Archive for the Westerns Category

The War Wagon

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

John Wayne and Kirk Douglas spend half of The War Wagon trying to knock one another off and the other half working shoulder to shoulder. Settling an old score with avaricious mine owner Bruce Cabot, Wayne plans to steal a $500,000 gold shipment from his enemy. Douglas, at first hired by Cabot to kill Wayne, goes along with the robbery scheme. Also in on the plan is Howard Keel, superbly cast as a world-weary, wisecracking Native American (it’s the sort of part that nowadays would go to Graham Greene). The titular war wagon is the armor-plated, Gatling-gun fortified stagecoach wherein Cabot’s gold is transported. Thus the stage is set for a slam-bang finale, and director Burt Kennedy isn’t about to disappoint the viewers.

What people are saying:

“…that comparative rarity, a Western filmed with quiet good humor. It is also a point of departure for John Wayne, who plays a bad guy for just about the first time in his career” 4 stars

“John Wayne (in his 162nd film) joins forces with Kirk Douglas in this revenge Western that propagates rather dangerously vigilante justice, a theme Clint Eastwood will carry to an extreme in the Dirty Harry pictures.” 3 1/2 stars

“The expected clash of two headliners in the same Western is not as apparent as expected, it plays out as a mildly amusing adventure with Douglas’ lighter approach helping to offset Wayne who is as ever unchanged in another gunfighter role.” 3 stars

“This is a “caper” film, about what would be a heist in other circumstances. Since the ethics of the perpetrators are those which should have made the authorities make the robbery unnecessary, their act is justified in this situation. This noir western is a bit slick-appearing at some times; but it is physically attractive, has a good cast portraying colorful and somewhat desperate characters, and a strong theme song. Dimitri Tiomkin supplied the very capable score; and Burt Kennedy did a solid job of directing throughout. The very appealing storyline concerns Taw Jackson, played ably by John Wayne, who returns from prison to get back what he can from Bruce Cabot, who stole his ranch and framed him. All he can do is to recruit a group of “mission fighters”, beginning with the man who had shot him 5 years earlier, Lomax, played by dynamic Kirk Douglas-and raid the “war wagon”–his enemy’s vehicle for transporting gold, a Gatling-Gun-equipped armored stagecoach. Taw’s team includes a drunken young dynamite expert he met in prison Robert Walker Jr., Keenan Wynn who is insanely jealous of his young wife, Valora Noland as the wife, Levi Walking Bear in the charismatic person of Howard Keel, his liaison to needed Indian allies, and more. Gene Evans, Joanna Barnes, Ann McRea, Terry Wilson and Frank Mcgrath are among those also doing good professional work in this interesting narrative. Only Noland is a bit weak in this cast. There are some humorous lines and interesting character moments as Wayne assembles his group and plots an attack worthy of “The Dirty Dozen” or “Where Eagles Dare”, involving trees that fall at the right moment, Indians faking an attack as a diversion, dynamite used to block off access to a bridge, and a log that swings down and opens the rolling piggy bank violently. What happens after this successful robbery leads to a compromised denouement and ending; but the film is vividly put together, professionally mounted and decently scripted by Clair Huffaker from his own novel. The film stands as a reminder of what any well-made film about an ethical central character can provide relative to any un-ethical and not-fictional man’s story competing for a cinema viewer’s attention. Moments such as Wayne’s visit to his ranch and his talk with the man who stole it, the recruiting of Lomax, the relations of the group, and the raid itself are all memorable. Underrated and always visually interesting.” 4 stars

“Fun tongue in cheek Western that survives an initial slow start to be entertaining afterwards throughout. Both John Wayne and Kirk Douglas do great and have tremendous on screen chemistry together. Their friendly,competitive rivalry that mirrors their off screen persona’s. Works extremely well and carries what would have otherwise been an average western. Even though they had their differences in real life, such as politics, you can tell they had a real respect for one another, and this movie does a good job of capturing that. One of the few roles that put the Duke on the wrong side of the law. Let down by the Western scenery, but was impressed with Howard Keel. I liked it but seeing Wayne and Douglas jell as well as they did makes me wish they could have joined together for a better Western. Good but unspectacular movie is highlighted by a hilarious bar room brawl and an extremely catchy theme.” 3 1/2 stars

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The Homesman

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven mad by harsh pioneer life, the task of saving them falls to the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), to join her. The unlikely pair and the three women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter) head east, where a waiting minister and his wife (Meryl Streep) have offered to take the women in. But the group first must traverse the harsh Nebraska Territories marked by stark beauty, psychological peril and constant threat.

