Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

When Mateo Gil’s Blackthorn was first announced, the film sounded like a cheap attempt to capitalize on the good name of the classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But while George Roy Hill’s film (from William Goldman’s near-perfect script) mixed adventure and humor, Gil’s take on a late-in-life Cassidy strikes something more serious, a film that shows a character rarely portrayed as the hero in gun-slinging Westerns – the ruined elder.   The film reimagines the fate of Cassidy (played here by Sam Shepard), finding him living out the sunset of his life in Bolivia under the name James Blackthorn. But Cassidy is lonely sans Sundance Kid, and longs to return home to die. As he sets out on his faithful stead, all seems aligned for the once-wild man to quietly return home to the United States. But when Cassidy gets mixed up with a brash young law-breaker (Eduardo Noriega), thanks to both circumstance and temperament, that plan’s off – and a new one is on. The first trailer for Blackthorn hints at the more melancholy side of Cassidy in between a rash of pistol-shootin’ battles alongside his new sidekick, and that’s the intriguing element of Gil’s film (with a bullet). Saddle up and check out the trailer after the break.

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So what do you do when the law gets close to arresting you for bank robbery? You grab your bicycle and head to Bolivia. The pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford here in George Roy Hill’s classic is a potent one, and Katharine Ross rounds out the ensemble with a way about her that won over both men (and audiences). Like most films, it went through its share of casting changes. Jack Lemmon almost played Sundance. So did Marlon Brando. In fact, the film was going to be called The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy when Steve McQueen was set to star, but he dropped out, and Paul Newman’s character took over top billing. There’s something sweet about a movie that features Burt Bacharach singing about raindrops falling on his head and a body count of 30. Plus, you can see a great tribute to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre involving a brand and an ass near the end of the film.

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Don’t you dare talk about Fight Club or something really, really, really bad is going to happen.

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Culture Warrior

It’s become common wisdom to say that the best remakes are those made of non-canonical, non-classic films; that is, it’s typically better to give a second go to a film that – while possibly venerated, is hardly deemed a work of perfection that can’t be improved upon – than to redo a classic. Such a rule isn’t set in stone, of course, but it can be argued through example via some of the most celebrated of remakes (like The Thing or, in a more modest and more recent example of improvement-on-imperfection, The Crazies), and are often a result of a genuine inspiration from the source material rather than a simple means of capitalizing from its name. With the Coen brothers’ quite popular and much celebrated remake of True Grit, however, the distinction of what kind of a remake it is isn’t exactly so clear, as what kind of movie the original is proves to be something of an enigma in of itself.

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butch-cassidy-sundance-kid

God Bless the late great Paul Newman, but I don’t care if Cruise got his blessing for a remake of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the idea of Cruise as Sundance and John Travolta as Butch Cassidy, makes me want to hurl.

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Test your girlfriend.

Love is in the air for some reason, so we’ve developed a fool-proof way of testing whether your significant other is worth your time. Now for guys!

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It turns out we’re going to be voting for President or mayor or something soon. Strap in as FSR takes you LIVE to the Democratic National Convention via my crappy apartment on Capitol Hill.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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