Critics Consensus: Cowboys and Aliens is All Mixed Up

Plus, The Smurfs has critics feeling blue, and Crazy, Stupid, Love is sharp and funny.

This week at the movies, we've got bronco-busters and extraterrestrials (Cowboys and Aliens, starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford), little blue people (The Smurfs, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Katy Perry), and modern romance (Crazy, Stupid, Love, starring Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling). What do the critics have to say?

Cowboys and Aliens

44%

What is Cowboys and Aliens? Is it a Western? A sci-fi thriller? An homage? A parody? Well, say critics, it's all those things and more, though it's not quite as seamless - or as fun - as one might have hoped, given the talents involved (and the B-movie promise of its undeniably awesome title). Daniel Craig stars as a mysterious man with no memory of his past who stumbles into a rough-and-tumble town called Absolution, where he's treated with disdain by a tyrannical lawman (Harrison Ford). However, when hostile space invaders blast away at the community, they turn to the stranger for help. Critics say what could have been a giddy, action-packed romp is bogged down by serious tonal problems; though Cowboys and Aliens has a top-notch cast and moments of genre-bending fun, we're never sure how seriously to take the action onscreen, and the result is an odd hybrid that never fully takes flight. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Craig's best-reviewed films, as well as our gallery of movie genre mashups.)

The Smurfs

22%

Many a Gen-Xer has a soft spot for the Smurfs, those diminutive blue folks who enlivened our youthful Saturday mornings. Unfortunately, not all is smurfy in Smurfland; critics say the live action/ CGI hybrid The Smurfs is pretty thin stuff, an unfunny, less-than-thrilling family film with plenty of crass innuendo but almost no magic. Neil Patrick Harris stars as a New York workaholic who must help the Smurfs get back to their village - they've been chased out by their archenemy Gargamel, and they must navigate the Big Apple in the meantime. The pundits say The Smurfs feels like a nostalgic cash-grab, with a generic plot and little of the charm that made these elfin creatures appealing to begin with.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

78%

When it comes to romantic comedies, sometimes great acting can give shape to uneven material. Critics say that's largely the case with Crazy, Stupid, Love, a fitfully rewarding effort enlivened by its star power. Steve Carell stars as a newly divorced middle-aged guy who hasn't been on a date in years and has almost no way with the ladies. He ends up tagging along with a good-looking younger playboy (Ryan Gosling) and learning a thing or two about contemporary amour. The pundits say Crazy, Stupid, Love too often resorts to sitcommy scenarios, though it's also insightful, funny, and occasionally quite touching, thanks to a cast that also includes Emma Stone and Julianne Moore.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Interrupters, a documentary about a group of "violence interrupters" who attempt to combat urban violence in Chicago, is at 100 percent.
  • The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle in a dramedy about a gruff Irish policeman who teams with an incredulous FBI agent on a drug investigation, is at 93 percent (Check out our interview with Gleeson here).
  • Attack the Block, an action/comedy about a group of inner city London kids who defend the city against an alien invasion, is Certified Fresh at 91 percent.
  • The Future, directed by and starring Miranda July in the tale of an unmarried couple whose maturity is tested after adopting a stray cat, is at 91 percent.
  • Point Blank, a French thriller about a nurse who finds himself caught in the crossfire of rival gangsters as he attempts to save his kidnapped wife and child, is at 88 percent.
  • Sleep Furiously, a lyrical documentary about life in a Welsh farming community, is at 79 percent.
  • Good Neighbors, starring Scott Speedman and Jay Baruchel in a thriller about the residents of an apartment building who become fascinated with a series of local murders, is at 65 percent.
  • The Devil's Double, starring Dominic Cooper in a dual role as Saddam Hussein's hard-partying son Uday and as his reluctant body double, is at 61 percent.

Comments

Lenny M.

