And not only that...TWO NEW REVIEWS! I had intended to do a double or triple feature review for a while, but when I got my mitts on both Red Sun and The Good, The Bad, & The Weird I figured it was time. Explanation will be in the latter's review, promise.
I also make a promise to start redoing the reviews that were lost in the big forum database crash a little over a year ago. (we lost Fistful of Dynamite, Assassination of Jesse James, Stranger & The Gunfighter, and 3:10 To Yuma reviews) That should be done and completed by 6 months from now at the usual rate.
Anyway! Movies. Old movie, new movie! The cool thing here is we have two films which don't count as spaghetti or even Hollywood westerns, despite both using conventions of the genre and amping things up. What they have in weirdness, they make up in being FUN! Fun fun fun. No serious thought-provoking stuff for this day, fellas. Time to enjoy ourselves.
We start off with a flick from 1971, considered by many to be the best year in filmmaking history. (we covered this in Hunting Party's review a couple of years ago) An international hit for its time that was unfortunately dropped into obscurity for a variety of reasons. However, the film is still VERY entertaining. And here's hoping you shall enjoy this review of...!!!
The Stats: Director: Terence Young Cast: Charles Bronson, Toshiro Mifune, Alain Delon, Ursula Andress Type: International Western (French production, British director, American/French/Swiss/Japanese actors) Supercool Trivia: Tons. Terence Young was the director of Dr. No and Thunderball, Mifune and Bronson are both members of a "Seven" (Samurai and Magnificent respectively), etc. Availability:Amazon US (used and newish) - Amazon UK - Amazon FR (2005 Alain Delon collection release) - Amazon FR (2007 release) - pretty easy to find online, thank goodness!
Train Robbery - CHECK! Creative Shooting - CHECK! (two guys, one bullet, you'll see) International Flavor - CHECK! (Japanese Samurai culture, casting, etc.) Man in Black archetype - CHECK! (Alain Delon) Brothel & Babes - CHECK! Foxy International Actress - CHECK! Native Americans Portrayed As Savages - CHECK! (Comanches) Shootout at the Old Mission - CHECK! "Old Fashioned American Brawling" - CHECK! US Army Getting Owned by Bandits/Bad Guys - CHECK! Filmed in Spain - CHECK! Anachronisms - CHECK! (Bolt-Action Rifles in 1870) Bad Guy Hideout in Cave - CHECK! Hero of Questionable Morality - CHECK! Buddy Pair Getting Into Hijinks - CHECK! Bandits Attacking Farmhouse - CHECK! Hidden Gold Stash - CHECK! Macguffin (thing everyone's looking for/wanting) - CHECK! (Valuable, Sacred Sword) Shoot-Out at Brothel - CHECK! Horsefall Stunts - CHECK! Obligatory Seppuku Reference - CHECK! Jokes about Japanese Food - CHECK! American Hero bested by Japanese Combat Skill - CHECK! Good Guys/Bad Guys team up due to Third Party Circumstances - CHECK! Honorable Ending - CHECK!
You know, it's interesting how expectations color a film for enthusiasts of a genre. When Red Sun came out, it was an international success and similar kinds of movies were made (I don't doubt The Stranger & The Gunfighter is one of those films), trying to cash in on the idea of combining genres and cultures. But over time, it became evident the fans of each individual genre weren't satisfied with the film. It's a movie that has too many oddities to be hardcore western, either because it's too silly or because the international quality feels weird. The Japanese samurai movie fans don't like it because it's Mifune having to play down his amazing talent as an actor (which people who've seen even just Seven Samurai know is amazing). Alain Delon fans were probably a tad confused he actually showed amusement in this film, too. And adventure movie fans were finding joys in James Bond and more "evolved" films that didn't use the western motif, which by this time was becoming passe.
So kind of what happened, from the information I've gathered, is that the film fell off into obscurity because of timing and due to it, in a way, breaking new ground by combining cultures and genres together.
But on the otherhand, the movie has aged very well and deserves to be considered a classic amongst the 70s westerns as the genre was dying out.
