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A very likable cowboys meets aliens epic!,
This review is from: Cowboys & Aliens (DVD)
Cowboys and aliens(released July/11)is,to me,a surprisingly good Sci-Fi film.It's reviews were not the greatest and I was anticipating watching a high budget movie with good intentions that went no where fast.But such was not the case,which leads me to mention the first rule of reviewing:Don't believe what others see and write about,believe only what YOU see! Mr.Spielberg had a hand in this epic,which truly IS one,in feel and looks.The cinematography is fabulous as we are taken all over the beautiful outlands of Arizona.But let's not get ahead of ourselves,let's look at the films storyline.
The film begins out in the desert near a town called Absolution.A man(Daniel Craig) wakes up on the desert floor with a wound in his side and no idea how he got there.On his left wrist is an over sized "bracelet" of some type,origin unknown.Some drifters come through and decide he may be a wanted man.Before they can take him into town for the reward the man takes down all three and wanders alone into Absolution.
While there it seems some of the townsfolk know him,specifically the sheriff.It seems this stranger is a wanted felon by the name of Jake Lonergan.After the son of a local prominent cattle rancher,Mr.Dollarhyde(Harrison Ford),accidentally shoots a deputy sheriff,both are taken into custody and put into a wagon for shipment to and a trial at Tuscon.Before they can leave Dollarhyde shows up for his boy but is interrupted by a group of strange lights approaching the town.The lights turn out to be alien craft intent on abducting some of the townspeople.Lonergan's bracelet comes to "life" and he is soon shooting at and downing at least one of the ships.However the alien pilot escapes and roams into town only to be shot and wounded.
Lonergan leaves town while Dollarhyde forms a posse which heads out at first light to track down the creature.Lonnergan arrives at a cabin in which he gets flashbacks.He has had them previously but they grow more detailed and this one reveals his former love and some gold he brought home.in the flashback the gold suddenly melts on the table and is sucked upwards while his lady love gets pulled right out of the cabin.
Lonnergan leaves the cabin and joins up with Dollarhyde and his men.A ways out they run into a gang of robbers that turn out to be Lonnergan's old gang members.They take him to their camp and a confrontation occurs between Lonnergan and the new boss.It doesn't go down well for Lonnergan who eventually has to use to bracelet to help them all escape.Traveling further on the party gets captured by some Apache Indians.Through some harrowing moments a consensus is finally reached between the two groups to fight the invaders.Through more concise flashbacks Lonnergan now knows and leads them all to the place where the alien mother ship is buried.
A pitched battle between the aliens and Lonnergan,Dollarhyde and company begins.Entry is gained into the ship and eventually many of the taken settlers are found and released.Near the end the ship lifts off but is finally destroyed only about a thousand or so feet above the ground.Back in Absolution Lonnergan is asked to stay on by Dollarhyde while the sheriff pretends Lonnergan had died in the firefight.Lonnergan begs off both and leaves town.Fade out in typical western fashion.
As I mentioned before this film simply looks beautiful.The scenes in the desert are stunning and epic in their look.Something out of a John Ford film.The script has just enough twists and turns in it to keep one interested throughout its journey on the screen.Lonnergan's flashbacks(a tool as old as Pete the Pup)is done just right,I find.The acting is also spot on as we have a great cast of starring and supporting actors on hand.The special effects are also of the highest quality as the aliens are all too real looking.They are bipeds,whose smallish heads meld into their necks,and whose chests open up to reveal two hands,with three E.T. like digits.The fight sequences between humans and aliens are also very realistic and deadly looking.These things aren't on Earth for a game of backgammon.
Technically speaking the film looks great in its original a/r of 2:40:1.Extras include three featurettes and commentary by the director.
All in all a very enjoyable blend of the old fashioned western with a Sci-Fi backdrop.It has an epic feel and look to it and the acting along with the special effects are very good.Recommended.