Lenny Monroe

Figured as much... Now bring on August, where a wave of tacky remakes and sequels will invade theatres. Fright Night, Rise of the Revenge of the Return of the Planet of the Apes, Final Destination 5, Conan and Spy Kids 4. And Out of all these movies the only one that's not in 3D is Planet of the Apes... Upon us, a shitty month is.

Jul 28 - 04:55 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

hahahahahahahha "Rise of the Revenge of the Return of the Planet of the Apes" paired with Planet of the Blind Ape would be AWESOME!/ actually Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a remake of Battle For the Planet of the Apes.///ESCAPE from the Planet of the Apes is my favorite! Beneath the Planet of the Apes was the worst . . . // exhumedfilms.com in Philadelphia is screening all of the Planet of the Apes films in 35mm this weekend. EXCELLENT COMMENT!

Jul 28 - 05:32 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Its a remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, not Battle...

Jul 29 - 04:07 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

I hear you bud, though I must say, Rise of The Apes is looking very good, have you seen the latest trailer?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgCzQWoBKvA

Jul 28 - 07:21 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

I agree. I initially wrote this movie off as a pointless reboot/prequel but the more I see of it, the more promising it looks. May still be crap but the trailers definitely suggest it is a movie with something "more" up its sleeve.

Jul 28 - 07:32 PM

Andrew M.

Andrew McGregor

Did you see like the extended trailer, with the lengthy scene, made it look like crap, sadly.

Jul 29 - 08:46 AM

dudemeister

dude meister

I'm talking about the 3rd, which was a great trailer.

Jul 29 - 10:07 PM

Spencer S.

Spencer Saunders

I hope the Smurfs bomb.....

Jul 28 - 07:30 PM

Dean W.

Dean Wirth

Rise of the Planet of the Apes looks good, will see it opening weekend.

Jul 29 - 04:18 AM

GrandeRoho

Kyle McCurdy

sadly not as bad as it could have

Jul 29 - 06:47 PM

Superzone

Link O'Fett

Still don't understand why they didn't just call the movie "Planet of the Apes Rise". Rolls of the tongue much easier when you don't have to say "of the" twice in one title...

Jul 29 - 10:27 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

C&A will be a BIG HIT in the Home Entertainment Markets.

Yet, if the first 40 Minutes are MIND-BLOWINGLY AWESOME and the "teeny-boppers" text each other how good the film is, then Cowboys and Aliens will make a TON of MONEY.

Everything is Word of Mouth (almost).

Jul 28 - 05:27 PM

jay z.

jay groon

What are you even talking about? Word of mouth? What??

Stop ridiculing people you dont know who will go see a movie that JUST came out. For crying out loud YOUR the one who sounds like a "teenie bopper" which by the way is a verty juvenile word to use. Thus my disdain for the use of it in my last sentence but it proved a point.

Jul 28 - 08:01 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I think Gordon must have coined the phrase (and without any intended irony): "60% of the time, it works EVERY TIME"

Jul 29 - 12:35 AM

Sean Y.

Sean Y.

I think it's best not to try too hard to understand him.

Jul 29 - 01:34 AM

Irukandji

Chris Skoufis

Knew Cowboys & Aliens would be rotten. No surprise with The Smurfs' rating. Just bring on the apes, and my Summer's complete.

Jul 28 - 05:28 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Thanks Captain Hindsight!!!

Jul 29 - 09:55 AM

Deanno

Dean Nelson

Ha!

Jul 30 - 06:26 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Uh actually I think Conan is the last 'summerish' movie on the list, but I have a bad feeling it's gonna lick balls.

Jul 31 - 07:28 AM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

It's never a good thing when a film's cinematography looks dim and muddy BEFORE you put on your 3D glasses.

Jul 31 - 05:45 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

hahahahahahahha "Rise of the Revenge of the Return of the Planet of the Apes" paired with Planet of the Blind Ape would be AWESOME!/ actually Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a remake of Battle For the Planet of the Apes.///ESCAPE from the Planet of the Apes is my favorite! Beneath the Planet of the Apes was the worst . . . // exhumedfilms.com in Philadelphia is screening all of the Planet of the Apes films in 35mm this weekend. EXCELLENT COMMENT!

