The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a 1962 western film directed by John Ford and starring James Stewart, John Wayne and Lee Marvin. It is one of the finest westerns of all time.

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This is the West, sir.

When the legend becomes fact, print the legend

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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This is an incredible film with a phenomenal story. Its clash of two stars and true legends was not just done for the sake of being cool, but for the sake of the story too. This is one of those westerns which transcended the limitations of the genre and thus ended up being a masterpiece and a classic for all ages. It transcended that with a great story with many clever themes beautifully explored.

It is at its core a story about the modernization and the democratization of the Old West. It is also about politics as it has quite a lot of politics in it – early politicization of the region is well explored and the rise to political power is also very well conveyed along with the legend becoming a fact phenomenon. It is in fact one of the best political movies that I have ever seen.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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But the one thing that I took away the most from it is its message about the importance of adaptability. The film showcases how Stewart’s Ranse had to learn how to use a gun and how to defend himself in order to beat Liberty Valance. Despite all his modern, civilized views, he still had to resort to physical confrontation. And I loved that message which may be transgressive, but it is real and truthful. In the real world, even in today’s more organized  and lawful society, if you get attacked on the street, no law can protect you in those few minutes and you need to defend yourself physically. It is an important message as it rings true for all eras.

John Wayne is excellent as Tom Doniphon and James Stewart is actually more prominent here and as usual very reliable in the role of Ranse. The casting here is top-notch and just perfect. Wayne plays an old-fashioned man, a redneck whereas Stewart plays a more modern gentleman. But both are great men inside and that’s what matters the most in the end. The casting was great and their performances are perfect leading to such an interesting and highly well developed relationship and dynamic.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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Liberty Valance is a memorable villain and Lee Marvin is also very well cast as this villainous, aggressive bandit. He is over-the-top, but delightfully so and all of his scenes are quite amusing and he definitely had a memorable menacing presence. Hallie is also excellent, especially for a female in a western flick. I loved how she yearned to learn how to write and read and her relationship with both of her men was superb. And the other characters are your regular goofy sidekicks, but still highly likable and fun, not to mention diverse as you get the stuttering fellow here as well as the drunk and the fatso obsessed with food. All of them really bring a lot to the table in terms of the humor.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has a lot of heart at its core. The ending is truly emotional and simply perfect and unforgettable. I loved all of its more romantic scenes not just with Hallie but also with the notion of nostalgia for home. I loved that ending, but the gunfight is also one of the highlights – short but sweet. The political gatherings were excessive, but mostly very well done and I loved the teaching parts as well. The flashback structure is just amazingly executed here as the beginning gets you interested instantly and the entire story is a flashback that explains everything so well. I have always loved this “beginning is the end” structure and here we got one of the best such examples.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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The film is gorgeously shot and although the color photography is preferable for this genre and still nobody knows exactly why Ford didn’t do that, I still liked this black-and-white photography and some scene such as the gunfight hugely benefited from it. The score is also quite good and I have to say that even though that twist at the end was a big cop-out, it was still well done and should be obvious as Stewart always played these great men who would never shoot anyone, whether good or bad. The directing from John Ford is stellar, the film is never boring or rushed and the dialogue and humor are both quite solid with a couple of memorable lines and more than a couple of truly funny lines.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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With excellent direction from John Ford and with absolutely top-notch casting with John Wayne, James Stewart and Lee Marvin all being perfect for their roles and every one of them excelled at them, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance also has a big heart at its core, very strong humor and dialogue and it is a film that favors story over action as it explores the modernization of the Old West, the politics of the 19th century and the phenomenon of the legend becoming a fact. I also really admired its transgressive but very truthful and important message that sometimes the law cannot help you and you have to resort to physical confrontation. Smart, funny and moving with a great flashback structure to it, this film truly is one of the best westerns of all time.

My Rating – 4.5

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a 1971 western film directed by Robert Altman and starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. It’s a disappointing movie.

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That man never killed anyone in his life

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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This movie disappointed me on multiple fronts. It is still a solid, well made and mostly quite moving film, but because it did not decide what it wants to be, it ended up being very uneven and ultimately a letdown. It never became the big romance that it promised its audience and it focused too much on those typical western elements so for the self-proclaimed “anti-western” movie, it is surprisingly traditional in style and execution.

