Thursday, September 21, 2017

That's not something you get to talk about.

Last year, I had just enough time to see Sully [review], and when I returned to work that night, I was rattled to say the least. I had to meet and greet the parents of my new students less than an hour after sobbing my way through the Miracle on the Hudson and I recall not really giving a damn about what anybody was saying.

This past Wednesday, a day shy of one year later, I managed to sneak in another flick before the dreaded Back-to-School Night kicked off. I wasn't the shell of a person I was in 2016, but my head clearly wasn't fully in the game (not that it ever is). See, it's hard to talk about some kid's future...

...when you've just spent two hours thinking about your own kid not having one.

Wind River, despite being set in the cold, hopeless dead of a snowstorm is an absolute f--king fireball of chaos and anguish. Anchored by men who've seen it all but don't say much, writer/director Taylor Sheridan's latest film is one of the best films I've seen in quite some time, and easily the highlight of the summer. But didn't you see it on back to school night, dickhead? Hey! Get that logic the f--k outta here.

I don't imagine working for the Fish and Wildlife Department is typically a life-or-death job (unless, you know, bears), but when Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner, cementing his status as the absolute f--king man) is recruited by FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen, incredible as always) to help with a homicide case, the body count has just begun. And while the people we'll lose along the way will certainly sting, it's the people that died along time ago that absolutely destroys us.

Cory is an expert tracker, with not only a vast knowledge of the unforgiving Wyoming landscape, but also an expert of many of the people that make their home on it. When Banner shows up to the Wind River Indian Reservation to investigate a homicide, it's pretty clear she ain't exactly dressed for this party. She's smart and incredibly resilient, but she's young. And these old men aren't exactly thrilled to be answering to a girl that's old enough to be their daughter.

About that...
I didn't know anything about this movie when I saw it (like, I didn't even know Olsen was in it [the best surprise ever, that]), other than the fact that it starred my least favorite Avenger. And prior to sitting down in theater 1 that afternoon, the thought of spending two hours with Hawkeye/Renner seemed like something one would do only to avoid an face full of arrows. But ten, maybe twenty minutes in to Wind River, I had changed my tune drastically. Jeremy Renner is f--king brilliant here, and I will line the Hell up for whatever this dude does in the future.

That's where they found my body, after this movie f--king killed me.
What you should never line up for, under any circumstances, are the Yays and Boos. I know they've been in short supply as of late, but isn't that supposed to drive demand? I'm not sure, I don't remember much from Economics 101, other than the girl who sat next to me was smoking hot.

You might think I'm joking...
...but I'm honestly not sure who I love more.
  • So, let us dispense with the shameless buffoonery now: his ex wife? Gorgeous. And Natalie? Unbelievable. 
  • Oh, and that thong? Was that government issued? Either way...sir, yes sir!
  • Am I the only one who thought that that horse training scene was breath-taking? 
  • Okay, clearly I'm an idiot, but how f--king cool is it that Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch are now solving crimes in Wyoming?
  • Man, that medical examiner guy was a real prick...that totally has my unflinching support.
  • Speaking of jerks that won me over despite how horrible they were, let me put my frostbitten hands together and clap it up for Chip (Martin Sensmeier). This dude's kind of a waste of life, his presence on screen doesn't waste a minute.
  • The entire film is a collection of my favorite scenes, but I particularly loved the exchange back at Cory's house. I'm pretty sure I too, needed to excuse myself to the bathroom (to bawl my f--king eyes out).
  • Mountain lions. Just...mountain. Lions.
  • That flashback scene in the trailer was incredible (ly terrible). I was totally thinking one thing was going to happen...then something else entirely occurred. And it was nothing short of heartbreaking (and exhilarating, in a way...[holy shit, Matt....holy f--king shit, man]).
  • So...that was maybe the wildest Mexican standoff, ever? At least top five...
  • I have never been happier to see a grown man show up under a trailer. Never.
  • I want you to run. [BLAM]
  • Got time to sit with me? Aww.
  • And finally, you know that list all movie-nerds have of the best writers ever? I don't, but you're smart, so go ahead and fill in the blanks. Well, I think we all need to collectively add Taylor Sheriden to that list immediately. I'm honestly not sure there's anyone better at writing mostly good people in mostly bad situations. (though here, I'm thinking our main guy is beyond good, and this situation is beyond bad)
Bad/Good news have never been so good/bad. 
  • Initially, I was thinking here we go again, Renner sniping fools from a bitch.
  • Usually when I see a pretty girl in a bad outfit, I'm disappointed, not emotionally devastated.
  • Fine, I will go talk to your wi--- WHAT THE F--K IS GOING ON IN THERE???
  • I basically went dead inside during Cory's speech to the grieving father...but what little I heard? It was so agonizingly...good. Not sure how my face ended up so wet, though.
  • Sam kinda seemed like a cool dude for a second. Then he was a piece of shit.
  • Speaking of, many times are you supposed to shoot someone in the FBI? Asking for a friend...
  • We've all been suspicious of certain characters in certain movies, but the f--kers in Wind River, take the cake. f--king shady can one group of guys get? Seriously. They make the f--kers that show up at the house in The Purge look like choir boys carolling at Christmas.
  • And that was before PETE showed up. Good luck ever playing anything other than Guy Audience Wants to Shoot in the Dick, James Jordan.
  • Just to be clear, I didn't enjoy that flashback scene in the least, okay? It was the f--king worst. There were just a few moments were I was actively cheering for the murder of certain individuals.
  • I had that one dude all wrong. I'm sorry, man. It's just that Chip said...
  • And finally, and this is a Boo I've used before, but why the Hell is this movie not making 3160831 million dollars at the box office? (sorry, I just mashed on some numbers). I love movies like this, and I came thisclose to missing it altogether. Maybe instead of the 9,000th GEICO commercial, maybe we save up some bucks and promote this sumbitch, perhaps? I mean, 15 minutes could make you 15% more at the box office. Or something. F--k you, I tried to make that work.