What people are saying:

“Swank and Jones, in particular, are a very good odd couple, playing saint and sinner, sometimes reversing the roles. What the directing side of Jones does best is to cede the spotlight to his star. He builds a strong platform for Swank to take on yet another woman who refuses to be bound by gender conventions” 4 stars

The Homesman is a dark, complex story of gender issues and changing conventions on the frontier, and in an era that sees this genre fading, Jones has made a Western winner.” 4 stars

“This unorthodox, sensitive western succeeds at conjuring starkly beautiful pastoral imagery as it tells the tale of three pioneer women who descend into madness. Oscar winning actress Hilary Swank plays a lonely farmer who transports these mentally ill women across the plains with a grumpy, whiskey-swilling anti-hero of questionable morals played by Tommy Lee Jones. The connection between these characters is awkward but interesting and the story is sufficiently emotional.” 3 stars

“Tommy Lee Jones’s The Homesman is an austere western which may please (I guess so…) some buffs for its setting but that’s unlikely to satisfy any entertainment required by any other audience. It is tragically slow-paced, and its shots, though occasionally beautiful, are as boring as they’re pale and unengaging. The kind of film you don’t want to see. I can’t believe that it’s the same guy that made the ultra-entertaining, fast-paced The Fugitve.” 2 stars

“Beautifully done but very unexpected, surprising, and challenging movie, sometimes difficult to watch. Hard to categorize. It takes place in the old west, but is not “a western” precisely in that there is only so much of the moral absolutism that marks those. And hardly a gunfight to speak of, either. On the other hand, if you think some of the best westerns are those about the closing of the west, of those who do not fit into the world, etc. then this is right there as a continuation of those themes of isolation, duty, and independence. I’m thinking Lonely Are the Brave, but also Bad Day at Black Rock, High Sierra, and so on. Ends not at all where you might expect it to — except in the strictest sense — and much of the power of the film is in how it gets to the end. Be careful reading too many reviews beforehand lest they reveal plot points or motivations without you discovering them yourself. ” 5 stars

The Hateful Eight

Posted in Action/Adventure, Drama, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In Quentin Tarantino’s stylish Western set in post-Civil War Wyoming, eight travelers stranded at a stagecoach way station — including bounty hunters, outlaws and former soldiers — become enmeshed in a duplicitous plot as a savage blizzard rages outside.

What people are saying:

The Hateful Eight is a parlour-room epic, an entire nation in a single room, a film steeped in its own filminess but at the same time vital, riveting and real. Only Tarantino can do this, and he’s done it again” 4 stars

“The closing scene, amidst harrowing brutality, is poetically powerful and is without a shadow of a doubt, Tarantino’s crowning achievement as an auteur” 5 stars

“While this movie is definitely worth watching, even at nearly three hours in length, I found it too mannered and self-indulgent to give it any more than three stars. I realize that Tarantino likes to pay homage to his favorite old movies, but sometimes he overdoes it. For example, the lighting in the interior scenes is extremely unrealistic, and I’m sure that was done on purpose because it makes it resemble those old movies. But let’s all remember that they lit scenes that way not because they wanted to but because the technology at the time did not allow them to do it in the more realistic way that we are now able to do. Oh, and then there’s the unnecessary narration that jumps in well after the movie has begun. A silly affectation, at best. But if you do watch it, you will certainly enjoy the many fine performances. I especially got a kick out of Jennifer Jason Leigh.” 3 stars