Julie Christie did a really good job per usual and Warren Beatty is also excellent. Their romance is sweet and it is a shame that we did not get to spend more time witnessing their relationship. For a movie called McCabe & Mrs. Miller, it is surprisingly devoid of their relationship and she is particularly wasted. As for the other characters and actors, they are fine but very forgettable.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is so well shot. I liked its score and although the song repeated throughout sometimes led to a bit pretentious scenes, I still liked that number and its somber tone. But the cinematography is excellent and frequently even superb and I really liked how this movie looks and sounds.

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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It has its very sweet moments, its tale of business and big companies is well told and it is mostly a well made movie, but it was honestly boring to me because it relied too much on business and not enough on its more fun elements such as the romance. The attention to detail is great, but sometimes the film was boring with its business details. The entire second half is very prolonged and the film definitely felt slow and too long as a whole and thus it ruined the experience for me.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is very well shot, scored and acted with some moving scenes and a well told story, but it is overlong, sometimes honestly very slow and boring and it has a lack of focus and an uneven tone. It is solid, but very disappointing.

My Rating – 3.5

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Bucking Broadway (1917)

Bucking Broadway Movie Review

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Bucking Broadway Movie Review

Bucking Broadway is a 1917 western romance film directed by John Ford and starring Harry Carey. It is a solid, but very flawed movie.

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Helen and I, we’d like to get married

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Bucking Broadway Movie Review

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First let’s get the negatives out of the way. A girl leaves the cowboy for a rich city slicker but eventually realizes that she has made a mistake and gets back to him. How many times have we seen this exact scenario played out in the movie? Countless is the answer.

This triangle was boring and the story is beyond slight and melodramatic. I was definitely not a fan of it despite it having some really wonderful romantic scenes that I liked. I wished that it had more of that instead of a cliched melodrama.

Bucking Broadway is apparently restored to full length, but I do not buy that. The film feels ridiculously rushed at times and I do not blame the movie, but I honestly think that some segments are missing. I am most positive of that.

So let’s get to the good stuff. Although the characters are highly typical and regular, the actors are anything but. Harry Carey is very memorable in the main role and quite sympathetic whereas Molly Malone also gave a surprisingly strong, subtle performance. Overacting was not present here which is admirable given that this is 1917 we are talking about.

The film has a wonderful romance and I loved that gift he gives her and the significance of it and the ending was nice, although that fight was getting on my nerves how silly it felt, not to mention overlong.

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Bucking Broadway Movie Review

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Bucking Broadway looks beautiful thanks to stunning cinematography. Really, some of the shots here were just amazing to behold and it truly felt like a glorious early western with beautiful desert landscapes. It was all the more great watching it in HD. I also liked its spare use of intertitles and I have to commend John Ford for his abilities. He was only 23 years old during this year and this was one of his first movies and he just knocked it out of the park completely with such a superb, competent direction and this movie truly signaled the arrival of a great director.

Bucking Broadway’s overly familiar and cliched story, a melodramatic approach and typical characters do not take away from how gorgeous its cinematography is and how terrific the direction is. It has its romantic and lovely moments, but mostly this was just a solid film that still brilliantly signaled the arrival of John Ford who really excelled here.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Covered Wagon (1923)

The Covered Wagon Movie Review

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The Covered Wagon Movie Review

The Covered Wagon is a 1923 western film directed by James Cruze and starring J. Warren Kerrigan and it is about a group of pioneers traveling through the old West from Kansas to Oregon encountering on their quest desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and Indian attack.

The story is quite interesting and an important historical lesson of course. But the film never quite makes use of its superb premise thanks to some boring sequences and not well developed characters. The situations they encounter are fascinating and mostly well executed which is quite unexpected given the era it was released, but the action sequences are wonderfully executed and are quite intriguing. But the story, while excellent at first, somehow becomes boring in later parts and definitely the second half is awfully inferior to the first one.

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The Covered Wagon Movie Review

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The technical aspects are phenomenal. The cinematography and the scenery are amazing, the action sequences are fantastic and the direction is quite solid. But the editing and pacing are not great and it is not as polished entirely as it should have been.

