The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (14)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (0)
| DVD (4)
Offers the anticipated measures of doomed love and sudden death but surprises with its dramatic richness.
It's clear that the double entendres will continue to fly at a fast and furious pace in writer-director Samuel Fuller's rowdy Western saga.
An early example of genre revisionism, but the tone isn't always so serious thanks to some of the most overt innuendo ever put on screen.
Fuller's comic book world is a complete artistic creation, a place where men were MEN and women could take a bullet now and then.
Here is Sam Fuller in top gear, as writer, director and producer, with a Western that is solidly crafted and brilliantly cast. Barbara Stanwyck is at her peak, although her peak lasted decades
... sexual energy and psychotic violence that explodes onscreen in staccato editing, darting camerawork, and the maddest expressions of love this side of Duel in the Sun.
Stanwyck, by turns imperious and sly, dominates the movie.
Stanwyck is as stunning and fiery as she was all the way back in Baby Face (1933), and she helps make this one of the best Westerns of its day.
Quintessential American action cinema.
As brash, unsubtle, and pointed as Fuller's best work.
Great western with some really nice unexpected twists. Love that gun barrel shot. Looks like Sam Fuller beat James Bond to the punch.
Although the story didn't really appeal to me, I liked how it was filmed. The shots were diverse and creative, it reminded me a little of Hitchcock's way of filming sometimes.
I wish Barbara had a bigger part in it, I can't get enough of this woman. She has a very powerful appearance, that never fails to captivate me.
One wacky-doodlely Freudian Western.
"She's a high ridin' woman with a whip . . .
But if someone could break her and take her whip away,
Someone big, someone strong, someone tall,
You may find that the woman with a whip
...is only a woman after all."
"Get a doctor. She'll live."
"She's a high-riding woman with a whip"
The idea of Barbara Stanwyck galloping around the prairie in a stetson, cracking a whip, is disappointingly underplayed in Forty Guns. Also the potential Freudian and feminist elements are never explored past the surface (though the two female stars are as spunky as the men are handsome, Jessica Drummond is only waiting for a man to take charge!) - see the superbly over the top 'Johnny Guitar' if you really want any kind of subtext or depth.
It's still entertaining and campy enough though to make the already short running time whiz by quick enough. Stanwyck is always never less than watchable and Barry Sullivan's rugged presence does the job it's intended. The dialogue is sparky if a little ropey "I've never kissed a gunsmith before" "I need a strong man to carry out my orders... And a weak one to take them". And the visual effects are a bit of a treat - a big close-up of Sullivan's eyes, during a shoot-out, only serves to diminish the expected dramatic affect as it causes us to titter. As does the scene when the burgeoning lovers spy each other lovingly through the barrel of a gun!
But the absolute highlight here is the two songs - both of which are unexpectedly and quite spectacularly sung IN character! The Woman With a Whip number is especially ripe as it's sung by one of the male leads as his mates watch on, smiling nonchalantly, as they soap themselves in their bath-tubs!? The other song, sung as a funeral rite, initially startled and surprised me in it's bravado of having a man sing a love song where the object of desire is another man! Until you realise the 'he' he is singing about is God... Damn! Still, the queer seeds are there for us to pick up on!
All this (vaguely homoerotic) campery had me thinking... Forty Guns is maybe only two songs shy of an all-out musical! Now THAT would have been a lot more intriguing.
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