Sunday, March 25, 2012

Capsule Reviews 3/25/12- Westerns

Love it or hate it spahetti western feels more like an American TV western of the period than any big screen venture. It's got odd tonal shifts that drift between seriousness and silliness, and a plot that seemed a tad rambling to me. The story has Yuma going to see his uncle. Yuma locks horns with his his aunt who along with her brother are trying to control his uncle's fortune. Its not a bad film, it just trips over itself with the aforementioned tonal shifts and the fact that the action sequences aren't particularly well staged (The bar fight is just odd). You would think I wouldn't recommend the film, but to be perfectly honest there are some things here, that make it worth seeing, especially since it comes packed in several multi-film western sets.

Two brothers return from schooling in the east and find that there home town has been over run by bad guys. Their civility gets them into trouble and it isn't long before they are in way over their heads. Only the intervention of a stranger keeps them alive. Odd mix of western story with humor doesn't always work. Part of the problem is that the brothers are often twits with the stranger the more interesting character. As a film to pass an afternoon it's worth a look, thanks in large part to the witty dialog between the stranger and his friend, some great set pieces and some dynamite camera work that keeps the film from looking like every other spaghetti western.

Good small scale western concerning four men who escape from the crazy house. Heading out into the west they attempt to help one of their number regain his memory. Ending up in a town that means something to the man, things take a turn for the strange as the populace begin to take a wide berth of the man and his friends. Those in power attempt to find out why he’s come back, figuring the amnesia is just a dodge. Better than my attempt at explaining it, this is a solid little western that tries to spin out a tale that is at least a little different than the norm. Actually it’s good enough that I considered doing a longer stand alone post but found that to do so I would have revealed too much of the plot, and in this case not knowing is part of the fun. Worth seeing.

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