Friday, 19 August 2011

Cowboys and Aliens

And you thought Snakes on a plane had an obvious title……… By Martin Thomas

Hater: Taken from IMDB
"The plot had no cohesion making it difficult for many in the audience to get caught up in the film. That's a big surprise because if you don't empathize with the lead character, what's the point of an adventure film? Because of the director whom I really like, I had hoped that this would be better. I found myself trying hard to like the film but failing miserably. Despite the number of effects, they were very ho-hum as well. Favreau overworked and overthought this movie. What a shame but I guess the pressure was just too great.This disappointment reduces a collection of normally excellent actors in to roles in which they ham it up in mechanically orchestrated poses and predictable situations, not helped by a story that goes virtually nowhere coherent. There really wasn't smart source material to be had and the final product that hit the screen certainly proves that fact. All they managed to deliver was a mostly unfunny, unentertaining and silly romp in wasteoftimeville."

No plot? Really? Although I can see where they are coming from perhaps this viewer needs to ask themselves a question- exactly what plot were you expecting from a movie called Cowboys and Aliens? There are some Cowboys. There are some Aliens. They fight. To be fair to the movie, it promises nothing more than that, and what it does promise, it delivers. Whether or not you enjoy what it delivers is another point entirely…..

Lover: Taken from IMDB
"just saw the movie an hour ago. It's pretty damn good. I usually don't enjoy Science fiction films but this one is just a lot of fun to watch. The acting is very good all round , Daniel Craig , who strangely has most screen time yet not a lot of lines , acted very well. Harrison Ford is the best with the whole grumpy old man role. Olivia Wilde is .... gorgeous. Sam Rockwell acted as awesome as ever.The film also has a lot of good dialogues with quite some wit. The film has one or two instances which are kinda dumb (only one or two), but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the film unless you're like those snobbish critics who believe that they are very intellectual and refuse to enjoy a film unless everything makes sense.This film is just a lot of fun to watch."

Some fair points made here, particularly the performances and the attractiveness of Olivia Wilde, but I have to disagree with the last point- its not ‘snobbish’ for a viewer to want a movie to make sense; it’s the least you should expect from any movie (unless you are massive David Lynch fan.)

What Martin thought:
So, one of this summers big blockbusters has arrived, and along with it, reasonably high expectations- A movie starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford? Directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau? With Olivia Wilde looking stunning? AND produced by king of the blockbuster himself Steven Spielberg? What can possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot actually…….

First things first, there is that title. Stealing the title of ‘most obvious movie title…… ever!’ from previous champion Snakes on a Plane, Cowboys and Aliens has no pretensions to be anything other than a mindless summer blockbuster featuring, surprisingly enough, Cowboys and Aliens. And herein lies my main problem with this film- that’s all it is. Some Cowboys, and some Aliens. While it might seem churlish to criticise a movie titled Cowboys and Aliens for being nothing but Cowboys fighting Aliens- I’m going to.

But let’s mention the movie’s few positives: Daniel Craig play’s the strong silent type, and plays it well, but if that’s your type of thing- go watch Casino Royale. Likewise Harrison Ford, here clearly enjoying himself playing the no nonsense tough guy with a hidden heart of gold, but we have seen this done before, and done better- Indiana Jones, Hans Solo.

At a running time of 113 minutes, this movie simply does not hold your attention to justify two hours of your life. The set pieces are dull and a fine example of why CGI can not and will not ever replace a good old fashioned explosion. Although someone has clearly been studying (my polite way of saying plagiarising) HR Giger’s iconic Alien designs from the franchise of the same name, these aliens simply don’t work. They are a superior species with technology far beyond our comprehension? OK….. then, why the hell can they be killed by bows and arrows? An alien needs to be intimidating, the stuff of nightmares- something you can believe really is unstoppable and will kill you with ease (see Aliens, Predator etc), and herein lies my problem with this film; you are never really invited to empathise with the cowboys, feel that they are in peril, wonder ‘Jeez! How the hell will they defeat these guys?’ you simply sit, bored, wishing that the final set piece and inevitable victory for the good guys will hurry up. I don’t expect much from my summer blockbuster- have some witty one liners, preferably delivered by an engaging hero whom I wish to see succeed, a bad guy who places our hero in peril, and then throw in some explosions. Sadly, Cowboys and Aliens fails to deliver on any of these.

In Cinemas now
Running Time: 113 mins
Cert: 12

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"Films are Loved, Films are hated. I'm here to help you decide where you stand..." I also do web work including a good knowledge of HTML, ASP, using the adobe web package and a strong understanding of SEO, Google Analytics.