One of the things we’ve done lately is subscribe to Netflix through our Wii. While the latest movies aren’t usually listed, it has definitely paid for itself in tv series and older movies. We’ve watched the first season of Justified with Timothy Olyphant and there are a number of western movies waiting to be watched.
I watched The Quick and The Dead over the Christmas break – the Sharon Stone/Gene Hackman movie and not the Sam Elliot one from the eighties. (Though to be honest – I’ll watch just about anything with Sam Elliot.)
Anyway, I liked the idea of a woman being the “hero” of this story. Ellen is out to avenge her father’s death, and enters a shooting contest to face the man who killed her father when she was a girl – and a man who rules the entire town by fear. Ellen’s a fantastic shooter – which really resonates later in the movie as certain details of her childhood are revealed.
Rotten Tomatoes terms the film “stylish but empty” and I’d agree with that to some extent. It’s dusty, dirty, whiskey swilling and predictable. Russell Crowe is fine as the preacher, Cort. Sharon Stone is beautiful and tough, but she made the same facial expression over and over that I think was supposed to express anger and fear at once. It was this kind of flat-foreheaded, wild-eyed look that was a bit weird. Leonardo Di Caprio was just as annoying as The Kid as he was as Jack Dawson in Titanic – the whole exuberant youth thing gets old quickly. No, the one true thing that saves this movie is Gene Hackman.
As the movie began, I kept thinking “What this needs is Gene Hackman as the villian” and lo and behold he appeared on cue. He is an easy man to hate and you quickly realize he’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants. He is a man without a heart. In fact, what kept me watching throughout this movie was hating him so much and wondering how many people were going to die before he finally got what he deserved.
I know it sounds like I didn’t like the movie, but I did. Not something I’d rave about, but I did enjoy watching it. I think I’ll watch ALL THE PRETTY HORSES next – have you seen it?