Bimalelooking3 50M
71 posts
9/20/2005 9:39 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm


I recently watched two westerns on dvd which I had not seen in some time, 'Tombstone' and 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly'.

'Tombstone' really seems like a pretty crappy movie, despite a nice cast. Kurt Russell doesn't work for me as Wyatt Earp -- he's very good at the sort of gonzo roles he played in 'Escape from New York' and 'Big Trouble in Little China', but when he attempts more dramatic roles I always think, 'hey, check it out, Kurt Russell is doing Wyatt Earp!', or whoever. I did like him in 'Tequila Sunrise' , but even in that movie he's sort of playing the gonzo type. I think 'Tombstone' wastes a lot of the cast, but Val Kilmer gets all the great lines. He may be a total tool to work with, but he generally delivers the goods.

I'd forgotten how great 'The Good....' is. From the very first shot, it's clear you're in the presence of a genius director. The cast is good (even though Van Cleef is electric, Eli Wallach steals every scene he's in) , but the real star of the film is the cinematography and direction. Leone reminds me a lot of Kurosawa in this movie, although I doubt he's as profound a storyteller as the Japanese director. Westerns usually have a lot of sentimental BS, but not this one. About the only trace is the scene at the end where 'Blondie' (played by Clint Eastwood) lets Tuco out of his predicament at the graveyard. I have heard some criticize this movie for being all style, and I agree, to a point -- it's definitely heavily stylized, but is that really bad? Some of the great movies are mostly style. Pulp Fiction and Citizen Kane are two examples.

The movie is a real treat to watch on dvd. The picture is about as good as you can expect, even if some of the colors are a bit washed out. One of the great westerns, and a candidate for the greatest ever.

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