So what is Red Sun? It begins with Charles Bronson waiting for a train to arrive, then getting on-board and pulling a robbery with others already there, including Alain Delon as the Man In Black archetype. Also on the train are some Japanese ambassadors heading to Washington D.C. to deliver a ceremonial sword to the President of the United States. The robbery goes according to plan, US soldiers get wasted trying to defend it, and inevitably, Alain Delon's character Gouch kills one of the Samurai and steals the sword. Then of course, turns on Charles Bronson. (BIG mistake)
Left for dead, Bronson awakens with the Japanese folks, including Toshiro Mifune's character (Kuroda). The two are given 7 days to find the sword, while Bronson just wants to find the money Gouch stole from him. At the end of those 7 days either Kuroda finds the sword or he commits hara-kiri (the whole disemboweling thing we keep talking about). Tough gig.
So the two set off and the Buddy Movie begins! Things go as normal from there, but one cool aspect to the movie is that although the American and Japanese differ on a lot of things, the two click instantly in combat when they have to steal some horses from a Farmhouse. The strain between the two is balanced well by Mifune's performance as Kuroda, a patient and clear-headed man who, despite the arrogance and stupidity of his partner, never really loses his temper or cracks open. Bronson, on the otherhand, is outrageous, angry, loud-mouthed, and quite frankly - funny! We're used to seeing Chuck as cold and meticulous, especially in Michael Winner films, but here he gets to make us laugh and be a bit on the rambunctious side. Both Bronson and Mifune bring a lot of joy to the movie, as we see them go back and forth. Sure, it's typical Buddy Movie stuff, but it's very fun and well-acted Buddy Movie stuff!
Anyway, usual story stuff happens. They track down Gouch's babe (the STUNNING Ursula Andress, who yes, gets naked and supersexy), using her as bait, that leads to a stand-off. But from there, the stand-off changes gears a bit. I don't want to spoil entirely the ending or the final battle, as predictable as it is, because it's quite a fun finale and the action gets pretty awesome. To see this in 35mm would be amazing.
So, okay, that's the story. We know the actors are going to rock. Bronson's Link Stuart is a lovable cad whose redemption we look forward to as the movie progresses. Kuroda, as mentioned, is stoic but in the right kind of way, gaining our respect as time goes forth. Ursula's Cristina is a bitchy, feisty girl with an amazing amount of fight in her, insuring the job of making her bait is a hard fought one. And finally, Alain Delon. One of the coolest elements of this film is it combines four of the greatest actors of the 60s/70s into a single movie and Alain Delon's role is a surprise. I'm sure some of you here are used to seeing him in Le Samourai or Le Circle Rouge, quiet and nihilistic, without even a hint of a smile. So imagine the shock of seeing one of the first gestures in Delon's character being a gigantic smirk that shows he's having a blast playing the sneering bad guy. His grins, laughs, and glances are menacing, fun, and just the right kind of evil you want out of his character. Just enough of a jerk to be the bad guy, but not enough to be complete scum. The entire main cast rocks in this movie and they make it reason enough to see the film.
But wait! There's more!
As said, this was directed by Terence Young, one of the best 60s Bond Directors, who was responsible for the amazing fight between Robert Shaw and Sean Connery in From Russia With Love and the awesome films Dr. No and Thunderball. Although I don't think Terence had perhaps enough to make Red Sun a great movie, he tries hard and moves his camera a lot and keeps the pace cooking so we never really get bored. (which, given how long it is at 1 hour, 50 minutes for such a simple story, is good) When he goes into typical Western Shoot-Outs towards the end, he stages them great and uses the script's flow to let you see the geography before the smackdown occurs. It keeps you in the moment and the audience gets a nice "in the middle of it" vantage point. The cutting is tight, the action lean and well-structured, and again, it culminates in an experience which is altogether...fun! You don't have to worry about it too much, which is probably one reason the film was greatly successful. Gives you the goods, without any worries or pretension about itself. A lot of that comes from the director.