The character development is quite so-so. The leads are honestly solidly developed, but the rest are not unfortunately. But the acting is definitely very good and it helps the film without a doubt and bringing the professional aspect to the whole thing.

Overall, The Covered Wagon is an early western which has some excellent action sequences, superb cinematography, very engaging premise and the first half is absolutely great, but the second half ruined it with problematic pacing, some boring scenes, not well developed characters and some dated elements regarding the fights. But the plot which had potential is awfully ruined here with later boring parts and the film would have benefited with better script writers and a better and more exciting approach which was quite needed but never realized. It is a solid feature, but the one which is incredibly flawed and quite frankly forgettable in the most annoying way.

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The Covered Wagon Movie Review

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It is not bad and not that good, but just forgettable and that is the worst thing that a movie can be in my opinion, it is not usually like that, but that is the worst in my opinion. I would rather watch a mediocre film than the one which is quite okay but awfully forgettable and this movie unfortunately fits into that picture which is a shame because it had a lot of potential.

My Rating – 3.5

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Home on the Range (2004)

Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range Movie Review

Home on the Range is a 2004 animated musical western comedy film which is the 45th Disney animated feature film and one of their weakest.

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Call me crazy, but I think these cows got it in for me!

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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This is one of those films that are perfect for kids and I could see myself loving it as a child. I do think that kids should see it regardless what adults think and yes, adults are harsh to it. A bit too harsh if you ask me. Yes, it is one of the worst films to come from Disney Animation Studios, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad as even the weakest Disney flicks are passable and okay as is the case with this one too.

The film is a comedy for sure and it is a musical owing to an abundance of songs, but more importantly it is a western film and that is rare for animation which is why I loved those elements here. ‘Spirit’ from DreamWorks is certainly an infinitely better western film, but this one manages to recreate the 1890s period really well thanks to solid imagery and good southern accents.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The plot itself certainly takes the backseat to all of the action which is a big problem but it has its moments such as a memorable villain, somewhat well executed last chase and a wonderful ending that is emotionally resonant and sweet. But yes, the film is way too short in its running time to be having this much action in it.

Home on the Range features solid characters in my opinion. Not the greatest, but not bad either. I really liked the dynamic between the three cows and they serve as solid protagonists. Grace is somewhat typical, but Mrs. Caloway is charming and Maggie is quite good, though over-the-top at times. The relationship between the two is the strongest in the film and the casting of Judi Dench and Roseanne Barr certainly helped the movie a lot as they’re great.

Buck is annoying, I have to say. He is one of those sidekicks that only kids could like and to the rest of us, he is actually a waste of time here. Lucky Jack also wasn’t all that memorable and those two henchmen had some good moments, but were ultimately 101 Disney henchmen a bit too much. But I have to say that I really like Alameda Slim. He is a good mix of competent and goofy villain and I loved his singing and that it was used as a weapon. That needed to happen at some point in all these Disney musicals.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range has one of the worst animations ever for Disney. I really did not care for it and it brought the whole movie down significantly. It does have some good details and, as I said, the period is recreated rather well, but the only standout scene is the villain song and the rest are forgettable and actually kind of cheap. Not only does the whole movie look too garish in its colors, but also quite unappealing in its characters as their angular designs are rather off-putting. That is something that ‘Hercules’ did well, but this one fails in my opinion.

Easily the standout aspect of the entire film is its soundtrack and the only truly good thing about it. I really liked it and these songs are very underrated in my opinion as they are not only a lot of fun, but refreshingly different in their country genre and fitting to the tone and setting of the film.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The titular opening number is actually incredibly entertaining and a good opening for a western film, very fitting to its style and I always say that I love when these films pay attention to its time period and setting which this one did tremendously. Will the Sun Ever Shine Again is very much the same case as with No Way Out from ‘Brother Bear’. It is just not needed as we can see the emotions ourselves and we don’t need the song to spell it out for us. Certainly the weakest song here.

