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|Index||23 reviews in total|
When someone says "straight to DVD" that invokes a certain "image"
about a film, and this movie embodies it perfectly. Small budget,
virtually unknown cast, simple story... pretty much everything you'd
expect. But that's not to say it doesn't have good points too: Val
Kilmer as an elder Wyatt Earp does a fine job and has several genuinely
touching moments. Wilson Bethel steals his scenes as Doc Holliday,
taking a hilarious and memorable turn as the character Kilmer himself
made famous. (And Kilmer as Doc fans will appreciate that Bethel seems
to be playing from the former's play-book - down to using Kilmer's more
memorable lines.) There are some truly lovely vista shots (as one would
expect from any western worth it's salt) and a few honestly funny
Down the downside, I do wish Trace Adkins had gotten more scene time and the script could have definitely done with a bit of a cliché overhaul.
Overall, I'd say it does a fine job at being exactly what it is - a straight to DVD Western; nothing more and nothing less.
Straight-to-video is justified, considering the low budget. However, as
Earp movies go, this was more than watchable. A fairly well-structured
narrative. But definitely more for those, like myself, who are
fascinated with the subject matter.
Val Kilmer plays an aging Wyatt Earp giving an interview to a newspaper reporter about his involvement in the investigation of the murder of actress Dora Hand in Dodge City, which is a genuine historical event (though to what degree the real Earp's involvement actually was depends on which historian's account you may be reading). Kilmer's work is probably the most memorable element of this film, very moving, making Earp down-to-earth and realistic. The actor playing the reporter does a fine job as well (not sure who he is, but he bears a striking resemblance to Patrick Dempsey).
The actors playing the young Earp, Bat Masterson, Charlie Bassett, Spike Kenedy, etc. are also fine, though the script doesn't give them much to work with as far as deep character development. The actor playing Doc Holliday (in one scene only) is very memorable. His expressions ('daisy', etc.) may seem like they're borrowed from Kilmer's Doc from "Tombstone", but they're actually historically validated as being genuine southern expressions, and many books attribute them to Holliday. This might be the first on-screen Doc since Victor Mature NOT to have a mustache, though (for what that observation's worth).
My gripes are: a. The music score didn't seem to fit very well. That's very often a crutch with movies; the use of the music can often damage the 'mood' of a film which would be better served having no music at all. b. When Bat Masterson is introduced, he's involved in a fist-fight which employs some use of slow-motion which doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever. c. The film looks too 'neat'. A grittier, darker look would have infinitely improved the experience.
A nice thing about this film is the use of almost 'forgotten' lawmen, such as Charlie Bassett and Bill Tilghman, who have gotten very few portrayals in film.
Overall, not a complete waste of time. Again, more for those interested in Earp history. I appreciated the references to the "Buntline Special" revolver, the historicity of which has been debated for quite some time.
Apologies to Deadwood for any comparison. If you're just going to wave a western in front of a camera, a viewer has to ask the valid question - what's the point? Apparently all involved with this enterprise thought that superficial pretense could carry the day and ridin' around 'n ominous music would convey all ya need to know about some sort of story. The casting was positively ludicrous. Every one of the twenties something pampered southern Cal principles here looked fresh out of a shower and the makeup trailer, and I'm telling you, dentistry in the late 1800s must have been pretty cutting edge with all those pearly whites on display. A very lame and uninteresting production that wasn't even worthy of having Val Kilmer snoringly narrate the tale with innumerable pregnant pauses, but maybe having Timothy Olyphant and John Hawkes lookalikes was supposed to make up for all it's low budget deficiencies. A real poser. Bleh.
I seldom write reviews...However...On this occasion I felt the "Western genre" fans needed a heads up on this title. Westerns are rare these days and having always liked the genre...I thought I'd give this a try...having my appetite whetted again with the likes of "Deadwood" or even 3:10 to Yuma. Oh my! What a total and utter disappointment. To use a British term... What a lot of utter tosh! I sat through it thinking "it''s got to get better or have some saving grace"....it didn't on either count... now all that valuable time I wasted when I could have been doing something useful like picking my feet is gone forever. This movie went straight to DVD...can see why...but don't know why they even bothered. It was made with the same panache and imagination as Bonanza in the 60's. The story was predictable in the extreme and the acting and dialogue was embarrassing to watch. The costumes were laughable as well as very clean and I was left feeling that the movie was either made as a prank or for a bet. I cannot believe somebody actually sank money into making it. I guess Val Kilmer was there to give it some credibility..........he didn't! I would rank this as about as bad as a western gets...in fact off the top of my head I cannot recall one that was worse than this offering This ranks high on my list of all time movie garbage. So please if you're thinking of actually paying money for this, do yourself a real big favour and ...DON'T! Do something useful with the cash instead like having a few beers or giving to the homeless...because if you do buy it....well you have been warned!
