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Movie Review: Wind River
Wind River is a 2017 American neo-western murder mystery thriller film written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. The film stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker and an FBI agent, respectively, who try to solve a murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Gil Birmingham and Graham Greene also star (Wikipedia).
Plot: Cory Lambert is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in snowy Wyoming. When the autopsy reveals that she was raped, FBI agent Jane Banner arrives to investigate. Teaming up with Lambert as a guide, the duo soon find that their lives are in danger while trying to solve the mystery of the teen’s death.
Trailer: Wind River
It has been a while since I have seen a movie that didn’t involve or revolve around war, super heroes fighting a war, a talking raccoon, or a space ship. This is just good old fashioned story telling about a murder that is going to be tough to solve. The story pits a jaded fish and wildlife expert with a green FBI agent with no field experience against the backdrop of the Wyoming landscape, which becomes an essential character in story.
The purist in me loves the elements of literary storytelling as it pits man vs nature as the story opens with a young Indian girl running for her life. The temperature is below zero, she is barefoot, and the weather is so cold her lungs explodes. A true warrior like her people, she ran six miles in that weather to escape a group of men who used her simply because they were bored.
The plot thickens as we come face to face with man vs society with the same white men who feel entitled to take what they wants simply because the local officials have no jurisdiction on the federal drilling site where they work. One weekends, the band of brothers ride into town and pick and young Indian woman for their amusement. Cody Lambert’s daughter has been the victim of such a crime, having died several years before under similar circumstances.
Cody is not your typical hero in this story since he is face to face with his worst enemy – himself. In order to bring peace to his own heart and in his own head, he has to help solve this murder. It is not redemptive in the sense that he finds his daughter’s killer, but he is able to bring closure to his friend, who is the father of the young woman from the opening scene. A young woman, who was friends with his daughter. In the process, he also saves the life of the FBI Agent, and possibly his soul.
Wind River is a great date night movie with enough action to keep you entertained, as well as enough slow spots to jump up and grab a beer without missing too much. I give this movie four strokes of my pen on a scale of five.
I enjoyed it. I hope you will as well.
Share your thoughts and feedback here.
The Office Wife, Issue 3
The Office Wife, March 11, 2017, Issue 3, Olivia Gaines
Manigault Hurley, R & D
A quiet Tuesday morning ensued as Vicki made coffee in the breakroom for whichever members of the board who were in the office that day. Although the suggestion box requested, almost daily, the purchase of one of those machines with the little pods, it was not economical to purchase so many expensive packages, to make one cup of coffee at a time. Besides, the pods left a medicinal taste on her tongue. It wasn’t as if she were a coffee purist, but there was no reason to ruin a good cup of Joe, with a plastic cup of ground nonsense.
Speaking of nonsense, Vicki checked her inbox to find five invitations for lunch from Konnie with a K who had an unnatural fascination with personal organizers and Washi tape. Twice in the last two days, Vicki found stickers with Washi tape in her office mail box. Konnie was like a naughty little cat who liked to leave dead treats on your pillow. There was something odd about the young temp in a not so good way. The Washi tape felt like little dead bodies in coils of bright colors left for her to see every other day. To make matters worse, somehow, Konnie found out today was her birthday.
A roll of Washi tape with little balloons and cakes sat on her desk with a card, when opened spit out a puff of multi-colored confetti. It was all over her desk. By the time lunch rolled around, Vicki’s futile attempts to rid herself of the meddlesome colorful dots only resulted in confetti in her hair and stuck to her neck and face. Taneeka, her office best friend of only a month, sent her a text message with an image of her face, frozen in laughter.
Vicki’s phone binged. It was another text with an image from Taneeka.
This image was of her nose, taped upwards, Miss Piggy style with a bright strip of Washi tape. It was comical. However, it wasn’t as comical as the image of Manigault Hurley, standing in front of her desk dressed like a character from Monty Python.
“Allow me, Ms. Lawrence, to take you to lunch on this special day of your birth,” he said with his lips pressed together as if her were holding in a wad a slobber and a chunk of peanut butter in his cheeks like a deranged chipmunk.