Jul 28 - 05:32 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Its a remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, not Battle...

Jul 29 - 04:07 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

That's not a surprise about Cowboys and Aliens, since it had about six different screenwriters throwing that script together.

Jul 28 - 05:54 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

DAMN!

Was planning on checking this out along with Cpt America this weekend .. . . . . Crap. . . . this and Iron man 2 makes me wonder if favreau is really as amazing as i once thought he was :-(

Jul 28 - 06:12 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I am not convinced Favreau is really cut out to be a big name, big budget director. The thing that made original Iron Man special had a lot to do with the acting, particuarly Downey, and even people who love it admit that the worst thing about it are the action scenes. He needs to hit a real home run that nails everything for me to really think of him as blockbuster director to stand with Spielberg, Jackson, Cameron, Nolan, etc, instead of a guy who wants to be in the same ranks as those guys.

Jul 28 - 06:37 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

I think becoming a great action director comes with much, much practice and, especially, an amazing crew. I don't believe that Nolan is that great of an action director just yet (Inception proved he's a creative one). Jackson, also, isn't an especially amazing action director (though he completely understands scope). The thing with those two is that they understand their confines and work with it rather than try to overreach. Favreau is a comic director attempting action-- he doesn't necessarily fail at it, but he is definitely a story-board director (meaning, he wants to get the point of the scene across and little more).

Jul 28 - 07:29 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I think Nolan is definitely on the verge of becoming a great action director, if not there already; his progression since first taking on these types of movies in Batman Begins (where the action is incomprehensible a lot of times), to The Dark Knight (the chase through the tunnels and downtown Gotham was an amazing sequence), and Inception (the zero-G fight scene was another sequence that was very memorable and executed wonderfully) has been amazing, and I think he is just going to keep getting better. He improves with every film, and wants to get better with each one.

Jul 29 - 01:21 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

I'm sorry, but I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that Nolan can't direct action. . . . . Can't choreograph fight scenes? . . . Sure, why not . . . But ACTION? Some people said that TDK was all action, and it was just climax after climax. . . But the way he showed bats infiltrating joker's hideout with sonar, while also showing what was happening in the two boats, AND what the clowns and swat team were doing was brilliant action direction . . . Why brilliant? Because nothing felt out of place or drawn out . . . . Compare that to a michael bay movie, and tell me if you can say the same thing. . . . I've fallen asleep in midst of a bay climax sooo many times, i've lost count . . . . sure, he does great action. . . But I just don't give a fuck.

Jul 29 - 03:09 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

I didn't say Nolan CANT direct action... I just don't believe he's at the top of his game yet. And don't get me started on Bay, who has absolutely no sense of scale or continuity. That's right. I'm saying Bay is a BAD action director... and I don't care what anyone says. If the scene doesn't make sense, It doesn't matter how many explosions are taking place.

Jul 29 - 03:19 PM

Brett F.

Brett Frager

It seems like you guys are arguing the same point:
Nolan is a great director because he has a great sense of editing and able to cut action scenes together to create tension in the dullest moments of a film. Whereas Bay is a producers wet dream. You throw the Michael Bay name in the opening credits and your film is guaranteed to gross at least 50 mil in the first weekend (exaggerated for dramatic effect).
But to put Favreau in the same boat. We all know he is the same guy from Swingers. He is a character director that understands how to make a great and sustaining arc and make the audience feel good about themselves at the end of the day.

Jul 31 - 09:16 AM

jay z.

jay groon

I don't know man, the pacing and the story itself unfolded beautifully. yes, Jeff bridges was DAMN good and Robert Downey his equal but I give alot of credit to Favreau on that one.

Jul 28 - 08:03 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Yes, but that doesn't say much of his abilities as an ACTION director. I agree, he is good with the human elements and with the basic story elements.