Little Patch of Heaven is so good. Again very fitting in style, so well sung and with fine and charming descriptive lyrics, it succeeds as a very endearing and catchy country song and a very good theme for the entire film. Of course the highlight is Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo. I love this song so much and it is one of the best from Disney’s Second Dark Age. As I said above, it is a very effective scene for our villain and the greatest moment in the entire film, but I just love yodeling so I naturally loved this song as well. Again fitting to the film, it has good lyrics and the tune is just so damn catchy and the visuals are so psychedelic that you gotta love it.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range is definitely too short and actually not all that engaging for that short a running time which is a big problem. The direction is quite weak but at least the performances are good. The dialogue is nothing to write home about too. In the end, it is in my opinion the ‘Oliver & Company’ from the 2000s – a Disney flick which is fun and with a great soundtrack, but so weak in almost every other way that it’s one of the company’s worst movies.

Home on the Range is definitely one of Disney’s weakest films owing to a standard plot, way too much action for its short running time, forgettable supporting characters and garish animation with unappealing character designs. But it is still not a bad movie as it is very good for kids owing to its cartoony and goofy approach, it has good performances and fine protagonists plus its country soundtrack is a lot of fun and quite underrated in its own right.

My Rating – 3

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review……………………………………………………

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 western film directed by John Sturges and starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. It is a solid western flick.

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All gunfighters are lonely.

They live in fear.

They die without a dime, a woman or a friend

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The film follows a famous shootout in history which lasted only for 30 seconds but here it lasted for five minutes which was definitely needed. And of course the film features big build-up and it follows both of its protagonists and their stories leading up to the shootout. The action itself is very well executed, exciting and memorable. The entire third act and especially the ending are worth this long build-up and they certainly delivered.

However, this is an obvious example of an overlong execution of a pretty short premise. I realize that they definitely needed to exaggerate a bit, but they certainly did not need to have a running time of full two hears as an hour and a half would have sufficed. But this way, the entire first act was pretty slow, uninvolving and thoroughly uneventful.

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about its characters. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are very interesting and memorable as these famous historical figures and they are brought to life really well here thanks to two stellar performances from Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. They not only delivered strong performances but the casting of them was top-notch too as they fit their characters like a glove.

The others are less memorable, but Laura is pretty good as is Kate Fisher. They surprisingly got a lot to do for female characters in a western film which was refreshing. Ringo should have been more memorable, but Billy Clanton is very well utilized and I liked all of his scenes.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is technically superb. Not only does it feature solid direction from John Sturges per usual, but it is visually dazzling owing to excellent Technicolor and some great, memorable imagery here and there. To me the highlights were the scenes outdoors and I wished there were more of those though the interiors were pretty detailed and realistic as well.

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The action is solid and the score is particularly strong except for the overly playful score in the last battle. The titular theme repeated throughout is wonderful and the heart and soul of the movie thanks to excellent, fitting lyrics and a memorable tone. This is a pretty solid western film, but the one that is only very competently made and never rising above that level. It needed more emotion in it and the character development is solid, but not the greatest. I also found its dialogue and subplots lacking and the film seemed too much like a book with too many unnecessary details and plot developments in my opinion. But it is still a solid introductory lesson to this famous historical event.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is overly extended and rarely truly great with too many details and a weaker first act, but it is still a pretty solid, competently made western flick featuring very good performances from both Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, a memorable final scene, good visuals and truly excellent score.

My Rating – 3.5

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Westworld (1973)

Westworld Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Westworld Movie Review

Westworld is a 1973 science fiction western thriller film directed by Michael Crichton and starring Yul Brynner. It is one of the best sci-fi films of the seventies.

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No matter what you do, he’ll always be one step ahead of you!

You haven’t got a chance!

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Westworld Movie Review…………………………………………………..

I absolutely adored this movie. It is the best film I’ve seen in a while and it just might actually be one of the best ten or twenty sci-fi films of all time. Yes, it is that good! And I did not expect that at all and now I am so intrigued that I would like to see a TV show that they have just made, but because it is a typical sensationalist, overly violent show like every other today, I unfortunately cannot and won’t watch it which is beyond frustrating.

This story is amazing. It is about an amusement park which consists of Roman World, Medieval World and the titular Westworld. In all three of these areas, visitors get the full treatment which is super realistic and detailed. Androids that look extremely like humans serve them and visitors can have sex with them, fight them etc. But when a sort of computer virus spreads, all androids start acting strangely, they rebel and eventually attack and kill humans. Such wonderful mayhem ensues.