Although, it would've been nice to see just a bit more of Mifune kicking ass in his samurai style. He gets some great moments in, a couple of fantastic kills, and getting to see freakin' Yojimbo going up against a horde of angry Comanches is sooooooo geekalicious.
Okay, that is one hit against the film. Aside from being a tad shallow, it also does have the typical "Savages" perspective on Native Americans. Although yes, Comanches were some hardcore folks, the perspective does age the film considerably and it's a bit laughable. It's not as bad as Breakheart Pass (another Bronson film!), but yeah, you may find it a bit snicker-worthy.
Visually, the flick is nice. As I said, the camera moves quite a bit for a film made in 1971, especially a western. The visuals of Spain (of course!) are the ones we all know and love, giving us a bit of range with a trip up into the snowy mountains, and the location for the last stand of the main cast is a great use of geography, I must say. The color palette is a little dry and although the transfer available is good I think we're missing a lot of the intended depth of saturation. Oh well.
Oh yeah, and did I mention Ursula Andress and her amazing uhm...complexion? Quite a visual treat.
That's one other aspect which is cool to see in this film. It's one of the few westerns, and probably the only one out of the ones reviewed here so far, which has nudity in it as well as violence. Joe Bob Briggs would let us know there are 2 pairs of breasts in this flick, to be specific.
Anyway. I'm not sure what else I could say to recommend it for. The action's great, visuals good, actors a blast, the script (although a bit lacking in plot) is a LOT of fun, and it's a film that gives a unique western experience. It's not a "YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS" kind of film, but it's one that fans of westerns can enjoy and I think the eclectic taste of this site and game would dig on pretty good.
It's also setup for the next review.
In closing: Red Sun. It may not be a GREAT movie, it's not a masterpiece, and because it breaks new ground it has no idea how to combine the elements of the various genres perfectly. But it's one helluva fun ride for those craving old-school style and unique interpretation/execution. Think about it, won't you? Thank you.
And now, we come to something new. Not from Europe. Not from America. Not even from Australia.
From Asia. South Korea and Manchuria to be exact.
I know I'm opening a huge can of worms yet again about "is it a western or not?" (especially given this film takes place in the 1930s during Japan's occupation of Korea) but I assure you, this has enough western homages and enough love of the spaghetti western to please any fan of the western genre. Whereas Sukiyaki Western Django was a thoughtful art film that had a lot of pop-culture and flashy style, we now get to what's basically the equivalent of Hollywood's Epic Westerns...but set in Manchuria, 1930s, done by Asians.
The Stats: Director: Ji-woon Kim Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, Jung Woo-sung and other Asian/Korean dudes/dudettes. Type: Asian-made Ode To Westerns (aka Noodle Western? Teriyaki Western?) Not So Cool Trivia: The Action Choreographer died in a truck accident during the making of this film, also responsible for the infamous corridor fight in Oldboy Availability: Not available currently in US, UK, Europe, etc.
Hoo boy, this is going to take time...
