REVIEW: A Million Way to Die in the West [2014]

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“Can you give Louise wrapped candies?” I do believe congratulations are in store for one Mr. Seth MacFarlane. After a successful animated comedy that survived cancellation; two follow-ups that never quite caught on with equal cheer; a bit part in the ill-fated “Flash Forward” as an actor; a ho-hum, neutered stint as Oscar host; and […]

REVIEW: The Lone Ranger [2013]

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“A fairly sinister jar of pickles at the bar” To sum up Disney’s big budget reboot of Fran Striker and George W. Trendle’s radio show turned television hit The Lone Ranger in one word conjures “silly”. It’s silly to read how Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio’s original script involved werewolves—John Reid’s outlaw does use silver […]

REVIEW: Dead Man’s Burden [2013]

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“It ever occurred to you he might of just changed his mind?” A novice when it comes to the western genre, I won’t presume to say Jared Moshe’s directorial debut is a welcome contemporary installment in an otherwise nearly forgotten style. I will, however, label Dead Man’s Burden a well-composed, detail-oriented, slow burn of a […]

REVIEW: Django Unchained [2012]

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“Are the bags on or off?” I’m not sure Quentin Tarantino could ever be mistaken for someone subtle, but even he may have gone too far with his latest, Django Unchained. A revenge flick drenched in blood, America’s tarnished history, and a surprising wealth of humor, what starts as a film I would have been […]

REVIEW: Serenity [2005]

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“Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down” Seven years after hitting the theatre cold to watch what appeared to be a unique sci-fi space western, Joss Whedon‘s Serenity proves much more powerful and lush with a couple “Firefly” viewings under my belt. The film that should not have been—Fox unceremoniously […]

REVIEW: Cowboys & Aliens [2011]

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“God don’t care who you were, son. Only who you are.” Talk about a crowded writers’ room. With its fair share of ‘ands’ and ‘&s’ denoting who teamed with who and who came after who—Steve Oedekerk? Really? Did they originally adapt this as a potty humor comedy?—I’m going to put the onus of success on […]

REVIEW: Rango [2011]

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“Ain’t no one gonna tango with the Rango” Director Gore Verbinski knows star Johnny Depp’s penchant for fast-talk rambling only too well. After helming the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, he decided to take an odd turn into animation with the PG-rated Rango, taking his lead with him for the journey. Using a quasi-motion […]

REVIEW: True Grit [2010]

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“A saucy line will not get you very far with me” The Coen Brothers have been on such a roll the past four years. While they’ve gone serious for the most part, the trademark wit has not disappeared from the dramatic entries to their oeuvre. Still able to hit the funny bone full bore—see Burn […]

FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #1 – Badlands [1973]

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“He said that if the Devil came at me, I could shoot him with a gun” A character at the end of Terrence Malick’s debut feature film Badlands tells antihero Kit that he is “quite the individual”. This could be the understatement of 1973. Based on the 1950s Starkweather-Fugate killing spree, the film tells the […]

REVIEW: I Shot Jesse James [1949]

“Tell ‘em I’m gonna be a farmer” Back in 2007, the film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford made my initial top ten list with its spectacle and grandeur. It was my introduction into the myth and legend of James as well as Ford, a name I was not familiar with […]

REVIEW: All the Pretty Horses [2000]

“I have no honor but my promise” I shied away from Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses because the Weinsteins had billed it as a romance and all I had read said it was terrible. Now, almost a decade since its release, and the addition of two stellar films based on Cormac McCarthy novels, […]