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Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater (2010)

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The year is 1910. The West is dying. The American frontier is undergoing a violent transition from the ways of old to modern times, and Mexico has entered a prolonged period of bloody civil... See full summary »


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Title: Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater (2010)

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Cast overview:
Rob Wiethoff ...
John Marston (voice)
Seth Briars (voice)
Eli (voice)
David Scott ...
Prisoner (voice)
Jenny (voice)
Murphy Guyer ...
Aquila (voice)
Alison Smith ...
Woman in barn (voice)
Jane Zumwalt ...
Angry Farmhouse Wife (voice) (as Jane Montosi)
Bill Williamson (voice)
John Bellah ...
Moses Forth (voice)


The year is 1910. The West is dying. The American frontier is undergoing a violent transition from the ways of old to modern times, and Mexico has entered a prolonged period of bloody civil war. Reformed outlaw John Marston is on his way to capture former running buddy Bill Williamson when he comes upon a half dead snake oil merchant named West Dickens. Marston travels under a bleak and unforgiving sun, teaming up with a violent sheriff and a colorful mentally deranged grave robber and together they discover a bloody massacre of homesteaders left in the wake of Williamson. They hatch a plan to break into an abandoned fort where the Williamson Gang is holed up - and a dark, surprising twist ensues. Written by Fox Publicity

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29 May 2010 (USA)  »

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Seems unnecessary as a project
21 February 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This short film interested me some time ago when I heard about it while looking for the video game of the same name and eventually I decided to watch it. Upon watching I learn that this is a 30-minute film sort of made backwards because they have taken cut sequences and shots from within the first section of the game and put them together to be a cinematic telling of the story. The end result is a rather odd experience because the plot is not particularly great when you play it straight through like this; it works well in the game where you can get involved, do small things around it and get drawn in by the game play, but to sit back and watch passively, not so much.

The fact that the material in this film works better in the game leads to another problem when you think about who is watching this film because frankly it is fans of the game who have played it (such as myself) or those so excited to get the game that they are watching everything they can get while they wait for it to arrive in the post (in which case they will soon see these sequences in their better manifestation within the game. So, if you target audience is going to find the film unnecessary then you have to wonder what the point of it actually is? This is a problem that this film never gets over because although it is technically well put together, it is essentially me watching cutscenes that were a lot more fun to be directly involved with the first time I saw them rather than sitting like a film now.

As a promo for the game, Man from Blackwater also falls down because it is too long to be an advert or promo product and the cutscenes are generally a bit slow and talky, maybe not showing the best aspects of actually playing RDR itself. That said, the film's weaknesses do remind me how well the game did the same thing so in a roundabout way I guess it promotes the game, which I guess is ultimately the point.

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