Western Stylings In Asian Setting - CHECK! Bandit Village/Town - CHECK! Homage to Sergio Leone - CHECK! (title, amongst other things) Main Hero of Questionable Morality - CHECK! Bounty Hunter - CHECK! Man in Black Archetype - CHECK! (Lee Byung-hun) Brothel/Whorehouse - CHECK! (Opium Den!) Crazy Old Person - CHECK! (senile old lady) Third Party - CHECK! (and fourth party! Manchurian Bandits and Japanese Military!) Semi-Political Themes in Backstory - CHECK! (occupation of Korea by Japan and the resistance fighters) Treasure Map - CHECK! Macguffin (thing everyone's looking for) - CHECK! Long Epic Distance Traveled - CHECK! Over 2 hours Long - CHECK! Train Robbery - CHECK! Trio Stand-Off At End Of Movie - CHECK! Strange Gun Gags - CHECK! (falling/rolling kills!) Screaming Bystander Killed - CHECK! Bad Guy with Villainous Specialty - CHECK! (Finger Choppin' Fun!) Boilerplate/Body Armor - CHECK! Horsefall Stunts - CHECK! Animal Violence - CHECK! (stabbed centipede AND exploding horse!) Main Hero's Buddy Tortured - CHECK! (stabby stabby, attempted finger removal) Bandit Dragged On Rope By Horse - CHECK! Hero Saves Children - CHECK! Seduction Tactics by Foxy Ladies - CHECK! Drawn Out Finale - CHECK! etc. etc. etc. There's a lot, okay? How about we leave it at that? =P
Okay. So you're probably wondering to yourself - "why review an Asian western after Red Sun?" Is it the Mifune Connection? Nope, as the nationality of this film is Korean. Is it the fact it's a psuedo-western? Nope, not even that. The real reason is that when I acquired Red Sun and started to skim it, I instantly was hit by the fact that all I had seen in The Good, The Bad, The Weird's trailer was the train robbery...which looked VERY similar to Red Sun's! This isn't the only similarity either, as the casting of Lee Byung-hun as the Man in Black/The Bad is interesting. The previous film by this same director (A Bittersweet Life, a must for any Asian action fan) cast Byung-hun as basically Alain Delon's character from Le Samourai in the same type of storyline. Thus, when the director, Kim Ji-woon, did his western he ended up casting Lee Byung-hun in a similar role to Alain Delon's in Red Sun.
Wow, that was a long-winded way of explaining that. Okay, but just so you know, the reason is because of that similarity. It's not the only two that this film has to Red Sun, either, but I won't be going into that. Instead, I will start again and say, The Good, The Bad, The Weird is one of the most fun movies I have EVER seen (and quite frankly, my favorite of 2008 from what I've seen) and revitalizes the idea of what the western adventure film used to be, by giving it new life with stylish action, lovable characters, brutal violence, hilarious sidenotes, and showing Hollywood that this is how you evolve the Western. 3:10 to Yuma was on the right track, but if I had a choice, I would choose this any day of the week.
(sidenote: NO, this is NOT a perfect film. I will be getting back to that later)
The story is pretty standard and simple. Historical Point is roughly the late-1930s (they never specify, if I remember correctly). Location: Manchuria, where refugees from Korea have gone to, fleeing from the war, or for personal reasons. A map is to be sent to the Japanese so that it can lead them to a valuable financial resource, a treasure that they need to sustain the war in Asia. It's being transported on a train. For monetary reasons, one side has chosen The Bad (Lee Byung-Hun), a bandit and rumored to be the infamous Finger Chopper, to steal the map and deliver it back. Meanwhile, catching this information is the Korean resistance force working out of Manchuria to eventually fight back Japan, who chooses The Good (Jung Woo-sung), a bounty hunter caring for a teenager, to get the map so that the Revolutionaries can get the treasure and in the process kill The Bad. And then, finally, is The Weird. A petty thief and train robber who happens to rob the train at the exact same time these forces of Good and Bad are going to collide, and ends up with the map. The movie then focuses on the hunt for the map and The Weird's journey to try and find the treasure. In the mix are the Manchurian Bandits who are pissed at The Weird for bringing such problems on them and not cutting them into the score, along with the Japanese Military who are still after the map.
That's really, story-wise, all you need to know.
As I keep telling everybody, this movie is pure entertainment. The action sequences are AWESOME and have stuff I've literally never seen in an action film before. A lot of this has to do with the FANTASTIC choreography, the GREAT camerawork (which goes in ways you'd never expect!), and the downright amazing staging and directing of the sequences. From the cramped train robbery (which, at one point, will remind everyone of our favorite dm_train battles! ), to the chaotic battles in a restaurant and the entire Bandit Village, and of course the HUGE-scale battle towards the end; every scene has its own flavor and unique style which comes forth in either the camerawork, scenarios, or visual look. As an action movie, this is one of the best of the decade and anyone who just loves a great gunplay action flick should check it out as soon as humanly possible.
