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|Index||11 reviews in total|
First off, I love Kevin Sorbo. I love westerns. And I really liked his
previous western, which I believe was also on the Hallmark channel.
This movie had several problems that kept me from enjoying it:
1) The music and dialogue tracks were very poorly balanced. The music was overpowering and the dialogue was a little hard to hear many times.
2) The music in general was very generic, and the background music seemed to be almost the same, scene after scene. And what's worse is the music NEVER stops for more than a few seconds at a time. LITERALLY. It's in your face the whole movie, and I found it cloying and grating on my nerves.
3) Kevin Sorbo has a secondary role in this, and isn't in it nearly as much as I expected.
4) The main character carried the quiet, mysterious stranger type a little far, and it seemed pretty cheesy to me.
And just overall the movie didn't flow very well. It just kind of seemed like a bunch of scenes cobbled together. It never really pulled me in. I hope he does another western more similar to his previous one, but this one I could've done without.
The, feel, costumes, sets and actors,drew the viewer in from start to finish. Greg Evigan did excellent job as villain. I especially like when it was depicted when female character was shot and killed, no blood and gore shown.The villain with smile on face pulled trigger, viewer hears shot, does not see female get it. I thought that was very important considering all the violence again females today and back then. The point was made with out showing more violence. No romance, I found this a refreshing change of pace. With the type of conflict going on, the romance would not have been believable or had time to develop. Wes Brown played part with grit and edge of a fast draw from the westerns of the past with a modern take on it. Camera shots of the guns being drawn were excellent. Kevin Sorbo played well as the aging patriarch that showed wisdom and compassion when needed. This is one that could be watched over and over again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've always loved westerns,and Shadow on The Mesa took me back to the westerns I grew up watching. The premise has Ray Eastman(Kevin Sorbo)fighting to keep his land out of the hands of wealthy rancher Peter Dowdy. In the midst of the war,he finds out about a son he never knew he had. That son,Wes Rawlins,comes to him to find out what he knows about the murder of his mother,Mary. They soon discover that her murder is tied to Dowdy's attempts to take Ray's land. It all ends in a old fashioned shoot-em up,much like the westerns of old. Sorbo gives a gut-wrenching performance as Eastman,who is waging a battle to keep his land for his children. The emotions he shows when he discovers that Wes is his son are very powerful. If you love westerns like I do,then you must watch this one!
A movie is a collaboration of many technicians and artists working together to involve the viewer in the story the movie portrays. This collaboration failed because there was a strange paucity of motive or plot to the final conflict between the Dowdy's and the Eastman's. The movie that I was able to watch was, as an earlier viewer said, a collection of scenes cobbled together with little rhyme or reason for the characters actions. A their best they managed to be in chronological order. Mr. Martin, the writer, did manage some smooth and believable dialog, but without a plot or believable subplots the movies is just a hash or melange of scenes that fall apart without any believable motivation for characters actions or plot for the scenes to fit in. Maybe he can improve, since this was his first effort, but he need to learn a lot about structure and plot of a movie or play. The director, Mr. Cass, has directed a pretty good western in the past, "The Johnson County War." However, he must share in the lack of plot portrayed in the final film. The credits list a "Bronze Wrangler" Western Heritage Award,but it must have benefited from a lack of competition. If you don't expect a full story and can settle for watching the good scenes with some familiar television genre actors; and reading a book or newspaper until the next good scene then this will fill the bill. The sets, settings, costumes and actors were fairly good with a few inevitable anachronisms and contradictions, The western movie genre lost a lot of expertise in western period costumes and props with the death of the old studios systems.