“Pure Trash! Filthy, nasty language-none of it necessary. I don’t believe people talked liked this during this time period. Overuse of the “n” word. Loads of blood and gore which was totally unnecessary as well. It is like the producer is trying to cover up how awful the story is by splashing blood, guts, and gore around. Very slow moving and it looks like the actors/actress cannot deliver timely lines. You are led to believe it is a movie about the Civil War but it turns out to be about a gang out west. Writer definitely wants to deliver a huge negative bias on Southerners by building a belief that these are post-Confederate soldiers gone wild, but in the middle of the film you learn they are an unlawful gang in the West. He leads the viewer to believe the woman had ties to the Confederacy but it turns out she is the sister to the lead gang member who has come to save her from hanging. I was thoroughly insulted and would not recommend this movie to anyone. ” 1 star

“Crossing a Whodunit with a Western, ‘The Hateful Eight’ is full of completely over-the-top violence and profane language, so much so that it is almost laughable – it’s undoubtedly a Tarantino film. With a running time approaching 3 hrs, there are more than a few lulls and an absurd amount of (unnecessary) dialogue, but with its beautiful cinematography and rising tension, there’s always something going on and it’s never truly boring. The biggest problem here is that it’s in need of some serious editing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining providing you’re not put off by Tarantino’s ridiculous style.” 3 1/2 stars

Jane Got a Gun

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , on August 24, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Jane Hammond has built a new life with her husband Bill “Ham” Hammond after being tormented by the Bishop Boys gang. She finds herself in the gang’s crosshairs once again when Ham stumbles home riddled with bullets after dueling with the Boys and their relentless leader, John Bishop. With the vengeful crew hot on Ham’s trail, Jane has nowhere to turn but to her former fiancé Dan Frost for help in defending her family against certain death. Haunted by old memories, Jane’s past meets the present in a heart-stopping battle for survival.

What people are saying:

“A silly movie with a poor cast–Natalie Portman is not good in this “Western.” She and a former beau are able to hold off a dozen outlaws? Don’t waste your time.” 2 stars

“Hollywood has forgotten how to do a decent western. Sub par acting with a lame, contrived story.” 1 1/2 stars

“The movie had a lot of trouble being made from changing multiple directors, delays, and shifting around roles. Which becomes apparent throughout the movie. All the actors do a very good job to keep the movie relevant though. Even with good performances the movie never able to overcome its troubled past. ” 2 1/2 stars

“Not just confusing, predictable and mis-sold as a feminist film, the calamity that is Jane Got A Gun is hobbled by the dullest of plots.” 2 stars

“Slow and tedious with the worst sound editing I can ever recall. An hour and thirty-eight minutes that seems like a lifetime. Those shot in this western suffered less than we who watched it.” 1 star

Sweetwater

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , on July 10, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In the late 1800s, a beautiful ex-prostitute (January Jones) is trying to build an honest life with her husband in the rugged plains of New Mexico. When she catches the eye of a sadistic and powerful religious leader (Jason Isaacs), her life is violently turned upside down. She embarks on a bloody course of vengeance with the assistance of a renegade sheriff (Ed Harris) who has his own violent tendencies.

What people are saying:

“A mess that wanders around weirdly for an hour and then becomes a mix of spit on your grave and a western.” 2 stars

“It’s hard to care about the revenge story based on January Jone’s performance. The over the top acting of Jason Isaacs and Ed Harris is fun to watch at least.” 3 stars

“Ed Harris is way over the line, but it’s always a pleasure to watch and that’s all I can say about this western…” 2 stars

“If you find yourself wanting to watch a western, pass on this turd.” 2 stars

“Fine performances by Ed Harris, Jason Isaacs & Stephen Root can’t save this go-no-where story with worn-to-death tropes done way better, decades before by classic filmmakers. I wanted this to be a good film and was pulling for everyone involved. Sadly, it comes up way too short way too often in every sense of storytelling.” 1 1/2 stars

