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Old 01-27-2018, 07:19 AM
 
27,447 posts, read 44,947,050 times
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Saw this last night
Very disappointed after looking forward to seeing it---my husband especially
Have seen other Cooper films---"Out of the Furnace" I thought was much better movie even if maybe not as theoretically difficult/creative (like the use of native dialect) as "Hostiles"...
I have seen many movies with Native American/violence on the frontier themes and NA actors and movies w/other ethnicities cast in those roles--
This movie is flawed in several ways--and has pulled various plot elements from other movies w/NA themes
so there is little truly "unique" or "ground breaking" about it--

Beware a move that takes itself too seriously--
for example, the night scene between Jesse Plemon's young Lt and M/Sgt Metz (played w/an Irish accent--go figure)--very stage-y and if that Sgt had as much experience on the frontier as he is supposed to have--
that conversation never would have happened--

Bale/Blocker's anguish on being given his mission --another example of overkill
It is to Bale's credit that he manages to rise about the limitations of the script and invest his character with a force/humanity that commands the scene and often times compels the audience to overlook the script's flaws because there is really little reason for him to undergo his character's 180 degree adjustment...

Pike manages to look elegant no matter how much gore spatters her...note how good her hands look--
Not very realistic for a woman living an isolated, harsh life on the frontier for who knows how long...
And not the same attention to detail I noted w/Bale/Blocker's uniform that grows more worn as the film draws to a close...

For a film supposedly sympathetic to Native Americans and including Wes Studi and Adam Beach there are no scenes with simply Yellow Hawk and his family---everything flows from the "white man's" perspective...

Cooper had the elements to make a much better film---his flaws are stronger than his strengths, unfortunately
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Texas
32,533 posts, read 17,643,747 times
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Saw it this afternoon and felt drained at the end of it.

Just SO much needless death.

But the cinematography is excellent, the scenery is grand, and you come away with an appreciation for how hard life in the old west no doubt was for those who moved away from civilization into the vast wilderness.

All that said, I thought it was a good film.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:37 PM
 
Location: The Jar
20,071 posts, read 13,747,950 times
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This is a script that could fit almost every battle ever fought/ideology ever fought for. I think that's the point.

The utter destruction war/hate
(you certainly wouldn't kill those you love, right?!) yields. No real winners. And the only overcoming happened through forgiveness.

Of course there are exceptions.

Most wars come about through, and sanctioned because of, the love of money.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,521 posts, read 11,628,203 times
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Watched this tonight. Plodding, boring, predictable. One of the worst "westerns" I've ever seen.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:28 AM
 
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Very very disappointing
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,148 posts, read 18,127,033 times
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They couldíve taken a train from New Mexico to Montana. After all, the movie is set in 1892.

And the notion of hostile Comanches roaming around in 1892 is absurd.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:51 AM
 
1,442 posts, read 846,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
They could’ve taken a train from New Mexico to Montana. After all, the movie is set in 1892.
(chuckle).. I was kinda thinking the same thing.. but I'm not knowledgeable about the coverage of train routes in the late 19th Century West. But when Bale hopped on the train at the end; I thought damn, why didn't they just take trains (to Montana) in the first place (?)

That said, I thought Hostiles was ok.. really good scenery/ambiance of the West. But long & plodding story. Implicit & explicit (heavy handed & predictable) sermonizing/stereotyping of White-Indian relations of the past. Hostiles seemed to have aspirations of an old Eastwood' Western [ie- Eastwood leading a pack of rag-tag (but noble) underdogs/vigilantes]. but Hostiles was sort of flat.
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Old 08-25-2018, 03:58 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
19,358 posts, read 13,015,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
They couldíve taken a train from New Mexico to Montana. After all, the movie is set in 1892.

And the notion of hostile Comanches roaming around in 1892 is absurd.
Not so absurd as you might think. In 1890, there was a new tribal religion, the Ghost Dance movement, that sprang up and swept through the tribal reservations like wildfire. The Ghost Dancers believed their dance and ceremonial shirt made them bullet-proof.

This began dozens of sudden attacks by small groups of Ghost Dancers who left their reservations that slaughtered homesteaders. The first scene of Hostiles was very accurate portraying this. The tribes that fought the hardest and longest during the wars of the 1880s were the same ones that had the most Ghost Dancers.

The movement culminated in the Wounded Knee massacre in December 29. 1890. The massacre was the result of the Army's frustration trying to quell the random killings, although there were also several organized pitched battles earlier in 1889 and 1890.

The movie's timeline was off a couple of years, as it takes place in 1892, but the situation presented was pretty close to actual events. Yellow Hawk was a fictional chief, but there were several prominent real chiefs who were released from prison or from distant reservations who, by Presidential decree, were permitted to return to their homelands.
This was done in large part as a measure to quell the Ghost Dancers. It actually worked pretty well too.