The violence is also gritty. Unlike the artistically-based Sukiyaki Western Django where the violence sometimes had a serious schism between goofball exploitation violence and harsh brutality, this film knows that you use violence for fun and character development. When it comes to Finger Choppin', the flick has its two very short moments of cringe-inducing shots and editing, but it makes sure that when the shooting starts, you have a blast and start laughing your head off.
Speaking of laughs, one thing I did not expect from this movie was hilarity. People (i.e., geeks who have too much time on their hands) often talk about the perfect blockbuster being a combination of humor, action, suspense, romance, etc. Well, this film doesn't have romance, but the action and humor and suspense and plot elements are very well-realized, in particular the fact it's clear the filmmakers want you to smile and laugh. There are gags in this movie which are broad, some which are subtle, and some which will take you by surprise. The Weird is often the butt of the joke, but sometimes it's the sheer scale of the mayhem (especially at the end) that makes you laugh. The biggest laugh of all comes in the surprise of what the "treasure" actually is. I'm sure you'll all figure it out unlike me, but I busted up so freaking hard at that part.
Action and comedy go well together, because excitement and joy get along really well with the aspects of humor and laughter. It's not to say it's a goofy film like Jackie Chan's Shanghai Noon, it has its own style of making you chuckle or squirt milk out of your nose; but you're not going to be done in by plodding drama between kinetic action sequences. It's a relief and adds to the fun factor of the overall movie.
Visually, it's hard to argue the film looks gorgeous. Production Design Work in the South Korean films of this decade has stunning. From Park Chan-wook's Vengeance Trilogy to Bittersweet Life to The Host to The Restless to Musa to even their smaller comedies and dramas, the Korean film industry has risen up and shown a new way of designing art in film. Part of what makes TGTBTW so cool is just the look and color palette, which shifts and changes where necessary and feels naturally beautiful overall. The night interior scenes are of particular note with the beautiful blending of blue, golden yellow, and red hues. There's also the fact the cinematography is fantastic. It's not quite as refined and perfect as the director's previous films (where every shot is so perfectly calculated it's mindblowing), but in the world of visual storytelling, this is one impressive piece of work and one worth watching for those of you who get off on amazing stunning "whoooooa" uses of color, zooms, camera movement, and cranework.
Camera movement. Whoa. I forgot to mention how amazing that is. Look, I know you guys aren't geeky about this stuff, but there are those occasions when you see a movie and you just can't believe how incredibly well-shot it is. There are shots in this film that I'm still wondering, "how the hell did they do that?!" I had to go back and watch about 4 times before I figured out how the shot of The Weird running away from the moving train was gotten. It makes the action scenes flow beautifully and turns them in the kinds of art that only John Woo's movies have done before. Kinetic action can be beautiful when illustrated with a camera on film and this is one of those movies that proves it.
Okay, okay, so that's the action, the funny, etc. What about actors? You gotta connect to your characters or you're screwed, right?
Well, if anyone here's been reading movie news websites in the last year, they would've seen a review or two for this movie and heard amazing praise for Song Kang-ho's performance as The Weird. I hate to sound like a copycat, but even I, with the hype behind me, was absolutely amazed at how lovable, twisted, hilarious, and goofball The Weird character was. If any of you have been wanting to see someone take up the Tuco mantle from Eli Wallach, you pretty much have it. He can't do it better, but he knows he can do it just as good and he strives hard to do so. In my opinion, he succeeds. The performance is absolutely amazing and along with the other characters in the movie (especially the funny ones), it's reason enough to try this movie out when you have the chance.
Perhaps the catch about this is that it ends up making The Good kind of a boring character, despite being a Bounty Hunter. He's kind of like Clint Eastwood's Blondie, but he doesn't really have anything to define him. Perhaps that's the point. He never comes off like a main character, which is kind of discomforting as he's "The Good Guy", but he's awesome to see in action with either a double-barrel shotgun or a lever action rifle. The relationship between him and The Weird is the one you'd expect from a movie wanting to pay loving tribute to ol' Leone, full of pratfalls, humorous gun tosses, and a strained buddy relationship. But there's not much beyond that and his mysterious reasons for doing what he does.