The Ridiculous 6

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the Old West era, a calm man named Tommy Stockburn (Sandler) is raised by Native Americans, where he is named “White Knife”, due to his tendency to use knives. He is due to marry a Native girl named Smoking Fox (Jones). He has a run-in with a gang of bandits with eye patches on their right eyes, led by Will Patch (Forte), and manages to outsmart them and a deranged, Native American-racist food proprietor named Clem (Zahn), whose left eye is badly dysfunctional. At his Native village a bank robber named Frank Stockburn (Nolte) comes by, claiming to be Tommy’s biological father. Tommy explains to Frank that his mother was shot by a silhouetted man with tattoos on his hand when she was escorting him to school during his childhood, something that has haunted his dreams since. Frank also tells Tommy that he is dying of consumption, but that he has amassed $50,000 and buried it in a meadow next to a pine tree, which he offers to Tommy and the Natives. The next day, a group of bandits with connections to Frank come to the village, led by the ruthless Cicero (Trejo) who want Frank to give them his “big score” he gained a while back. Frank has the bandits kidnap him so he can lead them to the $50,000 at the so called “Singing Windmill” at Jawbone Fall, in return for the bandits not attacking Tommy or the Indians. With no time to search the meadow and find the money, Tommy decides he must find another way to obtain it and save his father.

Tommy sets out on his quest to regain his father and decides that the best way to gain enough money is by stealing it. However, because his tribe does not condone theft and claims it is dishonorable, Tommy instead opts to steal from those who have no honor, leading him to target corrupt politicians, racist bankers, and thugs alike. During his quest, Tommy discovers that he has 5 half-brothers; Mexican burro rider Ramon (Schneider), whose innkeeper mother Frank had a fling with; mentally challenged yet happy-go-lucky Lil’ Pete (Lautner), who has a strong neck that makes him immune to hanging; feral mountain-man Herm (Garcia), who speaks incomprehensibly; guilt-ridden drunkard Danny (Wilson), who served as a bodyguard for Abraham Lincoln until accidentally leading John Wilkes Booth to murder him; and African-American saloon pianist Chico (Crews), who confesses to be only 50 percent white; all of which join Tommy. Meanwhile, Clem joins the eye patch gang in hopes of finding Tommy to take revenge on him after Clem removes his only functional eye (since the other eye patch wearers claim that removing the right eye is part of the gang’s way) before they kidnap Tommy’s fiancee, though she manages to escape them due to Clem’s poor eyesight and heads out to find Frank. When meeting Chico and Danny, they run with Chico’s boss: the aggressive, always smiling saloon owner Smiley Harris (Keitel), who was part of Frank’s gang until Frank stole his cut of their biggest score and left him to die at the windmill. He owns a large golden nugget the brothers steal after Ramon, while riding his burro, accidentally decapitates Smiley with a shovel from behind just as he is about to shoot the brothers as revenge against Frank for his betrayal, though Ramon was only trying to knock him out.

While relaxing in a pond, Clem and the eye patch gang show up and while the brothers manage to overpower them, the gang manage to steal the money the brothers stole. Hope isn’t lost for the brothers, as Herm (through Tommy’s translation) tells them that a gambler named Ezekiel Grant (Lovitz) is hosting a gambling game with Mark Twain (Ice) and General George Armstrong Custer (Spade) in Yuma. After successfully robbing the poker game, they head out to ransom their father. As dusk falls, Tommy realizes (through a photograph carried by Danny) that it was Cicero who murdered his mother. Not wanting to put his brothers in harm’s way, Tommy sets out alone in the cover of night to rescue his father and confront his mother’s killer. After paying the ransom, Cicero decides to part ways but Tommy insists on getting his revenge. Having successfully killed Cicero, the half-brothers (who followed Tommy) have a reunion with their long lost father. Realizing that Tommy’s group now have $100,000 after rescuing the Left-Eye Gang and getting their original $50,000, Frank double crosses them, revealing that he was in cahoots with Cicero for an easy $50,000. Tommy then reveals that their group also has a Plan B: a hidden bomb inside the bag containing the ransom money. When the bomb explodes and commotion ensues, Frank runs off with Smoking Fox (whom his group has been holding hostage) inside a mine. Tommy runs after them and successfully rescues his bride-to-be and captures his father. Also, in the process of the fighting, the Left-Eye Gang accidentally reveal that they lied about removing their right eyes, much to Clem’s outrage.

