Monday, September 10, 2007

September 10, 2007
Home from a long road trip. Ten hours each way. Left the beautiful Beaumont Hotel in Ouray (pronounced "You-Ray") at about eight-thirty. Stopped in Ridgeway to pick up our True West banner, then drove over Dollar Pass, stopping at a doctor's cabin who we met at the True Grit Days event on Saturday. Great filming site, with spectacular views all around. The good doctor, James Kornberg, has excellent knowledge on Old West remedies and medicine. I want him to do a segement, or answer column in True West. For example we talked about Peter Fonda's character in 3:10 To Yuma getting gut shot in the opening sequence and then, not only surviving, but riding a horse several hours later! The Doc told us in extreme detail what would have happened to him if he had been shot in the upper intestines, or the lower. With either he would have gone into shock. Anyway, that is a cool column idea and I look forward to his contributions.

Speaking of 3:10 I challenged someone to defend the ending, and here are two excellent takes on it:

Warning: Spoiler Alert!
"Russell Crowe's character finally meets a man he can admire....a man of his word. He see this man gunned down at his moment of triumph in front of his own....equally heroic son. He turns his gun on his own men, his rescuers, and kills them all and then gets on the train to complete the bargain as the rancher's son watches. Now the flip side is......he never intends to go to the Yuma prison, hence the whistle for his horse. Also he explained in the good King's English more than once that he is a BAD man....and killing all of his own gang made good fiscal sense splitting up the money wise."
—Jim Hatzell

And Here's Another Good Take On The Film
"In the interests of full disclosure, I never cared for the original nor the source short story (and I mean short). Part of it is I never cared for the Western sub-genre I call High Nooners. One man versus the circumstances and getting no help from nobody. Hate it. The other problem I have with the original movie is that I could never suspend disbelief long enough to let the story take me in. Rob a stage, then go into town, meet soiled dove, get caught, then a confusing series of feints and deceptions that hurts my head, culminating with Glen Ford killing Richard Jaeckel (sp).

"The remake accomplishes much of the the same, only instead of a normal stage robbery we see them chasing the war wagon (why didn't they just ambush and kill the horses as they rode past?). Once past this tank sequence I am supposed to believe Peter Fonda as some sort of law enforcement officer. Who BTW, gets gut shot and is up and about in no time. I could go on. The film works as a film, acting superlative, casting ditto, and magnificent cinematography--maybe the best since DANCES WITH WOLVES (But what is up with the weather? In cut aways it is cloudy, then clear, rain and then snow?). The Apache scene was nicely done with a large flame and much smoke coming from the Indians' longuns.

"In short, I liked it. Better than any recent oater fodder (except for the gunfight scene in THE OPEN RANGE and the director's cut of THE MISSING). Material culture gets a C- and it could be worse but the occasional correct saddle appeared and the "Doc" character was almost perfectly dressed. As to the hardware, Phil S. and others are much better than me.

"The ending which seems so confusing (again it is difficult to suspend disbelief) was sacrificial. That part of Wade's past that lacked a childhood (but at least had read the Good Book my Jack Lutheran pard), and saw a sense of normalcy in Dan's family and perhaps himself in the eldest boy determined to give the son a father to be proud of (after all it was just to put him on the train--nobody said he had to stay there). This is stolen when the gang guns down Dan at the depot, angering Wade who executes his men for their sins. Then he exits the stage by stepping into the car, turning what small lamp of knowledge or connectivity over the son (sort of a Frenchified Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon). He exits willingly to jail, but of course we know he has escaped twice before and at the last minute whistles for his horse who follows the train at a gallop. Something might be afoot around the bend.

"3:10 TO YUMA opened to a decent Friday leading the pack with a modest 4.5 Million opener [it ended the weekend with 14.5 mil]. Reviews are strong and this will probably creep into the solid three digits by Sunday afternoon. Not bad for an estimated budget of 50 Million. Whether or not this is the anticipated return of The Western I have no idea."
—Alan Huffines

Paul Hutton saw the movie this last weekend with his kids and he says they loved it. He would have made one change in the ending. He would have had the demonic henchman, Charlie Prince, turn his revolver on the boy, and then Russell Crowe's character's ultimate action (wiping out his gang) would have made more emotional sense. I agree. Paul is a genius at this kind of stuff.

The Tally, So Far, For The Auditions For Mickey's Mom
"I think in considering the way Mickey’s mom looked you need to be realistic about her lifestyle. what foods she probably ate and what kind of work, exercise and stress were involved in raising three sons in a hostile environment."
—Gus Walker

"I vote for Indio Chunky. My wife is Apache and after a couple of kids. Chunky best describers her....I love ever ounce tho."
—Unkle Sherm

"If you have another potential hot babe in your story, make her Indio-chunky. If not, make her J-Lo hot. You need a hot babe somewhere if you want to sell to teenage boys. Not to mention slightly older distinguished gentlemen like myself. Yeehaw!"
—Mark Kilburn, Maniac 235

"I vote for Indio Chunky. I think that is the best balance of all. Hot is fine but not too realistic while you still need to keep the visual aspect in a positive. Besides, I think that's the best of the three drawings.
—Scott Matula, Art Specialist

"While the stereotype of the 'chunky' Latina is also overused, it might also not be correct in a time when food was pretty scarce for poor people. J-Lo hot would certainly attract younger aficionado’s. I know my 20’s son is really into graphic novels and comics and that would attract him."
—Jim Holden, Weston, FL

"Indio chunky."
—Mary Fiore

“My vote, #1 Frida Lean. My x is not Apache, but Amer-asian...and attacks all hours of the day...till this very day.”

And for what it's worth, my Kathy votes for "Frida lean." She said she likes her intensity of spirit.

Lot's of road time (20 hours in the car) this weekend, but I feel like I learned quite a bit. Hmmmm, I wonder what Patricia has to say about that?

"Any road is bound to arrive somewhere if you follow it far enough."
—Patricia Wentworth

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