Friday, October 22, 2010
Netflix Queue: "The Quick and the Dead"
Three thoughts about "The Quick and the Dead":
* Sam Raimi's 1995 film is clearly a riff on the old Clint Eastwood "Man With No Name" spaghetti westerns with Sergio Leone -- encompassing everything from the credited name of Sharon Stone's character ("Lady") to the Ennio Morricone-light soundtrack. And I'm really fine with that: Hollywood westerns are basically American mythmaking, anyway, so revisiting and tweaking those myths to put (say) a woman at the center of the action is fine by me. No, it's not history. But it can be fun -- as this flick mostly is. Still, Clint Eastwood never cried in his westerns; I wish Sharon Stone hadn't cried in hers.
* Then again, Sharon Stone -- though she was a producer on the film -- may not have been quite up to the acting level of her compatriots in this film: Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo Dicaprio, Gary Sinise, Keith David and a bunch of other character actors whose faces you'll certainly recognize. It's a powerhouse cast, and that unfortunately makes Stone's line readings a bit more noticeably thin.
* Then again, while it's a really entertaining film -- and I'm kind of shocked nobody turned it into a "Street Fighter" video game -- there are some real howlers in the script-writing department. TQATD's final line is this: "The law has come back to town." Delivered, I believe, without any awareness of irony. But it is, unfortunately, hilarious. But Raimi directed, and he knows a thing or two about hilarity in extreme situations, so maybe I should give the benefit of the doubt. It is, however Sharon Stone, so maybe I shouldn't.
* BONUS THOUGHT: Her persona has long since overwhelmed our notions of Sharon Stone, but I sometimes forget: She really was an extraordinarily beautiful woman back in the day.