Over a month ago, my good friend Abigail Sharpe suggested we see Cowboys & Aliens together. After much anticipation, we went opening weekend. Abigail, kindly agreed to do a joint review post with me for the blog. We did it in the form of a chat. Here’s the transcript.
Charlie: Thanks again for suggesting Aliens and Cowboys! Err… Cowboys & Aliens.
Abigail: Once I saw the title of the movie, I knew we had to go. I didn’t care what it was about. I mean, aside from the cowboys and aliens. *laugh*
Charlie: It did seem perfect since you love (and write about) cowboys and for me it’s aliens all the way.
Did you like the cowboy elements of the movie?
Abigail: Yeehaw!!! Daniel Craig does the lone alpha male so well. But I did find a lot of it cliché, like the one troublemaker and the sheriff trying to keep the peace. But what made it nice is the sheriff actually followed the law instead of kowtowing to the Man Who Owns the Town.
Charlie: I see your point. What about the war hero (Harrison Ford) character?
Abigail: How nice was it to see Harrison Ford in a very unattractive role (both personality and looks), at least to start. (And he got better looking as the movie progressed.) The story glossed over the war hero part, though. I think it should have been played up more.
But I want to talk about the aliens! Are they always so technologically advanced?
Charlie: LOL! Well, if they can make it to Earth they kind of have to be.
Abigail: Oh, good point. Especially since they targeted Earth, and it wasn’t like an accidental crash landing.
Charlie: Uh – even if it was a crash, they still had to be in space ships to start. *grin* One thing the cowboys and alien had in common was they we’re both pretty grimy. That isn’t the norm for aliens. I thought the gold mining tech was pretty cool, though.
Abigail: The reason they came to the planet, right? 🙂
Charlie: Right. It makes since that they would come here looking for something and gold is useful for more than jewelry, so that works. What didn’t work for me was that they would chase down the gold the cowboy had on him when they could more easily mine it.
Abigail: Yeah, I did like that they were trying to take over the earth for a REASON. HA! I didn’t even think about that.
Charlie: What was totally senseless was how many people they took to ‘study’. Just over the top and needlessly cruel. That is just a case of trying to always turn the aliens into monsters. Arrgg!
Abigail: I thought they were using the people for something else? Or maybe I just made that up because being food made more sense to me. Okay, so I have a question: How would the story have been different if the scary aliens weren’t so scary-looking? Take V, for example. The aliens look like people. No hysteria ensues. … at first. *grin*
Charlie: Hmmm… I think it would have made it easier for the aliens, and scarier for the human characters, but not as scary for the audience. Let me explain. If you can’t easily identify the aliens, paranoia ensues. But movie goers like the straight out monsters better.
Abigail: It would have been a completely different story. True.
Charlie: A question for you.
Abigail: Shoot. (see what I did there?) *grin*
Charlie: Har har. Do you think the reaction of the cowboys made sense when the aliens showed up?
Abigail: Well now you’re making me think. They didn’t seem as freaked out as I would have been. And their immediate problem was getting their people back, not tracking the invaders.
Charlie: I agree with you. I think they would have freaked more, but it does make sense that some would be brave enough to go after loved ones who’d been captured.
Easier question…I don’t want to be too spoilery, but did you see the twist with the woman’s character coming?
Abigail: I thought she looked completely out of place, but no, I didn’t see it coming at all. Was it said how long she had been in the town?
Charlie: I don’t think so. But everyone seemed comfortable with her.
Abigail: I would have expected more of “Go inside, you’re just a woman” stuff. The only one who did it was Craig. Whose movie name I can’t remember.
Charlie: Some of that part of the story was a bit of a stretch, but for me it saved the movie.
Abigail: Yay! 🙂
Charlie: Any last thoughts before we each give our ratings?
Abigail: I didn’t like the stuff with the Indians. I thought they should have been more prominent in planning the attack. And I thought the attack was ill-planned anyway…. It’s hard to discuss something without trying to give too much away. *laugh*
Charlie: Agreed on all counts.
Abigail: All in all, it was entertaining, but if had been called something other than Cowboys & Aliens I probably would have waited for cable. Should I give it a letter grade or stars? 🙂
Charlie: You do Stetsons – I’ll do spaceships. *grin*
Abigail: You totally rock. I give it three and a half hats. (Out of five).
Charlie: I give it three starships plus one moth-balled shuttle.
Abigail: This was fun. We should do it again when Cowboys & Aliens 2 comes out.
Charlie: You’re on!
I hope you enjoyed the post as much as we enjoyed doing it. And in case you aren’t aware, Cowboys & Aliens is another ‘based on a comic book’ movie. A graphic novel, actually, and currently available on Kindle.
ALSO! It is not too late to comment to win a copy of WAR GAMES or just to get your questions answered.