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Appaloosa Review


OK
Unlike its immediate predecessors, which have retooled (Unforgiven), remade (3:10 To Yuma), revered (Open Range), and re-imagined (The Proposition) the genre, Ed Harris' Appaloosa is simply content being a good Western. It's unapologetic of its formula, unwilling to waver in its characterizations, and unhurried in its pace. It tells a story you've heard before -- more than once -- but it handles its business with rugged aplomb. That ought to be enough. But for some reason, it isn't.

It's 1882, and the intimidating landowner Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) casts a long shadow over the New Mexico town of Appaloosa. With three booming gun blasts, the film establishes Bragg's cold-blooded disdain for authority and utter lack of morals. Man, how I wish Appaloosa gave this character more time to breathe, develop, and wreck proper havoc.

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Pootie Tang Review


Unbearable
After a hard, busy day, I'm sitting in the movie theater waiting for the projectionist to start Pootie Tang. I become relaxed, comfortable, with a notepad in one hand and a pencil in the other. The lights dim. The movie starts. But the image is out of focus, then it goes black. The house lights shine brightly. The theater is experiencing technical difficulties. This is a warning from God: "Run for your life while you still have the chance," screams a little voice in my head. Then the lights dim once again, and the movie restarts. I regret not dashing for the door.

I cannot remember any other movie without subtitles that creates a language for its characters, but never teaches it to the audience. The main character in Pootie Tang utters phrases like "I'm gonna sine your pitty on the runny kine" and "Sipi-tai!" But what does that mean? Not that it matters -- you won't even try to follow this hopeless, incoherent story. Instead I wondered about the cologne on the man next to me, if that lovely cashier was wearing a wig, and what I needed at the store later that night. Anything to clear my mind from the painful occurrences transpiring on screen.

Continue reading: Pootie Tang Review

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