Posted by: twobigyellowcranes | 1 April 08

“Sounds like you got it all worked out.” “Yeah, except the part where we don’t get killed.”

I love westerns almost as much as my wife seems to hate them. If I could go back in time to any period, it would be the wild west where men were men and women did what they were told. (That is (largely) a joke and I predict that I would last no more than a week in the real wild west.)

“Wyatt Earp” and “Open Range” are two western films starring and directed by the much maligned Kevin Costner, but which got very different reviews. I saw “Wyatt Earp” a few months ago. I love the character of Wyatt Earp and have read a number of books about him. “Tombstone”, starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, which came out about the same time as “Wyatt Earp” is one of my favourite films.

wyatt-earp.jpg

So I was very disappointed when “Wyatt Earp” lived up to nearly every review I had read about it. Overly long, uninvolving and just plain boring. I genuinely thought about turning it off with about an hour to go, but perservered. “Wyatt Earp” may be (slightly)more historically accurate than “Tombstone”, but I know which one I prefer.

So it was with some intrepidation that I bought “Open Range” a few weeks ago (albeit for £7.00 in HMV). Thankfully, it too lived up to the reviews I had read about it. It was gritty and seemed to me to be realistic of what life as a free rancher was actually like (in short, not very pleasant). Tense, dramatic, at times it was shocking as it told the story of what the main characters did (and were willing to risk) to avenge their dead friend. Stand out performances by Robert Duvall and Michael Gambon (in a limited role as the main villian). I would thoroughly recommend it to all.

open-range.jpg

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