Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens: A Horrible Title For An Awesome Movie

It's also a bad title for an awesome graphic novel too.

How can anyone turn down a movie with Indiana Jones, James Bond, The Kurgen and Olivia Wilde? I couldn't resist this film's siren call and even when I first saw the trailer for this film back in November, I had an instinctive feeling that it was going to be good.

So was I right?

You bet!

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are a blast to watch in this movie and they carry their characters very well. Olivia Wilde is great as Ella and she provides a very soft but strong performance. The supporting cast featuring Clancy Brown, Sam Rockwell, and Paul Dano add a nice finishing touch to the dynamic of the travelers as they journey to get their people back from the aliens.

The plot to this film is a little out bit out there (it was based off of the graphic novel) but it works very nicely. If anything this film has a similar feel to Serenity (for all of my fellow Browncoats out there). The wonderful blend of Sci-Fi and Western works so well with this film, the Western aspect of it is largely present, but the Sci-Fi is understated, but it works to the film's advantage of blending and bending traditional film genres. 

The cinematography is excellent and the shots are so well executed that you feel like you are in the heart of the action. This is especially evident in the action sequences and Jake's (Daniel Craig) flashback sequences in which the cinematography truly shines as the flashback sequences are beautifully and subtly saturated.
The action sequences in the film are fun, fast paced and exciting, blending in the traditional action sequences of  the Western genre with the thrill and suspense of the Sci-Fi genre.

As much as I would like to say this film is perfect, it has a few flaws. These flaws are not bad, but they're a bit noticeable.

Take for instance, the characters of the film. When you have a huge ensemble cast like this film does, there isn't going to be much back story going on except for the main characters. In this case the only back story that the audience knows about is Jake's, but even then not much of his back story is explained in full either. I understand that this is a huge ensemble cast, but a little bit more of the principal characters' back stories and motivations would have been a nice addition and the audiences would be able to relate to the characters a little better and understand their personalities a little more in full, which would have made the film feel a little more whole. 

Another flaw with the film is that there are a few scenes that tend to drag on for a little bit and some that are not really necessary. Even some of the action sequences seem to drag on for a little bit longer than they should and there are some scenes in the film that are not really necessary and don't add to the plot or make the film progress whatsoever and some of these scenes end up becoming loose ends which was a little bit frustrating for me.

Despite some of these flaws, Cowboys and Aliens is a fun, summer popcorn flick that actually manages to bend and blend the Western and Sci-Fi genre very nicely and feel very natural. This is an interesting film to say the least because in some ways it manages to follow the film genre conventions of your typical Westerns and Sci-Fi fare, but it also breaks them as well to create something fun and new for the audience to see and I don't see anything wrong with that.

My name is Maricruz Gonzalez and I'm the Movie Bitch...because somebody has to be.

Stay Sassy Planet Earth!


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