The main character Rawlins has 1 more facial expression than Arnold as the terminator. He smiled once, maybe twice. His acting chops are wooden and I think the only reason they chose him is because he has those "squinty" gunfighter eyes that are in vogue for these types of movies. All of the costumes were not "aged" properly, same for the hats. Rawlin's holster was brand new, it looked like it was fresh out of the box, it had no evidence that he had used it before enough to be a "fast draw." It certainly didn't look like he had practiced with it. The rifle shots would have gone straight through the buckboard and hit the men taking cover behind it. And if I ever see another movie where a building blows up while the actors never look back it will be more irritating than the whole of this movie was. I can't see how this movie got good reviews. The acting was horrible.
My husband and I really love this movie. We consider it to be a classic western with excellent acting on the part of Kevin Sorbo, Wes Brown, and Gail O'Grady. The editing is excellent throughout and the tug of emotion is carried through very well from beginning to end. Wes handled his role so well, carrying such a grudge which becomes very understandable as the movie unfolds. We've watched the movie over and over again and the one thing that amazes me is that it never gets OLD!! Somehow there is a freshness about this movie that remains no matter how many times we have watched it. I'd have to say that my husband has watched it at least 20 times, I've watched it probably 8 times. I highly recommend it and dearly hope they will make a sequel!!!
I have to admit that I loved this movie. I've always been a fan of Kevin Sorbo and he didn't let me down in this. Wes Brown as Rawlins is a newcomer worth watching - as proved by his role in the Love Comes Softly prequels. He's gorgeous, strong, silent and brave just like a leading man should be. It had action, adventure, family loyalty and tragedy. Kevin, Wes and Micah Alberti made an excellent trio of heroes. It may not win any awards as it was a bit cheesy, but, I urge anyone to watch it as it was thoroughly entertaining. And it was left open ended enough that a sequel can be made so I'm hoping that they'll make a sequel in the same way they've done with the Goodnight for Justice westerns. Please, make a sequel as it was that good.
The thing about reviewing every single film you watch, is that
occasionally you run out of things to say. Such is the case now.
Shadows on the Mesa is a made-for-TV western which is roughly fifteen times better than I thought it would be. It has a good plot, characters that have more depth then you'd expect and a Star Wars-esque twist on your typical 'love interest'.
The shoot outs aren't that great, but that's because this was originally made for The Hallmark Channel, which is targeted at all the family. So don't expect any blood, swearing or other material that might make it unsuitable for those out of nappies to watch.
It doesn't need them anyway, as the movie is good enough to not have to bother with trying to attract a more 'adult' audience. I liked it. End of story. 6/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Then why the rating? Acting was pretty good. Script was a little sparse, but easy to follow. I would have liked some closed captions. I did see the wind turbine in the background. I loved the scenery, though, it made me want to take a trip to where the moon is always full, the women are always beautiful, and the men strong, silent, and just a little bit crazy. I spent the latter part of the movie trying to decide if Stephen Bridgewater was the reincarnation of Alex Karras and marveling over the resemblance of Gail O'Grady and Charlize Theron. Only compliments intended, of course. I think the producers should make a sequel in which the bounty hunter becomes the new sheriff and finds out his half sister is really not his father's child so they can resolve all the pent up sexual tension left over at the end of the original movie.
"If I get a hint that he had something to do with mom's death I will kill him." After Wes (Brown) returns home he is told of his mother's death. After being told of who may be behind it he rides off for revenge. At this point I could almost just write one blanket review for every western that comes out and just change the movie titles. LONG GONE are the days of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, and even at this point Kevin Costner westerns. I'm not sure what happened but somewhere along the way the genre got relegated to made-for-TV movies on the Hallmark channel. I'm not saying that Hallmark movies are a bad thing but when you want to see a western a little roughness is needed in them. The swagger of John Wayne is replaced by the pretty boy look. The intensity of Eastwood is replaced with soft emotion laden characters that don't seem to fit in the west. If you want to get your wife or girlfriend to watch a western with you then show her the new ones. If you want to show her what a real western should be show her anything by John Wayne. Overall, another dagger in the genre that used to be known as western. Apparently all it takes to be a western now is people in cowboy hats riding horses. I give it a C.
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