Category Archives: Western

True Grit – 2010 – Ethan and Joel Coen

The only thing remarkable about this Coen brothers remake is that it’s pretty unremarkable. The pair stick rigidly to the strictures of the Western: horses, guns, whiskey, a smart-talking marshall, violence, vengenance and ahhhh the Wild West. All the right ingredients, but undercooked. JJ


September Dawn – 2006 – Christopher Cain

A story about the darker side of Mormanism, based on true events. The Mormans carry out a charm offensive against immigrants crossing through their land en route to California only to trick them and massacre them – including defenseless, women and children, and without motive. In this, as always, is hidden a love story. Brian Murray

Dead Man’s Cards – 2006 – James Marquand

dmc.jpgPossibly the worst thing ever to come out of the north of England if you discount Pot Noodle or Jimmy Saville –Dead Man’s Cards is as charmless as a disused coal pit. It’s the story of two sort of morally upstanding door men pitted against delinquent door men. I choose the bubonic plague over re-watching this. JJ

The Tin Star – 1957 – Anthony Mann

vm_sx100_sy140_.jpgTo be a sheriff or not to be? This is the question in this near-perfect western. Anthony Perkins is the sheriff with Henry Fonda as his mentor in a town on the verge of collapsing into mob rule. But cutting a couple of sequences wouldn’t do any harm! Omid Nikfarjam

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – 2007 – Andrew Dominik

assassinationofjessejames.gifTAJJbtCRF (even abbreviated it’s a mouthfull) brings the eponymous cowboys together for a train heist. Beautiful cinematography and well acted, it tries hard not to be a typical Western; loaded with flowery narration and poetic visual sequences. Succeeds in leaving one feeling bored and emotionally detached from a potentially great story.
Cristina Pittelli

Narrated in prose, directed in poetry – Cristina is correct, this is not a typical Western. Shoot-outs are few and infrequent, but this is more of character study than a “go for your guns.” Boring – okay a little at times, but Pittelli would rather have you sing karaoke to Mariah Carey! JJ