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Movie Review: Cowboys & Aliens

Tuesday, August 09, 2011
I had a chance to see the movie Cowboys & Aliens this past weekend. Of course, before I get into the review of the movie, let me give a quick review of the venue.

I saw the film at the St. Johns Twin Cinema, conveniently withing walking distance of my house, and saw the movie at a 5:00 PM showing for the amazing price of $4. That's not a misprint - I saw a first run film in Portland for $4. The St. Johns Twin Cinema is not the last word in theater design. It's an older building, there's no 3-D capability there, and I'm not subjected to a fancy surround sound system while watching a movie. I just get a reasonably comfortable chair, a big screen, and, should I want to purchase one, a beer while watching a film. Oh, and after 6 PM? The price skyrockets up to a whopping $6. Yeah, you can bet I'll be back.

thanks to geekadelphia for the image

Now on to the movie. Jon Favreau, who also notably directed Iron Man, does not, in my opinion, make a great film. His works will not stand in the annals of history next to the works of Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick. He does, however, know how to make an exceptionally fun film. What Cowboys & Aliens perhaps lacks in artistic merit it more than makes up for the in sheer entertainment value.

The basic premise of the film is a cowboy/gunslinger/lonesome anti-hero, played by Daniel Craig, wakes up with no memory and a metal "thing" attached to his wrist. He wanders into a old mining town, nominally controlled by a cattle baron played by Harrison Ford, and trouble starts brewing. He meets Olivia Wilde's character, who seems unusually interested in his condition, and, as trouble is about to go from "brewing" to "boiling", aliens fly over and abduct a bunch of townsfolk. Daniel Craig's wrist-thing activates on proximity to the aliens, he shoots an alien flyer down, and he, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, and a bunch of townspeople go chasing the alien down in an attempt to get their friends and family back.

And the movie goes on from there. It's not a particularly scary film, though one scene did make me jump, but it's really an action/adventure film, and one that left me smiling. As movies go, it was a ton of fun, and I'm glad I saw it. I'll even likely see it again at the aforementioned theater.

Final word on Cowboys & Aliens? Definitely worth the cost of admission.

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