Friday, August 19, 2011

Movie Review: Cowboys & Aliens (aka There's Gold In Them Thar Hills)

THIS POST WILL PROBABLY CONTAIN SPOILERS. Maybe, it really depends on how descriptive I'm feeling as I type.
Cowboys & Aliens starring (in alphabetical order):

Daniel Craig. Not my favourite Bond (that would be Connery), but I do like his work.
Harrison Ford. When did he start looking so old? He didn't look anywhere near this grandpa-like in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, which was only 3 years ago. Still cool though.

Olivia Wilde. I love that she's in the old-westerny type dress, but she has a gunbelt slung around her waist and hip. Because she's kick-ass. She's my favourite.

As I mentioned in a previous post this movie has been getting some bad reviews, in fact I just read another one today (the complaint this time, not enough old west, and not enough sci-fi. Whatever).
I don't get why so many people are so hostile toward this movie. I thought it was awesome.

I will admit that Olivia Wilde is one of my favourite actresses, one of the ones where I'll see anything she's in, so maybe I'm biased because of that. (Sidenote, I don't care for her latest hairstyle. Not the one for the movie, but the fringe thing she's got going on now. I really don't think it suits her. Still she did recently break up with the man she'd been married to since she was 19, so maybe the fringe is her version of the 'dramatic post-breakup new life' haircut, without actually having to cut off the rest of her lovely hair. Meanwhile, I'm cutting my lovely hair on the weekend. It's very straight, and is right now about 2 and half inches from being waist length, and it takes sooo long to dry in the mornings, and sometimes feels quite heavy, so I've gotten my brother to agree to cut it shoulder length for me. None of that has anything to do with the movie, I just thought I'd share, and presumbly if you didn't want the occasional off-topic ramble you'd be reading someone else's blog.)

The movie: Daniel Craig's character, Jake, wakes up in a desert with no idea who he is and a weird metal bracelet thing on his wrist. He's ambushed by bandits, beats them up, steals their weapons, one of the horses and a dog, and makes his way to a small dusty town, that is being mildly terrorised by the wussy son of Harrison Ford's character Woodrow. He also meets Olivia's Wilde's character, mysterious Ella, the chick with the gunbelt.

One issue I do have with this movie is how weirdly protective Woodrow is of his dropkick adult son. I'm pretty sure in the old west a character like that would not have put up with the boy's behaviour. He would've given him a good hiding instead.

Aliens attack the town. Interestingly, we're calling them aliens, because that's the word we use, but in Arizona in 1873 apparently that wasn't a term they knew, as they refer to them as demons. The aliens are sufficiently creepy, with weird chests that fold open to reveal an extra set of arms that end in claws. They also have cool scout ships that look like giant metal bugs.

This is where Jake's weird metal bracelet first comes into play. It's actually an alien weapon he accidently stole from the ship where he had been kept prisoner (gasp!) along with his now dead wife. Poor Jake. There's fighting and people being grabbed by the alien ships and whatnot. Plus explosions. I love explosions.

There's a cute moment with Ella and Jake, after Ella gets grabbed by one of the scout ships. Jake shoots it down and as it's falling over a lake of water he jumps on the ship and frees Ella. They land in the water and after they come up for air, they have this little exchange: Jake "We were flying." Ella: "Yeah...". It was cute, and also even in the terror of being taken by aliens, I think you'd have to take a moment to enjoy the wonder at having an experience that you've never even considered a possibility before.

They find the main spaceship, which once we see it out of the ground (at first it's mostly buried), puts me in mind of a giant sonic screwdriver. A clear sign I watch too much Doctor Who. It turns out the aliens are after our gold. I'm not entirely sure why they have to kill us to get it, but maybe they're just dicks.

In the end the cowboys win. Yay cowboys! But Ella sacrificed herself to destroy the ship, so Jake is still sad, because he doesn't even get a hot new wife to replace the dead one.

So, I enjoyed Cowboys & Aliens, and will more than likely buy it when it comes out on DVD.


River said...

Ella dies?? Unfair. I'm going to see this if I can find where it's playing next Friday.
I'm so jealous of your hair. It grows more in 6 months than mine does in 6 years. hmpf!! And not a curl in sight. Double hmpf!!

JahTeh said...

Thank you, I'll try to get to see this at Southland.
Harrison Ford mighten'd have looked old in the Crystal Skull but if you listen, he sounds old.