Slug: open-range Date: 2004-05-11 Title: Open Range layout: post

Jodi and I watched Open Range this weekend. I had heard good things about it, and had read some good reviews (esp. one at C.H.U.D. that I can't seem to find now). The movie was quite good; even Jodi, who's not typically a fan of westerns, thought so. The cinematography is amazing – lots of sweeping views of georgeous rolling hills and skies. Open Range is not an "exciting" movie, for the most part, but as one reivew put it, it doesn't "fade" either - it seems to get more engaging as it goes.

The final running gunfight in town is, well, brutal. It's not gory, and there's no Die Hard-style glory shots. The gunshots are deep, loud, and short – no echoing richochets stuck in for effect. Guns leave smoke and dust, and that guy getting hit with a double barrel shotgun through the side of a building goes down hard. No dramatics, just BOOM thump.

For once, Costner's acting is suitable to the role, and Robert Duvall is all man, and all class. Early on in the film, after a storm, Spearman (Duvall) goes out and rounds up 6-8 scattered horses by himself. Mose (Abraham Benrubi of E.R.) says to Charley (Costner): "That man sure can cowboy." Charley replies: "Yeaup. God broke the mold after him." Same goes for Duvall.

All in all, Open Range isn't a be-all-end-all western, but it was solid and enjoyable.