January 23, 2021
Just watched "News of The World." Disappointing. One of the main problems with current Westerns is they look too drab. Everyone looks like they are fresh out of a homeless shelter and all the interiors are underlit and shabby. Some of this is authentic, of course, but it has been taken too far, in my estimation. The one exception to the rule is "Tombstone" (1993) which—thanks to Kevin Jarre listening to the advice of Jeff Morey—portrayed the Cowboys as "land-locked pirates." Thus, Curly Bill (Powers Boothe at his very best) shined. Big. Time.
And, by contrast, one of the reasons "Wyatt Earp" is inferior is because the same said Cowboys are dressed in the traditional browns and grays, supposedly because Kevin Costner had been upstaged by The Sherrif of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991) and he didn't want a repeat.
Anyway, here's another angle into the pirate analogy:
Daily Whip Out:
"Land-Locked Pirates In The Sierra Madre"
(With apologies to Ed Mell for the canyon poach)
There's something here to be inspired about: flashy serapes, big old spurs, flapping sombreros, bigger-than-life characterizations. Call it pirate flair. Something creative at least. The last thing Westerns need right now, is to look tired and old. Lean on the flair, add a pinch of Steam Punk, anything to give it new life. You can still have the settlements out in the sticks looking bedraggled, but have some contrast, on the train, in the depot, at the opera. As it is now, everything is too one-note.
Thus endeth my notes.
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."
—Old Vaquero Saying