As much as I loved Sheriden's Hell or High Water [review], I might actually have liked Wind River even more. Though, to be fair, when it's sandwiched between school-related activities, a proctology exam by a drunken Edward Scissorhands would probably feel fantastic, so it might be the non-school air talking.

Maybe next year, I'll see something a little happier. Or, you know...find a different job.

I wonder if the Fish and Wildlife Department is hiring? Or maybe USAirways?

Those gigs sound way less stressful.


  1. I'm so glad you liked this! It's on my Top 10 list of the year so far. Even if it shares a lot of similarities with Sicario, fuck it. That movie was awesome too. I'm probably going to buy this when it hits DVD.

    1. I loved it. It was so depressing, but so completely compelling, too. I don't really remember Sicario, outside of liking it and Blunt (and that wild shootout!), but I'm still with you - f--k it!!!

      I'm not sure if I'll purchase, but I definitely rent it, and demand that my wife watch it with me.

  2. I'm coming back to this when I finally see the movie. I sadly missed it when it was on the big screen which is a shame because it feels like a good movie but I'll see it as soon as I can. Then I'm coming here and reading your review! I said that already, anyway, I wanted to say I'm excited to see a movie you so highly praised in the beginning of this review.

    1. Please come back. I mean that in more ways than one (despite no comment as of yet, I did read Commercial Break...whilst on a bus full of 6th graders HEADED TO THE ZOO!).

      This movie is awesome. I'm totally in for whatever anybody in this film does next. Seriously, Renner stars in a movie about a guy who takes a two hour nap on his couch? I'm there opening night.

  3. I'm writing this with a fucked up wrist.. right wrist. With one working finger. Which is the highest sign of friendship in blogosphere. I am super psyched for this movie, HoHW is my favorite from last year and Sicario in spite of who directed it (Mr. boo boo was not shirtless throughout my super long boring movie / No pulse talking to CGI Aliens in clouds) was in my top 10 of that year. You are right - Sheridan has gotta be on the top lists of people who actually give a damn about who wrote the film they are watching. At that point this dude guarantees I will see the film.

    1. Did you ever know that you're my hero? It's true. The injured just wrist (and accompanying needles in the ass) solidifies it. Oh, that and the fact that you still read this nonsense years later...

      I might have actually liked this more than HoHW, but either way, Taylor Sheriden is the f--king man. We've got all sorts of great characters here...and so much f--king sadness I almost (happily) choked to death on it. must be psyched for Blade Runner, huh? DV and Blind Jesus transcending life on Earth.... (I really, really want to see Prisoners, by the way)

    2. Dv and Blind Jesus aren't as much of an issue as Gosling in his 'child in the fog' mode is. Blind Jesus is actually the only reason I want to see this - well also Ford visibly suffering for cash which is relatable to me - but I may have to skip October releases due to my injury :/

  4. Great review. I totally agree, when Jon Bernthal opened that door in the flashback, I thought, "Oh dear, this is going to be bad." Which it ultimately was, but not at the hands of Bernthal. That really speaks to the strength of his casting... you have no idea what the hell that guy is going to do in a role.

    1. I'm sorry I never got back to this comment, but I couldn't agree more. I didn't that trust that dude for a second, and I had spent almost the entire time up until that point HATING the shit out of him.

      But what happened? How it all went down? HO-LEEE shit, that was bananas. I've hanven't seen something that terrible/inspiring in a long, long time. Hell, if ever.

  5. This sounds so good! I love mysteries, and Elizabeth Olsen is terrific.

    Your comment about a proctology exam with Edward Scissorhands is pure gold.

    1. Steph, it is beyond good. The second you can get your hands on this one, drop everything and make it happen. It's quite the ass-kicker.

      Maybe even worse than Korean zombies. Maaaaybe....