Jul 29 - 01:15 AM

jay z.

jay groon

Maybe so but i wont sell John favreau short as a director because of that. Not to mention the action sequences in Ironman were phenomenal compared to the mess that was Ironman II.

I wouldn't necessarily say he CAN'T shoot action sequences.

Jul 29 - 08:46 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Favreau can handle all the character stuff fine, his problem is scale, tension, and the evolution of action scenes. He just seems like he really does not know what to do when it comes to action and spectacle.

Jul 29 - 01:25 PM

Dakota -Kapodaco- Gordon

Dakota Gordon

Hmm, I thought Cowboy & Aliens would be good, oh well, at least The Smurfs is under 20%, and that makes me happy.

Jul 28 - 06:19 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Well, I was holding hope out for Cowboys and Aliens all the way up until a good bit of reviews started to surface, and it seems many of my worries since the trailers first came out ended up being realities. I'll wait for DVD.

I saw a twenty second ad for The Smurfs on TV last night, and in that incredibly compact time frame, they managed to use the word "smurf," or some variation of it, as a noun, verb, adjective, and who knows what else. That was twenty seconds; I could not imagine how awful the entire movie is, it literally makes me cringe.

I am admittedly surprised that Crazy, Stupid, Love has gotten good reviews, as it seemed like another generational rom-com. The cast really is excellent, though.

Jul 28 - 06:28 PM

jay z.

jay groon

The cast is too good and top notch to be just another rom-com. Gosling just dosn't pick any movie to act in anymore and has been making wise choices at that. I think he knew what he was doing and brought his A game. The reviews say Gosling is a sort of revelation at times.

Jul 28 - 08:07 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Gosling is pretty awesome, and I really, really want to see his next film, Drive. Check out the clip that has been released for it online; the tension in the scene is almost unbearable, and virtually nothing happens. Brilliant stuff.

Jul 29 - 01:28 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

You should check out the trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_xKXmlI3BQ

Jul 31 - 12:39 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I was pumped about Cowboys & Aliens when I read all about the development. Then I saw the first trailer...I'll wait to rent it on DVD, and not right when it comes out.

Jul 29 - 12:38 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I was worried it would fall into the trap of cliches and incoherence, and according to the reviews, it does. I am pretty disappointed, as I like pretty much everyone in the cast.

Jul 29 - 01:29 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I got a really good laugh out of Moore's Twilight line in the previews. That was an awesome delivery.

Jul 29 - 09:59 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

The trailer did get some laughs out of me (I liked Gosling's line about the battle of the sexes being over because women pole dance for excercise), but I am still surprised it is doing as well as it is with critics.

Jul 29 - 01:30 PM

The Dude

Gene Arnold

Cowboys and Aliens was always going to be mediocre, I saw this coming. I have no interest. Hopefully Rise of the Planet of the Apes is good. Otherwise Captain America will complete my summer.

Smurf that Smurfs movie. And when I mean smurf I mean F*** it! A whole movie that features the word Smurf and replaces all of these nouns, verbs, adjectives, and etc, seems like a awful idea. So hell no I won't go near it, especially not in 3D.

Crazy, Stupid, Love looks pretty good, for a matinee. Steve Carell is usually great when given a great screenplay.

Jul 28 - 06:35 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I am not convinced Favreau is really cut out to be a big name, big budget director. The thing that made original Iron Man special had a lot to do with the acting, particuarly Downey, and even people who love it admit that the worst thing about it are the action scenes. He needs to hit a real home run that nails everything for me to really think of him as blockbuster director to stand with Spielberg, Jackson, Cameron, Nolan, etc, instead of a guy who wants to be in the same ranks as those guys.

Jul 28 - 06:37 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

I think becoming a great action director comes with much, much practice and, especially, an amazing crew. I don't believe that Nolan is that great of an action director just yet (Inception proved he's a creative one). Jackson, also, isn't an especially amazing action director (though he completely understands scope). The thing with those two is that they understand their confines and work with it rather than try to overreach. Favreau is a comic director attempting action-- he doesn't necessarily fail at it, but he is definitely a story-board director (meaning, he wants to get the point of the scene across and little more).

