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?

Pfff.

Feb. 10th, 2012 06:44 pm
kiev4am: (tabby)
Han never shot first, says George Lucas.

OH COME ON.

Totally worth making a whole new tag for.
kiev4am: (rictor)
...no matter how often I watch it. I love every single shot and every single line, and the chemistry and bickering of Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw, and all of the gnarly and stellar supporting players, and the ridiculously assured racking-up of foreshadowing and tension. I just love this film to pieces. It makes me want to swill whisky while singing bad sea shanties and shooting barrels at all life's obstacles.
kiev4am: (Default)
Random thoughts:

1. That was a way better film than I was expecting it to be. Mainly because of Michael Fassbender, who carried his own 'totally different movie' field with him into every scene, and then stole that scene.

2. Early 60s decor and fashion, fun. X-kids hanging out and showing off, fun. Evil Kevin Bacon, hell yeah fun.

3. Killing the black man and having the black woman defect to the bad guys in the same scene, less fun. Even for Hollywood that's pretty special. Two infinitely editable, non-essential plot points that do nothing but gratuitously alienate people and make it a lesser film. So much for the 60s civil rights allegory. And it's Darwin. Evolve to survive != die, ffs.

4. The good guys want Mystique to change her body or hide it forever and the future bad guy doesn't. Yeah, I like the future bad guy right now.

5. Oh, so that's where all the Erik/Xavier fic is coming from. I most definitely get it.

6. I want someone to take the scale, style, fun and actorishness of this film, throw away the crap from #3 and #4, and make X-Factor Investigations, The Movie. They can do that silly acronym thing and call it XFI if they want to. Get PAD on the script. It would be awesome.
kiev4am: (Default)
Paraphrase of a talkboard comment that made me grin:

"Watching a scene with Smiley and Control I thought, I remember when they were Sid Vicious and Caligula. Crap, I feel old."

Aheheh.
kiev4am: (Default)
(I've been trying to finish this stupid review-effort-thing for two weeks. I don't know why, but I seem to fail the hell out of writing at the moment).

Read on, spoilers... )
kiev4am: (Default)
I am SO stoked for this film. I'm a huge John Le Carré fan, and I must have re-read 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' dozens of times - it's one of the touchstone books I pick up when I feel like I need to relearn how to write again. He's just a wonderful stylist and novelist, in or out of the thriller/spy genre. I loved the original TV adaptation of 'Tinker Tailor' with Alec Guinness, and when I first heard about the new film I wondered how much of the book's dingy, harried, melancholy atmosphere would survive, or whether the new George Smiley would have the necessary gravitas and tragedy about him. Having watched two trailers, though, I don't think I'm worried any more. Wow. Gary Oldman is perfect, right down to the milk-bottle glasses, and the rest of the cast looks amazing - just like the old TV series, it's a roll call of powerhouse British character actors. And exactly as it should, it seems to happen only in tobacco-brown, smoke-filled rooms or on the rundown fringes of European cities. Can't wait to see it.

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kiev4am

May 2012

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