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February 15, 2016

Evening Open Thread: And, Movies You Expected to be Awful, Which Were Actually Pretty Good

I just saw 2004's The Alamo, with Patrick Wilson (Lt. Col. Buck Travis), Jason Patric (Jim Bowie), Billy Bob Thornton (Davey -- um, David -- Crockett), and Dennis Quaid (Sam Houston).

Plus a sneering Mexican Dracula as Santa Anna. The actor's good -- I mean, he really makes you dislike Santa Anna, despite the fact Santa Anna doesn't do anything particularly villainous until near the end.

Not bad! It's too bad history let the movie down by having Bowie disappear halfway through the siege, bedridden due to his tuberculosis. Bowie's kind of this movie's Doc Holliday, a dangerous presence, but a dying one.

When he gets sick, he takes a lot of the movie's interest with him. Jason Patric is good in the role.

A pretty good movie. Not great but good. The battle scenes are a bit cheap and repetitive and unimaginative; also, there's not many of them. There is one interesting shot of dead bodies, blown by cannon-blast, hanging in the twisted black claws of a mesquite tree. Almost a sort of Biblical image, or maybe a Grail Quest image.

Billy Bob Thornton is an unexpected choice for Crockett, playing him as a kind of frontier hippie, but it's an interesting portrayal.


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posted by Ace at 06:34 PM

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