Sunday, July 3, 2011

Parting Shot: Open Range

For a proper understanding of what follows, please read Bill's review of Open Range over at his Movie Emporium.
Such vocabulary, Bill! Never one to mince words, you went straight to the point as to why you fancied Kevin Costner’s 2003 Open Range. Each of your paragraphs began with a simple word describing your feelings towards the film, with the first pertaining to the language spoken by the characters themselves. Open Range does feature interesting wordage. It isn’t too fancy, but nonetheless provides a strong sense of what these people are what the time that they lived in was like. Without going for anything especially stylistic, the dialogue did set a precise and appropriate tone.

How could I begin to pretend that our views on the film diverge? Foolishness is not something I try to practice very often, so I’ll remain calm and collected and admit that we both enjoyed the movie tremendously.
Our only differences lie in the fact that apparently different elements of Open Range reached out to us. My review did not mention anything about the language spoken. It was something that I came to notice from time to time, especially whenever Charley and Boss were speaking to one another (which in some ways reinforce the strength of their rapport), but not enough for me to make a point of it in my article.
Open Range’s featured brutality? I guess so. However, I don’t know if ‘brutal’ is the exact word I would use to describe the violence depicted. Visceral seems a better fit. The lone scene that is rather brutal is the one you referred to in your own review, where a man is sent flying across an alleyway after Boss shoots him from behind a wall. That was a special moment. Something I notice which struck me was how long it took for anyone to make use of their guns. I think the first time a bullet is fired is well after the one hour mark when Charley takes out his rifle when a bartender refuses to serve him. These are men who are very calculated in how they use of their firearms and I like that.
Then you use the word ‘quaint.’ Interesting choice since you go on to describe how Costner’s picture lends a feeling of safety. It is a very well produced film, very slick, very professionally made. In that sense, it may be described as safe, but I would not want someone to think that ‘safe’ meant ‘boring,’ or ‘predictable.’ I think the pacing and character beats are extremely well done. Costner’s Charley is a really fascinating guy in how he exudes forms of kindness, bitterness and solitude. The movie also takes its sweet time in setting the actual plot up, which, in a good way, demands some patience on behalf of the viewer.
Obvious to anyone should indeed be the reality that this movie is stunning to behold. The visuals, more importantly the natural visuals on display are wondrous. Thanks for checking out the cinematographer’s name, Michael Muro. I was lazy and didn’t feel like performing that little bit of research, but the man certainly deserves high praise for his work on Open Range. There is a sense of vastness to the land the cattlemen roam which is perfectly captured on camera. It feels like more is happening than Mura simply shooting the open range. He is doing his very best at showing the audience just how bold, big and beautiful it really is. Maybe the only weird aspect to the whole thing is that the movie was filmed in Alberta, Canada, yet is supposed to evoke the most beautiful ranges of the United States. We shouldn’t fault the filmmakers too much for that. Leone made westerns in Spain, so so what, right? Ironically enough, Friday was Canada Day and tomorrow is the celebration of the United States. It feels like I’m writing this at a very à propos moment.
Upon reflection, your little experiment was a welcome one. It is nice to mix things up a little bit. I have done more than once since we started doing these back and forth marathons, so why not have you do a little special something. Pat on the back, bla, bla, bla. Don’t we get along?
That is where the pleasantries end, sadly enough. We have one film remaining and it promises to be a weird one. I have no idea what to expect, but if there is one thing I am readying myself for, it’s shootout with you. One last, grandiose fight to determine who is the more manly of the film bloggers. These are important things after all! Just you watch out, Bill. Stay focused, stay ready, because you never know where or when you’ll stumble into a shootout.


Anonymous said...

Brave kind sire, your word play was quite something to behold. Ravenous shall indeed represent a proper way for our civilities to come to a end...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant Bravo at the start there...

edgarchaput said...

@bill: I like 'Brave' more. That works for me.