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 The Western Thread

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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:14 pm

Erica Ambler wrote:
The Lone Ranger (2013)

Well, that was a surprise. Sat through a family screening this evening expecting to find nothing to like except Ruth Wilson’s demonic eyebrows and instead found a film that has much to commend it.

Yes, it’s mass market fodder, but there are obvious nods to Morricone, Once Upon A Time in the West and The Searchers that will please the Western fan, and while it sags badly in the middle, this is an ambitious film that’s going to be reassessed in the next few years. I suspect it got slaughtered at the US box office because it tells uncomfortable truths about how modern-day America was forged.
I haven't yet seen it, but some of the critics I respect responded to it similarly.
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Salomé
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:38 pm

When I saw it I thought it wasn't as bad as I had feared, but I remember there being huge plot holes, starting from the second act onward. I suspect that the frame story at the carnival was used to tie what would have otherwise been loosely connected vignettes more closely together.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:33 pm

Salomé wrote:
I suspect that the frame story at the carnival was used to tie what would have otherwise been loosely connected vignettes more closely together.

The carnival sequences are peculiar, I agree, though sideshows are where some of the more mythologised cowboys ended up. I assume that the noble savage display was an oblique reference to the 20th century treatment of the native American, but it could be to tidy the well-publicised script, pacing and running-length problems as well. Whatever the reason, it always seems strange to me when there's a narrator or flashbacks in an action movie; they're common-enough devices, but I think action films are much more effective when set in the immediate present.  

Perhaps 'the present day' is part of this film's problem. The Lone Ranger's time passed some time ago - I doubt many people under 40 remember it. Also, while it would be wrong and politically difficult to ignore the realities of the making of modern America, that's very hard territory for something aspiring to light entertainment and humour. Commercial failure was probably inevitable. However, I'm giving this film extra marks for creative ambition and that amazing train ride, despite its obscene cost. I wasn't so generous with Interstellar, but then my expectations for The Lone Ranger were much lower after all the negative publicity.

As an aside, if Disney wanted to go the humour route, the homoerotic aspect would have been hard to avoid and maybe America wasn't ready for that either. Quantum Jump went that way and it was pretty funny:



Quote :
Tonto know that Kimosabi
Never ever have a woman
Tonto sometime stop and wonder
What the trick with the great white brother?
Maybe masked man he a poofter, try it on with surly Tonto?
Mmmmm ... let me say that, Mister Lawman, Tonto doesn't mind...
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:21 am

Val Kilmer's thoughts on Kurt Russell and Tombstone, one of the most watchable Westerns of the last 25 years.

https://valkilmer.gallery/2017/08/10/tombstone/
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Salomé
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:49 am

Boothe and Paxton were certainly great losses.
Paxton especially seemed beloved by everyone he ever worked with (he's also the best thing about one of the best two Kathryn Bigelow movies).

In terms of Boothe, the first thing my mind goes to when reminiscing about him is the Janine scene in Deadwood. Genuinely terrifying in the casual nature of his character's cruelty.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:16 am



The scene's beautifully written. Janine enters the room in hope and leaves as nothing. A wanton act of destruction.

Really must watch Deadwood again.
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:07 am

Powers Boothe definitely was that kind of screen presence we need today. I've not seen Deadwood and I'm ashamed to say I first saw him in Nashville but Southern Comfort was none too shabby and even By Dawn's Early Light had its moments. Always the good who go early.
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