Wild Wild West

IntroOneLiners

A good method of determining the realism of a film isn’t by body count so much as it is the weight a writer puts on each death. For example, if the death is preceded by any of the following one-liners, it probably wasn’t valued very much. That isn’t to say these are bad films by any stretch, just films that you wouldn’t want to be caught dead dying in, lest your final breaths be a gentle laugh at the lunacy uttered by your attacker.

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to to Junkfood Cinema…never drum on a white lady’s boobies at a big redneck dance, got it. Our fearless leader has traveled deep into the heart of the Great White North to sample their delicacies, like the mysterious pooty-tine, and determine what foods and films are fit to bring to ‘Merica and feature on the best bad movie column on this website. Or at least that’s what I’m telling people, in point of fact he’s actually in Montreal attending the Fantasia Film Festival. But in his absence we soldier on, bringing you the finest in truly terrible cinema and the fattiest, most sodium and sugar laden tasty treats we can possibly conceive. Brian’s been trying a new formula here at JFC but I’m going to mix a bit of the old “why it’s bad” and “why we love it” in with a list of potential sequel ideas for this week’s selection. Prepare yourselves adventurous movie-lovers, as we look back on Barry Sonnenfeld’s undisputed amateur-piece, Wild Wild West.

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Culture Warrior

A genre nearly as old as filmmaking itself, the western thrived throughout the years of the studio system but has zigzagged across rough terrain for the past forty or so years. For the last fifteen-ish years, the struggling, commercially unfriendly genre was either manifested in a neoclassical nostalgic form limited in potential mass appeal (Appaloosa, Open Range) or in reimagined approaches that ran the gamut between contrived pap and inspired deconstructions (anything from Wild Wild West to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). But last December, True Grit – a bona fide western remake that relied on the opportunities available in the genre’s conventions rather than bells, whistles, or ironic tongues in their respective cheeks – became a smash hit. Did this film reinvigorate a genre that was on life support, as the supposed revitalization of the musical is thought to have done a decade ago, or are westerns surviving by moving along a different route altogether? Three westerns released so far this year – Gore Verbinski’s Rango, Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, and, as of this weekend, Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens – suggest mixed directions for the dusty ol’ genre.

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The Reject Report

No, this ain’t no coon hunt, but the Coens fought tooth and nail. Here in its third weekend of release, True Grit has taken the top spot from Little Fockers, and the Western has effortlessly become the Coen Brothers’ most successful film of all time.

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