Back in the Native Village, Tommy weds Smoking Fox with his brothers in attendance. Since the revelation that their biological father Frank Stockburn was no more than a two-bit crook, the Native chief decides to adopt the half-brothers as he did with Tommy

REVIEW:

With the apparent flop of Pixels, it is safe to say that Adam Sandler is not the box office draw he once was. Sure, he still brings a certain crowd to the movies, but that number is dwindling with each carbon copy film. Enter Netflix! Now those that want to see Sandler movies, but not pay outrageous prices for utter crap can watch at the push of a button. The first film in Sandler’s deal with Netflix is The Ridiculous 6. Now, will this new deal reinvigorate Sandler or are we destined for more of the same?

What is this about?

A white man, Tommy, raised by Indians is approached by his long lost father who tells him he needs $50,000 or he’ll die at the hands of his former gang. Tommy goes on an incredible and ridiculous journey picking up his other 5 new brothers on the way in a race to save their dad.

What did I like?

Brother from another mother. 6 guys all without a father. What ties them together? Well, it turns out that the same guy was with all of their mothers. In a drama, this would make for some interesting deep character study, but for a comedy, an Adam Sandler one, at that, it just makes for some interesting casting choices. What was intriguing about all of the brothers is how each has their own specific characteristic and they aren’t just clones of each other or their father.

A little history. Believe it or not, there is some history in this film. We get a short telling of the murder of Abraham Lincoln and then meet General Custer, Mark Twain (Vanilla Ice, really?!?), Wyatt Earp, etc. I sincerely doubt that these men were ever in the same room together, but it is always nice getting that “what if” moment. If you’re one of those people citing historical inaccuracies, I have to question if you even know what kind of movie this is!

Made for the west. Recent westerns have shown us a more rugged, realistic look to people, as opposed to the flawless hygiene that we have become accustomed to with the shows and movies of the late 50s and 60s. This brings me to Nick Nolte. At one point in time, he was a heartthrob, a leading man, if you will. These days, he’s just a grumpy old codger. The kid of guy that fits perfectly in the old west. Someone needs to snatch him up and cast him in the next western in production, because he looks the part, already!

What didn’t I like?

Sandler humor. I’m not some guy that insists on highbrow, cerebral humor. I’ll laugh at fart jokes ’till the cows come home. That being said, when said jokes are done in every…single…film…one gets tired of them. For me, as a Sandler fan, it is getting harder and harder to laugh at his films. He uses the same juvenile humor in everything he’s in. There have been two or three times he hasn’t. Hotel Transylvania (which technically isn’t his film), Spanglish, and there was a drama with Don Cheadle about the World Trade Center bombing that he was in, but the title escapes me at the moment. The guy can do something different, he just doesn’t seem to want to.

Cry wolf. No one else in Hollywood will cast Taylor Lautner, except Adam Sandler. I have nothing against the guy, other than he was in that franchise that shall not be named (side note…the actress playing Smoking Fox also was in those horrid films). My problem is that this is a stupid character. Think Gomer Pyle and take away about 100 IQ points. If there needed to be a dim one, that’s fine, but this was just a bit too much. I was questioning whether he had been hit in the head a few times or kicked by some horses more than we are privy to know.

Hero for hire. Ever notice that in all of Sandler’s movies he is the hero? He typically has the best life, or will have by the end of the film, the hottest wife, etc. Talk about an ego! Admittedly, if I were writing a film for myself, there would be at least one time that I would save everything for myself, but not everytime. What makes it so bad here is that I cannot believe Sandler as an old hand of the west. Luke Wilson and he should have traded roles.

Final verdict on The Ridiculous 6? Well, The Magnificent 7 it ain’t, that’s for sure. It was nice to see Sandler and Rob Schneider working together again (apparently, they had a falling out at some point). As you can guess, Sandler has all his buddies in here at some point, including his wife and one his sons! Eh…at this point, it is what it is. I don’t have much to say about this flick, other than it kills a couple of hours and isn’t boring. Do I recommend it? No, if you’re in the mood for a comedy western, go watch A Million Ways to Die in the West. It isn’t that much better than this, but at least it doesn’t feel lazily slapped together by someone who got drunk one night.

2 out of 5 stars

Gallowwalkers

Posted in Horror, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After a group of outlaws kills his lover, Aman (Wesley Snipes) goes after them and kills them. When he is killed himself, his mother, a nun, breaks her covenant with God to save his life, which in turn curses him for life. His curse brings his victims back to life, and as undead, they pursue him endlessly for revenge. Forever suffering this curse and still seeking revenge, before Aman enlists Fabulos (Riley Smith), a young gunman, to fight by his side against his undead victims.

