“Open Range” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 23
“My friend and me got a hankerin’ for Switzerland chocolate and a good smoke.”
- The editing in this film is really distracting – all the fades to black are very unnecessary
- Focus pullers weren’t too on their game on this picture either – lots of strangely fuzzy shots
- Funny that this movie wasn’t even filmed in the west, but instead in Alberta, Canada
- They really cranked up the saturation on this. It’s a bad sign when you notice the color timing in a negative way, right?
- The old west was a rough place to be.
- The “love story” is pretty standard Hollywood fare. Unrealistic, for sure. Annette Bening didn’t sell it well at all.
What can I say – it takes a lot for a Western to impress me, and this one did not. It felt mostly hamfisted and artificial in all the ways that Westerns tend to be, and I didn’t really connect with any of the characters.
I suppose the buildup and climax of the shootout was probably the highlight of the film, but it wasn’t enough to elevate the film above Sergio Leone’s works – or the much, much better Costner film, Dances With Wolves (my favorite Western). It’s odd to me how bored Costner seems to be directing himself in this film compared to how excellent he is in Dances With Wolves.
Open Range was at the time of this review at #1083 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #1734 among the best films of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
Open Range vs. Blue Ruin
Blue Ruin, for sure.
Open Range vs. About Schmidt
Nicholson and Alexander Payne are a pretty swell match. A much better match than Kevin Costner and Kevin Costner in Open Range.
Open Range vs. Pretty Woman
I used to have Pretty Woman really close to the bottom of my chart, but I’ve since decided it’s really not THAT bad. I think it’s probably a better-told story than Open Range, too.
Open Range vs. An American Tail
Admittedly, I probably haven’t seen An American Tail in over 20 years, but I recall it being visually rich and full of wonderful music. Don Bluth at his prime. It’ll beat Open Range.
Open Range vs. The Adventures of Milo and Otis
My kids and wife love Milo and Otis, and I find it’s quite hard to dislike. It’s a pretty hate-proof movie. It wins over Open Range.
Open Range vs. 13 Going on 30
OK. Open Range can win this one. A generic Jennifer Garner rom-com is not the better film here.
Open Range vs. Pearl Harbor
Ugh. Pearl Harbor is pretty rough. Open Range wins.
Open Range vs. Clash of the Titans
Open Range. Clash did have an amazing trailer, though. Probably one of my favorite trailers, ever. Too bad the movie is so disappointing in comparison.
Open Range vs. The Island
I actually don’t hate The Island – probably because of Scarlett Johansson. Certainly like it more than Logan’s Run, and a bit more than Open Range.
Open Range is now ranked #1225 out of 1448 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
The next trio on the horizon is The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and Escape from New York. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.