Friday, January 25, 2008
This is one of my favorite westerns. We stayed up until twelve watching it last night, and we still have to finish it!
I haven't read the book, but I don't think it would be fit to read, really. The movie has to be watched with TV Guardian, and there are several places that need to be edited. Actually, make that a lot of places. Dad knows where all those places are, so he's the movie editor on this one. Before I tell you how great it is, it really can't be watched unless you know somebody else who has seen it before that can edit and if you have TV Guardian.
The characters are well-developed and have layers of personality. I think Gus McCrae may be the best western character I've yet seen. The story is about a bunch of old retired Texas Rangers and their friends that decide to settle some territory in Montana "before the bankers and lawyers get it," with their cattle and horses (some of those cattle and horses were stolen from Mexico). It also follows several other story lines, mainly those of a Sheriff in Arkansas and then that of his wife who is traveling to Nebraska. It also looks in on Jake Spoon from time to time, who is the fella that Sheriff July is looking for. Jake Spoon ends up being hanged by his friends later in the movie.
One of the reasons I can say this is so good is that it was a miniseries, and miniseries don't necessarily have as much money to spend as theater released movies. It's very long, and even though the picture isn't as bright and clear and realistic (meaning romanticized in a way that makes it look realistic and eye-pleasing at the same time) and even though the soundtrack wasn't composed by a great composer, the movie is great. The whole idea is almost mind-blowing. Without all of that, the movie still manages to be one of the best ever made. The music in it is pretty, though there are no CDs available that I know of, and the story is so appealing and amazingly well-written the movie is good anyway, even without modern technology.
This is basically a Western Epic. It is one of the greatest movies I've seen, but as I said, it requires extensive editing. It has several sequels and a prequel was recently made, starring Steve Zahn as the young Gus McCrae.
I just wanted to share the thought of western epics, because it hit me hard while watching it last night. I hadn't really realized until last night that westerns even had epics, because I'm not a huge fan of westerns. I take that back. I like some westerns, but I've seen so many that I mostly like the unique or modern ones. This counts as unique, and sort of modern; it was made several years ago, probably fifteen or twenty. The story and the characters are so amazing, and all the plot threads are intertwined together in a complex and intricate way. Nearly all of them cross over together, and I'm saying nothing about the ending, in case you decide to see it. Lots of editing though! (And even with editing, it's not really a very moral story, so probably not for little kids.....)
PS. Heavy editing!