I thought I was in for a good movie.
I'd just watched Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner in Open Range, which Ithoroughly enjoyed, and was looking forward to another "gritty andviolent" movie.
About the only thing gritty was my gritted teeth when it finallyfinished.
The two main actors I'd best describe as wooden. The rest of the cast,with the exception of Barry Corbin, couldn't decide whether they werein a dark western or a comedy.
Not a movie I can recommend.
This was a very good film. It is very direct and straight forward withits editing and continuity as well as its haunting sense of realism.The period styling is very gritty and yet also very colorful (manyWesterns filmmakers seem to think that there was nothing but washed outcolors in the late 1800s). The two main characters are The Morphinistand The Journeyman--two brothers separated at an early age. They meetonce again at the climax, which is a well choreographed shoot-out in agraveyard. The drug addicted cowboy, The Morphinist, has some very coollines such as: "People always remember evil long after they'veforgotten good." The character of Walter P. Higgs III is veryinteresting and (for me) very funny. Walter is sad when Frank the Thiefdies (betrayed by the Morphainist), and he is redeemed by the end ofthe film. I found myself rooting for Walter all throughout the film.The path of death that the Morphinist leaves in his drug induced wakemakes him seem unredeemable, but when he weakly grasps the crucifixthat the Journeyman places in his near dead hands at the end of thefilm we know that he too has suffered and needs compassion. But, onlyhis brother could save him, or redeem him. This is among the bestWesterns of the past ten years, and certainly ranks up there with WildBill, Tombstone, and Unforgiven.User: tom f
Rate this Western film as terrible! It is a "B" movie at best. Thestoryline is just moronic. The flashback which comes too late in thefilm attempts to bring this confusing tale together. What was JamesCrowley, (writer and director) thinking about? What's the point ofhaving one of the characters being a transvestite? The story jumpsthirteen years with no explanation of how the characters developed intowhat they are. James Crowley never gives an explanation as to why themain character (Morphinist) became a cold-blooded killer. What is thepurpose of the character role that Dash Mihok plays as thedouble-crossed bank robber, and why is it important in this film? Youcan drive a Mack truck through the gaps of continuity in this film.Crowley had better try his hand at something else. Westerns aredefinitely not his genre. Boring would be the best way to describe thismess. The feeling you get after watching this movie is: why did I sitthrough this? Trust me, just skip this one.User: johnboy1
If you like your westerns gritty and violent, this will be right up youralley. I loved it!
The story of two brothers who end up raised in totally different ways isnotlike any other western you'll ever see, but that's what makes it soenthralling.
It's always fun to watch character actors like Barry Corbin and BurtonGilliam, and they are both great in this film.
The real star of the film is Brad Hunt. His acting is the kind that makesusall want to take note of his name. If there is any justice at all, Huntwillbecome a big star. He's that good.
If you don't like violent westerns, you may want to skip this one (itmakesUnforgiven look like a bright ray of sunshine, by comparison), butotherwise, you owe it to yourself to see it, if nothing else, to see BradHunt's sensational performance.
This is no gussied up Western. Everyone and everything seems to be coatedwith a fine layer of dust. It portrays a rather bleak, spare environmentwith its characters manifesting a Darwinian "survival of the fittest"attitude.
What should have been the strong core of the movie proves to be itsgreatestweakness -- the two brothers and their relationship. Neither is developedbeyond a shell. There is no one to root for in this film. Even ananti-hero has at least one redeeming quality to gain our sympathy but thetitle character has none. The minor characters are more fully realizedand"human."
Did I mention the violence? More ammunition is expended here than in theentire Afghan conflict.
This is a vastly underrated film. The storyline and the location shotsin Texas are excellent, and I think Brad Hunt makes one of the mostsinister villains I've ever seen in a Western.
Watched it at least a half dozen times....
Despite his horrible actions, you can't help but feel sorry for TheMorphinist and find yourself pulling for him in the final scene. It'seasy to see how such people are created or made in society, molded bythe things that happen to them in their youth.
If you like old spaghetti westerns, you'll like this. Many of thescenes remind me of A Few Dollars More or The Good, The Bad and TheUgly.
Some good ideas and a pretty impressive score made this a movie I didn'tmind sitting through late one night when it came on the Westernschannel.
Problems include an entirely passive "hero" who does absolutely nothing(infact only the villain does anything, really), and some characters who areintroduced only to be forgotten. But Barry Corbin is a beloved characteractor, and I found Dash Mihok relatively charismatic in his role as adouble-crossed, repentant bank robber. Daniel Lapaine, as the protagonist(Iguess), is pretty much a cold fish, and sticking out like he does is noeasytask with some of the other awkward actors put to work in this movie. Anyenergy the movie has comes from Brad Hunt as the pseudo-antagonist and, toalesser extent, the aforementioned Dash Mihok and Barry Corbin. WillieNelson's presence on the bill made me wary initially, but he has a verysmall, brief role, for which I'm grateful (I love Willie as much as thenextTexan, but his presence only ever serves to take me out of amovie).
The score had a cool 1970s horror feel to it, and the idea of a morphineaddicted outlaw is pretty fresh. Unfortunately the movie forgets to have asecond and third act, the entire movie being a fairly linear chase withplenty of sub-plots (and potential sub-plots) not paying off one bit.However, with the drought of modern westerns stretching on, beggars can'tbechoosers, wasted potential or not. Now if only I could find that neatoscore...