Jul 28 - 07:29 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I think Nolan is definitely on the verge of becoming a great action director, if not there already; his progression since first taking on these types of movies in Batman Begins (where the action is incomprehensible a lot of times), to The Dark Knight (the chase through the tunnels and downtown Gotham was an amazing sequence), and Inception (the zero-G fight scene was another sequence that was very memorable and executed wonderfully) has been amazing, and I think he is just going to keep getting better. He improves with every film, and wants to get better with each one.

Jul 29 - 01:21 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

I'm sorry, but I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that Nolan can't direct action. . . . . Can't choreograph fight scenes? . . . Sure, why not . . . But ACTION? Some people said that TDK was all action, and it was just climax after climax. . . But the way he showed bats infiltrating joker's hideout with sonar, while also showing what was happening in the two boats, AND what the clowns and swat team were doing was brilliant action direction . . . Why brilliant? Because nothing felt out of place or drawn out . . . . Compare that to a michael bay movie, and tell me if you can say the same thing. . . . I've fallen asleep in midst of a bay climax sooo many times, i've lost count . . . . sure, he does great action. . . But I just don't give a fuck.

Jul 29 - 03:09 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

I didn't say Nolan CANT direct action... I just don't believe he's at the top of his game yet. And don't get me started on Bay, who has absolutely no sense of scale or continuity. That's right. I'm saying Bay is a BAD action director... and I don't care what anyone says. If the scene doesn't make sense, It doesn't matter how many explosions are taking place.

Jul 29 - 03:19 PM

Brett F.

Brett Frager

It seems like you guys are arguing the same point:
Nolan is a great director because he has a great sense of editing and able to cut action scenes together to create tension in the dullest moments of a film. Whereas Bay is a producers wet dream. You throw the Michael Bay name in the opening credits and your film is guaranteed to gross at least 50 mil in the first weekend (exaggerated for dramatic effect).
But to put Favreau in the same boat. We all know he is the same guy from Swingers. He is a character director that understands how to make a great and sustaining arc and make the audience feel good about themselves at the end of the day.

Jul 31 - 09:16 AM

jay z.

jay groon

I don't know man, the pacing and the story itself unfolded beautifully. yes, Jeff bridges was DAMN good and Robert Downey his equal but I give alot of credit to Favreau on that one.

Jul 28 - 08:03 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Yes, but that doesn't say much of his abilities as an ACTION director. I agree, he is good with the human elements and with the basic story elements.

Jul 29 - 01:15 AM

jay z.

jay groon

Maybe so but i wont sell John favreau short as a director because of that. Not to mention the action sequences in Ironman were phenomenal compared to the mess that was Ironman II.

I wouldn't necessarily say he CAN'T shoot action sequences.

Jul 29 - 08:46 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Favreau can handle all the character stuff fine, his problem is scale, tension, and the evolution of action scenes. He just seems like he really does not know what to do when it comes to action and spectacle.

Jul 29 - 01:25 PM

m1

Manus Andurkar

I wish Rotten Tomatoes would pay attention to their ratings. Crazy Stupid Love hit the 75% mark hours ago. It should be Certified Fresh.

Jul 28 - 06:38 PM

MAMOVIES

Matheus Cassiano

I was expecting a higher rating for Cowboys and Aliens..Oh well, I'll just wait for the Oscar movies...

Jul 28 - 06:47 PM

John H.

John Hurson

Not thrilled that Attack The Block isn't playing in my town. Not surprised, either. Already have my ticket for Cowboys & Aliens. My friends & I will make our own judgement on the film, tomorrow, at 1:10 p.m.

Jul 28 - 06:49 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Come back here and let us know how it was. I'm still semi-interested.

Jul 28 - 07:18 PM

John H.

