Archive for July, 2013

Haikuesday

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I’ll leave this green swamp
Jumping once more at wild fate
Into the desert

Western Watchins Week 36

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Have you seen this yet? If not then you’ve probably been spending your hard earned cash on Grown Ups 2. And that means you are, for all intents and purposes, a fucking moron. You are a douche bag. No, too good that one. You are a mindless douche bag filled with week old weasel cum. You are everything that’s wrong with the world today and if you jumped out of a bush at me on your way to catch The Heat for a fourth time I’d shoot you dead and take your Skittles.

Did I mention I’m a bit passionate about Westerns?

I am.

And while not perfect, Disney’s The Lone Ranger pays heartfelt homage to the past while paving it’s own way out into the wilderness that is the modern box office. This movie did not fare well at all. But the numbers belie just how wonderful this movie really is. And it is wondrous. It’s also brutally and perhaps unexpectedly violent. And what you see isn’t usually half as bad as many of the things cleverly implied. This movie is solemnly deep in one scene and whack filled whimsy the next.

Yes, the horse is weird at times and in your face relief of the comical variety. But you just might need that after the cannibalism and assumed castration. I am not kidding kemosabe. So was this for kids? Mature-ish ones sure. Adults? Open minded and courageous ones. Is it a film everyone should see? Probably. Will it make any that do uncomfortable at times? Without a doubt.

It’s hard to pigeon hole, define or corral. It’s vast and untamed. Filled with rascals and bastards, soiled doves and saviors. It’s barren and beautiful. See where I’m going with this? Gore Verbinski of Pirates fame is an obvious student of the game. More importantly he has genuine love for it all. If you don’t believe me watch this one and Rango just counting how many references to past Westerns, alluded to or outright, are in both. The nods to Once Upon a Time in the West alone are enough to get even a casual fan all Arizona hot and bothered. But if you’re True West you won’t mind at all.

Now, this movie is long. Two and a half hours worth of intense action and sometimes periods of long glorious ganders at nothing in particular when nothing in particular happens.

Thus The Lone Ranger sums up a certain longing in my heart to a tee. I want to save the day by jumping from car to car on a runaway train, ride out afterwards into nowhere to watch the sun set, then head into town for a night of drunk debauchery at the wildest brothel in town before retiring to humble lodgings with Angie, my favorite-est of all cowgirls, to sleep the sleep that only honest adventuring can bring. It captures the heartbeat of the West in a way few have since the heyday of Western celluloid.

And no, Tonto isn’t Jack Sparrow in different make-up. The bitching that went on about a white guy playing a Native American or a bland boob playing the titular character was sensationalistic and immature. Due to pretty much every known journalist jumping on the fuck-the-Lone-Ranger bandwagon to relentlessly diss this film their is now a worldwide shortage of bowls of dicks because assuredly they’ve eaten them all the weasel cum douche bags that they are.

That was immature too but I never said I was a journalist, just honest. The two rarely go together. Crow face paint or lonely lawman gripes aside I’ll tell you what is ridiculous about this movie. The price of goddamn Legos that’s what! This Stagecoach is more than forty dollars!

Fuck! Big old goddamn Trail of Tears kind of Fuuuuuuck! Forty bucks? It’s a set of building blocks not a blowjob from a moderately clean streetwalker! My only hope is that…wait…yes? Yes! Due to everyone hating Disney’s The Lone Ranger these things are dropping in price faster than Obama’s approval ratings! At this rate by the end of the week I could be celebrating an Amazon laden purchase of ever single set for mere pennies on the dollar and the rescission of the Affordable Care Act!

But we didn’t come here to discuss toy prices or terribly overreaching slogan slingers in the White House did we? No. Fuck toy prices and fuck everyone in Washington. That said, The Lone Ranger gets 5 rounds in the chamber. And silver ones at that. Take note that I mentioned not one actor’s name during this review. This movie is bigger than all of them and says more silently than most flicks do with line after line of pretentious poppycock. This one ruffled a lot of feathers but that’s what good cinema does when it needs to. How can you address that Old West without betrayal or barbarism? How can you address it without sharing a few laughs? Watch the showdown between the Cavalry and the Natives and realize that even in a cheesy Summer blockbuster history can slap you right in the face. Then see a horse in a tree and smile even though your grin’s a bit sore.

The Lone Ranger is an amazing ride. But all good things must come to an end right? Usually that mid or post credits scene from any movie has me excited. This one had me in tears. The sun has all but set on an entire nation and one day it will set on us too.

So as we all ride towards the future and that inevitability let’s not forget the past along the way.

And as always amigos, ride true.

