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Cowboy Up
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Cowboy Up More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Golden nugget

Author: jasnicklv from Las Vegas
19 June 2005

It is hard to understand that this film has received such a modest rating. The construction of the film is first rate, starting with the script by James Reford, and continuing with an excellent cast of experienced actors, direction which keeps a pace designed to hold the attention of the viewer, and camera work with both close-in and long shots that convey the action of the rodeo.

Led by Kiefer Sutherland, the support team of actors "works" to reveal a contemporary twist of classic story lines---competing brothers whose love for one another is stretched to the limits, an ego centric father who deserts is family and wallows in self pity, a mother who deals with the realities daily life, lovers that are courted, spurned, and hurtfully do their own rejections. And all this is subtly tied together by a bull---the object of obsession within the community of rodeo aficionados, and a symbol of challenge that goes back thousands of years to the island of Crete.

While some "urban" or actual working cowboys of today may choose to pick at the text, acting, or realism of Cowboy Up, the film really captures the idea of why rodeo enthusiasts still keep the myth of the west still alive---even in Las Vegas! Cowboy Up deserves greater recognition than it has heretofore.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Finally some originality, a rarity indeed!

Author: Eric Holloway from Wilmington, NC
11 March 2004

This film is very well written by one of the finest writers in the business. The direction is clean, precise and still on the edge of what the story calls for, drama and action. The character development leaves nothing to complain about. Sullivan in the lead is fantastic. Under-rated. Under-rated. James Redford. Under-rated. Under-rated. Whether you are a rodeo buff or just a fan of great American cinema don't miss this tremendous original story. However this is my opinion, feel free to post your own. Make sure you actually watch the film. I've actually watched it twice and its one of those films that don't become boring. Check Keifers other work, its well worth the time.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Bad story. Good everything else.

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
5 September 2002

"Cowboy Up" revolves around a contemporary rodeo bull-rider (Thomas), his family, and friends. Earnest in purpose with good art and technicals, this flick (aka "Ring of Fire") fizzels on story. The central character is a stoic, brooding, self-centered, self-destructive guy haunted by patriarchal issues making it difficult to really care about him and how the film plays out. The film is also fraught with inconsistencies such as Sutherland telling his brother not to ride of it will kill him and later telling him he'll be fine....etc. "CU" may have some entertainment value for those interested in rodeo though serious cowboys will likely scoff at this clumsy story and be disappointed in the minimal amount of actual rodeo action in the film. Best saved for broadcast. (C-)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: ( from Denmark
4 June 2003

I'm Rather new at this, but i'm gonna try anyway.

The performances by Kiefer and Pete-who plays the father, is great, in the movie. Pete shows that he can do it with, a thick American Accent. Besides that, you really gets convinced by Kiefer 's performance. (in fact, everytime you see him on screen) The only thing that disturbes me, during the movie, is the fact that Sutherland's carachter fades a bit, or maybe the reason why i notice that, is because of his picture was the lead, at the cover of the movie. Anyway...i only payed 10 Danish Croners, which is very cheap, is about 1.5 bucks, so it was cheap for an average movie. I also enjoyed the sound, and direction during the movie, i bought surround-sound a few years back, so it gets the movie a whole new level, when you watch it like that.

Kief Up The Good Work!!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

After 3 1/2 years, the movie is finally out.

Author: Alex Farrington from California
21 July 2002

Production on this film took place in December of 1998 as Hearts and Bones. I was a production assistant on the film, and spent nearly a month on the set. I recently saw the film on DVD, and was pleasantly surprised. The film is actually a lot better than I expected, with decent performances by the stars and a good script from James Redford.

The transfer to DVD was well done (at least on the German import disc I bought), and the film is presented in its original aspect ratio. The sound quality was also pretty good. The story is also very watchable. Unfortunately, this movie has only been shown on the big screen at film festivals, and widespread domestic theatrical release will probably never happen. However, the US DVD is slated for release on September 3rd, and it's probably worth the 4 or 5 bucks to rent it, even if you don't like rodeo. If you do like rodeo, though, this would be a good DVD to buy.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Ring Of Fire is a really enjoyable film.

Author: xopher-4 from LA, Ca.
14 December 2001

I was the Sound Effects editor on this film. In fact it was the first film that in my career that I was given the full responsibility to find or in this case create the sound effects for this film. I really enjoyed the process that I had to go through on this film and the unique way I had to use what I had to really make the bull riding come alive.