John Hurson

I'm not a critic, so this will hardly be a review. Since a couple of people expressed an interest in my impressions, though, here they are. Let me start off by saying, I liked the movie. To be fair, I have a predilection for the Western genre of films, so Favreau pretty much had me at "Cowboys". I was very entertained by the Western DNA running throughout the film. There's nothing new here... other than the aliens... but I found a certain comfort in revisiting all the genre tropes. The cast seemed to enjoy playing the various stock character types you'd expect to find in your standard oater. I was unaware that Clancy Brown, Walton Googins, Adam Beach, Keith Carradine, Paul Dano & Sam Rockwell were in the film. I've tended to enjoy all of their work in other roles. Their appearances certainly aided in my overall enjoyment of the film. I particularly enjoyed every scene shared by Paul Dano & Daniel Craig. Sam Rockwell, on the other hand, is pretty superfluous in the role of "Doc". With Daniel Craig playing an amnesiac, & Olivia Wilde a mystery woman, there's not a lot of time spent on character development. Harrison Ford's character does get an arc. The alien designs are fine. Nothing amazing. Their reason for terrorizing the Old West kind of works, in that, it makes them relatable to the characters in the film. There are some decent effects. If I had to foster a complaint, I'd say the film lacks charm. It's played a little too seriously for a film titled "Cowboys & Aliens". A more roguish lead character might have given the audience a cue to have a bit more fun with the film. That's not a criticism of Daniel Craig. He's cast in the role of a violent loner & he plays it well. It's hard for me to recommend the film to a stranger. I liked the film. My friends liked the film. If you like Westerns, you should enjoy it. If you like Science Fiction... maybe not so much. It's a little light on the Sci-Fi end. It's got aliens, & rocket ships, laser blasters, abductions & horrific experimentation. The science fiction is a reason for the story without actually being the story. This is not a genre defying film. It's not a watershed moment in the evolution of Westerns or Science Fictions. It's a simple film, with a simple story, told pretty well, with some fun performances from some fine actors. If that sounds appealing... go see it. If you're looking for something else... something different... something "new", then keep waiting. New movies open up every week. Better luck next time.

Jul 30 - 03:23 PM

Rawlin P.

Rawlin Potter

That is what I like to read, that someone will actually issue judgement after seeing the movie not based on the tv trailers and the "expert" critics opinions who think a movie has to fall into a particular genre category or it is garbage. Who says movies can't simply be entertaining? I am anxious to read your review after you and your friends view the movie.

Jul 29 - 07:20 AM

dudemeister

dude meister

(sigh) I am so tired of this argument. Hey we like explosions as much as anyone, but is it wrong to have SOME standards? We're not saying that every blockbuster has to be The Dark Knight (to be honest, I don't even consider it to be a blockbuster). All we want is for a summer blockbuster to have more to fall back on than just shit blowing up, it gets boring after a while and just becomes tedious. I read this on a movie blog which perfectly states what we think "To suggest that criticisms of acting, plot and pacing have no place in a movie about giant robots is, with respect, demented and potentially damaging to all future films." Is it too much to ask that blockbusters have good pacing, a good plot, charm and wit, good acting, good character development and some heart. Looks at films like Star Wars (the original trilogy of course), The Indy movies (excluding 4), Die Hard, the Back To The Future movies, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Inception, Spideys 1 and 2, the Potter film, Lord of The Rings so on and so forth. Those films had all (of most of the above), and that's why critics liked them and that's why we like them here and over at IMDb. And reviews aren't supposed to be like The Bible. They just give us an idea of what we're on for, and some of us choose not to go because it does not sound appealing to us, and we'd like to spend our hard earned cash on something else.
Note: I'm not talking about Cowboys and Aliens only, in fact, I plan on checking it out seeing reviews in general are mixed, yet 2 of my favorite critics liked it (Ebert and Empire Magazine), and the reviews made the film seem appealing.

