Friday, June 15, 2007

DVD Review: Open Range

Kevin Costner movies are hit and miss. On one hand, there are terrible films like Revenge, Waterworld, and 3000 Miles from Graceland. Yet, he also made Dances with Wolves, Robin Hood, and Open Range. In my humble opinion, Open Range is his best work. The story is about a group of cowboys who are taking a herd through open country and get waylaid by a cattle rancher’s goons. The cowboys, knowing that they would never be able to escape the area with their herd intact, fight back. Along with some great action sequences, there is a sweet love story and some fantastic dialog. The lead characters, played by Costner and Robert Duvall, are men of action, not words. The dialog between them is sparse, but meaningful. The movie builds up slowly in a way that makes you care about the characters, so that when the final conflict comes, there is an emotional investment. Open Range carries an R rating, but the fight scenes are not graphic and the language was more on par with a PG-13. This is the best modern western in years.

Great scenes:
- When Boss brings the Marshall “breakfast”.
- During the gunfight when Baxter threatens the townsfolk. One of the wives yells back at him and then she looks at her husband to do something.
- The interactions of Charley and Sue in the garden.

Great line: Mack: Shame what this town's come to.
Charley Waite: You could do something about it.
Mack: What? We're freighters. Ralph here's a shopkeeper.
Charley Waite: You're men, ain't you?
Mack: I didn't raise my boys just to see 'em killed.
Charley Waite: Well you may not know this, but there's things that gnaw at a man worse than dying.

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