“Thank you Mr. Hurley, but I can’t today,” she tried backing away from the offer.
“Nonsense,” he said, leaning back rubbing his little flat stomach. “It is your birthday. If you don’t have plans, and based on that lunch bag, I can only assume you don’t, then allow me to treat you to a lovely lunch at my club.”
He was right. Her lunch bag held left over take out from the Chinese restaurant around the corner from her house, which always had too many onions, which gave her horrific gas. She didn’t want to eat what was in her bag any more than she wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon finding discrete places to poot.
“Come, it will be grand. My driver will take us over to the club, you can order whatever you want, and I will have a lovely cake ordered just for your special day,” Manigault told her.
He seemed like a nice man who reminded her of Grandpa Lawrence. She hoped he didn’t have the same sense of humor though. Her Grandpa Lawrence, for fun, enjoyed taking his teeth out in church to make lewd gestures with his tongue to the ladies in the choir, but he never followed up on any of his suggestive behaviors. She prayed Manigault was the same way.
“Sure, it would be nice to join you for lunch on my birthday. I am certain you are going to make this a day to remember,” she responded.
“No, I am going to treat you to a good meal,” he told her with an expressionless face.
Vicki was just crossing into the three-month mark at American Conglomerate. Thus far, based on what she’d seen, clicks and grouplings were formed, but Manigault stood out from the crowd. He was a man of what appeared to be impeccable breeding, ridiculously good taste paired with a reputation without flaw. From what she could gather, his private life, was indeed very private. His desk held no personal photos, momentous, only documentation of his life at American Conglomerate.
“Perfect, I will meet you downstairs at my car at 11:45, please don’t be late,” he cautioned.
Vicki looked down at her watch. It was 11:15. She had thirty minutes to prepare herself for what she knew was going to be a drawn-out conversation on his bug collection from New Guinea or worse, a long-winded montage on the down fall of the black man. This was usually followed by an invitation to make her life easier by offering her a key to his love pad downtown, or worse, a tiny ranch house in the Valley right below Rancho Cucamonga. Suddenly her appetite waned the same moment her desk phone rang. It was Taneeka.
“Hey!” She said to Vicki.
“Hey back,” she said slowly.
“Happy Birthday,” Taneeka said quickly. “Drinks on me after work if you can make it.”
“If it is close by at a local watering hole and on my way home, I could sip on something to cut the edges off my glitter infused morning,” she replied.
“Just don’t sip or suck on anything during lunch. I heard old men give you bugs,” Taneeka joked.
“I think he is just being nice, considering he knows no one else on this floor or team is going to do anything for my special day,” Vicki mumbled.
“You never know,” Taneeka said. “No seriously, you never know, he could be taking you out to set you up for the old rope a dope.”
“As in…a surprise on my desk when I get back?”
“No, he is going to show you that an old stove still has a hot pipe,” she told Vicki.
“Just when I started to like you a little,” Vicki chided.
“Well, hurry up. Manigault hates it when people are late plus, I am dying to find out what this lunch thing is about,” she said.
“Okay…whatever, have fun at my painful expense,” she said before saying goodbye and ending the call.
At least I get a decent meal out of it. Hurrying to the ladies to room to take care of her necessities, she washed her face, fluffed her hair and applied a little lipstick before heading to the first floor. Manigault had said driver. She failed to ask what his driver would be driving. Once she stepped out of the door, she quickly saw.
The classic Bentley was manned by a very large Asian gentleman who remined her of the James Bond villain with the bowler hat that could decapitate a man. I wish I could remember the villian’s name. Her fingers involuntarily went to her neck, caressing the soft skin. The door was opened for her as she tugged a little on the red dress she chose to wear this morning, even considering it was bordering on too little for her curvy body. The dress made her feel pretty even if on the inside, she felt like sludge. The three-inch heels added a bit of height to her frame, as she slid her bottom into the car seat first, swinging well-toned legs around to face the front. Manigault appeared to be pleased. It was more of a move to protect her modesty from the eyes of the driver. He didn’t need to see the hot red lacy undies.
“Thank you for joining me,” Manigault told her.
“It is I who should be thanking you,” she said sweetly.
