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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Movie Preview: The Good The Bad The Weird

So let's admit it. When Asia gets ahold of American cinematic cultural icons they usually do a pretty good job of ripping it off. Often they come up with variants on the theme that are superior to many American films in the same exact genre. Credit goes to where it is deserved.

In this case the genre is REALLY American. It's the Wild West and cowboys and gunfights. We're talking about John Wayne and Clint Eastwood (when he was young) territory. So they have to get it right.

The Good the Bad and the Weird, is an obvious revisioning of The Good The Bad and The Ugly by Sergio Leone. It's one of the classic westerns and the godfather of all spaghetti westerns (though it was made in Spain with an Italian director). Many have tried to feed off of this classic, and most failed miserably.

But just watching this movie trailer and you realize quickly that the essence of what made Sergio Leone's film great feels like it's in this film.

Now I should mention something that is kind of important. This isn't exactly a preview. The film came out in 2008 in South Korea. It ran through theaters in the U.K. in 2009. Now in April it's America's turn.

That being said, and yes there are sub-titles, the film looks great. It has a flair and excitement about it that modern westerns seem to have completely forgotten about. In America we are getting all the grit and realistic weariness of westerns lately, which may well be why the genre has performed so poorly in recent years (the 3:10 to Yuma remake was just not worth it).

This film gets your blood pumping. It's faster paced, action filled, with gunslingers that are the archtypes we created and loved in the first place. Plus there is better cameras, special effects, and editing than back in Leone's day so it really gets to sizzle.

Now do yourself a favor and don't look up the plot on google or wikipedia. Save the stotyline for seeing the film. Enjoy it. Have fun at the movies for a change.

Here, I'll show you a tease of what I mean

And you thought the sub-titles would be a problem.

Jung Woo-sung, the Good, looks excellent as the Clint Eastwood-esque tainted hero. Lee Byung-hun, the Bad, reminds me of the Danny Chan look of bad guy but even meaner and far more cool as you might expect for the Lee Van Cleef inspired villian. Song Kang-ho, the Weird, rounds out the trio with a funny and desperate twist to the surprisingly emotive and yet viscious and pathetic Eli Wallach character (yes in case you didn't know he is Jewish not Hispanic).

Hopefully this will hold you until Kung Fu Hustle 2 comes out later this year.

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