Sunday, August 17, 2003

movie review: gunman and cattle

open range
Kevin Costners new movie is a grandly shot film. The scenery is marvellous with constant thunderstorms rolling through and over a little town and the valley it resides in.

Charlie, Kevin's character, is a cowboy riding with Boss, a big guy and a little italian. They live a simple life, "free-grazers" pushing their cattle along, setting up camp, waiting out storms, chasing after lost cattle and horses.

Naturally they wind up in some trouble. Which is all fine and good. The movie is your pretty typical Western in setup. Man with a troubled past, but with good intentions saves the day.

The trouble isn't even really that Costner can't really act. He's okay. The villain, Michael Gambon, is well played, but is perhaps too much of a cliche. You never quite understand why he is so passionate in his hatred for "free grazers." It doesn't quite seem to be just about cold hard cash.

But the real trouble is the romance. Mainly I can't quite see what she sees in the guy. Sure he's sweet to those he likes, but she didn't see that much of that, she saw more of the fact that he was pretty quick and ready to kill. But hey its a movie.

The violence in the movie tends towards the violence of unforgiveable. Short and brutal. Only a little bit of quarter is shown.

What stood out the most was Duvall's performance as the older, wiser cowboy, somewhat of a hardass, but a sweetheart underneath.

There were also some some really good humor, nothing overt, just small little things here and there. Charlie getting all anxious about the mud he's spreading on the parlor carpet after he has been there a couple times. A great line by as they are burying a companing, "You might say some words if you feel like it, but I ain't going to speak to that son of a bitch for what he's let happen"

Anyway, it's a good movie. Not great. But good.


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