Archives for posts with tag: Westerns

Whores on horses. Westerns changed a lot after John Wayne died. “Bad Girls” is a 1994 revenge/caper/western with brief glimpses of Drew Barrymore’s boobies. Madeleine Stowe plays a butt-kicking madam with a dark past who shares undertones of homoerotic chemistry with Mary Stuart Masterson (Where is the Skinemax remake when you need it?). Andie MacDowell plays herself. James Russo channels Tom Sizemore playing a psychopathic bandito (which would be a great name for a rock band). Robert Loggia gets whacked (Doesn’t he always?). There are big guns (besides Barrymore). And no, Dermot Mulroney is not the dude from “Grey’s Anatomy.”

For the first half of “The Hateful Eight” (2015) (BTW, I counted nine relatively hateful main characters, but anyway…), there is surprisingly little violence. There is, however, a scene in which bounty hunter Kurt Russell expresses concern that a duplicitous co-conspirator will get jumpy and reveal themselves. The jumpy one turns out to be Quentin Tarantino, who could no longer hold back his violent instincts and unleashes a torrent of blood that drowns what had been a downright Hitchcockian Western mystery. I’m not stupid. I know Tarantino deals in the visceral. But there’s usually a payoff. Here, not so much.

 

The day I watched “The Revenant” (2015), the heat index in my town was something like 100 million bazillion degrees, so it was kind of nice watching Leonardo DiCaprio freeze his ass off for two and a half hours. That being said, the film is a fascinating, poetic meditation on survival, suffering and revenge in the Old West. It’s also kind of gross, what with animals (and/or people) being gutted every few minutes. Lots of bad stuff happens to Leonardo, almost to the point of absurdity. That, and the running time, make it a tough watch, but (sorta?) worth it.

 

Ever wonder what it would be like if Nicholas Sparks wrote gunfighter stories? Or if Sergio Leone was a romance novelist? Your answer may reside within the 98 minutes that make up “Jane Got a Gun” (2016). Boy goes off to war, girl gives up hope and makes new life, boy finds her and gets his heart broken, girl ends up needing him anyway because bad guys are coming, everybody starts shooting each other all to hell. The love triangle is slightly creepy but Natalie Portman and the scenery are both ruggedly hot. Some plot twists save the ending (sorta).

 

“Silverado” is fun. A throwback western made at a time (1985) when people weren’t making many westerns. Fun for audiences. While it’s true to the genre, everyone plays it with a wink and a nod, especially Non-cowboyish actors like John Cleese, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Kline. Decked out in period costumes and riding horses, they go about their business with gusto instead of looking like fish out of water. But Kevin Costner has the most fun of all in a bouncing-off-the-walls supporting role as Scott Glenn’s fun-loving, trouble-making little brother who can spin a six-shooter in either hand.