This is made up for in spades by The Bad, who has a real deal rivalry with The Weird. Like Alain Delon before him, Lee Byung-hun creates a laughing, smirking character in The Bad. However, he's made him full of human flaws and insecurities that make him a very dangerous and creepy personality. Often feeling weak and overcompensating with violence, he's a fantastic villain and has enough moments for us to root against him, while still containing a sympathetic gesture or two. His physical gestures of getting into the role are also fantastic, making an Anime-esque character with nods and hand movements that liven up his physical presence on-screen. The guy's considered an International Star and it's no question why when you see his best moments in this film. A memorable performance and one of the best Spaghetti Western-esque villains I've seen in a looooooong time. Lee Van Cleef would be proud.
The catch is, aside from being funny, it's hard to say much about the other actors in the film. They're in-character, performances are good, but the characterization is a little one-dimensional. The bad guys on the Manchurian Bandit side are kind of dull when they're not making you laugh with their dialogue and homeboy inflections, the Japanese soldiers are kind of faceless, and even the creepy Opium Den owner is kind of generic. This does detract from the film in some way, but it also helps keep us focused on the Main Trio of the cast and connect with them.
I should go a little more into some of the flaws of the movie. The story is a tad flat because the character arcs are kind of slow and the final point of the movie feels a tad rushed. This isn't just script problems, I think, as the movie went way overbudget and I suspect some scenes had to be cut as to compensate for the humongous action sequences. It's also a bit long at 2 hours, 19 minutes (139mins), although it earns that length by being such a blast of a long epic adventure.
Additionally, some folks may not connect with the goofier side of the film. It's not quite as irritating as some of the Gianfranco Parolini stuff such as Sabata, or the sillier side of Corbucci in Companeros, but it's a tad on the silly side once in a while. You'll have uncomfortable jump-cuts made just to get a laugh out of you and although they work great if you're in the right "I just wanna have fun" mood, if you're looking for a serious film this isn't quite the one you're looking for. (neither is Red Sun, I might add) The Asian flavor is also all over the place, because it has to be and it should be, it's an Asian film and that's what you want out of it. There's touches that'd fit at home in a Japanese manga or a Hong Kong film of the 1980s, which isn't a diss in the direction of the movie. It's a combination of many things and so it's expected some of it will be a little...well...Weird. It is a weird movie, a potpourri of flavors from around the world, that combines into a unique and spectacularly made film, but it may not be for everyone.
However, The Good, The Bad, The Weird is one of the most fun experiences I've personally had and it's the kind of movie we need more of. It's a film that deserves a rightful spot as one of the coolest movies in history just for how energetic and creative it is. Spaghetti westerns were started with the intent of paying homage to a genre and now in turn, they've been paid homage to by the Asian filmmakers of today. It's a cool thing to see and I'm curious of when it's going to come full-circle again, but for now, I enjoy the movie and I hope that you all, when you have the opportunity, will as well.
In the end, both of these cinematic pleasures were meant to bring things together and create something new and open our minds to a world we may not be familiar with at all. They introduce us to time periods and ideas we didn't know existed, trying to break new ground and evolve cinema as an artform, while still being economically viable with their entertainment value. They're both good and by their existence worthy of being appreciated.
Thanks for taking the time to read this double-feature review. Tell me what you think, if it's well-liked I may do another double-feature with a theme next time around!
Very nice and thorough reviews Futsin. I don't think I would ever even know about half these films if it were not for your reviews. I want to see The Good The Bad and the Weird for sure if'n I can get my hands on a copy. I liked the one action scene where the guy gets blown through the door when he opens it.
It's a tragedy, really. It's one of the best films of 2008, far better than the majority of what Hollywood put out, and instead of making money off releasing it theatrically they'll let it stay down out of the limelight until someone like Weinstein Company (God forbid) or Sony Pictures International or Warner Independent picks it up and releases it when the movie's dated and nobody will care anymore.