So in short I think this film is pretty good. I mean with all the junk out there I don't understand why this film has not made it to the theaters. Kiefer Sutherland and Marcus Thomas work very well together and Xavier Koller clearly knew how to direct them to get the best part of the story onto the screen without cluttering it up. Ring of Fire has all the elements to make for an enjoyable movie gong experience. It has been a long time since I have seen the film and I look forward to seeing it again.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Better than expected!

Author: ( from Denmark
4 June 2003

Hi, i´m rather new, at this.

Anyway..... I think the movie is better than i first, expected it to be. It has a great sound, the acting is average, except for Sutherland, who remains, to give a good performance everytime. The direction is also okay...i guess. The only thing i'm a bit disappointed in, is the fact that Sutherland's part seems to fade a bit, (or maybe it's just me). I was surprised by the performance on Pete, who plays the father, he has in this movie, a great American accent. Anyway, just my're more than welcome to Critisize my comment, on this movie. So i bought the movie for 10 Danish kroners, which is about 1,5 bucks, so.... a cheap, movie that holds the average!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not OSCAR calibre, but still entertaining.

Author: (TELEKONN@AOL.COM) from Los Angeles, CA
16 June 2003

OH come wasn't THAT bad. I actually liked Keifer Sutherland in this role. He seemed more human and down to earth than anything I've seen him in lately. Not hyped up like he does when he plays a villian or in 24. Newcomer Marcus Thomas did a very good job. I was surprised to find out he was from Belgium!!

Ok.. so it was not an accurate movie, which ones are...TRAINING DAY??? DARK BLUE???? Good god...8 SECONDS???!!!!

And I LIKED Darryl Hannah in ths one. Even Molly Ringwald did the best she could. It definately needed more scenes like the one with Marcus Thomas and Pete Postlewaite. Ok, so Mr. Redford still has to work on writing skills, and character development, but this was still entertaining. No, its not JUNIOR BONNER but then that was a Sam Peckinpah film and ya can't get better then that!!

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Story overflowing with cowboy melodrama

Author: SnoopyStyle
1 November 2014

Hank Braxton (Kiefer Sutherland) is an experienced rodeo clown and former bullrider. His younger brother Ely Braxton (Marcus Thomas) gets injured on a ride. He recovers and together with his brother slowly becomes a rising star. Their champion bull riding father Reid Braxton (Pete Postlethwaite) is a hard man and often fought with their mother Rose Braxton (Melinda Dillon). Ely fights with girlfriend Connie (Molly Ringwald) about his bull riding. Celia Jones (Daryl Hannah) is a barrel racer on the circuit that Hank falls in love for. However along with Ely's success comes the affections of Celia. Hank is jealous. The relationship eventually ends. Ely is set to ride Hank's bull, the unrideable Zapata. Hank gives Ely the address to their father to ease his mind. Ely meets his father but it isn't what he expected.

This is filled with a lot of rodeo family melodrama. There is just too much. The story overflows. After awhile, this feels like a bad cowboy soap. It needs to simplify a little on something. I think the girl trouble could be cut out and simply make this movie about daddy issues. Also I don't think Marcus Thomas has enough charisma. He is certainly outmatched by Kiefer.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent film

Author: harley_1125 from United States
16 January 2006

I have seen this film an actually own the DVD version. It is not only exceptional in its storyline, but the acting ability of the characters completely hits the mark. They come together like they have been working together forever. The film teaches a valuable lesson if you are paying attention and has everything an inspiring film should have, including an emotional pull that will affect even the most hardened heart. Don't miss the opportunity to see this film. If you liked 8 Seconds with Luke Perry, you don't want to miss Cowboy Up with it's all star cast led by Keifer Sutherland! Keifer Sutherland delivers in nearly everything I have seen him in, but this performance set a new high in his career. It is my opinion that all actors have that defining role, where they make a change from the typical characters they play, to the most meaningful performance of their lives, and for Keifer Sutherland, this is it. He completes his character perfectly, and I could not imagine any other actor doing this role justice. Molly Ringwald gives a stellar performance in a supporting role. I actually like the character she plays as an opposite of her status quo. I have been a fan of Molly Ringwald since PK & the Kid, I know, I'm telling my age, but she has grown with every film. It is nice to see her pull away from that stereo-typical Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, although fine films for what they are, this is a great breakaway role for her. Cowboy up brings all of the elements together to deliver a one of a kind film that holds a powerful message of family and loyalty, love and forgiveness. This is not one of those slow starters that takes a while to get into, it grabs you from the start and holds you till the final credits, but keeps you thinking for days.

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