Archive for May, 2013

Western Watchins Week 26

Wyatt Earp died on January 13, 1929 in Los Angeles California which means he never had to see Wyatt Earp. Of all the bullets he dodged perhaps this was the greatest of them all. I was not so lucky, but fearlessly reviewing any and all kinds of Westerns leaves me open to attack at times not unlike the great Jim Bowie who, out on some lonely sandbar, was repeatedly shot, stabbed and beaten while still managing to kick all kinds of ass. And now so too shall I, not with a famous knife but with my famous words.

If any movie ever deserved to be left bleeding in the alley behind a corral this is the one. And terrible as Wyatt Earp was stop and remember that it was almost Tomsbstone! Kevin Costner had been involved with that other Earp-ian flick but left over creative differences. Those differences being everyone at Tombstone wanted to film something memorable and exciting while Costner wanted to film a bowel movement. And with 191 minutes to work with that’s a lot of shit. Even if you find fault with Tombstone‘s faster and at times glossy pace you will miss it once Earp‘s monotony takes the reigns. Every detail of a man’s life, even a great man, need not make it into his biopic. The filmmakers did attempt to paint the man, his friends, his enemies and the conflicts that embroiled them all as less black and white than you’re used to and for that I can salute them but for every interesting tit there was forty five minutes of tat. Boring, boring tat.

You’d be hard pressed to see a more boring Western screenplay realized. A million monkeys with a million typewriters would never come up with this crap because they would die of boredom first. Paint drying on the wall was asked what it thought about Wyatt Earp and said “fuck my life that was boring!”

And if fighting off the boredom wasn’t enough to send you off to the liquor cabinet the casting surely will. Kevin Costner must have read somewhere that the real Wyatt Earp was an emotionless waste of a man and I firmly believe only took the role to spite everyone making the competing film. A film he tried his darnedest to quash. A film that would out gross his by a 2 to 1 margin. They say “pride goeth before the fall” but Costner’s lifeless and real-life vengeance fueled portrayal of Wyatt was less pride and more pride fucking his own mom in the ass and then turning around and giving him a Dirty Sanchez.

It’s that horrendous. Go ahead and try me, watch it and tell me I’m wrong.

For most of the rest of the cast the producers must have sent out this casting call:

“Wanted: People who can say things.”

I’ve been to cold reads that had more personality than some of the scenes in this one. I’m thinking everyone wanted to remodel their kitchen or a free trip to Arizona or both. Now I can’t fault them. Anyone wants to send me to the old AZ for free I am there. I’ll even appear in Wyatt Earp 2: The Legend of the Hooded Angels if I get a free trip to Arizona. I love that place. I need the desert. I need the warm, dry air. I need those sunsets. I also need to payoff several drinks worth of kindness to my friend Kyle so I get it. But damn people, you’re actors. So fucking act. I know Tom Sizemore has done a lot of drugs and now I know this is probably when he started. You could say they were wooden but I saw Lord of the Rings 2 and those Ents were yelling and throwing rocks and shit so I know everyone involved could have done better or at least yelled and thrown a rock or some shit.

The only person who gave any kind of shit, aside from Gene Hackman who gave a little shit, but the biggest pile of shit given was by far given by one Dennis Quaid in a stunning turn as the awesomely cantankerous Doc Holliday. And he even looks like the guy! See!

(Real Doc Holliday)

(Fake but still fucking amazing Doc Holliday!)

He looks outstanding! Kevin Costner just looked like that asshole from Waterworld in a cowboy hat. In all seriousness, Quaid’s performance was the stuff of thespian legend. It was a poignant powerhouse that left the rest of the film stewing in the outhouse. He lost more than 30 pounds to come off all sickly for goodness sake! He tuburculosified himself so that anyone sitting through this movie would be able to think “yeeesh, I guess it could always be worse” so just look at this pic while you sit there not coughing up your lungs. It’s all you need to know about Wyatt Earp in one screen cap.

There’s Dennis hoping craft services has more whiskey, Sizemore realizing that yes this is where his career starts to die and Costner breathing. Forget any sort of 20th anniversary special edition Blu-ray of this thing next year if Warner Bros. was smart they’d just release a Doc only version and maybe make some of their money back. Funny side note: Dennis Quaid went on to play Bill Clinton in a TV movie.

It’s not so weird once you think about the fact that he’d already been in Wyatt Earp which sucked in the wrong way ;)

So dig up his scenes somewhere and enjoy them. Bury the rest and move on to enjoy the two hours and forty five minutes more of your life than I now have. This film along with The Postman and the aforementioned Waterworld round out Costner’s “Roughly Eight Hours That Will Shit On Your Soul Trilogy”. Did I enjoy this movie? Let’s just say…

Yeah, Wyatt Earp earns 1 round and I probably can’t even be bothered to chamber it. Dennis Quaid however gets 5 rounds. Well damn done sir, I raise a glass tonight to you and to that original damned dicer. May we all be brave or foolish enough to face the life we have left with as much humor and testicular fortitude as you good sirs.

And best to you all as well amigos, ride true till next we meet.