Overall I enjoyed the movie, there were a few rough acting spots....But
the story was good and believable.
What bothered me was the setting. If you are making a movie about Dodge City, or Western Kansas, please be aware that it is FLAT. The foot hills, green fields, vistas, etc., are all beautiful in this movie. However, there isn't a single hill in Western Kansas, it is as flat as a piece of paper, and dirty, dry and brown. With scenery this mismatched it was a little hard to believe the movie was supposed to be set in Dodge City and surrounding counties.
Other than the poor location shoot choice, and some awkward acting at times -- Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It's worth a watch.
I've seen Westerns for many many years and this is by far the worst ever. Makes one wonder where the supposed 3M budget went because it certainly didn't go to the actors. Watching Val Kilmer struggle in this one, brought up how difficult it must be for actors that are past their prime and are willing to do grade F movies for a buck. The actors that they found to surround Kilmer must have been extras that they gave double scale pay to pretend they had talent. I kept watching trusting that at some point the movie would pick up and get better but as the minutes ticked by, I found myself getting more disappointed that I'd wasted more time on something that wasn't going anywhere fast. I've literally seen better movies done by high school and college students. Save your $$$ and pass this pathetic excuse of a movie by.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was pathetic in every way. It was an insult to the memory and legend of Wyatt Earp. I am a huge fan of "Tombstone" and Val Kilmer should be very ashamed of this piece of garbage. I like to imagine Kurt Russell calling him up and asking WTF? I now need to watch "Tombstone" again as a sort of eye cleansing after watching this nonsense. I really don't know what else to say about it. The cinematography was bad. The shootout scenes were sorry. People would get shot several times and just would not die. The main villain, who had killed a guy just for asking where he was heading, has his pursuer at gunpoint, and decides to have a conversation with him. This had all the typical clichés and stereotypes you could imagine. Shame! Val Kilmer. Shame!
This movie was so terrible i didn't even make it through the first scene. The movie opens showing some rancher randomly hammering on a piece of farm equipment from the mid 1950's. Then once he done hammering he pretends to grab the 1/4 inch steel and bend it with his fingers like he is superman or something. *Enter the dual wielding Wyatt Erp* Yes Wyatt Erp did dual wield in real life (freaking awesome considering they were single action revolvers) however he did not dual wield a little chromed out 1873 colt. He had twin Buntline special's with a freaking 12 inch barrel. After all of this, the guy holding them looked like such a California pretty boy it almost made me sick, never mind the total lack of acting skills. I would not recommend this movie to anyone that has seen Tombstone and thought that it was going to be anything with that kind of quality.
I have a soft spot for westerns, I just can't get enough of them and
whilst I admit I picked this movie up primarily because Trace Adkins
was in it, it turned out to be a very well made movie considering its
budget and straight to video status.
Val Kilmer's narration and scenes were well acted and heartfelt and the plot was believable and paced appropriately.
The scene with 'Doc' was memorable and wildly entertaining with the actor channeling the amazing version made by, ironically enough, Val Kilmer down to a similar voice and catch phases.
I was a little disappointed that more wasn't done with Trace Adkins, although his trademark southern draw due a smile.
All in all, an above average movie and I definitely recommend it
I first learned of this movie when finding a DVD copy of it in my local Wal-Mart's $5 DVD bin. Now, I love westerns, and I was tempted to buy it since it was a western and cheap. But then I remembered that Val Kilmer in recent years has said yes to numerous junky projects. So I ultimately decided not to buy it. But today I watched it after it appeared on a movie TV channel, and boy, am I glad I didn't buy it all those months ago. To begin with, the movie is a cheat. Though Val Kilmer's name is trumpeted, in fact he only has about seven to ten minutes of footage in the entire movie. Which is just as well, because the combination of his uninspired acting plus his strangely puffy face doesn't exactly make him interesting to observe. Actually, the rest of the cast is pretty awful as well. They give "modern" performances despite the bulk of the movie taking place in the 1800s, and none of their characters come across in a compelling way. The surroundings are shabby as well - there's not that much action, with the movie mostly being conversations, none of which sounds very interesting. And the movie looks real cheap, from the unconvincing sets to unspectacular countryside. Whether you are a Kilmer fan and/or a western fan, more likely than not you'll find this movie to be really poor and not worth any attention.
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