If you’re looking for a the definitive history of the the Lone Star State’s elite law enforcement agency then stop reading this and go find another movie. How accurate a portrayal of anything relating to the Texas Rangers is Texas Rangers? Just about negative 28%. It was neither historically nor geographically accurate. I think I saw Montana in there at some points and I know I saw a black guy. It was Usher, he’s black right? But from what I read there weren’t any black rangers until the 1980′s and this takes place a decade after the Civil War so, um, yeah. But screw accuracy! Sometimes I just want to enjoy any movie that’s not 1313: Billy the Kid and this James Van Der Beek led ensemble fit the bill and pretty damn well at that.
So everything is great. Except for Ashton Kutcher. Man is he terrible in this. And by “this” I mean everything he’s ever been in besides That 70′s Show and including Demi Moore. Ugh. Man…he was just…fuck.
Look if you’re not expecting too much you’ll enjoy this flick. It’s got action and horses and awesome lines about justice and ridin’ out to meet God because you’ve got Tuberculosis and he’s already comin’ to meet you so you go and meet him ’cause you’re not a pussy you’re a goddamn Texas Ranger! Plus Randy Travis is back!
This is the only picture I could find for him (he’s on the left there) because I don’t do all that fancy screen capping shit. I’m old school and tech retarded and if you want to fight me I’ll meet you out back sometime and whup your ass while I teach your mom the meaning of “bareback”. Who am I kidding, that whore already knows and goodness I just banged her! But Randy Travis! This movie earned an extra round in the chamber just due to the fact he mounts a Gatling gun in the final shootout and mows down all of Mexico with a sneer and a cigar on his sweet Southern lips. I still think he was underutilized in this but he didn’t have to sing over the credits so we all dodged a bullet there. Not because he can’t sing but because The Long Road Home was that bad.
And just look at that pic! In addition to Randy you have that guy from The Practice and the T-1000 sitting beside him. No wonder the movie had a happy ending. When you’ve got the law and Skynet on your side you are going to go home happy. Which is what I think Rachel Leigh Cook was for the most part though her weird off kilter frozen kind of face and bland acting might make it hard to prove. It’s true, ever scene she looked like a creepy porcelain doll possessed by an even creepier porcelain doll. Something’s just not right with her. You could blame the makeup artist or shooting aspect or something but personally I blame the necromancer who animated her corpse because he was either incompetent or depressed or both. Still, she’s better than Kutcher. She has boobs at least. But we really don’t get to ever see them and we do have to see Ashton naked. And in a tub with Van Der Beek. Yes, that happens. I’d show you a picture but it’s probably illegal as they’re using small Mexican children as loofahs to wash their balls the entire scene. Really weird.
I’m kidding about that though one thing I did learn from this movie is that if you’re a poor Mexican chick and you double cross the Rangers said Rangers will send your ass back across the river to get repeatedly raped. Or as they call it in Mexico, breakfast. I’m kidding again. They don’t start molesting people until well after the sun goes down and usually only at that one club in Cancun. If you’re offended I’m surprised you made it this far actually so congratulations. And congrats to Texas Rangers as well for earning a respectable 3 rounds in the chamber. It’s not a classic but I wouldn’t be hard pressed to watch it again with you if you’d never seen it. Randy Travis’ smoke and Hellfire filled film-gasm is reason enough to give this one another go and one day should you stop in for some whiskey and a few words we might just do that. Till then pardners.
Why do I even set an alarm to remind myself to write a poem on Tuesdays if I’m just going to forget/ignore it? Why do I want to be a cowboy, an acrobatic superhero, a rockstar and a magical vehicle pilot? If I was about to make out with a really hot chick who was actually a guy would Admiral Ackbar show up and warn me? Or just take pictures? Or take part???
These are all really good questions! “Where’s that damn poem?” is also a really good question. Here is your answer:
Dirty sparkling flow
This bright crap and joy filled stream
We are much alike
1313: Billy the Kid got me man. Got me real good. Thanks to Netfilx’s one sentence description, sample screen shot and categorization under ”Gay and Lesbian Movies” I went into this screening knowing full well pretty much no one would be using shirts however I was dumbfounded by the fact that no one used scripts, production values or acting ability either. Or gun belts. Poor Billy had at least two different belts that he wore way too loose and usually backwards. And without a gun (even before his was taken away by the town sheriff).
So now you know Billy and the sheriff and with that almost the entire cast. Sure there’s an ill-fated shirtless farmhand/retard kind of guy and a shirtless deputy/iron smith?/retard kind of guy, the one bad guy who had nice hair and no shirt plus the other bad guy who I’m not sure was even breathing. And that’s it. Except for the girl who doesn’t count because she never took her shirt off and if this movie taught me anything it’s to never watch this movie again.
It’s a close to unwatchable as anything I’ve ever seen. Having to sit through a montage of late term abortions in 3D might be preferable to watching this film ever again. It was almost ten minutes before one word was spoken or anything happened other than Billy walking from one side of your screen to the other through various outdoors-y settings. Sometimes twice. And all in yellow. I’m not kidding the entire movie is shot with a yellow filter. It’s like the Wild West’s liver is failing the entire time. Not sepia toned, tastefully aged or vintage. Yellow.
Oh wait…the dream sequence was blue. And in case you missed it Billy has a flashback to said sequence later in the film and by “flashback” I mean they showed the entire dream (in blue!) again. Probably just to give your eyes a break from yellow. But I think I get what not first time director (there have been 13 other “13:13″ movies at last count) David DeCoteau is trying to say with his colorful choice and that is the fact he’s not scared ah nuthin’! Not scared of say having modern day plastic and vinyl patio furniture laying around his 1880′s town! Not scared of using drawn out and repetitious scenes of young boys in peril to propel at least 50% of his movie! Not scared to let things like quality dialogue, or any dialogue, get in the way of his sexy six-pack slingin’ studs! How bad was this dialogue? In his later years Dick Clark uttered more intelligible words than many of the actors in this goddamn movie. And those are strong words I know but I firmly believe that God has it in for this film to the point that Satan now sits imprisoned in the last circle of Hell chewing on various traitors and this movie.
