Western #10: Joe Kidd (1972)

joe kidd

I’m sort of indifferent towards this film. It has Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall in it, and it should be awesome — but it isn’t. Meh. It’s also directed by John Sturges and written by Elmore Leonard, which makes it even more disappointing. There’s cool shootouts, I guess. Yay?

Grade: C

Western #8: The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972)

Culpepper

I’ll admit I was a little surprised by this film. There’s no big names in this, but damn if it isn’t a gritty, and sometimes poetic little western. It might actually be the most de-romanticized western I’ve ever seen, next to The Proposition. The story follows a group of cowboys and their newest young member, who’s always dreamed of being a cowboy. He quickly learns what a bleak and violent existence that can be. The ending is pretty great as well, maybe not quite as good as The Great Silence, but it sure is up there.

Grade: B+

Western #4: Blazing Saddles (1974)

Photobucket

Blazing Saddles is one of those films I feel like I should like a lot more than I actually do. It’s funny, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not near the caliber of The Producers or Young Frankenstein and that’s always disappointed me. Madeline Kahn is still brilliant of course, and so is Gene Wilder, but too much of the humor seems forced and some of the gags just don’t hold up for me.

It’s a shame because the film it borrows heavily from, Destry Rides Again, which is a wonderfully funny little film from 1939 starring Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich. The problem is that film is already a parody of Westerns, so when you start parodying a parody you can see how something might be a little off.

Grade: B

Sunday Morning Movie: The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather Part II (1974)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

For breakfast: Waffles

I think I may be in the minority here, but I consider the first film to be significantly better than the widely praised sequel. The Godfather Part II has amazing moments (who doesn’t get chills when Pacino utters “I know it was you Fredo” and plants one on Robert Cazale?), but overall it leaves me feeling a little disappointed. Most of it is probably due to the fact that I find the segments of Vito’s rise to power infinitely more interesting than Michael’s fall from grace. The separate storylines never really mesh for me and that makes it hard to immerse yourself in the film. I’ve tried to see what other people see that makes it so spectacular, I really have, but it’s just not happening for me. The Godfather I find damn near perfect, and while Part II is still pretty great, it’s lacking that something that makes it really special.

Grade: A-