Jul 29 - 03:04 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

I, too, Dudemeister. I guess these people never heard of formulating hypotheses. Educated guesses, for those who don't know the term. I wonder if they follow that rule of ignorance in every aspect of their lives?
Well, how do YOU KNOW the Britney Spears albums suck if you don't listen to it? As I've seen some other people say, using this line of thinking, they have to see every single movie made because they can't know for sure how good a movie is unless they see it. That applies to Twilight movies, that applies to Justin Bieber ones, to ones with Selena Gomez, and to ones for little kids. If they say, they're not interested in that kind of movie, Well, how do THEY KNOW they're not? They've never seen. They shouldn't judge it just because it's a kids movie. Or a teen romance for girls. No way they can absolutely know if it's good or not unless they see it...

Jul 29 - 03:23 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

I don't think this was the right place to insert that argument. While I don't disagree, I don't think Cowboys and Aliens was meant to attract the mindless moviegoers (I could be wrong). Art, of course, has fading standards. Critics jobs are to uphold these standards, this is how it was before the internet and before mass marketing. As an artist, you generally had two options: appease the critics or pique the general interest with something original (or both). Nowadays, critics have come to accept Lowest Common Denominator entertainment as its own genre. The bad thing about this is that the LCD seems to get lower and lower on the intelligence scale. There was a time when the Sherlock Holmes series was considered a product for the masses. Our standards are loosening. Which is strange considering the hard economic times--you'd think we'd be much more cautious about what we paid money for.
That being said, judging for yourself IS a fair argument. I wouldn't dare waste my money on things I doubt I'd like, but if someone else is up to it, more power to them. Some of us know what we like--others have not yet matured their tastes just yet.

Jul 29 - 04:28 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

Like I said, I'm not necessarily talking about Cowboys and Aliens. I am talking about this irritating argument we see with everything single blockbuster that gets poor reviews saying 'it's just a bit of fun'. But I agree, our standards really are lowering.

Jul 29 - 09:59 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

@misterkyle1901 From the looks and sounds of it, Cowboys is ultimately a mindless action flick, tacked on near the end of summer. I like "dumb, fun" movies from time to time, like anyone else, but there are such things as good, smart "dumb" movies. The problem is, as you point out, standards have sunk so low for mainstream movies. I don't mind individuals liking these movies in general. But we've entered a whole new world seemingly fueled by nothing but narcissism, and anyone who DARES to critique these mindless, bloated action flicks gets thrashed and bashed by some of the most ignorant, illogical, nonsensical arguments I've ever seen. Your post was well stated, and well thought out, and without the anger and frustration that often are readily visible in my rants against idiocy. But you might be surprised to see how many of the rabid fanboys would also bash you and what you wrote because you acknowledge how movies have grown dumber and dumber with time. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is the deeper reason why. Can these people not SEE the hypocrisy and short-sightedness of their ways?

Jul 30 - 01:40 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

I've long ago noticed the crazed fanatics willing to attack anyone who so much as rolls their eyes at their beloved Transformers and the like. I guess I assumed that C&A was an ambitious failure and, while I'm not a fan of the Iron Man movies, I can see why people would want to go out and support the director. Even still, cynicism is too easy. There was a time I would easily write off anyone who listened to pop radio, read twilight, or paid to see Transformers 3, but they're getting something out of these things that I'm missing. I'm ignorant to their reasoning but I have to try and let them live the way they wish to live--even if it seems dreadful and boring. As much as I would like the Tree of Life or Midnight in Paris to be the highest grossing movies of the year, I have to accept that I'm part of a niche who enjoys intelligent movies. I've spent years coming to the conclusion that there's really nothing wrong with that.

Jul 30 - 06:06 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Too be honest, I was a bit excited for Cowboys and Aliens--Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an action western seemed appealing. I've been pretty neutral on every other film this summer, but this one I was optimistic about. Alas, its a bit too low on the meter for me to want to spend a considerable amount of money on it. On a side note, The Guard looks great and right up my alley... too bad it wont be opening around me.

Jul 28 - 06:58 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

It did have Olivia Wilde in it, which is never a good sign if you're hoping for a good movie. She's not a terrible actress she just seems to have that same disease Charlize Theron had pre-Monster where she just couldn't find a movie that was good.