Mention was made in the movie about how the spur line to the fort in New Mexico went bankrupt and shut down. This happened in 1890 and several years following all over the west. There were many small railroad companies that sprang up in the late 1870s through the 1880s that owed their existence to the free land the government gave away to them; if enough capital could be raised to build a spur line in the middle of nowhere, the land was free to the railroad.
The small railroads promoted the free land heavily, and made money off of migrants who wanted to own farms out west. The farmers (and miners and loggers) kept the spur lines going by the need to ship the goods back east to the big markets.
Many of the spur lines were never very profitable, and when a severe economic depression began in the 1890s, it was as severe as the Great Depression of the 1930s. A lot of the small spur railroads didn't survive it.

So the scenario of riding the old Chief back to Montana on horseback was accurate enough.
While wagons or coaches would have probably been used for it, that was up to the discretion of the Army post commanders who were charged with the duty.

Since wagons were a very valuable commodity for all remote forts, a light escort such as the one in the movie was typical; horses were the cheapest and fastest transportation for the purpose.

Travel by horseback from northern New Mexico across the Great Divide in Colorado, then one more crossing into Montana would have been a more direct route, thus shorter and less arduous.

No roads existed back then, at least as we know them. A 'road' was a wagon track. If a wagon couldn't cover the territory, the track became a wildlife track, as wildlife always found the easiest way to go over mountains.

I agree that hostile Commanches was absurd. By 1892, the tribe was shattered.

But there were still tribes that were fighting in the far west- the Chiricahuas finally surrendered in 1894, after a TB outbreak decimated them.

The lingering suspicion and hostility in the movie were real enough. The 1890s were a very dark era in our history, especially in the far west. The notion of 'The Gay Nineties' is mostly a lie if a person wasn't living in one of our big cities.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:36 AM
 
1,442 posts, read 846,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
Not so absurd as you might think. In 1890, there was a new tribal religion, the Ghost Dance movement, that sprang up and swept through the tribal reservations like wildfire. The Ghost Dancers believed their dance and ceremonial shirt made them bullet-proof.

This began dozens of sudden attacks by small groups of Ghost Dancers who left their reservations that slaughtered homesteaders. The first scene of Hostiles was very accurate portraying this. The tribes that fought the hardest and longest during the wars of the 1880s were the same ones that had the most Ghost Dancers.

The movement culminated in the Wounded Knee massacre in December 29. 1890. The massacre was the result of the Army's frustration trying to quell the random killings, although there were also several organized pitched battles earlier in 1889 and 1890.

The movie's timeline was off a couple of years, as it takes place in 1892, but the situation presented was pretty close to actual events. Yellow Hawk was a fictional chief, but there were several prominent real chiefs who were released from prison or from distant reservations who, by Presidential decree, were permitted to return to their homelands.
This was done in large part as a measure to quell the Ghost Dancers. It actually worked pretty well too.

Mention was made in the movie about how the spur line to the fort in New Mexico went bankrupt and shut down. This happened in 1890 and several years following all over the west. There were many small railroad companies that sprang up in the late 1870s through the 1880s that owed their existence to the free land the government gave away to them; if enough capital could be raised to build a spur line in the middle of nowhere, the land was free to the railroad.
The small railroads promoted the free land heavily, and made money off of migrants who wanted to own farms out west. The farmers (and miners and loggers) kept the spur lines going by the need to ship the goods back east to the big markets.
Many of the spur lines were never very profitable, and when a severe economic depression began in the 1890s, it was as severe as the Great Depression of the 1930s. A lot of the small spur railroads didn't survive it.

So the scenario of riding the old Chief back to Montana on horseback was accurate enough.
While wagons or coaches would have probably been used for it, that was up to the discretion of the Army post commanders who were charged with the duty.

Since wagons were a very valuable commodity for all remote forts, a light escort such as the one in the movie was typical; horses were the cheapest and fastest transportation for the purpose.

Travel by horseback from northern New Mexico across the Great Divide in Colorado, then one more crossing into Montana would have been a more direct route, thus shorter and less arduous.

No roads existed back then, at least as we know them. A 'road' was a wagon track. If a wagon couldn't cover the territory, the track became a wildlife track, as wildlife always found the easiest way to go over mountains.

I agree that hostile Commanches was absurd. By 1892, the tribe was shattered.

But there were still tribes that were fighting in the far west- the Chiricahuas finally surrendered in 1894, after a TB outbreak decimated them.

The lingering suspicion and hostility in the movie were real enough. The 1890s were a very dark era in our history, especially in the far west. The notion of 'The Gay Nineties' is mostly a lie if a person wasn't living in one of our big cities.
Mike, Informative post; thanks.

What were your thoughts (if any) on Hostiles' entertainment value (?)
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:21 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,148 posts, read 18,127,033 times
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I consulted maps before making my assertion about the railroads. Here is a map of major railroads in 1890. Looks to me like going from anywhere in New Mexico to anywhere in Montana would be best done by train, using roads to and from the train.

Of course we can recall John Fordís reply when asked why in Stagecoach the Apaches didnít simply shoot the coachís horses during the chase scene. Ford replied that would end the picture.
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"Hostiles" /Scott Cooper-f33927c0-654e-403a-9c80-a77078a9cfab.jpeg  
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