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Friday, January 30, 2015

Silverado (1985)

Two brothers (Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner) and two strangers (Kevin Kline, Danny Glover) find themselves working together to defeat a ruthless rancher (Ray Baker) and the corrupt sheriff (Brian Dennehy) who does his bidding in the burgeoning western town of Silverado. This faux western with large dollops of humor is quite enjoyable as long as you realize that as a western, it's about as authentic as chop suey. As directed by Lawrence Kasdan (THE BIG CHILL), who also co-wrote the screenplay, the film comes across as a bunch of actors playing dress up cowboys and not even bothering to hide their contemporary sensibilities. With the exception of Scott Glenn (who looks as if he were born to the saddle), the other actors feel like fish out of water. Most notably Brian Dennehy whose acting tricks would seem more at home at the Actors Studio than the 1880s American west. Two of the actresses, Linda Hunt and Rosanna Arquette, manage to give the illusion that they're actually in a real western but Costner's loose cannon cowboy would fit in nicely in a John Hughes film. I don't want to sound like I didn't like it, I did. But this was in spite of the film's infatuation with its own cleverness. John Bailey's (MISHIMA) razor sharp cinematography and Bruce Broughton's rousing Oscar nominated underscore help considerably. With Jeff Goldblum, John Cleese, Jeff Fahey, Lynn Whitfield and James Gammon.

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