REVIEW:

It is Sunday afternoon, so I guess that means I should find something totally random. At least that seems to be the pattern, as of late. This week’s gem is Gallowwalkers, a horror western that was made about the time its star, Wesley Snipes, was headed to prison. Hmm…could be interesting.

What is this about?

After his nun mother makes an unholy deal to guarantee his survival, Aman grows up to become a mysterious and invincible gunman. But the deal includes a curse: Everyone Aman kills will come back to life in this zombie Western.

What did I like?

Wild, wild, west. I’ve seen a ton of westerns. Most of them have been classic, but I have checked out a few modern ones, as well. One of the things that draws audiences into the west, at least that I’ve noticed, is the mystique surrounding that era. That is to say, the violent nature people had, the rugged way they lived off the land, etc. Forget haunted houses, prisons, etc. If you want to truly be frightened, head out west! Now, this film didn’t set out to be a straight up horror film, but I can see the elements there if it wanted to. In the meantime, with the few resources it has, you feel like you are transported to the old west and watching this story play out.

Storytime. Speaking of the story, many who have seen this film have taken umbrage with it. I’m on the other side of the fence, though. Think about it, a mother sacrifices her life to the devil so that her son, who just got revenge on this gang of lowlifes who raped his woman, can live. The catch is that if he comes back to life, so will everyone he ever kills. Typical deal with the devil type stuff, but it worked for me.

Whore. There are 2 or 3 women in here that are your typical western prostitutes. Here’s the thing, though, they don’t aspire to be anything else, but the whores they are. Why do I like this? Is it some male chauvinistic thing? Well, seeing their cups overflow, so to speak, yes! Seriously, though, the reason I like this is because it is not pandering to the feminists. Not every film needs a female interjected into the main plot just because. Case in point, Jonah HexMegan Fox’s character was one of the major reasons people didn’t care for that film….and she was a whore! The point I’m trying to make is, they were eye candy, and had a couple of moments to shine and it worked. Sometimes that all that is needed.

What didn’t I like?

Accidental comedy. Sometimes movies can start out as one thing and end up being totally different. Take for instance this film. The idea was for it to be a western horror film, but there are times when it comes off more as a comedy. I don’t mind a little comic relief here and there, as a matter of fact, I encourage it, but going for the laughs took away from the aura that this film should have had, and ultimately was a big distraction for me, and I’m sure other viewers.

Kick in the side. Sidekicks do a lot of good. Think about it, part of the Batman has been popular for so long is because of Robin and how the various iterations of him have evolved. The Flash, I’m going by the TV show for this example, is nothing without his team. How about Bones, Dr. Brennan and her team of “squints” are perhaps the best sidekicks a FBI agent can have, as Booth learns every week. With all these examples in mind, I have to wonder what Riley Smith’s character’s purpose was. I mean, Snipes could have easily done this solo.

Just for men. I wasn’t going to mention this, but it can’t be ignored. Why is it that Snipes’ beard has this outline of white in it? For that matter, how is it that his hair is perfectly groomed? The white reminds me of a chalk outline that was done on Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, or one of those shows that I watched as a little kid. They had a segment where they were painting and the beard reminded me of that. Before leaving the topic of Snipes’ look, it isn’t explained why he was bald and in war paint when he went on his killing spree. That was just random to me.

Imagine if Blade was in the old west fighting the daywalkers from Game of Thrones. That pretty much gives you an idea of what to expect from this film. The story and concept are great but it fails in its execution, partially because of budget constraints, rewrites, etc. I feel that this could have been a much better film, had it been given a chance by a major studio, but because it wasn’t, we have the equivalent of rookie director or someone out of their genre trying to give a washed up actor a chance (no offense to Snipes). I was expecting a diamond in the rough with this film, but instead it is just a ho-hum direct-to-DVD flick that could have been left in limbo, if you ask me. Do I recommend it? No, not really. I won’t fault you for being curious, but if you watch the trailer you get to see the best parts of this film, minus some of the violence.

3 out of 5 stars