Jul 29 - 10:02 AM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Ehh Harrison Ford hasn't been great at picking roles of late either.

Jul 29 - 08:44 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Yeah, but Ford also made Star Wars, Indiana Jones, the Jack Ryan movies, Blade Runner, Air Force One, Witness, and Frantic. If Olivia Wilde had done that id be inclined to cut her a couple decades of slack, but...

Jul 31 - 03:59 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

And then she followed it up with Aeon Flux. Yikes!!! They should have stripped her of her Oscar for that, lol. I get what you're saying, though. There are some really talented actresses out there that just can't seem to pick a good script.

Aug 1 - 08:10 PM

Bradley J.

Bradley J

Wow a seemingly great week for movies falls flat. Cowboys and Aliens could have been good but I guess not. The Smurfs might have been cute enough to be in the 40s and good for Crazy, Stupid, Love even if it's not my type of movie. Might just rent it.

Jul 28 - 06:59 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Come back here and let us know how it was. I'm still semi-interested.

Jul 28 - 07:18 PM

John H.

John Hurson

I'm not a critic, so this will hardly be a review. Since a couple of people expressed an interest in my impressions, though, here they are. Let me start off by saying, I liked the movie. To be fair, I have a predilection for the Western genre of films, so Favreau pretty much had me at "Cowboys". I was very entertained by the Western DNA running throughout the film. There's nothing new here... other than the aliens... but I found a certain comfort in revisiting all the genre tropes. The cast seemed to enjoy playing the various stock character types you'd expect to find in your standard oater. I was unaware that Clancy Brown, Walton Googins, Adam Beach, Keith Carradine, Paul Dano & Sam Rockwell were in the film. I've tended to enjoy all of their work in other roles. Their appearances certainly aided in my overall enjoyment of the film. I particularly enjoyed every scene shared by Paul Dano & Daniel Craig. Sam Rockwell, on the other hand, is pretty superfluous in the role of "Doc". With Daniel Craig playing an amnesiac, & Olivia Wilde a mystery woman, there's not a lot of time spent on character development. Harrison Ford's character does get an arc. The alien designs are fine. Nothing amazing. Their reason for terrorizing the Old West kind of works, in that, it makes them relatable to the characters in the film. There are some decent effects. If I had to foster a complaint, I'd say the film lacks charm. It's played a little too seriously for a film titled "Cowboys & Aliens". A more roguish lead character might have given the audience a cue to have a bit more fun with the film. That's not a criticism of Daniel Craig. He's cast in the role of a violent loner & he plays it well. It's hard for me to recommend the film to a stranger. I liked the film. My friends liked the film. If you like Westerns, you should enjoy it. If you like Science Fiction... maybe not so much. It's a little light on the Sci-Fi end. It's got aliens, & rocket ships, laser blasters, abductions & horrific experimentation. The science fiction is a reason for the story without actually being the story. This is not a genre defying film. It's not a watershed moment in the evolution of Westerns or Science Fictions. It's a simple film, with a simple story, told pretty well, with some fun performances from some fine actors. If that sounds appealing... go see it. If you're looking for something else... something different... something "new", then keep waiting. New movies open up every week. Better luck next time.

Jul 30 - 03:23 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

I hear you bud, though I must say, Rise of The Apes is looking very good, have you seen the latest trailer?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgCzQWoBKvA

Jul 28 - 07:21 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

I agree. I initially wrote this movie off as a pointless reboot/prequel but the more I see of it, the more promising it looks. May still be crap but the trailers definitely suggest it is a movie with something "more" up its sleeve.

Jul 28 - 07:32 PM

Andrew M.

Andrew McGregor

Did you see like the extended trailer, with the lengthy scene, made it look like crap, sadly.

Jul 29 - 08:46 AM

dudemeister

dude meister

I'm talking about the 3rd, which was a great trailer.

Jul 29 - 10:07 PM

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