In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.
In addition to Kevin Costner and Michael Madsen being in Roger Donaldson films, the same cinematographer, Andrzej Bartkowiak, shot two of these films. Costner; Thirteen Days (2000) and Madsen; Species (1995). What's more Bartkowiak shot Donaldson's Dante's Peak (1997). See more »
During the opening view of the cornfield, you can clearly see a large curved track in the field. It was caused by a Circle Pivot irrigation system, which did not exist in 1863. See more »
You're next on my list, Holliday. You better get used to seeing my face, 'cause it's the last thing you're gonna see.
McLaury, seeing your face would be a pleasant change. I understand most of your enemies got it in the back.
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"Nothing counts more than blood... the rest are just strangers," speaks Wyatt's father at the beginning of the film--the most important line perhaps in the movie, with the exception of Wyatt's own at the end "Some say it didn't happen that way," commenting upon a flashback recounting his brand of law and justice in the wild cattle town of Dodge City.
I wholeheartedly admit the film is long--but so are many other great films. I also admit that it is not the shoot 'em up Tombstone is, but this film is a far greater one, a character study of a man whose innocence is laid to rest by the harsh wilderness of both the American West and human nature. By the end of this movie, Wyatt is a used up and bitter man, and I would argue that this film was never meant to be a heroic portrayal of an individual, only a dark and complicated one. It reminds me thus of the greatest of character portrayals, Raging Bull--though I'm sure the parallel isn't obvious.
I probably am more forgiving of this film since I like Westerns, dark dramatic stories, and admittedly uneven plots, because the characters usually are so great in them. This one is no different, and was likely made for a viewer like me, and not the mainstream audience.
It's very ambitious, and successful, I believe, on its artistic merits. Whether it's "entertainment" for the masses, well that's another story altogether, and that story's name is probably "Tombstone."
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