About the only thing good I could take from this film is the fact that diet and exercise pay off. I mean look at those guys! I just jerked off four times typing this sentence and I’m not even gay that’s how pretty they all are! For example check this dude out:
I see this guy and I immediately ask myself two questions. One: what’s that werewolf kid from Twilight doing in this movie? And two: why am I still watching this movie? Oh yeah, I promised you all I’d never quit on anything after I pressed “play” and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let this jaundiced SOB make me tap. But shoot…do I even have to rate this? If I do it’s like admitting this is actually a movie. Ugh, alright….one shell in the chamber and one only for 1313: Billy the Kid. At least now no matter what’s coming down the pike I’ll always be able to look back and know that it could always be so much worse. And yellower too.
Look, new days ahead
Do something with them you hear
Or they’re just dead days
Pharaoh’s Army was good. Real solid. Just don’t let Kris Kristofferson fool you, he’s in it as much as good acting is in a Twilight movie. Which is not much. He’s intriguing and mysterious sure but so are most people at the grocery store you spy in passing as they move in and right back out of you life. Who are they? What’s their name? Would they blow me behind the organinc bananas in the produce section? All relevant questions two of which I asked myself in relation to ‘Tofferson’s brief appearance. Which was eerily aloof but as there were no bananas around I will move on just as the story did.
Yeah I know! A story? I haven’t seen one of those in weeks! Save for the expulsion of El Guapo of course but damn I was in a desert devoid of solid story telling before that for what felt like forever. So parched for a drink of passable dialogue, believable characters or development of the same that I was very near to Waterworld-ing my own emotional urine just to find the strength to take another stab at a random Western.
But that’s what this trip is about: shots in the dark. Random, dangerous and exhilerating. You miss a lot but when you do hit, damn, it feels good. All of this and I stay true to my original intent and to you the reader. A movie a week for who knows how long. Now I should say an average of one a week actually as sometimes once a week just ain’t enough. Sex, drinking, gaming, running and Westerns…never just once a week. So, I’ll review one per week but I may watch more just to keep the stable growing and strong. And everyone I do watch, to completion all (see sex/drinking/gaming/running above), I will at some point shortly thereafter put cyber pen to cyber paper and get my rattling thoughts a bangin’ about the page. Pals, we’re on the trail, and sometimes off it, but we’ll see this through to the end whenever that may be. Till then, back to Pharaoh’s Army.
I don’t even know why it’s called that. And I don’t want to know. But know this: this movie, set against the backdrop of the caucaphonous and all consuming American Civil War is conversely quiet and set on such a scale that you almost feel you’re watching a staged play at your local community theater except that it’s enjoyable and everyone can actually act. Huge performances from everyone and hugely personal. The tagline “A very private Civil War” is pretty much perfect in describing what you ‘ll spend not too long at all taking in over a 90 minute run time. Shit, Disney’s Up was 96 and all it managed to do with its 6 extra minutes was piss me off more than the previous hour and a half had already done. Yeah Up sucked for being emotionally destructive without, despite it’s misleading title, enough uplifiting moments to balance all that shit out so what I’m saying is Kris Kristofferson really isn’t in Pharaoh’s Army but that’s okay becuase it’s still great and there are no dead inside old people or fat Asian kids to ruin it for you!
But guess who is in it? Richard Tyson from Three O’Clock High! Remember him? He played big baddie Buddy Revell who was intent on beating the crap out of Casey Siemaszko who was Charlie in Young Guns which is also a Western! That’s Crazy (Horse)!Also in it is Chris Cooper and he’s just amazing. Just look at him in this tiny picture!
Chris Cooper is the guy. I don’t know the horse’s name. I’ll just call him “Mr. Carrots” and move on. Back to Mr. Cooper who, astride Mr. Carrots or not, was outstanding. As the Union officer in charge of a small scouting party he is equal parts intensity and serenity as his command is strained once he and his come upon a Southern woman and her son’s small isolated abode deep in the Kentucky woods near Meshacks’ Creek. He, along with his foil Patricia Clarkson, is approachable and even vulnerable torn inside by the situation at hand while still managing to remain believable at all times. The whole movie does in fact. What could have easily turned into one Hallmark moment after the next doesn’t and we aren’t fed the easy resolutions that many movies in the presented predicaments might have doled out for the mundane masses to ingest. None of Pharaoh’s Army is really easy to swallow. But that’s what makes it so tasty.
Some reviewer on Amazon.com had this to say: ”This film illustrates some of these issues in a very meaningful way.” I would agree and I don’t even know what he’s talking about. Learn to write random reviewer from Amazon! Learn or Kris Kristofferson will not show up very long in one of your favorite movies at some point in the near future! Anywho, I’ll give four in the chamber to Pharaoh’s Army. I still don’t know what that title means but I know that I liked it. And I’ll leave you with this. It’s some foreign movie poster.
What the Hell man? Kristofferson is still there! And not Mr. Carrots? That’s a damn shame. And that’s what you’ll be left feeling come the end of this flick. It’s easy to mention in passing how rough “brother fighting against brother” must have been but it’s another thing to take in a really damn well done portrayal of one small scene that must have been repeated time and time again across those four horrible years. What a damn shame that amigos would become inimigos, that friends would turn into enemies. It happens all the time. Still not any easier to watch but worth doing so at least in this case.
Come on Mr. Carrots, let’s go have some whiskey.