Friday, June 3, 2016

Open Range (2003)

Director: Kevin Costner

Writers: Luran Paine, Craig Storper

Composer: Michael Kamen

Starring: Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, Michael Jeter, Diego Luna, James Russo, Abraham Benrubi, Dean McDermott, Kim Coates, Her Kohler, Peter MacNeill

More info: IMDb

Tagline: No place to run. No reason to hide.

Plot: A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

I love this movie.  I saw it twice during its theatrical release and a couple more times on DVD and it's just a gorgeous picture.  The scenery is beautiful.  I love the pacing and how it kind of matches the vastness of the location.  The dialogue and characters are wonderful and there's a naturalness to the language and actions that give the film a sense of how some of these people could've been.  The characters are really wonderful and that makes a difference when some of them are threatened, harmed or killed.  You care about them so you're invested in what happens to them.  Costner is a quiet badass and he's amazing in this picture.  Duvall is perfectly cast as his friend who's got some very funny but real moments.  Gambon might come across as a one dimensional villain but you totally understand his motivations even though he's an asshole that needs to be put down.  Ooh, and when the shit hits the fan, you don't want to be on Gambon's team.  The sound is great, too.  I really dug the loudness of the gunshots.  It makes for a powerful statement when they're used.  Like most things, a film is a sum of its parts and this movie is loaded with them.  I really appreciate the attention to detail from the characters you get to know to the generic townspeople as they move about the backdrop.  It feels more natural than a lot of Westerns.  I haven't Seen DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) in ages.  I remember liking the film but I prefer OPEN RANGE more.  Both films are great but OPEN RANGE really shows off a strong narrative with a compelling story and equally interesting and compelling characters.  It's a shame Costner didn't direct more.  His only other film behind the camera was THE POSTMAN (1997), a good film in its own right though often unfairly criticized.   The Touchstone 2-disc DVD set delivers a fantastic looking anamorphic widescreen print with the second disc LOADED with great extras.  You can pick this one up for $5 online which makes it a safer blind buy for anyone who hasn't seen it.  Now where the hell is the Blu-ray? 

1 comment:

  1. I thought a really good film until the last 5-8 minutes, where I got the feeling that he couldn't bring himself to end it – and thus dragged it out by doubling-up the ending. I loved how he staged the big final shootout: from the speed with which he blew away the bragging bad guy (lesson: don't talk, do) to the general disorganisation of how it transpires: realism. Turn off the last five minutes, you got a masterpiece. Way better than Dancing with Wolves.