Monday, 2 May 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

It's a bloody film, not a documentary...
image via panicposters
One of the most famous western movies of all time (if not the most famous), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly stars Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti western to end all spaghetti westerns. An epic and sprawling film set in the Southern States during the American Civil War, the plot basically boils down to three men trying to find some Confederate gold. But there is so much more to the film than that. Though, predictably, there are those who disagree. Like this chump:
Is this film supposed to be a comedy ? (No. Not at all. Which is why it isn't funny.) (eg with Eli Wallach from the New York clasical school of over acting (The Ugly was supposed to be larger-than-life, it wasn't bad acting on Wallach's part.)). If so, it is in poor taste with the butchery of the civil war prominent. (But it wasn't, so it isn't. Though, of course, it wouldn't have been in poor taste even if it had been a comedy. Comedies have and always will be set in wars. They help us deal with the horrors of war, such as films like Catch-22 and M*A*S*H and even Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator are those movies 'in poor taste'?)

The civil war was not fought on the sand dunes of the Canary islands (It's a good thing the film was neither set, nor filmed there then...). 
Moreover, able-bodied young men in civilian dress would not be able to freely prance around in the civil war 'theatre'. (Actually, they would. The film was set in Confederate lands. The Confederates did not introduce conscription until 1862, and even then they could hire substitutes. Only 50,000 were true conscripts, with nearly 120,000 substitutes in the Union Army. Also, the South exempted many groups, including planters from the conscription, so it would probably be pretty easy really.)

Clint is burnt to a cinder in the sun and yet within a few days has a baby soft complexion (It's a fecking film. Not everything will be absolutely accurate). Eli is beaten to a pulp and yet somehow manages to keep all his teeth and his engaging smile. (Again, film!)

A overlong, overrated lot of nonsense (It really isn't overrated. The shots are just beautiful for a start). Clint only made two good westerns: 
Josey Wales and Pale Rider (Those are both good films, but neither is as good as this. And he made plenty more good westerns including High Plains Drifter and Hang 'Em High alongside the rest of the Dollars Trilogy). The only Leone western worthy of a repeat viewing is For a Few dollars More due to Lee Van Clef , a better script and better music. (I very much like For A Few Dollars More, but I maintain that The Good... is the better film. And all of Leone's westerns are excellent.)
Now, we move across the pond to look at some reviews from
 Sergio Leone plumbed his greatest depths of nitwittedness when he essayed the script for this travesty (And how are you going to justify and explain that opening gambit?). Still, people are watching it 35 years later, so his financiers got something out of it (And so have most of the people who have watched it. They got 3 hours of enjoyment for whatever price they paid. Fair trade, I'd say). It would take the film's full running time to detail how bad it is but one scene captures some of the flavor (Oh I bet it wouldn't take that long to explain...). Prisoner Eli Wallach the Ugly is being transported to the gallows by Union troop train when he throws himself and his guard out the door of a crowded boxcar. Nobody says hey (Maybe they were just pretty shocked about the whole thing?), train never stops (I think it unlikely that the driver/engineer would notice someone jumping off the train. It's not like they have wing mirrors), and neither does another express coming the other way when Wallach uses it to cut the cuffs between him and his dead captor, despite the fact that the deceased is laying in the middle of the tracks (Again, there is no windscreen to look forward out of. And besides, have you ever tried to stop a train? It takes quite a lot of time). Leone knew exactly nothing about the American West (I'm pretty sure he knew at least a bit...) and neither do the people who enjoy his ludicrously mismanaged fantasies about the time and place. (Actually, I think it's fairly safe to say that Leone's violent and brutal westerns were far more true to the reality than John Wayne's jolly cowboy delusions.)
And here's another:
I have seen many pathetic films in my life. This topped them (Clearly you haven't seen any pathetic films at all. Or your film appreciation senses are wa-ay out of whack.). Did I rate one star? (Yes you did. And I think you know you did. Because you're a dick.) Sorry- I meant negative 11 stars (Then you really are a moron without hope of redemption.). It was the absolute worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life (Really? Was it? You've never seen a Uwe Boll movie? Or a Michael Bay movie? Because they knock on that particular door. Not this.). It was a total waste of three hours when I could have been sleeping (That's the only other thing you can think of to do in three hours?). There was no point (The journey? Entertainment? They're 'points'). The script and storyline were pathetic (They are not the strong point of the film, but they are very far from 'pathetic'). The gore was overdone- too much blood, killing, and the like (I don't remember much blood at all. When are you reviewing this from? 1966? Have you seen modern films?). It was totally historically inaccurate (It's a piece of fucking fiction! It really doesn't matter!), and the Civil War scenes were so grossly unrealistic that it was laughable (In what way? I've seen far less realistic depictions of war). All Civil War veterans are rolling over in their graves (Trust me, they won't be.). Any scene that was supposed to be touching was pathetic (Examples? Why were they 'pathetic'? Please explain yourself). One of the abolsute bombs was when Clint Eastwood fires off a canon twice with his cigar- yet he does not even load it- either time (Oh the horror! The horror!). And somehow, without even aiming the canon, he knocks his 'friend' off his horse. (Suspension of disbelief?)
The movie is a failure. F-A-I-L-U-R-E (And you're an idiot, a.k.a I-D-I-O-T). Crappy. Junky. Just plain DUMB. STUPID. PATHETIC. (In a freaky coincidence, those are the words I'd use if I were reviewing you review. Which I am. So, sir, you're attempt at a review was crappy. You're analysis was junky, you're opinions were dumb, you're complaints were stupid, and you're conclusions pathetic.)
I am not going to waste any more words on it. Just....whatever you your money (So you have 'wasted' some more words then, haven't you?). Don't buy it. It's not worth 50 cents. (No it isn't. It's worth far more than that.)
Well, I think I'm going to stop now, since I seem to have managed to avoid actually threatening anyone this time...

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