He only nodded, pulled out his phone, and began to make notes in a pocket note book as they drove to the Lakeside Country Club in Burbank. The drive was short, his body was tense as the car came to a stop in front of what looked like the main entrance. His glasses came down from his face.
“Wait for me to come escort you,” he said.
The driver opened his door first. Manigault inhaled sharply, exhaling what sounded like frustration as he stood, leisurely walking around the car to open Vicki’s door. A well-manicured hand reached inside the car asking for her to join him. Luckily, she’d just gotten a mani and pedi herself as her hand slid into his, coming out of the car, to stand at his side. He wrapped her arm into his as they made their way into the main building.
Vicki learned something new about Manigault that day. She found out that he was Hollywood royalty. Everywhere he turned, people were bending over to almost kiss his ass. He held his head high, walking as if he didn’t see any of the little people as they passed making their way to a private dining area. This pushed Vicki to do the only thing she knew to do, play along. Whatever was happening here was in the now. She was being audition for a role she wasn’t certain she wanted to play.
Over lunch of rock crab claws, something drenched in champagne, and a dollop of mashed potatoes, she said nothing as they ate in silence. On occasion, she would look up at him in well placed intervals and smile. His face did not move the first time she did it. The second time she smiled at him, she added a wink.
It got a reaction out of him.
Brief, but small, Manigault’ s eyes smiled back at her.
Three young men, all waist staff, were gawking at them all throughout lunch. Someone snapped a photo which infuriated Manigault to no end, who raised his hand, and three managers materialized like ghostly apparitions awaiting his bidding.
“My lady friend and I value our privacy. Whoever it was who snapped the photo, I know you will assure me it will not be seen anywhere?” He asked the manager as he got to his feet. He held out his hand for Vicki to come to his side in a show of outrage by the staff’s actions.
“Of course, Mr. Hurley, we will take care of it,” the manager lied.
Vicki held his arm, lips pouting out like an upset child, looking at the manager. In a childlike voice, she asked him, “Manigault, they are not going to sell our pictures to the papa-pazzi are they?”
“Paparazzi dear,” he said to her.
“Oh yeah. Pappa-prazzi,” he said trying to mimic him.
Manigault looked at the manager, “See that they don’t.”
Vicki, to add fuel to the fire, pushed up on her right breast with her hand, as if to shift its attention toward the door as she took Manigault’ s arm squeezing it for support, she held her head high and walked out the door. She added a bit more swish to her hips, stomping her feet like a runway model until they reached the car.
Bottom in first, she swung her legs around as the driver closed her door. She waited patiently for Manigault to entered the other side of the car, turning to face her with a gigantic grin on his face. Vicki shuddered. In three months’ time, she’d never seen him so happy.
“Mr. Hurley, you do know that photo is going to be everywhere by 6 am. It will be all over social media and every one will be trying to figure out who I am,” she said to him. “It never dawned on me that you were the Manigault Hurley.”
“One and the same. I love my job at American Conglomerate and I am very good at it. I allow my family to handle the Hollywood stuff and I make public appearances with unknown pretty girls on my arm to keep the family’s name in the papers,” he said.
He’d told her enough, she understood.
“How many country clubs do you belong to?”
“Unfortunately, four. I visit one each week,” he said. “I love the months with five weeks because then I get a break.”
Vicki started to smile.
“Why are you grinning?”
“Because, if I get three nice wigs, I get a free lunch at an exclusive country club for the rest of the month,” she said with a wink.
“You’re good,” he told her with a larger smile.
“I thought you’d get a kick out of my Papa-pazzi comment,” she grinned.
“That was a nice touch,” he said patting her hand.
The drive back to the office passed in silence until they reached the front door of American Conglomerate. Manigault touched her hand.
“Ms. Vicki, you are a very astute young woman. I trust the details of our day will be kept in confidence?”
“Mr. Hurley, in my current position, everything I see, touch, feel or understand goes to my grave.”
“So, this is safe with you?”
“It will be as safe as the three wigs you hide under the driver’s seat for the next few Tuesdays,” she said, as she opened her door and stepped out into the Burbank sun.
