In Review: The Harder They Fall

The corpse of the western has been resuscitated in umpteen cinematic attempts in the decades since its fading from popular culture, but the rare case for not leaving the dead to rest in peace arrives in the debut feature from Jeymes Samuel, The Harder They Fall. The title may be overly vague and the film may exist in the genre most ridden with lazy cliches, but neither foretell the film’s distinct delights. Pushing the pulpiest benchmarks of genre toward ultra modern pop ebullience, Samuel sculpts a tale of crime and virtue to attempt to make us see the western in new light. While that may not be entirely achieved, he still thrills us in the meantime.

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In Review: Nine Days

Feature debut director Edson Oda melds science fiction and spiritual drama into one sensuous whole with Nine Days, a new film on bruised matters of the heart and soul. Unimposing, but with a tangible and wholly conceived vision of otherworldly things, this is an increasingly rare type of ambitious independent American cinema with a wide scope. A film about the human experience that takes on not the afterlife but the before, Nine Days captivates the head and heart, taking on grand themes of what it means to face life’s pain and beauty, avoiding pretension and oversentimentality thanks to Oda’s confidently delicate touch. 

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