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Cowboys & Aliens (2011 film)

A Fantasy Western film directed by Jon Favreau.

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Reviewed: Cowboys & Aliens [2011]

  • Aug 26, 2011
Rating:
-1
12A - 118mins - Action/Sci-Fi/Thriller - 17th August 2011
 
Finally my prayers to the Hollywood top dogs for a bit of originality have been answered in the form of Cowboys & Aliens, a sci-fi thriller (which puts me in even more of an optimistic mood due to it being one of my preferred genres of choice). Yes it is based on a graphic novel and yes technology in the wild west has been implemented before but this isn't a sequel/prequel and as a concept is very fresh.

Daniel Craig plays Jake, a cowboy who wakes up in the middle of nowhere with no recollection of who he is, where he has been or how he got there. In fact the only clue given to him is a strange metallic bracelet that he is unable to remove from his arm. After making his way to the nearest town he soon makes himself known to the locals and is identified as a dangerous and wanted man guilty of several crimes including stealing gold from local rancher Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). After being arrested and readied for transport, alien spaceships appear out of nowhere and start snatching people away and blowing up the surrounding countryside. Jake's bracelet transforms itself into a weapon and he is able to drive the aliens away.
 
Now forced to work together to save the people who were kidnapped from them, Jake and Woodrow team up with the other remaining survivors from the town and set off to find out how to put a stop to their common enemy.
 
The greatest emotion I felt while watching this was one of indifference, mainly directed towards the plot and structure of the movie. Favreau couldn't be more obvious with his intentions for the film as hinted at by the title. Cowboys & Aliens merges the two separate worlds of the wild west with gun-slingers, bandits and Indians with the technologically advanced alien species resulting in no more than a series of confrontations between the two which climaxes in, well, a final confrontation between the two. Where is the interest for the audience with this concept that can only be taken so far?
 
The story never developed and just had the characters running around with horses doing cowboy things leaving them to remain as two dimensional as the drawings they once were. This is despite the best efforts of Ford and Craig to draw me in. The most impressive part being that as well known for other characters (Jones and Bond) as they are, the two are still able to make you forget this fact and make the characters their own, even when Ford dons a Indiana-esque cowboy hat.
 
This is a perfect example of the money men of big studios backing the concept rather than the actual story. I'm sure like most of you initially this film sounds like a movie with promise but come the end I didn't feel as though I had been taken on an adventure more rather led from scene to scene as a means to an end. In addition, the CGI could have been better when considering the other films that have already been released this year and the budget that Cowboys & Aliens had to play with but instead they also fail to impress.
 
I can't emphasise how disappointed I was with this. Given the plethora of talent in the writing department (Orci, Kurtzman, Lindelof etc. think Star Trek, Iron Man, Children of Men, Lost (TV)) for this movie it came up well short of what it should have. Turns out originality may not have been what I was looking for after all!
 
 
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More Cowboys & Aliens (2011 film) reviews
review by . July 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
An Uneven
An alien invasion happening during the late 1800’s when mankind had barely gotten in touch with their potentials for technology is an interesting premise. I mean it represented a classic “David vs. Goliath” theme as well as having a huge amount of potential to work on. Granted I wasn’t that impressed with Scott Mitchell Rosenberg’s “Cowboys and Aliens” (see review of the graphic novel here) but I thought it may make a good translation into film; seeing as …
review by . July 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Screenwriters and Editing
Heres the two things I thought of as I watched this movie:      1.  The idea of gold hungry aliens has come a long way since Battlefield Earth and      2.  I can only imagine that when Harrison Ford signed on, the script was re-written to have him rescue his family.         oh, I guess a third would be that this is filling the void for Favereau instead of getting an Iron Man 3 from him.  I guess it could have been …
review by . August 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I walked out of C&A today shrugging my shoulders.  It was a pleasant enough way to spend two hours on a hot summer night.  Daniel Craig (who looks like Harrison Ford used to look 30 years ago) and Harrison Ford (who looks remarkably like Neil Young today) play to type and off of each other well, and the setup is classic cowboy movie--so classic that when Craig, Ford, and the townspeople, native Americans, and Craig's old outlaw gang encounter the aliens (who lasso human subjects …
review by . July 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Cowboys & Aliens' 'Two Jews On Film' Fly In Different Directions With This SciFi Western (Video)
      The year is 1873. The place...New Mexico...A man (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the middle of nowhere.  He has no idea who he is or where he is.  All he knows is...there's a thick metal bracelet on his wrist and he can't remove it.       After fighting off some would-be robbers with a few swift kicks and punches, the Man wanders into the town of Absolution where he finds...   …
review by . July 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Incredible concept! Incredible movie?
COWBOYS AND ALIENS   Written by Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Otsby   Directed by Jon Favreau   Starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde       Jake Lonergan: I don’t want any trouble.       Aliens have tried to take over our planet dozens of times in the movies already. Every time they do, it seems like they always choose major metropolitan areas and the setting is …
review by . August 03, 2011
Walking into this movie you know what you are going to be getting, and if you don't it may be time to stop reading this blog. Jon Favreau promised his audience both cowboys and aliens and by god that is what you get, just not much else.      Favreau could have taken this movie in a couple different directions, he chose to take the mixing of two genres that have been lampooned in more recent history and decided to make it a serious action movie. Then there was the decision …
review by . August 02, 2011
Picture this… James Bonds wakes up in the Wild West unable to recall how he got there and then ends up in a town were Indiana Jones and his son have been terrorizing its citizens into doing anything they want…  Wait, that’s not right.  Granted Cowboys & Aliens does star Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, as well as share executive producer Steven Spielberg (Indy franchise), there is little else these heavy hitters bring to this futuristic/sci-fi western.  If only …
Quick Tip by . December 22, 2011
posted in MovieSucktastic
A genre blend that starts off strong despite the adherence to a multitude of western cliches, it all falls flat in the second act with the introduction of a lazy plot twist created for no other reason than to save the screenwriters the trouble of advancing the story through dialogue and character development, and give them an easy out for a typically lame Hollywood Happy Ending.
review by . August 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I’m generally a big fan of westerns, and I’ve been known to dabble in the science fiction genre from time to time. So on paper, Jon Favreau’s latest Cowboys and Aliens is a perfect fit. While I can definitely come to appreciate the general ridiculousness of it all and end up having a blast with it as the fun late summer film it is, the abundance of hands tweaking the script turns out being one of the movie’s biggest struggles. It’s not the best execution of a solid …
review by . August 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
No matter how you slice it, 2011 has not been a very fun-filled summer.  Most of the movies have either been very forgettable or they haven't really had much of an impact.  Cowboys and Aliens doesn't do much to change most of this.  It's certainly a lot more fun than most of the movies around this summer, but it doesn't quite leave the lasting impression you'd hope for it to.      We all understand that not every movie has to be this artistic …
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James ()
I, like so many others, am a film lover with my own blog. Feel free to drop on by and have a read.      Website:http://www.fanaticalaboutfilms.com      Site Twitter: … more
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Wiki

Cowboys & Aliens is an American fantasy- Western film starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde. The film, directed by Jon Favreau, is based on the 2006 graphic novel of the same name created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. Cowboys & Aliens was released in the United States and Canada on July 29, 2011 and in other countries on ensuing weekends.



1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear.

But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.

Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella, he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and ...
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Details

Director: Jon Favreau
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Western
Release Date: July 29, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Runtime: 118 minutes
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