So, I'm finally getting around to watching this movie. I can't actually remember why I didn't bother to see it while it was in theaters. I mean, obviously, it's something I should have taken the time to see. But, for some odd reason or another, I didn't. Clearly, I don't always make the right decisions. But what else is new?
So, it's out on Blu-ray now. And, I have to say that I think Blu-ray was created specifically for westerns. I mean, wow. This movie looked so good. All I could do was bask in the glory that was this movie in high definition. I mean, Jessica Alba was really crazy hot in high def, but there's just something about the dirtiness and wildness of the frontier that just wins. I mean, everyone in this movie was covered in grime, all the time (with some of the most yellow teeth you'll ever lay eyes on). But, it was beautiful grime. Gorgeous, lovingly earned grime.
Also, it was a pretty good movie. With quite the cast, I might add. I had no idea that Alan Tudyk (that would be Wash from Firefly, or Steve the Pirate, if you prefer, I'll accept both names) was in it, as a veterinarian turned doctor. Or, for that matter, that Luke Wilson would be randomly screwing Chinese railroad workers. But, well, sometimes those small roles happen to go to cool people. And I appreciate it.
Anyways, it was a good movie. Clearly, it's pretty much the Christian Bale and Russell Crowe show. But, they put on quite a show. On a side note, Christian Bale is pretty much amazing. I seriously love his work. Every character he plays is so much more interesting than just about everybody else. Whether it's his take on Bruce Wayne confronting change and the responsibilities of the successful in Gotham, or a magician who's willing to dedicate his entire life towards his ultimate trick, or a guilt-ridden man incapable of sleeping, or even a failing rancher, too stubborn to admit defeat and who just wants to prove that he's worth something, Christian Bale blows me away.
I was pretty much ambivalent on Mr. Crowe's character. I kind of felt like all he had going for him was charisma (okay, obviously that's hardly nothing, but it didn't really excite me). Also, I couldn't relate to him that much and I'm not sure I appreciated the decisions he made at the end.
Music was good of course, but it was really the visuals that I fell in love with. Westerns have always been as much about the land as the people, and this movie got the balance just right. Some westerns (Dances With Wolves, I'm looking at you right now) care too much about the land and just put me to sleep. But, this movie doesn't celebrate the beauty of the land so much as it simply intoxicates the viewer with it. At the start of the movie, it's been a drought and everything is brown and dying. By the end, though, they're in the mountains, and it's starting to snow, in that way that it can only snow high up in the desert. With the big flakes that come down ever so slowly. In the distance, they can see the rain clouds over home, letting them know that there is already hope back that way, even if there is none in the direction they're going.
Sigh, it's hard not to dream of being a hero in such a land. Especially a lone hero. Against impossible odds. With just one statement to make. That, when nobody else was brave enough to walk Ben Wade to the 3:10 to Yuma, your Pa was willing to. That's the integrity of the wild west. Sacrificing yourself to make a statement for your young and impressionable son. Finally being someone in the eyes of your loved ones.
Man, I love westerns. Especially lonely westerns. Maybe I should go watch Unforgiven again to remind myself how ugly the west really was, that the dirty, grimy people weren't beautiful, and there were no statements to make. There was only being the lucky son of a bitch who got to walk away that time.
But, whatever, I'll keep enjoying the romantic view of the west, for now.
That is all.
PS- I almost forgot to be like everyone else in the entire world and comment on the fact that Ben Foster was pretty much awesome as Russell Crowe's right-hand man. He plays a really great evil minion character, apparently, considering his awesomeness in this as well as 30 Days of Night.