Westworld is one of those movies where I instantly realized that a book author directed it and surely enough Michael Crichton, an author, is the director. And although some may find that problematic, I loved his direction here as he brings such high level of detail that regular movie directors could just never do. That is why the world building here is absolutely spectacular. You have all three of these areas utilized properly and I was fascinated by all of them and it was great that I got to witness each three. That I did not expect.

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Westworld Movie Review…………………………………………………..

And it is all so well thought out, not to mention extremely well executed visually. The special effects are so great and advanced for its time. I loved that Gunslinger’s viewpoint which, when broken, went pixelized and there we witness the first ever use of CGI. That is simply groundbreaking. And the androids themselves look phenomenal.

I know this is nitpicking, but I disliked the blood in this movie which was so obviously fake and with such a ridiculous light colour that was honestly quite funny. And as for the story, the only problem I’ve had is the fact that the androids can be distinguished from humans by looking at their hands as that is the only body part that the scientists did not fully perfect yet. Are you kidding me?! You make a perfect android that looks entirely like a human and has face and hair that are totally realistic and yet somehow the hands are the only parts that you cannot make properly. That was really ridiculous and just a plot contrivance as it was obviously convenient for the characters to know who is and who isn’t human by looking at their hands.

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Westworld Movie Review…………………………………………………..

But other than that and the fact that the second act definitely has a couple of slower and even repetitive scenes (there are too many scenes with the scientists for sure), I absolutely loved Westworld and I wanted a longer running time and more exploration of this enormous and beautifully conceived world. It is definitely one of the rare movies that entirely deserve sequels and TV shows as it is that big and rich with ideas.

It was an interesting turn of events that the more bravado character died and the goofier one survived and turned out to be a protagonist. That was unexpected. I still didn’t love both of them, but they were quite good nonetheless. But the Gunslinger steals the show and seeing Yul Brynner in this fun role just brought a smile on my face as I am a big fan of his and he was perfect for this role and he delivered in spades.

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Westworld Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Westworld is a science fiction film at its core, but most certainly a western too and a thriller with some strong horror elements as well. There are many great scenes here, but my favourite one has to be the entire chase sequence near the end as it was thrilling to behold and I loved especially the moment when Peter hid from the Gunslinger by standing beneath the flaming torch and thus fooling the villain’s infra-red scanners. Such a clever and thrilling scene. And the score was tremendous here, quite effective and spooky.

Westworld is one of the most original sci-fi moves that I have ever seen. It is such a unique mix of sci-fi, western and thriller with a story that is just fascinating to behold, rich in detail and propelled with amazing world building. It truly is one of the rare movies that entirely deserve many sequels and TV shows. I loved the score and special effects, Yul Brynner is superb, the chase scenes are filled with thrills and the film is consistently entertaining, clever and absolutely phenomenal.

My Rating – 4.5

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Hell or High Water (2016)

Hell or High Water Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water is a 2016 western crime film directed by David Mackenzie and starring Ben Foster, Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges. It is an okay movie, nothing more than that.

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You fellas robbin’ the bank? What’s it look like, old man? But you ain’t Mexicans

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Hell or High Water Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

The film follows two brothers who carry out a series of bank robberies to save their family farm. Needless to say, this movie is incredibly derivative. It is basically a rip-off of ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, very unoriginal and immensely uninspired. This plot works and it always will, but it is still nothing new and that needs to be taken into account when reviewing this movie, something most reviewers unfortunately did not do.

Hell or High Water is really well directed and of course well acted by its talented cast with all three of these actors doing a very good job. It is also solidly edited and sometimes even pleasantly emotional. But it hit all the obvious and expected plot points for me to enjoy it more. The family drama is fine, but nothing exceptionally remarkable and that is this movie in a nutshell – okay, but never more than that.

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Hell or High Water Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

What Hell or High Water excels at is its humor which is surprisingly even present and so well done with a couple of really funny moments. It is traditional in the best way possible and it helped this movie a lot and made it much more entertaining than it would have been without it. What I also admired about it is that it stayed away from violence and it gave us more of a crime drama than a crime thriller which is great. But what is not great is that during those crime/action sequences the tone was comedic and lightweight and that was just tonally odd and not fitting in with the plot and totally unrealistic. It is fun, but that is not how these robberies play out in real life at all.

