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Meek's Cutoff (2010)
Unlikable good movie
There are some bad movies that I like and some good that I do not like, this is a good movie that I just don't like. I don't like the characters so I don't care where they are going or what happens to them. That turns the slow pace into boredom because characters are the main point to a good western, not action.
I liked Dead Man(1995) which is more artsy than this, The Ox-Bow Incident(1943) which is slower paced than this and The Shooting(1966) which has a similar meandering.
The only real reason I can come up with as to why I don't like it is that it might be too much on the drama side and not so much western. I would recommend it as a drama but if you're looking for a western there's a chance you aren't going to like it.
Familiar story elements combined in a slightly different way
Watching this reminds me of the Isaac Asimov robot stories because it feels like the world his stories were set in. There's even an allusion to the Asimov laws of robotics by stating that robots have to pass a safety test and the cat is illegal because it has free will. The effects are well done and the interactions look believable. The animation physics are slightly wrong in a couple scenes but nothing major.
My main problem with the movie is that there isn't enough character development which makes the motives a little ambiguous. The main plot lines are tied up by the end but there's obviously more going on than is ever told. I get just enough to want to know more and that is frustrating.
The sci-fi is light enough that I would probably recommend this to anyone even if they would normally skip anything sci-fi.
Dawn Rider (2012)
Good enough to watch if you keep low expectations
This movie is good in the way a Steve Austin action movie can be good if you know what to expect. It feels like a parody of a western because all the stereotypical elements are there but it treats itself seriously. That's why some will like it and others completely hate it so it makes it difficult to recommend to anyone.
I personally found the clothes and sets a little distracting because everything felt slightly wrong for pre-1900. The low budget probably limited what could be custom made so you just have to overlook it. The music was also wrong in a few places, some points have an almost comical tone and don't match the situation.
If you are the type to get bothered by details then this movie would be difficult to get through, otherwise it's a good average western themed movie. I just don't consider it a good western.
Dead Season (2012)
Overall competent production.
I've probably seen most zombie related movies which include all of Romero's work, 28 days/weeks and the less serious 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Fido'. 'Dead Season' fits right around the middle simply because it doesn't add much to what's already been done. It feels like an extension to one of the other movies where you follow the characters after they finally get away from the main population.
The acting is obviously a little uneven because only the four main actors have real experience which always seems to be an issue with indie films. The secondary actors are noticeably less experienced but not enough to be a problem, they are really just scenery for the most part. The rest of the production is so well done that it's shame the story is so generic.
If you're a fan of all things zombie and need a new one to watch then I would recommend it because it's well done overall even with the flaws.