Ok, so this movie was one of the epic flops in cinema history. The nutshell version is that the estimated budget was 44 million and the cumulative gross worldwide revenue was less than 3.5 million. Ouch. However, Heaven’s Gate is a damn good film! It’s also bloated, over-complicated, bizarre, and excruciatingly slow at times. I can imagine seeing it in the theater was quite a trial. Watch this in a few chunks, and you’ll appreciate what Michael Cimino was trying to do. Some of the scenes in this movie are just jaw droppingly insane on multiple levels. It’s honestly a must-see work of Anomalous Cinema. I’m just very happy that the director got to see it appreciated during his lifetime.
Aka A Fistful of Dynamite – this is an entertaining Sergio Leone action movie with some interesting alterations from his Clint Eastwood features. James Coburn is great in the lead role. I suspect that Al Pacino in Scarface was just doing an imitation of Rod Steiger’s Juan Miranda character here. This one also has cult movie hero David Warbeck (The Beyond, Twins of Evil) in it, which is fantastic bonus.
A contemporary, ethical Western. It leans towards blockbuster cheesiness and runs a bit long, but has enough action and high quality drama to compensate. It’s pretty graphic at times, so if think you’re getting some old timey, bloodless, John Wayne affair you’re dead wrong. Hostiles has a sympathetic and informed take on Native Americans as well, which makes the whole thing work. You won’t hear me mention books too often here, but I truly believe every American should read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. We need to know our own history, even the darkest parts.
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