Boy, is it hot outside! They are predicting 115 degrees by mid-week in my neck of the woods. It’s the perfect time to hang out in the movie theatre with a cold soda and some popcorn. I did just that and saw the new movie ‘Cowboys and Aliens’. ‘Iron Man’ director Jon Favreau teams up with mega producers (Howard/Grazer, Spielberg) and ‘Lost’ writer Damon Lindelof for their adaptation of the graphic novel by the same name.
Here’s my review, for what’s it worth. Don’t worry, I won’t be rehashing the entire film. I hate those kind of reviews. What if I haven’t seen the film yet and I’m just trying to decide if it’s worth my $6.50?
I won’t refer to the movie versus the graphic novel, as I have not read it. But if you like movies that pay homage to classic Western themes, you’ll like this movie. The actors are top shelf; what more can you say about Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, but the even the minor roles have top actors. I’ve read several reviews bashing the movie because there isn’t enough alien flavor and special effects, but I don’t think they get that the focus in this film is more on Western and extending the suspense. Westerns are not flashy; they’re symbolic. They are peopled with flawed characters with complex histories and relationships searching for redemption in one form or another. This one is no different. I like to think of westerns as American Shakespeare, but that’s because I like westerns, and I’m an American, and it makes me sound so film school, yes? LoL
There are a lot of classic western characters. There’s the loner with a mysterious past, the rancher embittered by his Civil War experience, a girl who can take care of herself with a heart of gold, a boy who has to become a man, bandits, Indians and beautiful New Mexican landscapes, all with a little bit of a twist. What happens when they encounter the real bad guys? You’ll have to see it to find out!
Bonus – when you see it: Spot the line that gives a nod to ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’.
Now to the real fun…
Like Westerns? Like Alien Sci-Fi Flicks? What are your favorites? Here’s my top 10’s in no official order:
Kristin’s Top 10 Western Movies:
- Rio Bravo
- The Searchers
- The Outlaw Josey Wales
- The Sons of Katie Elder
- Jeremiah Johnson
- Winchester ‘73
- Open Range
- True Grit (2010)
- El Dorado (yeah, yeah, this is a rip-off of Rio Bravo, but I still like it)
Kristin’s Top 10 Alien Sci-Fi Movies(the cheesier the better, I say!)
- The Terminator
- The Thing (Kurt Russell version)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original)
- The Blob (original)
- Independence Day
- Star Trek
- Men In Black
- Star Trek: First Contact (I know that’s 11, but I couldn’t leave out the Borg!)
Now make your own movie! What two movies would you combine to form an interesting western-alien hybrid? What if Jim Kirk were a U. S. Marshal? (I think he actually was in one of the tv series episodes – I’m sure you Trekkies will help me out.) What if ‘War of the Worlds’ happened in the Old West and settlers used bootleg whiskey to wipe out the aliens?
Here’s my pick:
El Dorado and The Thing : John Wayne and Robert Mitchum have to figure out which of the several women( there are 3 or 4) who are trying to hook up with them (mainly Wayne) are actually the shape shifting Thing while at the same time fighting off feuding ranchers. Ends up being the old sidekick played by Arthur Hunnicutt and they fry his butt!
Come on, and play along. It’s a good distraction for the dog days of summer!