My household are big fans of Alan Rickman. As such, we've decided to review his films from start to finish.
All he ended up was dead.
sgwordy: So it turns out you'd never even heard of this movie. Are you now cursing the universe for keeping this Alan Rickman gem from you? (where is my sarcasm font button?)
Dr Musacha: It's true, I had never heard of this one. My hopes were immediately raised in the opening scenes, which featured three of my favorite things in the world: Australia, Tom Selleck, and Tom Selleck's mustache. Sadly, things went downhill from there a bit.
sgwordy: Crazy slatterns being subjected to centrifugal forces via a bad guy and a boat paddle are fun but even that couldn't rescue this... I don't even know what to call it. Tone, pacing and genre were all very mixed up.
Dr Musacha: Yeah, there was a lot to potentially like here, including great actors, a fun setting, solid cinematography, and an interesting premise. But I noted the same problems as you. Could you elaborate on the issues with the movie's tone, because I found this to be one of its biggest problems.
sgwordy: Sure, and with a pretty clear example. The same movie that featured above-mentioned Crazy Slattern with Boat Paddle also graphically depicted genocide. I want movies to accurately depict current and historical events but if you introduce your characters via slapstick comedy it's hard to make that extreme dramatic shift with genuine emotional investment.
Since I still don't quite know what to make of the movie's mid-length shift, I'm going to jump back to just thinking about Alan Rickman. What did you think of his wardrobe?
Dr. Musacha: I enjoyed it. I actually thought Rickman's character (Marston) was a fun idea: a man acting out his fantasies of living in the Old West on a remote continent. The man looks surprisingly good in a cowboy hat! How do you feel about his performance in general? It's not like the movie focused on him much.
sgwordy: Fun idea? I think I would have gone more for sadistic. That dude was twisted. Agreed about the hat. I would not have pegged him for a cowboy hat kind of guy but he really is! I thought the performance was poor. The writing and characterization of Marston is really bad so that could have affected my reaction to him but I didn't feel Rickman was completely invested. I could swear a little voice was just behind all his lines saying, "I was Hans Gruber once. Now look at me."
Dr. Musacha: Agree to disagree, I thought his acting was fine. He brought his classic "controlled menace" to the film, which was needed. The character just wasn't as interesting as Gruber...Marston was just a garden-variety racist landowner straight out of stock Western films.
sgwordy: I thought his authority as a bad guy was undermined by being thrown out of a window in his own house and then by the classic baddie mistake of counting on his adversary to die out of his sight. (side note: do you think his ranch house had very large ducts?) I found the movie too dang long and was pretty bored by the end. This was probably not lost on you since I fell asleep for the big ending. How did it go? Did Rickman or Selleck get the better ending?
Dr. Musacha: Ha, you really were asleep if you have to ask! Selleck got a much better ending, as it didn't involve him boots up in the dirt. Truth be told, I felt that Marston's death was a bit unceremonious, but that might be my affinity for Rickman talking. We know Rickman plays a great villain...do you think this will be his low point as we continue this project?
sgwordy: I fucking hope so! Marston was complete crap. I'm happy to throw a teaser out by saying, with great assurance, that the next Rickman film in our queue will be a definite improvement over this. In fact, let's throw in the towel on this one and go watch the next movie!
Rate the movie on a scale of 1 to 10:
Dr Musacha – 5
sgwordy – 3
Was Rickman the best thing about this movie?
Dr Musacha – No, not enough screen time and Tom Selleck is awesome.
sgwordy – No, remember how we described crap villains in Die Hard? Here is a great example.
In the context of his body of work, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Rickman as Rickman?
Dr Musacha –3
sgwordy – 1
Favorite Rickman quote from this movie?
Dr Musacha: Some men are born in the wrong century. I think I was born on the wrong continent.
sgwordy: No man knocks me out of my own house! [Editor's note: He forgot to add "once."]