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Open Range

Starring: Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, Abraham Benrubi, Diego Luna and Tigg
Directed by: Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner Interview Here->

 

DVD Extras Review (Full Film Review Below)
Buy It Pardners

Open Range is one of the finest Westerns ever made. Disagree- get your own review. Costner, who is not known for his short films, again takes his time to get into the skin of the piece. It works in spades here. This is a MUST have for any Western fan - actually for anyone who loves film - it's just that well done.

Sweeping vistas and ornate, detailed sets help a remarkable cast and crew transport us back to the old west. Disk 1 is the film - with commentary from director Costner.

In the jam-packed disk 2 collection of behind the scenes and deleted pieces Costner frankly talks about the difficulties the film faced - the bullsh*t a film has to go through. I interviewed the guy and he's always willing to say-it-as-it-is. In 'Beyond Open Range' Kev takes us really behind the scenes, into his home (the film's headquarters), to the location scouting months, to casting, and on into the first days of shooting.

The film had a budget of a mere 25 million. He could have cut edges and played with his vision but he didn't. He explains he's the physician on behalf of the film. Costner also shares a private pain he went through on the film. He was suffering with Appendicitis and didn't know it. The pain must have been unbearable, but like his character Charlie, he bucked up and got through the thirteen hour days. Wow. He wasn't manly man enough huh?

We also get a great look at the storyboards and new software that moves the frames as a camera would. This helps to eliminated wasted time, energy, and footage.
If you're into the old west? Well, they've added "America's Open Range.' It's a detailed doc on the real open range these people faced. Costner narrates.

The deleted scenes are few as Kev likes to "put it all in" his films. But again, you'll agree with the director that the scenes that fell just added bulk to the film, and as it stands now the piece flows beautifully.

The dvd shows the love of filmmaking Costner has and the film positively shines for it.
Buy It Pardners

 

Open Range is a romantic, beautiful, and delightfully authentic Western. Call me a sentimental old crow… Admittedly my affection for seeing mega-talent Robert Duvall and handsome Kevin Costner all dolled up in manly western wear already had me entering the theater with a broad smile…But honest injun this is a spectacular film.

It's a telling story of sprawling budding America and the ruthlessness with which some businessmen shaped the west. Free grazers, or cattlemen without plots of land, roamed with their herd letting them feed on a spot till left barren then moving along. But now the land they feed on is owned or next to owned land and the locals aint too happy.

Our tale follows a small group of four such grazers. The two veterans, Boss (Robert Duvall) and Charley (Kevin Costner), along with their two younger naïve hands, Mose (Abraham Benrubi) and Button (Diego Luna), have come across a horizon of land that is controlled be one helluva mean sonavabitch (Michael Gambon) hell bent on squashing these "free loaders" once and for all.

Of course Boss and Charley aren't really free loaders at all. They are hard working cowboys left over when use of the land was free. They just haven't caught up is all. No matter. This scumbag will slice them down just the same.

Ah, but it seems Charley's got a dark past that'll come in handy when all the shootin' starts. And trust me the shootin' starts (in one of the finest showdowns in the genre's history by fact).

It's the age-old story of men and honor mixed with a solid friendships and subtle romance in the hands of developed rich characters; there's no paper cutouts here folks. Stunning tough girly girl Annette Bening plays "Charley's" love interest "Sue" and for once - in a very long time - it's adult love that's portrayed; complex and unfolding. Robert Duvall really can do no wrong in my eyes and "Boss" fits the guy like a pair of comfy worn cowboy boots. Kevin Costner does a great job as "Charley," the man-with-a-past, without being a stereotype of Western hype. As director, Kev got the story wholeheartedly and thankfully left these wonderful pregnant silences and dialog deliveries others may have nipped and tucked to homogenize the piece. Especially with Duvall. He uses Bobbie's talents to perfection, boldly letting the man do what it is that he does. Costner also allowed the majestic backdrop (Alberta, Canada actually) to become an important character, showing at once the beauty and the volatility the land held. Being a frontiersman was no easy task and you're reminded how strong these forefathers were through out our nation's growth.

Open Range is a phenomenal piece of work folks. Saddle up and mosey on down to your theatrical venue down yonder and hitch up for a great time. Y'all wont be disappointed. Now git!

Snack recommendation: Beef jerky and whiskey.



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