Donald and I saw the movie Cowboys and Aliens last night. You can read Donald’s take on the movie here. For the record, I don’t think he needs to change the story he’s talking about, because anyone who bothered to see Cowboys and Aliens will have forgotten all about it in a couple of months.
Initially, when Donald suggested we go see this, I wasn’t interested. I told him he was going to have to agree to see an independent film of my choosing with me as a trade-off, if he wanted me to go. Then I found out that Daniel Craig was in the movie (Harrison Ford is a little old to be much of a draw for me). Well! If he’d told me that right up front. Although, considering how awful the movie turned out to be, I’m still insisting on the independent film as part of our bargain.
It’s not necessarily a bad premise for a movie, if you like genre stories. Aliens invade the Wild West. Could be cool, right? Unfortunately, the movie trots out every tired Western cliche in the book. There’s the mysterious stranger who arrives in town, gets into a fight with the obnoxious spoiled son of the rich landowner who runs the town, and is thrown into prison by the sheriff. There’s the half-Indian sidekick. There’s the troubled man who can’t forget the Mexican war. There are two encounters with lawless bandits, and one with Indians. We finally lost it and burst out laughing (along with half the sparsely-occupied theater) at the hallucinogen-assisted spirit journey with the wise native folk (wait, wasn’t that in Avatar, too?)
I’ve heard similarly bad reports about the latest Three Musketeers remake: an alternate history steampunk version.