Ed Harris and Viggo Mortenson in Appaloosa

I felt as if we were becoming inundated with star-driven westerns last year, but apparently it is a trend that has nothing to do with the calendar. Last year we saw Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck stare into the sunsets in The Assassination of Jesse James and we saw Christian Bale, Russell Crowe and Ben Foster try to catch the 3:10 to Yuma. And while I thought I was seeing a lot of westerns, these released did help me realize that the western is the quintessential man’s movie. Superhero movies like Iron Man and Spider-Man, and yes, even The Dark Knight are boys’ movies. A good western, we are talking a shoot ‘em up with heroes cut from the fabric of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, is a real man’s movie. Gritty, dangerous, outdoorsy — manly, plain and simple. This is why films such as Young Guns, Unforgiven, The Magnificent Seven and even shows like “Deadwood” seem to show up on many a guy’s list of favorites.

So if you were a big name male actor in Hollywood, wouldn’t you want to go out and make a western every once in a while? Wouldn’t you want to saddle up and shoot some shit? Exactly.

This year’s round-up of Westerns appears to be an interesting bunch, with the entry of two Asian filmmakers into the fray. And as we previewed for you last week, both Takashi Miike’s Suyaki Western Django and Ji-woon Kim’s The Good The Bad and The Weird seem to show some promise, delivering a different take on the American western. But that won’t be all, in addition to these fresh pics, we will also get at least one good ole’ American western: Appaloosa. And as you will see in the first trailer below, this one combines the star power of Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons with a story that involves horses, guns and damsels (played by Renee Zellweger). What else do you really need?

[flv:http://media.filmschoolrejects.com/trailers/appaloosa-trailer.flv 522 294]

Appaloosa was also written and directed by Ed Harris, who previously wrote/directed Pollack. The film will hit theaters on September 17th. In addition to the trailer above, we also have this fancy photo gallery with additional shots from the film for your viewing pleasure.

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