Movie Review: Cowboys & Aliens

“Cowboys & Aliens” on IMDB

Action/Sci-fi, 118 Minutes, 2011

I enjoyed this quite a bit but I can see good reasons why some people may not.  It was slow getting going – downright lethargic in places.  There was also a little silliness with Olivia Wilde’s character, but nothing too distracting.

The cast was pretty much picture perfect even if the script didn’t always let them shine.  Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford were both excellent.  Both Sam Rockwell and Clancy Brown bring a lot to their small, but memorable roles.

Special effects are uniformly excellent but – and I’m willing to believe that it may just be me – but aren’t hollywood aliens getting a little samey?  Grey, hairless, oddly-bent knees, big teeth, covered in mucus  and dripping with drool.  It started with “Aliens” of course but then we got “Battle L.A.”, “Super 8”, “Independence Day”, “Skyline”, “Pitch Black” and everything from “Avatar” that you weren’t supposed to want to bang.

Com’on guys!  We haven’t had an alien that needed a haircut since “Alf”.  How about feathers?  Turtle shells?  Flippers?  Hooves?  What about some color maybe?  Remember the veritable menageries in “Star Wars” or “Men in Black”?  Where have those guys gone?

None of this really affects the film of course.  Slow tho’ it may be it’s still a heck a fun ride.


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  1. I actually thought it was phenomenally boring. We seem to agree on a lot of other points, however I guess they bothered me more. I also have to say my favorite part was the beginning, I assume that is what you called “lethargic”. I found myself wishing this cast was in an actual western. Wilde’s character was remarkably opaque.

  2. I really liked the beginning as well. Nailing down the “lethargic” comment I would have to point to whole “following the trail” section and the night spent in the mysterious riverboat. That whole segment just dragged on… it was like the writer was taking role-call: has everybody gotten something to say?

    In my opinion Wilde’s “character” was fine as a plot point but didn’t really exist as a role. There was no depth there, nothing to grab onto. She worked to move things forward but was more of an exposition machine: put in a quarter in the slot and get a slip of paper with your next piece of information.

    I completely agree about seeing an actual western with them. When they inevitably and needlessly remake “The Outlaw Josey Wales” maybe they’ll keep in mind. ;^)

  3. Oh, okay.. agreed, following the trail was bad. Did u notice they were to leave first thing in the morning but it was obviously much later than sun-up, clearly they decided to eat lunch first. I will be posting some reviews soon, let me know if u want to check them out.

  4. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any ways to help stop content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate

    1. I’ve not see much of it personally. My source code pops up, but that’s got a very liberal Open Source license anyway. The rest of it I don’t think I’ve noticed anyplace else.

      Unfortunately I think your only free option is to politely request that your material be removed. This (as you might guess) will likely meet with varying degrees of success. You could, of course, engage counsel and make a legal threat, but I’m guessing the cost will be prohibitive to the gain.

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