Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens

Cowboys and Aliens

I was privileged to see a couple of reels of this at Butt-Numb-A-Thon last year, and I was pleased but not terribly excited about what we saw, to be honest. A lot of the character stuff felt very in media res and awkward. Despite the "meh" reviews, I went in with an open mind, and though I winced at the sight of five screenwriting credits, I was still determined to at least not hate it.

Well, I loved it, as it turns out. No, it's not as good a sci-fi/western mashup as Firefly was, but what is? (Alan "Wash" Tudyk amusingly Tweeted that it suffered from a painful lack of Chinese.) It's a little more western than sci-fi, and it's the western portions where the movie really shines. Daniel Craig proves more than ever why he's an excellent addition to the Leading Men Club, and while Harrison Ford doesn't have *quite* the spark that he used to, he's still Harrison Ford, which is more awesome than most of us will ever be. Paul Dano, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Clancy Brown, and Keith Carridine are all stellar in supporting roles, and they're the movie's real strength.

The movie is beautifully shot, and I think it has one of the best-written kiss scenes in recent memory (one that actually has a plot purpose and isn't just there to make you all tingly). The alien tech is kind of generic, but then that's how it is in most space movies nowadays. The aliens themselves are duly terrifying (though nowhere near as scary as Attack the Block's aliens). I think the biggest thing that I wish had been better was the music. I know it's tough to find a balance between western themes and sci-fi themes, musically, but this score was pretty bland, in my opinion.

The movie as a whole, though, is very enjoyable.

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