Vicki did not see Hurley for the remainder of the day, but at 4:45, she’d trained her body to hold on, to make that last stop to the ladies’ room before she headed out at 5:10 each day to sit in traffic trying to get home. She returned to her desk to find a cupcake along with small black box on her desk with a diamond ring, nothing flashy, but classy in all the right ways. It had a simple note in bold script.
Keep it in your drawer for our once monthly first Tuesday outings. Enjoy your birthday. – Hurley
She’s passed the test. Whatever the test was, in Manigault’ s eyes, she’d passed it with flying colors. Once monthly outings. So once a month, on the first Tuesday, she was having lunch or making the rounds with him. Uncertain, yet sure as the corn on her left toe aching when it rained, she had just become something special and significant for Manigault.
Oddjob. That was the Bond character’s name with the bowler hat!
She’d been given an odd job herself. Once a month she would wear a pretty dress, don the ring and escort him on his rounds to ensure he got his name and the family brand on a social network site. Eyeing the ring a final time before securing it, she stood up and stuck it into the office safe for the next first Tuesday of next month. However, right now, she was ready to have a drink, celebrate her day of birth first with Taneeka, then her friends at home.
Vicki shrugged. Technically, Taneeka would be the third person she celebrated with since Konnie had been the first. Either way, it sure beat spending her birthday alone. In her heart, she knew much of his private life, he’d spent that way. If lunch or an outing once a month took some of the pressure off him to be a certain something for his family, she could do that for him.
Everybody needs some body.
She had just become a somebody for Manigault Hurley.
Oddly, I am okay with that.
Ellen is an unruly 20-year-old anorexic girl who spent the better part of her teenage years being shepherded through various recovery programs, only to find herself several pounds lighter every time. Determined to find a solution, her dysfunctional family agrees to send her to a group home for youths, which is led by a non-traditional doctor. Surprised by the unusual rules, Ellen must discover for herself how to confront her addiction and attempt self-acceptance.
The corpse of an unidentified woman is found at the scene of a bloody and bizarre homicide. The sheriff finds no signs of forced entry, suggesting that the victims were trying to escape from the residence.
Emma visits her boyfriend, Austin, and his father, Tommy, who is the coroner in their small town. Tommy explains to her that coroners in the past used to tie bells to bodies to make sure they were actually dead, not comatose. The sheriff arrives with the mysterious body, dubbed Jane Doe, and tells Tommy that he needs the cause of death by morning. Austin postpones for a few hours his date with Emma to help Tommy.
Tommy and Austin perform the autopsy on Jane Doe and quickly become confused by what they find. There are no external visible signs of trauma, but her wrist and ankle bones had been shattered. As well, her tongue has been crudely cut out, one of her molars is missing, her lungs are blackened as though she had suffered third degree burns, and her internal organs reveal numerous cuts and scarring. Jimsonweed, a paralyzing agent not native to the area, is found in her stomach. The condition of much of the body suggests that death had just occurred, while cloudiness of the corpse’s eyes suggests that she had been dead for a few days.
Other mysterious events occur. The radio begins to spontaneously change channels, and Austin hears sounds and believes he sees people standing in the morgue’s hallway. He also finds their cat mortally wounded, hiding in an air duct. News reports on the radio state that a severe storm is about to hit the area, but Tommy and Austin decide to stay and finish the autopsy.
Tommy finds the woman’s missing tooth wrapped in a piece of cloth in her stomach. The cloth has Roman numerals and letters as well as an odd diagram. Similar symbols are found on the inside of her skin. The lights in the room suddenly explode. During the confusion, they realize that other corpses in the morgue have gone missing. They decide to leave, but the elevator does not work and a fallen tree is blocking the exit door. An unseen figure attacks Tommy in the bathroom, leaving bruises on his body.
