Way too many things to blog about right now as a ton has happened and most of it worthy of writing. I wanted to jot a few things down quick before the were erased from memory. I promise to fill in the gaps soon.

Pennie & I went to see Open Range last Friday as she has this thing about Robert Duvall playing a gruff old cowboy. Well let me say that Robert Duvall was born to play westerns. His work in films like The Godfather and The Apostle was extraordinary as well, but as Boss Spearman in this film and Gus McCrae in Lonesome Dove seem to fit perfectly.

Kevin Costner does a good job, if somewhat less believable as Charlie Waite, the good cowboy with a mercenary past. He seems to do two subjects well; cowboys and baseball and it is in directing that which he loves that he really shines.

Annette Benning was a surprise as the rugged frontier woman Sue Barlow. This is the first role I have seen her in long hair and I must say despite the fact that they did everything to make sure she appeared to have a rough life, she looked great. The role was not much of a stretch and as such a great actress was really twiddling her thumbs in a cardboard role.

Whether you like westerns or not – see this movie. If you are a fan of the craft of filmmaking, you must see this film. The gunfight scenes were the breakthrough portion of the film as Costner shows that he has really developed as a director. Take note of the fact that there is little or no background ambience during the shootout. Take note of the fact that most of the bullets missed. And, take special note of how realistic the audio is during the shootout. Costner delivered a great scene.

The only down side of the film was in the opening third. The writing was amatuer as they set up Charlie Wait as the gunfighter-turned-cowpoke-with-a-past. The elementary way in which the writers chose to inform the audience of the character and origin of the main players was insulting to the intelligence.

“Hey Bob, how you been? Remember that time back when….”
“Yeah Ted, but do you remember that time when…”
“Even though we have known each other for decades, now would be a good time to tell you my philosophy on life”

RATING 7 out of 10