July 2019 saddles up a new theme of films that can’t help but make you feel that oppressive heat of summer. HOWDY PARTNER ushers in the Western a formerly beloved genre that eventually was taken out back and shot by Hollywood. Simply put, Corey (@coreyrstarr) and Jonathan (@berkreviews) have picked the movies for this month that meet the genre criteria of Westerns though their picks couldn’t be more different in many ways. There are tons of movies to choose from, but the four listed below are what they landed on.
As far as the podcast goes, each episode features an in-depth review of the movie for the week. They begin with a spoiler-free review before diving in completely after the needed spoiler warning. However, before getting into the review of the week, Jonathan and Corey discuss what other movies they’ve seen since the last episode as well as anything else they feel like discussing. To help them decide which of the many films to watch each month they started creating themes for them all.
Week 1 – Bone Tomahawk (2015)
After a bit of deliberation and prodding from Jonathan, Corey selected Bone Tomahawk (2015) to start off Howdy Partner month. The film is directed by S. Craig Zahler and is his feature debut, which he follows up with Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) and Dragged Across Concrete (2019). This modern western adds horror to the genre and follows Sheriff Hunt (Kurt Russell), his back up deputy Chicory (Richard Jenkins), Brooder (Matthew Fox), and Arthur (Patrick Wilson) to rescue Dept. Nick (Evan Jonigkeit) and Samantha (Lili Simmons) from a tribe of cannibalistic troglodytes. Jonathan was a fan of the film the first time he saw and had been anticipating a rewatch.
Week 2 – Shane (1953)
Jonathan was a big fan of James Mangold’s Logan (2017) and when it became obvious that the film was heavily influenced by Shane (1953) it was immediately added to the watchlist. Thus, week 2 features the George Stevens film about “a weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.” The movie stars Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, and Van Heflin and is currently on Starz or to rent/own on various streaming platforms.
Week 3 – McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
Corey was picked at over her initial selections on the 12 Angry Men (1957) episode and went back to the drawing board. She did some research and settled on McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) for week 3. The film stars Warren Beatty and Julie Christie in the titular roles as a gambler and prostitute, respectively, in an Old West mining town. They have gone into business together and are thriving in this Robert Altman film until a large corporation moves into their territory.
Week 4 – The Searchers (1956)
Jonathan had to pick another classic that he’d missed, which for this genre is far too many and hard to narrow down, and selected The Searchers (1956). This film clearly inspired many to follow, include Bone Tomahawk, as the plot for this John Ford film states “An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.” Considering it stars John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, and Vera Miles it was clearly one that needs to be seen and a perfect conclusion for the month.