In the near future, humanity has been ravaged by a mysterious fungal disease (a mutation of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis). The afflicted are robbed of all free will and turned into fast, mindless flesh-eaters, referred to as ‘hungries’. Humankind’s only hope is a small group of hybrid, second generation children who crave living flesh but retain the ability to think and learn. The children go to “school” at an army base in the Home Counties, where they are experimented on by Dr. Caroline Caldwell. Helen Justineau is responsible for educating and studying the children. The children are prisoners, but humanized by Helen to the dismay of Sgt. Eddie Parks. Helen treats the children fairly, growing particularly close to a polite, exceptional girl named Melanie. After Melanie reads her own story to Helen, Helen is overcome with emotion and strokes the girl’s head. Parks bursts in and rebukes Helen; he rubs off a “masking gel” on his arm, and then holds the area near a child, evoking a violent, animalistic response which then spreads to the other children
As punishment, that evening Parks leaves Melanie restrained in her wheelchair. Helen visits Melanie in her cell and tries to release her, but Melanie starts snapping and trying to bite Helen. Melanie struggles to restrain herself to impress Helen, but is unable so Helen flees the cell. She drops her blocker lotion by the door, which is discovered later by Dr. Caldwell.
Janitor Josh Futturman leads a pretty boring life, spending much of his time playing video games when he’s not working. Things change, though, when he beats a video game that the rest of the world has given up on, thinking it was unbeatable. After he defeats the game, mysterious visitors from the future appear. They put the world in danger, and Josh is the only person who can save it. He assembles a team to assist him as he travels through time, completing various missions as he does whatever he can to try to save Earth from the extraterrestrial visitors.
Based on the legend of the Ninth Legion, an army of 3000 unstoppable Roman warriors who vanished without trace, Centurion is the tale of their vicious conflict with a murderous adversary, the Picts.
Beginning in 117 AD, the narrative opens with a Roman soldier fleeing across a snowy landscape, saying:
“My name is Quintus Dias. I am a soldier of Rome, and this is neither the beginning, nor the end of my story.”
The Romans have been unable to fully conquer Britain, meeting the fiercest resistance in the north, reaching a harsh stalemate that’s lasted a gruelling twenty years. The Picts of Alba are engaging in a guerrilla campaignagainst the Roman forts along the Glenblocker line and the Gask Ridge at the southern border of the Scottish Highlands. At the Roman outpost of Pinnata Castra, Pictish warriors led by Vortix and Aeron force surprise and kill the entire garrison, taking only one survivor for questioning, the second-in-command, Centurion Quintus Dias, because he can speak the Pictish tongue. Dias is brought before the Pictish king Gorlacon, who has united the northern tribes. Dias is brutally interrogated, but two weeks later escapes on foot.
However, a messenger dispatched by the fort’s commander has reached Gnaeus Julius Agricola, the Roman governor of Britannia, who wants to obtain favour with the Roman Senate, hoping to secure a transfer back to the comforts of Rome. He dispatches the Ninth Legion, under General Titus Flavius Virilus, to eradicate the Pictish threat and provides him with a female Celtic Brigantian scout called Etain. As the legion marches north it encounters Dias and rescues him from his pursuers, saving his neck just in the nick of time.
The film ends with Quintus Dias adjusting the narrative of the film’s opening line:
“My name is Quintus Dias. I am a fugitive of Rome, and this is neither the beginning, nor the end of my story.”
A self-obsessed young man makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth, but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father. Their relationship ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.
The film takes place in Perth, and begins ten minutes after an asteroid has collided with earth in the North Atlantic, leaving approximately twelve hours until the subsequent global firestorm reaches Western Australia. James and his lover, Zoe, are having sex for the last time at her beach house, where she reveals that she’s pregnant with James’ child. Wishing to block out all feelings and avoid what’s coming, James berates Zoe for sharing her news and leaves for “the party to end all parties”.
After having his car stolen, he comes across two men who have kidnapped a young girl and are planning to rape her. James kills them, and rescues the girl. The girl, named Rose, explains that she was separated from her father in Malaga en route to her aunt’s house in Roleystone. Without enough petrol, and wishing to get to his party, James instead plans to leave her with his sister and her children. But upon arriving, he finds his sister and her husband dead in the shower, and three crosses marking what appears to be his nieces’ graves, in what is an apparent murder suicide.