Haikuesday

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Red meat heats and moans

Fresh spices fall like snowflakes

Tasty frontier meal

Western Watchins Week 35

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I can only imagine that spending your first night in jail having any number of men, some with large rough hands, violating every sweet pink hole on your body would be notably less painful and certainly better planned than was The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy. The “conspiracy” tagline didn’t even make it onto the poster it seems in lieu of allowing space for a cliched quote but in all honesty whatever conspiracy writer/director/producer/(and I shit you not) music supervisor Tanner Beard was trying to get at seems to have been left out as well. The extemporaneous research I had to do to understand just what, in every conceivable fuck, this movie was really about was staggering.

You shouldn’t need to gather enough references for a doctoral thesis just to watch a movie. I salute Mr. Beard’s (seen above with a wonderfully wasted Eric Balfour) I salute his effort here. I truly do. But this squirts out the other end of its one hundred and eight minute run time only a more slightly solid turd than say Yellow Rock did. It does have a few (very few) set pieces that are admirably executed and actually enjoyable but they’re lost in the mess that is absolutely everything else about this film. Sure, Jim Beaver and Summer Glau are in it but hey the mortgage isn’t goin’ to pay itself and staring at Supernatural Bobby all you find yourself doing is feeling sad that Deadwood ins’t on the air anymore and Miss Glau’s scenes consist mostly of her staring longingly at the camera pleading for you with her eyes to just stop and put in Serenity thus saving everyone the pain.

And this is painful. Mainly for the unforgivable fact that the plot meanders from historical television miniseries to grandiose cinematic statement to slapstick comedy all the way back to possible moving romance while skirting edgy action flick and heartfelt drama the entire time. There are more characters in this thing that a Tolkien book. But sadly most of them are just throwaways amounting to little more than human one-liners. Only with great effort, a near superhuman attention to detail (including foreknowledge of rather obscure American history) and a love of numerous intersecting (or not) plot threads could you possibly have any chance at keeping up with The Legend of Hell’s Gate. For instance…

This nervous looking bastard running off with a sack full of craft services is John St. Helens. Or should I say John Wilkes Booth! I had never heard that maybe Booth escaped a Federal manhunt to live his life in hiding before committing suicide. Supposedly. But you kind of need to know that before any of this movie’s “oh shit” moments cause you to speak of said shits. Two other guys who are totally out of shits by this point as well are Michael and Eddie Spears.

Eddie got wind John Wilkes was on set and took to wearing an exaggerated top hat in the hopes his on set miseries might end sooner rather than later. Poor bastards. Someone please write a good script for these dedicated souls. Hell on Wheels provides a bit of canvas for Eddie to play with but a feature film that’s competent still seems to be eluding them. Maybe I’ll do a kickstarter for a new Lone Ranger flick with Native Americans as both Tonto and John Reid! It wouldn’t make a difference to the haters. There’d be post after post about “Red Guilt” and other made up shit with everyone out to destroy instead of discuss so just like it is now online actually. And will probably always be. All the more reason to move to Arizona with the Missus and start that strip club/ice cream parlor we’ve always wanted to.

Pizza too. Strippers, ice cream and pizza. And hot dogs. I think that’s it.

But my movie with the all Native cast wouldn’t have vampire bunnies in it. No sir. Only these kind:

By the way, this actress is in Legend of Hell’s Gate but I couldn’t for a hundred bucks and three bottles of whiskey tell you where, as who or doing what. One of the only memorable performances was the no-one-you’d-recognize dude playing the instantly recognizable John Henry ‘Doc’ Holliday. He was fun, gave an informed performance and me a little hope about a half hour in that this movie might not suck as hard and long as I feared but then, like emotional tuberculosis, I began hacking up that tiny bit of hope along with what felt like my goddamned soul as I was left with nearly another hour to exist through before the credits. The credits had pretty neat pencil sketches of all the cast in them but I would rather have been offered a little comic book when I first chose this off of Netflix so I could have quickly seen those drawings and then just pretended I’d seen a good movie. Like just fantasizing about banging Pamela Anderson. All the enjoyment and none of the hepatitis.

The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy had me fantasizing too about every other time in my life when I wasn’t watching The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy. 1 round in the chamber for this. Maybe if it had been called “A Tall Tale about a Place in Texas that Became a Lake: Some Shit I made up Regarding Some Theories a Few Scholars Have Maybe About that Place” I would have known not to watch this from the start but you win and you lose amigos. Gotta know how to handle it all in these strange and twisty days we call life. However it is that you do it, keep on it. 

And as always, ride true.

Haikuesday

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Metal fists clench tight

Towering monsters fall dead

This child’s grin is wide 

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