‘News of the World’: Hanks and his young co-star deliver a soulful western

“News of the World” – Three years ago, Tom Hanks starred as a newsman, and one of the 20th century’s most prominent, “The Washington Post” Executive Editor Ben Bradlee in “The Post”, a film about the publication’s attempt to publish the Pentagon Papers. In “News of the World”, Hanks plays another character tied to the Fourth Estate, although he’s worlds – and a century – apart from Mr. Bradlee. As the movie opens, Civil War veteran Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Hanks) greets an eager Wichita Falls, Texas audience in 1870 by…

10 Quirky Comedies: ‘Damsel’

“Damsel” (2018) – In the movie business, when one says damsel, the words in distress usually follow.  Obviously, most unmarried women are not in distress, but Samuel (Robert Pattinson) believes that one particular damsel, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska), needs to be swept off her feet.  Directors David and Nathan Zellner’s (“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter” (2014)) latest creation is a hilarious, offbeat surprise and the most unique western to arrive on the big screen in years. With classic genre themes like long stretches on horseback, beautiful skies and hazardous saloons, but also quirky…

‘Hostiles’ is a purposely grim, well-acted but incomplete western

“Hostiles” – “He’s a butcher.” – Capt. Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) “Then the two of you should get along just fine.” – Jeremiah Wilks (Bill Camp) For decades, Capt. Joseph J. Blocker (Bale) has lived his adult life immersed in violence via his chosen profession in the U.S. Calvary.   After spending a career hunting down and killing Native Americans, he has become hardened and emotionally inhibited – something less than human, without a hint of light or angelic joy – after causing and witnessing so much death. His commanding…