Other attempts at locating Rose’s dad, or someone to leave her with, have sobering results, and James eventually heads to the party with Rose in tow. The party is overflowing with people, a game of Russian roulette is being played, and an orgy is going on inside the house. James is noticeably uncomfortable and appears to want to leave. James meets with the host of the party, Freddy, whose sister is James’ girlfriend, Vicki. James leaves Rose in the pool to speak with Vicki. In a reversal of the earlier scene with Zoe, James attempts to share a serious moment with Vicki, only for her to berate him for bringing her down with his news.
Vicki shows James a bunker built underneath Freddy’s garage, which obviously does not have sufficient food, protection, or space for the miraculous survival Vicki envisions. James tells Vicki and Freddy that they’ll all die, even with the bunker. Freddy’s reaction to this statement informs Vicki that her brother had known this all along. James accepts that his death is inevitable and can’t be blocked out, and commits himself to reuniting Rose with her family.
Meanwhile, outside, a drug-affected woman follows Rose, claiming that she is her daughter, Mandy. When James finally comes back outside to find Rose, she is hallucinating and vomiting after being coerced into taking ecstasy pill, with the woman leaning over her. James tries to leave the party with Rose, causing the woman to scream that he is kidnapping her child. Freddy holds James at gunpoint, before Vicki calmly takes the gun and shoots the woman, telling James to go.
James drives Rose to his estranged mother’s house, with whom he reconciles whilst Rose recovers. She gives James petrol and Rose some old clothes, and the pair leave for Rose’s aunt’s house. Upon arrival, nobody seems to be home, but James finds the bodies of Rose’s family, including her father, outside in what seems to be a mass suicide. Although hysterical at the news of her father’s death, Rose insists on seeing him. James comforts her and brings her his body, and they lay him by a pond with flowers as she tells him that her dad wanted them to be together for the end. James then confides in Rose about his relationship with Zoe and her pregnancy, which leads him to realise his love for her. Rose convinces him to make amends with her while he still can. He heeds her advice, and the two share an emotional farewell before James leaves. His car overheats on the highway as the firestorm approaches, and he runs for the rest of the way. He finds Zoe on the beach, watching the approaching firestorm. She is initially hostile towards James, however the two quickly reconcile and confess their mutual love. The pair then embrace, and turn towards the ocean as they are consumed by the firestorm.
In 1985, Kung Fury, the toughest martial artist cop in Miami, goes back in time to kill the worst criminal of all time – kung fuhrer Hitler.
Sometime in the early 1980s, Miami-Dade Police Department detective Kung Fury and his partner Dragon apprehend a red ninja in a back alley, but Dragon is sliced in half by the ninja while Kung Fury is suddenly struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra, giving him extraordinary kung fu powers that enable him to defeat his foe. Years later in 1985, after defeating a rogue arcade machine robot, Kung Fury quits the force when he is assigned to partner with Triceracop, fearing that he would lose another partner in the line of duty. Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler, a.k.a. “Kung Führer”, enters the timeline and remotely guns down the police chief and attacks the precinct through a mobile phone. Intent to avenge the chief, Kung Fury has computer whiz Hackerman send him back in time to kill Hitler in Nazi Germany. A glitch in the system, however, sends him back into the Viking Age. After Kung Fury meets the Viking valkyries Barbarianna and Katana, the Norse god Thor sends him to Nazi Germany for him to finish his job.
Upon his arrival, Kung Fury singlehandedly mows down dozens of Nazi soldiers with his kung fu skills, but is gunned down by Hitler using a Gatling-type gun from inside his podium. Suddenly, Thor, Hackerman, Triceracop, the Viking Babes, and a tyrannosaurus hack into the timeline and kill the rest of the Nazi army while the tyrannosaurus squares off against Hitler’s robotic Reichsadler. After being revived by Hackerman, Kung Fury gives Hitler an uppercut before Thor drops his hammer on the Nazi leader and his robotic eagle. Seeing his mission as accomplished, Kung Fury returns to his timeline.
Back in 1985 Miami, Kung Fury once again battles and defeats the arcade machine robot, but notices a Swastika on the robot’s body while Hitler and his Reichsadler enter the timeline, vowing revenge on Kung Fury.
yeah. It’s worth a few laughs.