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Cowboys & Aliens (**)
directed by Jon Favreau
written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, and Steve Oedekerk
Principal Cast
Daniel Craig -- Jake Lonergan
Abigail Spencer -- Alice
Clancy Brown -- Meacham
Paul Dano -- Percy Dolarhyde
Chris Browning -- Jed Parker
Adam Beach -- Nat Colorado
Sam Rockwell -- Doc
Noah Ringer -- Emmett Taggart
Olivia Wilde -- Ella Swenson
Keith Carradine -- Sheriff John Taggart
Ratings
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

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Cowboys & Aliens Cowboys & Aliens is in the sf western genre, which goes back at least to The Phantom Empire, a Mascot serial starring Gene Autry. It starts well, finishes badly, and doesn't really have anything new to add.

When a movie has six writers, that is almost always a bad sign. The good stuff probably came from Damon Lindelof, major writer for Lost. Who to blame when the script gets silly I have no idea.

This could have been a really good movie. It begins when a man with no name walks into a small western town. The son of a rich rancher tries to harass him and gets kicked in the balls. Seven appealing characters are quickly sketched: the man with no name, the rich rancher, the timid saloon owner, the sheriff, the Indian, the girl, and the kid. Then things start to fall apart, as the team of writers throw in aliens, outlaws, Indians and every other western cliché they can think of.

The final battle just isn't exciting, and no reason is given why the aliens, who could easily kill everybody from the safety of their ship, come outside where they are vulnerable, and fight with teeth instead of weapons.

spoiler warning

Two spoilers, because I would have been happier knowing. The aliens are not the Aliens. And the dog is just a dog.

No credit cookie.

Copyright © 2011 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at comicsrevue.com.


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