Hell or High Water is definitely an okay movie with its fine moments, good performances, a great approach with less violence and more drama and a surprisingly solid humor, but the overall story is so uninspired and unoriginal as we’ve seen movies like this countless times before and that is why it never reached greatness despite its many positive aspects.

My Rating – 3

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Red River (1948)

Red River Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Red River Movie Review

Red River is a 1948 western film directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. It is a standard western, solid, but typical.

It follows the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas along the Chisholm Trail and the growing feud over the management of the drive between a father and his adopted son. Yes, everything about this movie is very clichéd and what you would expect from this genre. That doesn’t mean it is bad because it is a solid movie, but it still means that it is far from great and certainly overrated as there isn’t anything new or different introduced here.

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Well, I don’t like to see things goin’ good or bad.

I like ’em in between

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Red River Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

John Wayne is excellent in this more mature role for him. Montgomery Clift is an unusual choice for this genre, but he did give a reliably good performance. Walter Brennan is another highlight as he is always great in these supporting roles. The acting is excellent, but the roles themselves aren’t. None of the characters were even remotely interesting to me and they were all pretty standard western archetypes.

Red River’s standout aspect has to be the cinematography which is gorgeous. The film is so well shot that it must be great watching it on the big screen. Some of the scenery is beautiful and the film definitely had a big budget which is evident in every frame. Not only did they obviously employ a lot of extras, but the film also looks and sounds realistic and it is very sumptuous.

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Red River Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

The score is good, but the sound effects and sometimes the score itself bothered me as they were overloud and too bombastic which was typical for the films of the period. The film is solidly edited, but it is still a bit slow and sometimes very dull mostly because the running time is most certainly overblown and there isn’t much of a plot to be had here and the character interactions, though definitely well executed, are again expected. In the end, Red River is a solid western, but one that doesn’t have anything truly great in it, save for the technical aspects.

Red River is a pretty solid western with truly excellent cinematography, quite good score and superb performances, but the plot is lacking as it is too simple, the characters are also pretty typical and the entire film is very standard for the genre with nothing differentiating it from other westerns.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

The Outlaw Josey Wales Movie Review……………………………………………………………………….

The Outlaw Josey Wales Movie Review

The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 western film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. It’s a very overrated movie.

I just found this movie way too overrated and way too clichéd and that is why I am going to be very brief in my review. The plot itself is the biggest problem. It is a basic revenge story that never rose above that level. This is such an archetypal western feature that I don’t get the praise that it receives as it is so usual.

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Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’, boy

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The Outlaw Josey Wales Movie Review……………………………………………………………………….

The characters are mostly forgettable and the protagonist is a typical Eastwood western hero, not bad, by far from great. The female characters could have been better, but thankfully weren’t awfully depicted. The same goes for Native Americans as Lone Watie is such a different than usual Indian character and he’s one of the highlights here. Chief Dan George was so memorable and so good here that he was even more effective in his role than Eastwood himself.

The one thing that The Outlaw Josey Wales has going for it is its sometimes evident heart and wonderful moments here and there, but most importantly the technical aspects, all of which great. The cinematography is phenomenal, the scenery is gorgeous, the direction is expectedly good and the entire film is so well crafted and mostly well edited that it somewhat compensates for its lack of originality and strength in the storytelling department.

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The Outlaw Josey Wales Movie Review……………………………………………………………………….

But it still remains just an okay movie. Not bad, but far from good and definitely far from great. It is one of the most overrated films of that very strong year, a film that is so uninspired and so typical that I just couldn’t enjoy it more. In fact, I couldn’t even follow it through properly as it was, to be honest, very boring  at times. The violence is also overwhelming and the action should have been reduced significantly. It is capable as I said and you can’t really pinpoint an awful thing about it, but that still doesn’t mean it’s particularly good.

The Outlaw Josey Wales is very well acted, directed and competently made and the film looks really good, but it is such an uninspired and typical western feature with not a single original or memorable thing in it. The characters are forgettable, the action is overwhelming and the film is too boring at times despite having some genuinely great moments. It is in the end a very dull, overrated movie that favors style over substance.

My Rating – 3

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