Friday, August 19, 2011

1603 - Cowboys & Aliens

After a week filled with working on side-projects at night I decided to treat myself to a big-old film.  Like most I thought this title was pretty damn ridiculous, but at the same time I was mighty intrigued - especially as they started assembly the cast - pretty high standard stuff going on here in regards to that.  We need to be reminded that Jon Faveau is the man who wrong and starred in Swingers, one of my all-time favorites, and is now behind a series of this big fun summer films. Not to set the context, I'm going to poach part of Roger Ebert's review:
Here is a movie set in 1873 with cowboys, aliens, Apaches, horses, spaceships, a murdering stagecoach robber, a preacher, bug-eyed monsters, a bartender named Doc, a tyrannical rancher who lives outside a town named Absolution, his worthless son, two sexy women, bandits, a magic bracelet, an ancient Indian cure for amnesia, a symbolic hummingbird, a brave kid with a spyglass, and a plucky dog who follows the good guys for miles and miles through the barren waste and must be plumb tuckered out. This is not a satire. Nor is it a comedy.
Believe it or not but this film is played completely straight - and it's all the better for it.  It's a real story (well...) with real stakes.  The aliens have come and, in spectacular fashion, take away the kin of these here cowboys, and so it's up to this unlikely group to go and get them back.  This is what going to the movies is all about, and it's the kind of film that I can't wait to be able to start taking my son to.  It's big and it's fun - it's smart with how it organically fuses the western and sci-fi genres.  Is it perfect?  No.  If you really want to you can start picking holes into it - but come on - it's called Cowboys & Aliens - are you really looking for the reality-sandwich-of-the-year with this one?  Even though it's a big summer film I'm not sure that this is one that you absolutely have to see in the cinema - but if you're curious you shouldn't hold off.  I quite enjoyed this.
I liked this film a lot, I liked that each character had an investment in the film and that these talent actors had stuff to do, they were just standing around looking good in front of special effects.  I think this film is getting less-than-stellar reviews because it's not as hooky as people would expect - but to me, that's what makes it exceptional. 

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