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What a mess this is!
This movie is simply horrendous! From start to finish, I had trouble staying focused on what was going on. The dialog, and the story in general was boring and unbelievable. Add that to the fact that the actors were terrible, and you get a real mess. James Preston, while handsome, was no James Dean, by any stretch of the imagination. His hair is too long, he looks nothing like Dean in the face, and his mannerisms are deplorable. And it is not sexy, if that was the intent. The movie features long lustful looks at naked and half naked men and women, but hasn't one ounce of sensual appeal. A waste of 93 minutes. You've been warned. This movie is not recommended by me.
This movie is incredibly underrated. The performances are all top notch, from Peppard and Seberg down to the smallest role, though Seberg's part is short. In my opinion, Madeleine Sherwood and Robert F. Lyons deserved Oscar nominations for their performances. They were flawless and mesmerizing as the white trash woman and her psycho son. I couldn't take my eyes off them when they were on screen. I so wish the movie was available on DVD! This film should have made a star of Robert F. Lyons. I have no idea why it didn't. It's well-written and believable, nicely directed. Someone please put this out on DVD! I want to watch this again and again.
Billy the Kid (1941)
Pedestrian fluff with a terrible screenplay
The best thing about this movie version of Billy The Kid is the color photography. Taylor looks good (he was in his prime at that time), but he's horribly miscast....too old to play the part. There's no Tunstall, no Pat Garrett....and both actors playing the changed parts are far too old. It reminds me of Howard Hughes' The Outlaw, except that the actor who played Billy in that film was much better cast (closer in age, but not much of an actor). There's lots of music, romance, and talk, talk, talk. In short, it becomes extremely boring after awhile. May be worth watching once, but hardly worth a second look. Despite the views of Arizona and Utah, most scenes are obviously shot on a sound stage.
Across the Plains (1939)
Better than average "B" western
I really liked this movie, mostly because I'm a big, big fan of Dennis Moore (Denny Meadows). He's great here, as the Kansas Kid. This is a step above the usual "B" westerns of the time in that it features a nice story (touching at times) about brothers reunited later in life. One had turned out bad, the other good. The story plays out well and believable, for the most part. A case in point is near the end when Buff shoots young Jimmy. He grabs his shoulder and falls. After the bad guys have been taken care of, Jack asks his brother where he's been hit and he moans "all over". Huh? Did I miss something? Last I saw, he didn't have a fatal wound. That said, this is a good film, with good acting, good direction, and exciting action. Well worth watching. I just wish I could get all of Denny's movies on DVD.
Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
Very Good Film
I rented this film when I had nothing else of importance to do. That said, I really enjoyed it. Sure, it's silly on so many levels, but what the heck. I put myself in a "relax, and don't think too hard about it" mood, and the end result was that the film was very enjoyable.
I had grown somewhat tired of watching Harrison Ford on screen, so I was not expecting him to be worth seeing. That's not the case here. He's perfect for the role he plays.
I wasn't at all prepared for James Bond...uh, I mean Daniel Craig in a western. Again, I was quite surprised to find that he was perfectly cast as the not-so-good hero. In fact, I can't imagine any other actor playing the role better than he did. I should have had more faith in him, as he is one of our finest actors.
The special effects, photography, directing, dialog, and acting are all much better than I would have expected in a film like this. It's not for everyone, certainly, but I got my money's worth.
After watching Hunger and Shame, I am more and more convinced that Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen two of the most talented men is show business.
Both men seem to get overlooked at awards time here in the U.S., and that's a shame.
Shame does not disclose enough information about the brother and sister relationship to get a complete idea of what has gone on in their lives before they are reunited, but instead lets the viewer fill in the pieces. What happens when you do that is that you get a mix of ideas, and perhaps that's what McQueen was after.
Of one thing there is no doubt....brother and sister are messed up mentally and emotionally....and the end result is tragic and sad. Watching a human train wreck is very difficult to do, and I felt somewhat relieved to find that I could manage to get through it.
Shame is no feel-good movie, so be forewarned, but the performances of the two leads make this one well-worth the watch.
If Shame does nothing else, it makes me wonder what theme Steve McQueen will hit us with next, and that's a positive statement on my part. In other words, I'm looking forward to his next film.
Once again (after losing the bid for Hunger), Michael Fassbender will probably not get nominated for an Oscar, which is a big mistake. He's every bit as exceptional here as he was in Hunger, and I'm looking forward to his next film.
While I will admit that I had a hard time watching some scenes in this film, I found it to be outstanding. The acting, particularly that of Michael Fassbender, is awesome, and so is the writing and directing.
The film does have it's flaws, especially the over-long hallway cleanup scene (fast-forward time), but it was still well-worth viewing.
Don't get me wrong. I did not come away from the film feeling sorry for the NRA members who were imprisoned, who foolishly demanded they be called political prisoners. They were terrorists, plain and simple, who murdered innocent men, women and children for their cause.
Had they served their time without incident, most would have been released from prison and gone on to live their lives in peace. There's two kinds of lives we all live....a life of peace, or a life of chaos. They chose chaos, and suffered the end result.
That said, the conditions at that prison were enough to make me squirm. Then again, prison is punishment, not designed to be a country club.
In my opinion, McQueen's biggest mistake was the omission of the horrors these men were guilty of committing, which would have given the viewer a more balanced approach to what happened.
Watch the film for the performances, if you aren't too weak stomached. Fassbender should have been nominated for an Oscar, in my opinion. The others were exceptional, as well.
Terrible Excuse For A Spaghetti Movie
What do you get when you take a silly revenge screenplay and add to it a lusterless cast of bad, unattractive actors and a bug-eyed, bad acting actress? You get this movie, that's what you get. Everyone associated with this mess should be ashamed. Even Kinski seems bored (as well he should be). Only the stunt men get to shine, as they twirl and do their acrobatics when they get shot (all of it bloodless and woundless). None of this makes a lot of sense. Gordon Mitchell, whom I've always liked, is wasted here, playing against type as a bounty hunter with a heart. What a waste of ninety minutes this is! Don't waste your time watching this one. I wish I hadn't.
Down Missouri Way (1946)
I can't help but wonder what little boys thought of this mess.....
I wasn't around when this travesty came out, but that's a plus really. This isn't a western programmer, but a boring, silly musical comedy. Please! Who thought up this mess? This has to be the worst programmer ever made, by far....bad acting, bad singing, bad songs, silly comedy, simply awful.
Eddie Dean was a good singer and a terrible actor, with only passable looks and no charisma whatsoever. He must have loved doing this one, however, since it didn't require him to look like a tough guy, which was impossible, in his case. According to what I've read, this was one of the last of the programmers, which might explain why it was made in the first place.....drag little boys into the theater to see a shoot-'em-up, and sing to 'em. Poor kids wasted their money on this stupid turkey.
Fortunately, I only wasted an hour of my time on this film, but still....
My favorite TV western series
This has to be my favorite TV western series. The first season was the better season, as it was rough, tough, and action-packed, with great guest stars (Cliff Robertson, Jack Lord, Jack Chaplain, Martin Landau, Robert Culp, Dean Jones, Robert Lansing, James Coburn, Dean Stockwell, Steve Forrest, etc). My favorite episode from the entire series was Sam Bass. Since I tended to favor the bad guys, this series was right up my alley, as it focused on the bad guys in every episode. The guys at Timeless Media tell me that they are trying to get this series for DVD release, so I can only hope that I live long enough to enjoy it again, after all these years. It will make a terrific box-set.