It is screening now in France since Christmas. Just saw it yesterday - well as you say... Two thumbs up! That's the kind of well-directed action I was looking for, I was getting tired of suicidal billionaires all over the place with their pseudo-philosophical BS...
Thanks man, I got interested in the movie after reading your post, I don't regret it!
YAY! Glad to hear it! I should have looked up its release schedule more. (my bad =( sorry) And will probably do so.
Suicidal billionaires? Did I miss something or is that a James Bond reference?
All right, since I'm here, figured I'd list a few possibilities for reviewness in the next few weeks:
#1. A double feature of Howard Hawks westerns (Red River and The Outlaw, as previously mentioned)
#2. A double feature of The Wild Bunch and Extreme Prejudice (a Walter Hill modern action film which is a great modern-day counterpart to Wild Bunch).
#3. Chato's Land, with Charles Bronson as an Apache half-breed hunted down by Jack Palance and a who's who of old 60s western stars set in post-Civil War late-1800s. Directed by Michael Winner, who also did Death Wish and Mr. Majestyk. (and some other awesome Bronson flicks)
#4. The re-reviews of films whose reviews were lost during the database crash. (they're listed in the original post, 2nd paragraph)
Anyway, I'll get on the release schedule for TG,TB,TW soon.
Just finished watching the Good/Bad/Weird. Quite a mashup of styles. Definitely strong western themes running through it. The Good is right out of a western. The Bad stepped out of an early 90's night club and landed in Lee Van Cleef's clothes and attitude. The Weird, well, just weird.
I really enjoyed it. It could have been about 20 minutes shorter, but otherwise no complaints.
One problem I have with *all* action movies is the utterly pointless, gratuitous, even detrimental working of weapons for effect. That is, pumping shotguns, levering slides on semi-autos, levering lever-action rifles, and so on. It's so bad that everyone who pulls a gun first feels the need to pull the slide back to chamber a round. What freakin' idiot would go into a dangerous situation without a chambered round? Or if they had a round chambered, they'd eject it and reduce their firepower by one just so they can look cool. Especially with a shotgun that only has 5 rounds.
Sometimes I despair of how movies depict guns. Then I see a Pale Rider where Clint has cap and ball cylinders preloaded and just ejects the whole cylinder and replaces it and I know that there moves a master.
One problem I have with *all* action movies is the utterly pointless, gratuitous, even detrimental working of weapons for effect. That is, pumping shotguns, levering slides on semi-autos, levering lever-action rifles, and so on.
I should have mentioned that I was venting, and not complaining in particular about this movie. In fact, the only truly gratuitous chambering of rounds came from the Good, who levered his rifle in way too many scenes for the coolness factor. All the other characters (IIRC) seemed to value their bullets and use them for shooting at the enemy.
Thanks again Evil for broadening my movie watching horizons. I had to buy this from an Amazon store called Kung Fu Kingdom which turns out to be only 10 miles from me so I got it 2 business days after ordering. Well worth it.
Chainsaw wrote:Sometimes I despair of how movies depict guns. Then I see a Pale Rider where Clint has cap and ball cylinders preloaded and just ejects the whole cylinder and replaces it and I know that there moves a master.
Untill you count the number of shots he manages to get out of a "six" shooter in certain scenes. (Unless memory fails.) Good to see you on the forums again Chainsaw.
Yeah, I admit that the movie could've been around 15-20 minutes shorter, too, but the sprawl was part of the charm. The only part that felt truly unnecessary to me was coming back to the bad guy who had hired The Bad to steal the map. Everything else really made the movie an experience, even if a long one.
I mean you can't lose the Opium Den segment. It just wouldn't right.
And the one thing I've learned about firearms in Asian action films (as the South Koreans have learned a lot from the Chinese/HK films) is that style will always win over realism. Even in knife fights, this seems to be the rule. Style = Win. (or Profits) The Good doing his twirling/cocking move on horseback was pretty unnecessary, but it sure did look awesome!
At least it's not like those spaghetti westerns where every gun, rifle/shotgun/pistol/whatever, has the same sound effect.