Special Edition Podcast

07.29.2011 – Cowboys & Aliens

Show Notes

Running Time: 00:24:25

August 4, 2011 – Delayed a few days by San Diego Comic-Con, a passel of iFanboys–namely Conor Kilpatrick, Ron Richards, and Paul Montgomery–were rustled up to talk about Cowboys & Aliens, the latest film from Iron Man director Jon Favreau. How does this genre mash-up fare in this summer of comic book movies? Can James Bond and Indiana Solo save the day? And how does The Adventures of Pete & Pete fit into all of this?

 


James Bond! Indiana Jones! Together for the first time! Sort of!

Plus 13 from House!

How does Han Solo fit into all this? I don't know!

Based on the little known comic book by Fred Van Lente, Andrew Foley and Luciano Lima, Cowboys & Aliens is directed by Iron Man vet Jon Favreau and stars Daniel Craig, Harrson Ford, and Olivia Wilde.

It's got cowboys. It's got aliens. Do they fight? Who knows–it's not called Cowboys vs. Aliens. Maybe they get together and have a picnic and build a barn. No one would see that coming. (Except me.)

Want to read Paul's spoiler free review of Cowboys & Aliens? You can look for it later today.

Are you going to see Cowboys & Aliens? Of course you are! So let's talk about it!

If you haven't seen the movie yet be forewarned – there be SPOILERS ahoy! So don't scroll down any further if you are sensitive to that kind of thing.

 

Check out the original Cowboys and Aliens graphic novel:

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Comments

  1. I can’t tell if this movie looks horrible or amazing. But either way, Olivia Wilde is in it, so at least I have some eye candy to oggle! 

  2. Awesome cast, I really hope this is as good as I want it to be.

    The director of Iron Man. Writers of Star Trek/Fringe/Lost/Alias. Indy, Bond, Dr. Remy ’13′ Hadley, Guy Fleegman/Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Paul Dano. = Nerdgasm.

    This looks so good, it will either blow my mind, or dissapoint miserably. But as of now, I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt. Can’t Wait.

  3. ShaunR ShaunR says:

    Just saw the movie and it’s Fucking Fantastic!

  4. the movie was a better movie than the comic was a comic, but the comic had more interesting ideas. if that makes sense.

  5. MikeFarley says:

    Everything was pretty good until the final act. Then it just fell apart. The aliens were lame. Why are all aliens naked? Are we the only species in the universe that came up with idea of Wolverine tee-shirts and cargo shorts?

  6. RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

    My problem with the third act was that they bother to tell us the aliens can’t see well in the daytime and then it never becomes a factor.

  7. jimmyboy says:

    Lots of terrible loose strings and mediocre stereotypes. SPOILERS: Not only “not seeing in daylight” is never really a factor, but also aliens mining gold b/c they need it, i guess. The Olivia character can inhabit a body and resurrect, but can’t do much of anything else – why? The aliens are not very intelligent- possibly the stupidest aliens ever.
    Worst stereo type tacked on: Harrison has an indian kid hanging around that would be a better son than the one he has. Sheesh, c’mon!!
    Worst acting: Harrison tries to be a wise cracking tough guy and pushes so hard, we become more aware of this effort than getting lost in the story. They even put one huge example of this in one of the trailers: “I want that man. You give ‘em to me now … or i’m gonna take ‘em!”
    Worst steroetype line: Altho Harrison had horribly crappy dialogue like the above, the absolute worst was Craig with his back to the sheriff leaning on the bar, actually says: “I don’t want any trouble.” 
    And Favreau didn’t even try to make it look like the 1870′s west everyone looks like hollywood LA actors wearing costumes. Altho Craig looks cool, the reason we liked him as Bond was b/c he presented a fully dimensional and nuanced human being.

    Waste of time. And a terrible shame. What if they really studied “How the West Was Won” and mashed that genre up with the Cylon spaceships from BSG?

  8. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    This is not what ‘sterotype’ means. 

  9. jimmyboy says:

    okay. what word would you suggest i use? perhaps “convention”? icon? what?
    i thought cowboys and indians are american stereotypes and thought i’d extend that word into my further comments… but seriously, i’m up for learning what would be a better word. thanks in advance.

  10. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Tropes. 

  11. USPUNX USPUNX says:

    When I walk out of the theater I thought the film was pretty good but the more I thought about it the more I realized how many holes and dangling threads there were. Overall I thought this was pretty bad.

  12. jimmyboy says:

    Paul – I guess I’m confused: aren’t tropes generally positive or nuetral , like archetypes? and aren’t stereotypes generally negative, shallow and trite, like cliches? I guess I’ve got to go get schooled on the difference. Thanks, Paul, for pointing that out to me, a first-time commenter to this site. It’s encouraging to me to join in more and dialogue further – if encouraging is the correct word to use.

    regardless, the movie is worse than a salad bowl of “elements that are supposed to make up a good story” b/c those elements don’t even connect – it’s a mix (not even a string) of hackneyed “tropes” that become a joke, b/c they’re executed so poorly – so dull, so lame, so junior high. It’s not even in the same galaxy as Once Upon A Time in the West.

    here’s another cheap example: Rockwell can’t shoot at all, not even close, until, of course, when it’s in the nick of time – a moving target, bullseye, from over 40-50 yards away!! Okay, if that’s the arc, …so how about a little character development with this, some nuance, a little sweat and build some suspense – no. there’s no display of storytelling style, or ability to build suspence… it’s just slapped in there… see, everybody? we’ve got a hero who came into his own as a gunslinger , yep it’s thin, but you can fill in the blanks, we’ve got to move on so that Ford can say his lines about how our little Indian is as good as his own son. And all in the theater laugh out loud b/c its so ridiculous.

