this journey about his emotions. Kristen Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee are both fantastic, they each bring something truly special to the film, Dunst giving a very raw and classic western type feel performance that feels like it’s out of the classic black and white film era. And McPhee giving a performance that follows Cumberbatch’s character that is just as interesting and as powerful. The film itself has a old soul to it, it feels like it’s straight out of the classic film era with some darker twists, the style the film went for which was being violent without being violent was done in such a unique and interesting way. The film shows that violence can come in many different forms, most of it here is done psychologically which fits the film quite well. The cinematography compliments the whole theme as well with beautiful shots and a dark atmosphere that brings a ton suspense and mystery to the film. Jane Campion’s direction is brilliant she really hits it out of the park when it comes to bringing a sense of rawness to the film, she also makes every character as interesting as possible. Giving them a ton of development, with monologues, quiet scenes and heavy hitting moments that really capture the important parts of character development in film. Overall The Power Of The Dog is one of the best films of the year, it’s a slow burn with several haunting elements that gives the film a lot of power. It most definitely won’t be for everyone but if you do watch it be sure to go into the film knowing as little as possible!

The Power Of The Dog is available on Netflix!

10/10 A+

Cry Macho is a Eastwood Throwback!

A onetime rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder, in 1978, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home and away from his alcoholic mum. Crossing rural Mexico on their back way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman may find his own sense of redemption through teaching the boy what it means to be a good man.

First things first I respect Clint Eastwood in terms of filmmaking he’s 91 years old and still acting and directing! With that said Cry Macho is a very traditional Eastwood film with honestly not a whole lot to comment on. The acting is overall pretty strong particularly from Fernanda Urrejola, Eastwood is definitely not bad here he’s just done far better in other films. The filming is actually what I was scared about going into this movie, from the trailer it really looked cheaply made with very little style to it. Luckily that’s not the case here, Cry Macho has some great filming during certain moments that stand out quite well. Honestly what hurts Cry Macho the most is that it’s a lot like the other westerns Eastwood was in years ago, it doesn’t build a special identity for itself, however it does feel like a throwback film to the western film era so maybe that was the intention. If you are a fan of Clint Eastwood you will definitely like this one, it’s not one of his crowning achievements but it’s solid enough for a recommendation.

Cry Macho is now available in Theaters and on HBO Max!

7/10 B

Sundance Review: Prisoners Of The Ghostland (2021)

A notorious criminal must break an evil curse in order to rescue an abducted girl who has mysteriously disappeared.

Prisoners Of The Ghostland was a no brainer for me to see at Sundance, I heard so much about it and it’s been on my radar for quite a long time now. I’m happy to say that Prisoners Of The Ghostland is the definition of a bizarre film and I mean that in the best way possible. Nicholas Cage has a ton of moments that are just flat out incredible, everything you want in a Nicholas Cage film is here. The film itself is a huge blend of several genres such as action, western, fantasy, sci-fi and what the film manages to do with those genres is create something truly unique. Nicholas Cage gives a fantastic performance as well as Sofia about Ella, both of them really shine here and commit to the roles they are in. What surprised me the most here is how incredible the cinematography and the costume design are, both of them really add a whole lot to the film and really set the theme and tone throughout the film. The writing is overall pretty great, the cinematography really tells the story here along with the costumes. Which is kind of interesting but the costumes really did tell the story, lastly it’s just a blast of a film. It’s so much fun while being really great. Overall Prisoners Of The Ghostland is some of the most fun I’ve had so far this year, any Nicholas Cage fan will love this! I definitely recommend watching this one when it comes out!

9/10 A

No Man’s Land (2021)

Border vigilante Bill Greer (Frank Grillo) and his son Jackson (Jake Allyn) are on patrol when Jackson accidentally kills a Mexican immigrant boy. Bill tries to take the blame but Texas Ranger Ramirez (George Lopez) sees through the lie, spurring Jackson to flee south on horseback across the Rio Grande to become a gringo “illegal alien” in Mexico. Chased by Texas Rangers and Mexican federales, Jackson journeys across deserts and mountains to seek forgiveness from the dead boy’s vengeful father (Jorge A. Jimenez), as he falls in love with the land he was taught to hate.

Yeah this barely did anything for me, No Man’s Land is by Conor Allyn who previously did Walk.Ride.Rodeo which was a terrible Netflix original, this is definitely an improvement but that doesn’t make it good. Frank Grillo is great as always, he does a decent job with what he’s given. The filming is quite beautiful there are some great shots that capture the beauty of the setting really well. That’s where it ends for me, Jake Allyn is just not interesting enough as an actor to keep you invested into the film, it feels way too long with a running time of 114 minutes but feels like 2 and half hours long. There’s a lot of scenes that could have easily been cut as well, the character development also has a tough time here. While yes there is some of it there really isn’t enough for audiences to get completely invested into the characters. Overall a very forgettable movie, I can easily see why IFC did not advertise this at all.

4/10 D+