kiev4am: (rictor)
Once in a while there's a film that makes me glad to be a geek. I finally saw 'Cowboys and Aliens' and loved it. I loved the way it was an absolutely straight-down-the-line western complete with a Man With No Name, scrubland, canyons, stray dogs, Biblical-named town, cowed townsfolk, wastrel rich boy shooting up the place, heartless cattle baron and a whole fistful of 'Searchers'-style empty-house, open-door-to-sepia-daylight shots. And then it had aliens, and it was still a completely straight-faced, dusty, deliberate western. With aliens. Oh, and a beautiful upside-down paddle steamer.

I liked Daniel Craig doing his best Lee Van Cleef and Keith Carradine doing his best Sam Elliott and I especially liked Harrison Ford getting to play his real age and be the evil-tempered old bastard of the piece. He barely cracked a smile, but he snarled and cragged and grouched and gnawed the scenery like a true Leone stalwart and generally looked like he was having enormous fun not being personable any more. I also sort-of appreciated the way the enigmatic, otherworldly beauty you so often find in washed-out backwater ghost towns (cough) really was otherworldly. It helped explain Olivia Wilde's eerie perfection and Keanu-like blankness.

It was an affectionate, daft, flashy mash-up of a film that meandered a bit towards the end, pulled every western trope out of the bag and closed with the classic 'Time Machine' gambit of blow-them-all-up-and-run-like-hell. But who cares. It had grizzled Harrison Ford, on a horse, shooting spaceships with a Colt - what more could you want?

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kiev4am

May 2012

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