  13. RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

    cliches would be the best word

  14. OttoBott OttoBott says:

    Man, there was some clunky dialog. The movie jumped the shark when Olivia Wilde emerged from the funeral pyre naked and exposition-y. Ford and Craig did their best, but overall a pretty uninspired movie from a comic that existed soley to be sold as a movie.

  15. Evangelion11 Evangelion11 says:

    anyone notice the similarity between the setting of the final fight and the scene in Crisis where the western characters fight around the tower?

  16. BizDaddy BizDaddy says:

    Just saw the movie last night and was ambivalent about it.  I’ve seen the comic in graphic novel format, but was it ever released in issues? 

    I ask becasue the movie seemed to have a serialized story with what would seem a cliffhanger moment every half hour or so (i.e. the bandidts appearing out of nowhere guns drawn on the main characters, Wilde’s character walking out of the fire, some others I cant recall just now).  where I could visiualize the “to be continued…” at the bottom of the screen.

    Also I felt let down in that there were no characters I felt connected to.  The only character I was moderately interested in was the preacher, and maybe Doc (though I attribute that more to Sam Rockwell playing the character).  Craig’s character was fairly 2 dimentional and Ford’s character had too drastic a change from ornery cattle baron, to the caring “Mayor” of the town.  Olivia Wilde spent most of the movie standing around looking pretty and being the “Deus ex Machina” when it finally became time to learn about the aliens and then destroy them.

    I’m a big Craig fan, Ford fan, and Favreau fan. I love westerns and amd a sci fi nut.  The idea of cowboys fighting aliens had me giddy as soon as I saw the first trailer at the Superbowl.  As such I was overall disappointed with the movie.  Like Jimmyboy stated, I was hoping for more “how the West was won” meets “BSG”.

     

  17. zuper says:

    A 1930s genre Western meets a 1950s B-movie. I that sense, as a kind of homage to past genres, it was great. As a movie, it was sub-par. I didn’t expect the mashing of these two genres to make anything better than a 6/10. Entertaining, but it definitely could have been better. I’m going to choose to view it as a homage, that way it seems smarter than it is.

  18. DrAwkward DrAwkward says:

    if sam raimi had done this with all the shlock of “the quick and the dead” and “mars attacks” this could have been incredible. alternatively, if they were committed to a straight faced take on the mash up, the plotting, characterization, and dialogue needed to be a lot more airtight.the sci fi elements had to be harder, more logical, more authentic or more unknowable.instead they went a very generic route with the action and characterization while confusing the mash up with horror, revenge, redemption, etc tropes rather than sticking to the more proven genre conventions.

    still worth a look for genre fans but almost as bad a western mash up disappointment as “wild wild west” (that having much larger budget and marketing behind it).

  19. srh1son srh1son says:

    I have to see this now, if only because Toby Huss and I share the same last name.  Watching The Adventures of Pete & Pete and learning that information changed my life.  And seeing him years later in Carnivale… he’s a solid character actor.

  20. OttoBott OttoBott says:

    @srh1son  I totally missed the ranch hand was the Strongest Man….In the World.

    He’s immortal and that alien explosion his humble beginnings.

  21. Firsco Kid: a 1979 western staring Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder.

  22. Nick Fovargue Bootmobile says:

    “James Bond! Indiana Jones! Together for the first time! Sort of!”

    Can’t resist pointing out that this happened way back in ’89, Ford and Connery in Last Crusade.

  23. Cooper Cooper says:

    Great show guys!

    t occured to me when you mentioned the box office figures: shouldn’t you guys technically be doing a podcast about the Smurfs movie? It IS based on a Belgian comic book after all…

    (I don’t think anyone will blame you if you don’t.) 

  24. ericmci ericmci says:

    I enjoyed this movie.
    I think going in with the proper expectations helped the movie deliver
    a good time with ought getting too caught up in what it doesn’t do well.

    I too agree some of the best scenes in the movie were early on- the western itself
    Cowboys vs Aliens also fun- but the aliens were a bit too generic to really root against- not quite enough
    characterization to really raise the stakes high enough to celebrate that victory.
    Also I really could have used a bit more dialogue from Daniel Craig in this movie like his – “You could spend your last days on a beach- which, is not a bad idea or…” 

    Also cliche is the better word-  Words critics are wearing out- Tropes-Beats-Romp to name three.
    Ifanboy- What  Rollicking ride.

  25. RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

    @Bootmobile  I think that’s the reason for the “sort of” comment

  26. Thursday Thursday says:

    I agree with everything you guys said on the podcast.

    Except…

    Rather than CONAN being the last comic book movie of the year, you guys should really do one for The Adventures of Tintin!

    Seriously, if you guys haven’t read the original Hergé comics (translated into English, though), you are missing out. There are some very nicely priced hardcover editions that are out which have three stories in one. The third volume has the stories that the movie is most going to draw from, so I would start there.
    http://store.ifanboy.com/index.php?main_page=redirect&action=banner&goto=10

    Some Tintin coverage would be nice. It’s the soccer of comics. Everyone loves it, except in the United States (except Tintin is way more exciting than soccer).

  27. Just seen it; thought it was an awesome action flick and an awesome western (if those pesky aliens hadn’t shown up,it’d have still been great). It was everything I wanted from a film called “Cowboys and Aliens.”

    Although, I have one nitpick: Isn’t gold, like, extremely abundant in space? Don’t supernovas give it off, or something? Why would aliens need to slowly pull it outta the ground? I might be wrong about that though. Either way, Harrison Ford’s “That’s ridiculous. What’re they gonna do, buy something?” line was the best one in the movie.

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